All photography -James Griffiths
Last weekend saw the skateboarding world descend on the nation's capital for Street League London 2018. The very cream of competition skateboarders - with the notable exception of one Nyjah Huston due to injury - along with just about everybody connected with UK skateboarding headed to the Copper Box Arena in the occasionally-nice East London for the event.
The significance of the Street League coming to Britain cannot be overstated. How often does the UK attract these skateboarding Galácticos? How often do us Brits have the chance to get together in one place and see this kind of talent up close?
Imagine your 11 year old self, bruised shins and all, standing in that weird black box in London, watching Ishod Wair, Curren Caples, Leticia Bufoni, Felipe Gustavo, Lacey Baker and the rest in the flesh, doing what they do best. To see how the most famous skateboarders in the world warm up, handle pressure, react to success and failure.
“It's been 20 years since the UK has seen this amount of global skateboarding talent in one place," said Sidewalk's Ben Powell. “Whilst not everyone's cup of tea, events like this one are part of the cultural process which helps to create the next generation of skateboarders. Back to the Future, THPS, Jackass, Thrasher's King of the Road, and big box events like Street League - these are things that reach out beyond the insular confines of a pre-existing culture and spark the imaginations of kids the world over, creating more skateboarders in their wake.”
“It's been 20 years since the UK has seen this amount of global skateboarding talent in one place"
“Whether you personally dig arena-style events and a professionalised approach to the presentation of skateboarding is immaterial really, the fact is, without some mainstream representation, skateboarding will not grow and we will all suffer as a result.
"Now, go wax up some kerbs.” Quite.
Of course, the Copper Box arena can’t hold absolutely everybody, so if you missed any of the action, fear not. Here’s the highlights of the 2018 SLS Pro in London.