Battle of Hastings 2017 - Source Indoor Skatepark
When the concrete curves of Boyley Park first replaced the rotting old wooden skatepark in Hastings, for a couple of years skaters from all over the country would descend on the Sussex town for the yearly ‘Battle of Hastings’ jam to skate, drink and enjoy the dubious fruits of Hastings town centre on a Saturday night. The jam was replaced with ‘Beachy Shred’ for a couple of years, but last year saw a complete lack of large scale events taking place in the area.
Thankfully, this year The Source decided that the first skate event at their indoor park should be a big one and, in this, they definitely succeeded. Bringing in the Monster endorsed pairing of Sam Beckett and Rune Glifberg for starters is a fairly strong opening gambit, while the £2000 prize purse and chance to win a trip to the Blue Enigma Bowl in Greece saw some of the UK’s gnarliest descend on the park under the promenade.
After a morning spent getting sunburnt up at Boyley Park on the first properly spring-like day of the year, followed by a brief roll down at Bottle Alley for nostalgias sake and for J-Thaxx to ride straight through one of the many steaming, fresh dog eggs dotted about the floor, we headed underground to find the girl’s jam in full swing. With the likes of Rianne Evans, Stef Nurding, Amy Ram, Lucy Adams and Helena Long in attendance the bowl got handled – as did the street room by the looks of these photos, but I was holed up by the bowl and managed to miss that session go down. Helena and her recently functioning knees took a well-deserved first place, with a pre-injury Lucy Adams taking second and Rianne Evans third.
With so many skaters showing up the pro/am contest was divided into various heats, which could have probably gone on for hours if a good few people hadn’t drunk or slammed themselves into giving up on skating for the day. This still left a deep crew still keen to roll, with the qualifiers taking up a good portion of the session. Even the pre-finals level of skating was fucking mental, in fact before the jam even got started properly the crowds had born witness to a melon 540 on the vert wall from Revolution local Tim Prescott.
The Masters Jam took place between qualifiers and finals to give people’s legs a breather, with Stevie Thompson’s Mary Poppins bag of tricks and ability to plant his foot off walls at will putting him in first place and 1066 Country OG’s Joe Sandland and Matt Davey in second and third respectively.
The judges had had enough time to whittle the competitors down and the finals stepped things up another notch – Sam Beckett, Rune Glifberg and Alex Hallford had all hit the rarely touched coping on the oversized vert wall, but Sam stepped it up and by the end had chucked frontside grinds, alley oop slashes, crailslides, back smiths and frontside airs up on top of about 8 foot of vert. This was enough to get him into third place, a marker of just how gnarly the level of skating was. Second place went to Alex Hallford’s trademark spontaneity, with a seemingly unplanned approach to where his board is going to take him, whilst Dannie Carlsen’s ability to knock out massive hip airs mixed with Cheese and Crackers level transition tech saw him coming out on top with a thick wad of Tuborg tokens to spend back in Denmark.
Sox, Sam Pulley and Jake Collins all put Newport solidly in the top ten whilst Matt Beer, Callum Waterton and Jordan Thackeray showed just how gnarly the next generation of UK skateboarding has become. Jordan’s final line, which consisted of about 20 tricks thrown down across various points of the bowl, saw him taking the best trick prize and a holiday to Greece, whilst George Poole bought the phrase ‘who the hell is that guy who can back noseblunt everything?!’ to more than one person’s lips throughout the day.
Check the photos and edit from the day and, if you missed it, get to the next one on the calendar! The vibes, the shredding, the finding yourself in a car park in Hastings at midnight with ten pissed skaters clapping along to what may or may not have been Hava Nagila (my beer-damaged grey matter isn’t quite sure)…all of this is why these kind of events shouldn’t be slept on…
- 1: Dannie Carlsen - £1000
- 2: Alex Hallford - £500
- 3: Sam Beckett - £350
- 4: Matt Beer - £100
- 5: Sam Pulley - £50
- 6: Sox
- 7: Callum Waterton
- 8: Jake Collins
- 9: George Poole
- 10: Jordan Thackeray
Best Trick - Jordan Thackeray - awarded for best line of the day
- 1: Helena Long
- 2: Lucy Adams
- 3: Rianne Evans
- 1: Stevie Thompson
- 2: Joe Sandland
- 3: Matt Davey
16 and under:
- 1: Elijah Nowak
- 2: Kieran Waterton
- 3: Finnian