Another year, another Winterclash… Since my first clash experience in 2007, It changed me and I have tried to attend as many as I could over the years. If you haven’t yet been to Winterclash what are you waiting for??? Jojo and the rest of the crew always host an amazing weekend of skating, video premiers, parties and good times.
DAY 1 – THURSDAY
This year I flew solo and met up with people in Eindhoven. My first day I mooched around Amsterdam from 10am until I found my way to Loz and Margo staying next to Grey Area (one of the best coffee shops). I spent a few hours in Amsterdam then when Lauren arrived we made our way over to Eindhoven for the weekend.
We checked into the Blue Collar hotel then made our way over to Area 51 Skatepark (both are conveniently situated right next each other). It was great to see all the rollerblading faces, old and new. I was so keen to have a session on my Go Project wheels! I hadn’t skated properly since October last year and it felt so goooood! I love skating this park the day before clash, you can actually have a decent skate and get tricks in without it being too full. The Grindhouse box at the back was rad – by far the most used obstacle of the weekend. I was pretty gutted I forgot my knee brace/pads so I couldn’t really skate too hard, nothing is worth the risk after snapping my PCL. Never the less it was still a good session for me and great to have a catch up skating with old friends.
DAY 2 – FRIDAY
We started the day by checking into the more luxurious Holiday Inn then went to the park for Day 1 of Winterclash! I’ll be completely honest, I felt like I drifted through the entire weekend riding on a cloud of faces, a few beers, good mates and sick skating.
Friday hosted the Junior, AM and Ladies qualifier heats for the finals – an amazing level of skating from everyone who competed creating a heated atmosphere and a sick start to the first day of Winterclash!
Friday night I went to the SOTA (State of The Art) premier to see one of the most anticipated rollerblading films of the year presented by Jonas Hansson, featuring some of the best riders from across the globe. After the premier I walked back for an early(ish) night ready for a fresh start on the big day.
DAY 3 – SATURDAY
Started my day right with the all you can eat breakfast buffet, a morning swim then off to the park for day 2 and the finals of Winterclash 2016.
The park was even fuller with crowds filling the balconies and any space that could be used. I struggled to find a good spot until I found the LDN heads, as always with a beer in hand, jokes and a good cotch spot! The level of skating, variety of ticks and different styles throughout the day was on alothrr level. I was particularly surprised by the Juniors, full of little shredders! It’s clear to see at an annual contest like Winterclash how the bar is raised each year and the riders compete to do something different with the course, always a good show!
The trade show was as busy as ever this year showcasing a range of skates and goods from shops and brands around the blading world. I had to get a few souvenirs… a Ladies Arcena dress from the new Vision line, badges, stickers and a handmade ‘Phony Woodcam‘ from Danish carpenter wizard Christian Berg turning my iPhone into a handy 4K camera. I’m buzzin’ and Stockport ledges will be too! Currently sold out but follow @Phonywoodcam on instagram for more news and restock information.
As the Pro contest started to kick off, the park filled up and the usual Winterclash madness began…. as you would expect the comp grew more eventful as the finals grew more intense filling the crowd with electricity as everyone got more juiced as more mental tricks went down! As ever in true winterclash fashion the park rampaged by media and the crowd for everyone to get close and be part of the action. A few favourites for me have to be Joe Atkinson’s HUGE transfer Disaster on the handrail, Julian Cudot’s double backflip, little shredders Randy Zoller and Axel, a steezy true Savannah from Grazyna Wratny on the Grindhouse box and Dano Gorman making the most of everything. Another memorable skater for me was one of the girls, Friederike Reisch – a new favourite of mine, I’ve never seen her skate before. She doesn’t move like a lot of other girl skaters and I like that, she’s got fuckin’ steez too! Monte Livingston clearly took the limelight this year smashing the comp with a loyal band of Montre’s at his side, the infamous costume guys from Derby chose their prey well this year, behold the ‘Montourage’ clan.
USD BEST TRICK:
Joe Atkinson – UK
K2 SKATES NEWCOMER:
Felix Fälling – Denmark
1. Montre Livingston – USA
2. Roman Abrate – France
3. Danny Aldridge – UK
1. Dano Gorman – Ireland
2. Erik Droogh – Holland
3. Gino Dangers – Germany
1. Friederike Reisch – Germany
2. Grazyna Wratny – Poland
3. Eve Jovino – Spain
DAY 4 – SUNDAY
On Sunday we checked out and made our way back to Amsterdam. I spent a few hours with Steph and a OG French skater before their flight home then I wondered the streets of Amsterdam on my own looking for a hostel. It was quite satisfying being in Amsterdam alone for 2 days, I got time to go and lurk around the city flying solo on my own agenda. One major benefit of being alone in Amsterdam is actually getting a nice chill and a comfortable seat in a coffee shop, if there not a a quiet catch for one then no-one minds you sitting along side with them. I found this an intresting great way to meet the most random people with a cool story or two to share! One downside was sharing a hostel room with 10 other random chicks who had serious snoring and mobile phone issues, ha.
I found my zen zone and settled for the night in Hill Street Blues, one of my favourite spots to chill out. I took my travel journal to catch up on writing, edited pictures, enjoyed a pint of good pilsner and smoked out on some tasty Pure Kush (which I later found out was the strongest Indica Greenhouse had to offer) which left me wondering the canals with paper cuts for eyes at 1am taking pictures and looking for my hostel, not a care in the world haha. GOOD TIMES!
Wow Hostels in Amsterdam don’t know what a lie-in is! Breakfast and check out by 930am almost killed me off after a weekend at clash. I went to breakfast and shoved my pockets full of sandwich material and fruit for the day ahead of lingering waiting for my flight. I spent the last of my day relaxing in the Green House coffee shop, that’s my favourite. Disposed of the rest of my recreational tools, had the best smoothie in the world and went to Damkrink for a farewell coffee.
I always have such a great time at Winterclash but man am I happy to see my own bed, what a weekend!
See you next year!
All Photos are taken by me except the photo of myself, which was shot by lensman Nicolas Schopfer.