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For the first time ever, the UK portion of the Wild in the Parks tour stopped in London. Mile End skatepark was the destination and the sun shone all day for a solid session with the locals, visiting crews and Parlour Skate Store folks.
For those of you who have yet to visit - the plaza at Mile End is an incubator for the next generation of street skaters. With ledges, banks, hips and gaps of all types the ability to destroy the place requires a little more board control than your average back and forth style park to stand out from the crowd.
The sheer volume of flip in, flip out and switch tricks which went down during the session is testament to this.
After some coffees (...and they really know how to knock one of these up. Highly recommended) with the Parlour boys, Ben Raemers, Harry Lintell, Kris Vile, Gav Coughlan and our regular Featured Artist friend French took to their judges seats for the day.
...and the Under 14's division was on! The hip and the Grom Gap (Or Gromsbad as it was renamed for this session) were the favourites for these guys. Hips and Gaps mean flip tricks - and it seemed that most went away with what they tried.
For the 15 and over crew, things got a little more heated. As I am sure you can see via the footage - Daniel West owned this division. He skates the bank like a pro and nonchalantly throws out ledge tricks like it just doesn't require any thinking about. The Five O to Switch K all the way along the bank and over hip is no joke.
Niall Creaney was no joke, either. He's happy to flip into anything he likes on the ledge and has a style more suited to cruising towards the pub rather than the robotic technician his trick list might suggest on paper.
The Pro/Am division was the one everyone was waiting for, though. Charlie Birch was the youngest in the group by a good 4 years - and he showed why he should be involved here, shredding every obstacle. Kelley Dawson kept it super clean for the duration, placing probably the most perfect versions of every trick on each ledge as he desired. Pete Buckley used his mega pop and casual nollie flippery to do whatever he liked, wherever he liked, it seemed. Kyron Davis showed just before his heat got underway. However, we were all pretty sure he'd be skating elsewhere beforehand as he seemed to roll into the park, bang out a ton of tricks and then step back to make noise for all of the others.
However, none of this was quite enough to get them through to the finals. Luke McManus flowed with Backside 180 Fakie Nosegrinds wherever he liked. Sam Murgatroyd taught himself Front Blunt Bigspins over the hip ledge in his jam - which if you think about it, is pretty insane.
Felipe Dal Cin moved off of the terrain in use for the contest and hardlipped OVER the bowl. He also reverted out of anything he pleased. That got him third place. Chris Oliver took his own ideas to the Grom Gap and decided to flip INTO the bank, which is about 3 foot tall and far steeper than you'd imagine. Rolling into the thing isn't too nice, so Nollie Flips into it are particularly badass.
Jak Pietryga was the man of the match, though. Just check the video clip. The sheer amount of stuff he laid down was enough to keep you hyped for weeks. He just seemed to pull from a bottomless bag. You'd think that fifteen minutes into a jam, you might start to run out of ideas. Jak didn't and kept upping the game every time he pushed. A well deserved win!
Thank yous go out (in no particular order) to Parlour Skate Store, Carl Richardson, Bryce Campbell, Joe Buddle, Bam Idele, Money Morph, Ben Powell, Denise Hickey, Ryan Gray, Funeral French, Ben Raemers, Harry Lintell, Kris Vile and Gav Coughlan and EVERYONE who cheered, skated, shouted and added positive vibes to a classy session.
Roll in the Finals in Copenhagen!
14 & Under
1st Matthew Davis
2nd Cameron Charles
3rd Louie Allen
4th Ned Kimber
5th Otis Palmer
15 & Over
1st Daniel West
2nd Niall Creaney
3rd Anton Kastritsky
4th Larry Levickas
5th James Hewitt
1st Jak Pietryga
2nd Chris Oliver
3rd Felipe Dal Cin
4th Sam Murgatroyd
5th Luke McManus
Best under 10