All photos by Joel Peck unless stated.
Shaky hangover footage and words by Jono Coote
In the middle of July, Copenhagen played host to six days of skateboard-based chaos in the form of the CPH Open. I went over to cover proceedings for Sidewalk, with any concrete plans of action quickly being snatched into the boozy maelstrom and spat into the distance. Instead of fighting this I went with it so, in 5 parts, here is what went down over a full week – with my time divided between witnessing next level skateboarding, skatepark explorations with a crew of UK heads and shakily drafting these notes in cafes and hostel bars…
Dylan Witkins – backside ollie
I have never had a fear of flying, but the takeoff always makes me slightly nervous. There are too many variables which need to come together, and all it would take is one engineer, one seemingly insignificant cog in the airline’s workings who is secretly a drunk or junkie for the whole thing to become a fiery mess – an entire planeload of people reduced to ashes in milliseconds. Heading to the Copenhagen Open for six days was unlikely to have such an extreme ending, but a similar base lay behind my nerves. Six days, myriad spots, an army of booze-crazed skateboarders and the temptations of the city stood against me, a Dictaphone and a mission statement to bring together as many interviews and impressions of the week as possible. The variables were certainly stacked higher against me than the plane journey out, which was in fact perfectly straightforward…
Sam Beckett, back smith
Landings never hold the same fear for me, with Copenhagen offering the added bonus of a scenic view over the islands and waterways of the city as the plane descends. We spend the first evening pushing the streets and cycle lanes in our area, searching for cheap bars and avoiding the caressing hands of particularly forward hookers. The next day brings us to the already legendary Faelladparken skatepark, whose concrete curves have been overtaken by a four wheeled horde. The beers are flowing, a jam on the street course is offering the spectators pure visual madness, and a lone scooter child has a look of intense bemusement; the stare of a lobotomy victim coming out of theatre. Yoshi Tenenbaum is landing tricks with ridiculous ease, as is Alex Mizurov (who eventually takes 1st).
Rune Glifberg, tuck knee
In the meantime, the transition session is heating up while eyes are on the street session. Raven is already starting to hurl himself at increasingly gnarly tricks while Rune circles like a bull shark, occasionally charging into the snake run with an exploratory frontside biter before returning to the platform. Sam Beckett is padding up, things are undoubtedly going to get gnarly. The overwhelming size of what is going down means I keep myself to the amoeba pool, enjoying the sporadic sessions as people drift in and out and battering myself against the transitions while others watch the action on the street course.
Raven Tershy – lien back tail
Things later move towards the snake run, where serious business occurs. Rune and Beckett start attacking the over vert section – nosegrinds, back smiths and frontside airs before Rune finishes proceedings with an alley-oop back smith. Meanwhile Raven Tershy takes to the channel gap which proceeds the over vert, battling for an indy air which he eventually makes and hyping the crowd immeasurably. As it gets dark a huge heart shaped ring of fire is lit, which people fly through as the judges talk nonsense. We drink until things die down before wandering back to the hostel, saving ourselves for things to come.
Near-collision gnarliness with Rune and Ishod
Fernando Bramsmark front shuvs through the flames