Photos Credit: Jonny Long
Last weekend, the Works Skatepark threw a pool party for its long serving gnar pit, whose tight curves and awkward coping have seen the best of many a skateboarder (if it can KO T-Bag in his prime, it's not a pool to be taken lightly). Having not really visited the park since finishing my university studies, I was keen to mission up to cover the jam and have a good long evening reminding myself how hard it was to skate, most likely doing myself some damage in the process.
Arriving on Saturday afternoon, I found my timing perfect to reach the crew's house about in time for their incredible DIY spot to dry up (with the aid of a broom to spread out a few puddles). This was the first time I've visited The Dustbowl since the clam was poured that hasn't been a complete washout, so no time was wasted in starting the process of writing myself off completely for the evening's event. Moderation is a word I have only a passing acquaintance with and the chance to skate some RWTB-poured 'crete wasn't one I planned on passing on.
8pm found me limping through the doors of The Works, hoping that a last minute burrito would counteract hours of bodily abuse. The pool hadn't seen a good session in some time but a tight knit crew was up for the mission, the event didn't clash with anything else in the area and it seemed like the stars had aligned...with one small problem. Over exuberance had seen the skatepark's staff paint the entirety of the pool four days before the event which, due to the paint used and the levels of dust in the air, made for less a pool party and more a slip n slide. If you've ever hit a patch of black ice during a winter hillbomb then you'll have some sense of how the pool felt to skate, despite the best efforts of the staff and Avid to fix the problem in the run up to the event. After a couple of near death experiences I resigned myself to either skating the jump ramp room or getting drunk, one of which I achieved with much more success than the other (guess which?).
While I finished my legs off for the night and started work on my liver, people in the pool room were actually starting to get used to their wheels drifting across the side walls like a boy racer with a death wish. A contingent of Portsmouth visitors including Matt Beer and Stef Nurding went for the tramline option, avoiding the inherent danger of trying to carve the death trap to come away with a sturdy number of tricks in the bag. A couple of us also talked Matt into some drop in powerslide challenges, which he took to with gusto. Huddersfield OG Felix took a few runs before coming to the same realisation as me, just with less drinking and moaning.
Avid and Bruce, on the other hand, weren't going to be phased by something as minor as a few slams. These two have spent years ripping the pool before its touch up and they ripped it just as hard during the Pool Party - just with a few more bruises to finish the night with. Avid's flailed bodyjars and Bruce's full bore stand up grinds, long lines and general powerhouse charging were made gnarlier by the knowledge of the treacherous surface below, as in fact was anything done by anyone who was there.
We don't want to put you off visiting Leeds' long serving indoor park, and assume the pool will be fixed before too long (perhaps a Mad Snoz Ripped-style 'paint n sand' renovation will be in order) - until then go down, check out the rest of the park, and set yourself carving challenges around the pool then rewatch the footage from the night with fresh eyes...
Check out our edit below, and another clip from the night featuring Stef Nurding, Finley Kirkby and more here.