Over the course of the last decade, the annual pilgrimage to Copenhagen has grown from being a straightforward weekend event at the longstanding indoor CPH Skatepark, to a four-day long takeover of the city, including organised comps across the city’s numerous parks, ‘side missions’ to famous spots, and spontaneous jams at the various other DIY builds or undercover set-ups that are dotted around the local area.
Skateboarders flock to the city weeks before the CPH Open actually kicks off, and many will stay on there for weeks after it finishes. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many people actually come to Copenhagen to enjoy the annual CPH Open festivities, though there was easily a couple of thousand in attendance during the first main comp at Faelledparken, and the same again trying to cram into the CPH Skatepark for the closing event on the Saturday evening.
There was definitely a couple of thousand skateboarders in attendance on the Thursday afternoon, when every single person present at the Converse and Polar jam at Litauens Plads made their way – by board, bike or foot – to the Meat Packing District, taking over Sonder Boulevard in its entirety and grounding local traffic to a bewildered halt in the process.
The actual skateboarding that took place over the course of the four organised days was nothing short of ballistic. From Grant Taylor and Raven Tershy hammering the fuck out of the Faelldenparken bowl, to Ishod Wair landing himself into first place at the CPH Skatepark comp before even taking his final run, this event really had something for everyone.
If you want to watch your favourite skateboarders sessioning a slappy curb then you can, and if you want to watch a naked man repeatedly hammer his torso into the ground off the top of an 8-foot vert quarterpipe, it’s safe to say that you’re covered there as well. Want to buy your idol a beer and talk to them about that particular photo you had stuck to your bedroom wall ‘back in the day’? Go for it. Want to tell Kevin Bradley that his Davey Crockett hat is as steez as his heelflips? There’s nothing stopping you. Want to get a photo posing with Tom Penny? Chances are he wants a photo with you just as much. In fact, go and ask Jeron Wilson to get in the shot too; he’s standing just there.
There were video premieres, exhibition launches, boat rides, sweaty sessions at the Wonderland bowl, death races, barrel jumps and double-set leaps, and the free local lager didn’t stop flowing until well into the final night.
Bonafide legends, present day pros, the household names of tomorrow, local heroes (some you know, some you don’t), overexcited youths, enthusiastic elders, people from all over the world brandishing camera equipment of every shape and size imaginable…it doesn’t matter who you are, for four days at least, everyone is willingly caught up in the CPH Open whirlwind and goes wherever the Danish madness takes them.
Anyway, here’s a selection of photography from the first few days, expertly captured by the ever on-point Leo ‘Big L’ Sharp prior to his departure back to Cornwall to shoot Jody Smith’s wedding, and a patchwork of the footage we managed to gather across the whole event.
See you in 2018, unless that really was the final CPH Open chapter, in which case you better pour out some Tuborg (preferably the green one, not the gold one…) the next time you visit Denmark.
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