Following on from our session at Taunton miniramp, along with the delights of a night spent at the glorious Exeter Services Travelodge, we continued our mission with a visit to the incredible labour of backyard gnar that is The Farm Bowl.
Hidden from sight behind an unassuming farm in an undisclosed West Country location, this is the first large scale build from Opus Skateparks and was a much more appealing proposition to my eyes than the previous day’s ice rink.
With two pockets in the shallow, one with a roll in and one with pool coping, and a pool coping deep end gently sloping from roughly 7’ to 8’ or maybe 8.5’, this offers the opportunity to get as gnarly as you want in the deep end, play with the coping in the shallow, hit various hips or combine the lot if you can keep the lactose acid at bay for that long.
Of course, a bowl this good meant that our crew started wrecking themselves left, right and centre. Owner Rob gave us a solid welcome which finished with a bucket of beers, possibly as much because he felt like we’d need the pain relief, as it was in the name of hospitality.
Jake took a classic ‘ribs to elbow to floor’ slam within the first ten minutes of skating, bruising various organs in the process, Alex Hallford’s stigmata was weeping like an English football fan after the World Cup Semi Finals, and Jordan managed to twist a knot into his back, leaving pretty much everyone except me and Rye on track for an evening of pained groaning and the classic skate trip combination of anti-inflammatories washed down with lager.
Despite all of this, the surroundings, the welcome we received and the sheer quality of build meant that this could well be one of the session high points of the trip.
Finishing up with a security dodging skate through Exeter’s gleaming ode to commercialism in the form of a modernistic shopping centre was the perfect finish to the day, an amusing two finger salute of a cruise to the creators of the defensive architecture which is slowly encroaching on what were once our social hubs.
(Text: Jono Coote)