Concrete Dinosaurs Part 1 - Romford Skatepark

Part 1 of Concrete Dinosaurs is here with an elite crew of Monster Energy heads consisting of Raven Tershy, Rune Glifberg, Ben Hatchell and Sam Beckett exploring some of the UK's still-standing concrete monoliths of skateboarding's early days.

Concrete Dinosaurs Part 1 focuses on the venerable Romford Skatepark in Essex which has weathered five generations of UK skateboarding history and still stands as a proud testament to the early roots of UK skateboarding culture.

Originally built in 1978, Romford Skatepark has hosted skaters of every variety from every corner of the globe over the interceding four decades and its epic transitions are still as ripe for four-wheeled carnage today as they were back when it was first constructed nearly 40 years ago.

The Concrete Dinosaurs crew, plus an assortment of UK heads along to soak up the hype blessed this Grade II listed skatepark, (the first skateboard park in Europe to receive listed status) with a session to rival anything that has gone down so far in its history.

Watch the clip, peep the photos and then get yourselves down to The Rom and find out just how gnarly the skateboarding you've just watched is for yourselves.

Keep your eyes peeled for more Concrete Dinosaur exploration in the coming weeks.

Concrete Dinosaurs Part 1 - Romford Skatepark

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I’ve never seen anybody air so high or travel so far in this thing, and judging by the native's reactions to Raven’s head high halfpipe frontside airs, in all their years of Romford localising they hadn’t either.

As if boosting airs of this nature wasn’t physics-defying enough, Raven was somehow following this number up by gifting the opposite wall with backside tailblock. Figuring out controlling his speed there was harder work for him than either of the tricks combined.

If anybody else hit the opposite wall after landing a frontside air like this, they’d be faced with a long walk back to the park from neighbouring Hornchurch.

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You can’t roll into the Romford bowl, half commit to something and expect to walk away unscathed. There are generations of skateboarders out there that will attest to that. Luckily for Big Ben, he doesn’t do things by halves, as you can tell by this properly performed, locked and loaded hurricane grind.

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During his previous outing to Rom on a Flip Skateboards tour back in 2012, Rune walked away from a session on the halfpipe with a timeless Horsley orchestrated photo in the bag, backside ollieing some overhanging buddleia. This time around Rune also wanted to shoot something in the halfpipe, but in the absence of any nearby overgrown shrubbery, he decided on taking an alternative Romford route.

This ‘up to’ line got hit several different times by several different humans across the course of the session, though it was definitely Rune who initiated the idea with this up to smith stall. Some lead, others follow, and we all know on which side of that proverbial fence Rune sits on.

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You can never keep track of Sam; I’ve no idea where he is one day to the next. I think he’s residing mostly in Marseilles these days, though he still rents a room in Vista so pops up in the States from time to time, but whenever you fire up Instagram you’ll usually find him on a road trip somewhere completely random. Regardless of his relentless and seemingly unpremeditated travel schedule, it was a pleasure as always to have Sam back on home turf for this trip, and watching him effortlessly float about the rugged concrete we presented him with was an overdue treat to the eyeballs.

Anyway, for a trick as scary as a new deal, on terrain as rugged as Romford halfpipe, Sam didn’t half handle this like it was nothing.

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It doesn’t matter where the session happens to be taking place, J-Thaxxx will find his way to it. Norway, Spain, Denmark, Scotland, Italy…you tell Jordan when and where the session is and, more often than not, he’ll be there. Usually without a phone or any money, but he’ll be there nonetheless.

So when you give him a heads up that a session is taking place at Romford, which is merely an hour from his front door, you knew all too well that he’d be in the mix, hair and shoelaces blowing in the wind and casually hammering manoeuvres such as this up to frontside disaster on the far end of the halfpipe.

Concrete Dinosaurs Part 1 - Romford Skatepark

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Upon my debut visit to Romford Skatepark many years ago now, Mark Munson told me – “the first time you go to Rom, you leave some of your skin there". Sure enough, a handful of hours later, I was chasing Gorm and Raemers around the moguls when my board came out from under me and I cheese-grated the fuck out of my right arm as I ground to an eventual stop on that unforgiving concrete. I’ve never let my guard down there since.

Luckily, Ben’s ability on a skateboard far surpasses mine and I believe he broke from tradition and walked away from his first visit to Rom injury free.

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Upon entering Romford, Raven instantly hunted out the highest available point in the park then wasted no time in figuring out how to reach it. This ‘up, up and away’ frontside pivot more than got the ball rolling. The fact that this beast is 50% wooden dinosaur can also be overlooked, I’m sure.

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Here you can see young Sam following Rune’s previously discussed lead, starting a laid-back halfpipe cruise with this up to backside disaster, as you do.

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This was far from the first time Rune had been to Rom (it’s been told countless times in the past, but Rune scored his first RAD Magazine coverage there back in June 1991, landing himself on the cover with a bump assisted one-foot tailgrab over a bin…), and I’d put money on it not being the last time he’ll be there either. For his 2017 visitation, The Danish Destroyer got stuck into the bowl and treated all onlookers to one of his classic frontside ollies.

Appreciate those shapes…

Concrete Dinosaurs Part 1 - Romford Skatepark

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