Vans 'Shop Riot' 2015: UK Leg
Sunday just gone saw skate retailers from all over the UK roll out from their respective bases and make their way to the familiar surroundings of the long-serving Pioneer Skatepark in St Albans for the UK leg of Vans Shop Riot 2015.
Car legs, hangovers and sleep deprivation didn't seem to hinder anyone as crews from Wales, London, the south coast, East Anglia, the Midlands and all over the north gave Pioneer an old fashioned battering in hope of seeing their local shop heading off to the European Shop Riot finals later this year. After five separate qualifying rounds and a final that saw Fifty Fifty, BBC, Forty Two and The Black Sheep battling it out for the top spot, it was the three-man line up of Harry Lintell, Rob Smith and Jirka Bulin who eventually took The Black Sheep through to the finals for the fifth time with a pisstake display of all terrain stupidity.
Anyway, watch the edit to see for yourself what went on, then have a peruse through CJ's gallery from the day.
Massive thanks to everyone at Vans and Pioneer for another successful and enjoyable afternoon of Shop Riot carnage, and extended props to all the stores that came out for this years get-together - shatterproof rulers one and all.
Andy 'Evz' Evans - front blunt.
First try front blunt - first try everything. Lost Art missed out on the Shop Riot crown this year but I doubt Mackey's battalion could really care less. Watch the edit to witness Evz in full flow. The first line is an utter pisstake.
Charlie Birch - back smith.
"Who's a fuckin' Wool? I'm a fuckin' Wool? You're sayin' I'm a fuckin' Wool?? You're a fuckin' Wool!"
Locked and dipped back smith from one of only four actual Scousers on the Lost Art team (according to Charlie Birch).
Tom Harrison - polejam tuck knee.
Though each shop was only allowed three riders, the Lost Art crew rocked up seven deep as Vaughan 'VMFJ' Jones, Tom Harrison and Tom Tanner came over from the Big Smoke to join the motley carload who made the trek down from Liverpool.
The inflated LA crew added to the carnage that went on between the runs - here Tom Harrison takes his traditional polejam for a tuck-knee detour.
James Grindley - frontside feeble.
As per usual, crowd favourite James Grindley was quite literally on fire all day. This frontside feeble was just one of the tricks The Grindle treated the rail to on Sunday, skating non-stop throughout the afternoon alongside his other Smash Skates teammates.
You can't swindle The Grindle!
Sam Pulley - polejam.
Having missioned over from his native Newport, Sam Pulley helps keeps the carve alive and boosts one out of the polejam whilst proudly representing Freestyle.
Dale Starkie - three-sixty flip.
Dale and his shadow tre flip the driveway whilst his fellow Welcome representative Mike Arnold seemingly prepares to unleash some West Country-trained, West Yorkshire-approved tech on the rail.
Andy Coleman - blutslide.
Decimal's Andy Coleman bluntslides the rail under the watchful eyes of...pretty much everybody by the looks of it.
Jamie Platt - back lip.
Hot on the heels of the release of his Grey part last week, Jamie Platt travelled up from Bournemouth to hold it down for Consortium, back-lipping the rail in the process.
Manny Lopez - hurricane.
From the Fabric Promo to Pioneer - Manny was seemingly everywhere last week.
Here Manny sees fit to throw a properly executed hurricane to the long list of tricks that the rail played host to across the afternoon...
Nick Roberts - nosegrind.
...whilst Manny's fellow Rollersnakes teammate Nick Roberts opts for a tweaked out Belper nosegrind instead.
Kieron Ford - bluntslide.
With the weight of the Black Country rested squarely on their combined shoulders, Kieron, James OG Hewitt and Marcus Palmer could be seen hammering the recently revamped Pioneer course from pretty much the moment the doors opened.
Kieron bluntslides the faithful rail in the name of Ideal.
John Howlett - back lip.
Skate Pharmacy were firmly in the mix again for this year's Shop Riot, and despite John, Kris Vile and Charlie Munro laying down some serious bangers during their run, Powley's Kent collective didn't quite make their way into the finals.
Check the edit for a couple of serious manoeuvres from Kris and Charlie, and cast those eyes of yours above for a solid back lip from Mr Howlett.
Alex Hallford - out to frontside wallride.
Proudly flying the flag for Forty Two, Alex Hallford also flies right out of the quarter to a high old frontside wallride on the back wall, earning Rob Johnson's Nottingham based store a spot in the finals and an eventual third place win in the process.
Harry Lintell - frontside feeble
Harry Lintell has constantly been on another level, and his performance on Sunday was no different.
In his first official Shop Riot outing as part of The Black Sheep family, Harry went IN (with a capital IN) for both runs and mashed up tech, speed, gnarl and control as only he can, helping take The Black Sheep into the European Shop Riot finals for the fifth (yep, fifth...) time.
Rob Smith - wallride backside grab in.
You can always count on Rob Smith to put on a show for the crowds.
Having kicked off The Black Sheep's final run by leaping out of the rafters, Rob went full pelt for three minutes, attacking the back wall on several occasions and tickling the girders with this hefty wallride grab back in.
Jiří Bulín - flip front board.
Jiří AKA Jirka AKA George royally fucked up the rail during both of The Black Sheep's runs, dropping ridiculousness like this kickflip front board on demand without so much as breaking a sweat, whilst Black Sheep elders Stu Reynolds and Eddie Belvedere watched on from the sidelines.
Check the edit to see the rest of the daftness that earned Jiří, Rob and Harry the fourth Black Sheep trip to the European Shop Riot finals...