Go Skateboarding Day 2018, as it does every year, threw up a wide array of events around London to choose from and mid-Thursday afternoon I found myself at Jazz Square waiting for the festivities organised by Vans and Grey Skate Mag. After an overpriced coffee, a browse of CEX and more than one mulling over of the question "What the fuck do you do to kill time in Dalston whilst not wanting to start drinking this early and too injured to skate?", I returned to find the square starting to fill up - skateboard numbers slowly catching up with, and eventually overtaking, the usual K-Cider and synthetic drug fuelled denizens.
Music by Clean Shirts - Smart Casual
A session got going on the wooden block while we waited for Manhead to complete the arduous cycle in summer conditions from the other side of East London - with two kicker ramps strapped to a trolley and attached to the back of his bike - so by the time he rocked up people's legs were starting to work and a kicker to barrier session took no time heating up. Of course, a session at Crackba is bound to throw up some lurker shaped spanners; manifested here in the form of someone in full tweaker mode alternately dancing like he was being electrocuted, throwing middle fingers at anyone/anything and sitting twitching on the block. This rendered that obstacle out of action for the majority of the session, but by this point the main focus of the session was the kicker so no-one was too put out and he remained as a bizarre backdrop to our four wheeled activities without making too much of a nuisance of himself.
A bevy of tricks were stomped by the likes of Kris Vile, Harry Turner, Dylan Proudfoot, Ross McGouran and Daryl Dominguez, with the high point going to Cameron Markin's kicker to barrier hippy jump (assisted by Kris, who nobly risked a teabagging to make sure the barrier offered enough clearance underneath).
Then it was time to hit the road and partake in the classic GSD activity of taking over the streets, with the entire square emptying out onto Kingsland Road and bringing traffic to a halt while we headed to the next spot; the giant metal table which sits to one side of Old Street Roundabout. This one saw less in the way of tweakers and more in the way of commuters, most of whom seemed genuinely stoked on watching a horde of skateboarders throw themselves from kicker to sculpture with varying levels of success. Kris, Daryl and Ross all got a few NBD's on the temporary set up, but this was Chris Oliver's show for the majority of the session - nose manny's around the curve, lipslides both ways with a shuvit out of the backside variation and, to finishing things off, an ollie onto another board placed on top of the sculpture before riding both off the opposite kicker.
One more session with the kicker aiding people wanting to risk some chest high ledges went down after my camera battery ran out, so you'll have to use your imagination for that one, followed by the release of Charlotte Thomas' book Concrete Girls - which you can find out more about via our recent interview with her. This was the perfect, booze soaked end to the session, with a vibe all day that genuinely felt like skateboarders had taken over. Big up Go Skateboarding Day, every day.