World Skate Games, Argentina 2022

Some of you may already seen ISSA President Jani Söderhäll’s post regarding the World Skate Games in Argentina this year, for those that haven’t here it is:

“Hello everybody in the slalom skateboard community,

As we have already announced we are about to create a new international work group for slalom under World Skate (WSK). With slalom racing as one of the official disciplines of WSK, we’re now preparing for our participation at the World Skate Games (WSG) in Argentina 2022. WSG is a multi-sport, multi-discipline event organized by WSK every second year. At WSG 2022 there will be Vert, Downhill and Slalom for skateboarding, while Street and Park will have their own separate events. The dates for WSG 2022 are Oct 24 – Nov 13 and will be hosted by the cities of Buenos Aires and San Juan.

The qualification for these Skate Games is more formal than what we are used to in the slalom community.

And with a new year starting we want to present how it’s going to work. National associations being the base of World Skate are a natural part of the Qualification, so we have integrated possibilities for them to determine who should represent each country.

There will be two classes: Men and Women, and no age classes.

There will be three ways to qualify for these classes:

a) The top 20 racers (20 men, 20 women) from the current world ranking.

b) Each national association can select and register 3 men and 3 women, in addition to the top 20.

c) Persons in countries with no national association can also participate.

The pandemic situation in the world is still in play, so it’s important that you already start to plan for national qualifications to determine the top three men and women in your country. Here’s what is needed in terms of preparation:

– Contact your national association for skateboarding.

– Prepare them for what is coming and your national slalom scene.

– Discuss ideas with them about how to make the rider selections (three men and three women) to represent in the 2022 WSK Games

– Remember that the registration for the games are done through the national association.

– To be selected you will probably need to be a member of the national association, so check how membership works locally (in your club and whether it’s affiliated with your national skateboard federation).

For the top 20 on the world rankings, even though pre-qualified, they also need to register individually, to confirm their participation. The deadline has not yet been decided but we expect it to be two months prior to the WSG, so end of August or early September. For those of you who do not have any national association connected to World Skate contact ISSA and we’ll help you check what options are available and help you register.

Finally, to clarify the roles of the different organizations and joint efforts, here’s an overview:

WSK (World Skate)

Although initially created in roller skating in 1924, it is now the official international sport organization for roller-skating, skateboarding and even kick bikes. It was needed to get skateboarding into the Olympic family and be part of the Olympic games in Tokyo 2021. Since then it has been decided to keep skateboarding in the Olympic Games for both Paris 2024 and LA 2028. Although we’d love to see slalom racing to one day be part of the Olympic Games, the road is still long ahead.

WSG (World Skate Games)

World Skate Games is like an Olympic Games every second year for all sports and disciplines in WSK (World Skate). For 2022 skateboarding will have the Vert, Downhill and Slalom disciplines represented at the Games.

Street and Park skateboarding is not attending WSG. They are fully occupied with the Olympics and qualifiers for the Olympics.

ISSA (International Slalom Skateboard Association)

Has been the international skateboard slalom association for decades. It has held together the slalom skateboard scene with organizing the yearly slalom events and world rankings. With its forum, website and social media it has kept the slalom scene rolling over the years. We are now joining forces with WSK so that all ISSA activities can migrate over to become WSK activities.

WSK Slalom Skateboarding Work Group

A slalom work group comprised of 3 people from WSK and the 7 members of our current ISSA BOD. This is the group who will speak for international slalom skateboarding into the future. The formalities of this group are being finalized and will be officially announced soon by WSK and ISSA.

World Championships

In the years when WSG is held that event is considered the World Championships for all disciplines participating. The other years “in-between” we’ll hold separate Worlds for slalom racing, starting in 2023. They will eventually be sanctioned by World Skate but until those formalities are in place, we’ll sanction Worlds through the ISSA as we have done in the past.

Continental Championships

There are plans for continental championships organized through World Skate, but it’s unclear when and how they will be organized. The continents would be like for the Olympics: Americas (North and South America), Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa. In the mean time we will have, as before, North American Championships, European Championships and then nationals in Japan, Australia and Brazil.”

Myself, Paul Price, Louis Selby and several others from the Downhill and Street Luge community had video call with members of Skateboard GB earlier this week and one of the topics covered was the WSG. A number of issues were raised including what funds may be available for skaters that wished to participate.

Richard Gowers from Skateboard GB said that there was a lot of uncertainty about the World Skate event and currently there was not much information on it. However a number of riders on the call said that they were keen to attend. Richard added that at present there was no selection process nor finances available from SBGB that he was aware of.
Paul Price reported that the Americans seem to be ahead of the game as they have already designated some of their races as WSG qualifiers.

As mentioned in Jani’s post above, the top 20 racers (20 men, 20 women) from the current world ranking are automatically qualified which means Paul Price is in already.

Hopefully I will have more news on this shortly once Skateboard GB get back to me. In the meantime The Crackling at Hog Hill next month may be used as a WSG qualifying race? This is still subject to confirmation from Skateboard GB. Richard and other members of Skateboard GB will be in attendance to meet with us over the weekend. We may need to run a couple of other races during the year as Hogtoberfest would be too late in the year to have as a qualifier? I ask that you please bear with us at this time as there is still quite a lot to sort out. Thank you.

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So That Was 2021, Bring on 2022

So 2021 wasn’t much better than the previous year, more Covid lockdowns, social distancing etc. Hopefully the worst is behind us now, although having said that more friends than ever have been posting photos of their positive Lateral Flow Tests on social media – it’s still out there!

It was good to get back to Hog Hill again. Instead of the usual race format we held informal “Chill on the Hill” sessions. Slalom wise the May “Hog Hill Pandemic Edition” was a very small affair but it was good to catch up with people in person after so long. There were no ramps or timing gear to worry about setting up and after an initial damp start we set a dual hybrid course to get the cobwebs dusted off which was needed by all. Gauntlets were thrown down and the courses were raced, nothing serious just good clean fun.

The Summer Swine Stomp in July saw a slightly larger gathering for the fun and games, it was a lovely warm sunny weekend too. Joining the slalom throng was Darren Miles who had made the schlep up from Devon to join in the shenanigans and see what Hog Hill was all about. Again it was a good laid back vibe and everyone seemed to enjoy being out and about again.

Sam and Darren enjoying the sunshine

It felt quite weird not having Michael around for these gatherings, he would have loved the banter, his humour and bad jokes were greatly missed by all. For Hogtoberfest Paul Coupe bought along a lot of the old Octane Sport stock that the UKSSA now has. We have decided to sell a lot of it off to raise funds to install a custom made bench at the top of the slalom hills in memory of our fallen brothers. That weekend we raised in excess of £700 which was a great start. There will be more bargains to be had at this year’s events.

Wheelie good bargains
Happiness on the Hill

For 2022 we have two dates booked, The Crackling will be held 14th/15th May and Hogtoberfest 15th/16th October. We are looking for volunteers to help with transportation of the ramps and timing gear from their stable in West Sussex (near Horsham) to Hog Hill for these events. If you can help please get in touch.

So dust of your slalom quiver and get ready for the races in 2022!

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Leon Clarke 1966 – 2021

It is with great sadness to the slalom world that we have lost Leon Clarke who has gone meet his cousin, Martin Sweeney, on the great 4ft slalom course in the sky. He was a true skater and competed at the highest levels in the world achieving much in the sport. He truly loved English slalom and entered all UK, European and World Championships. He was a great friend to all at South Bank and was always there to help when we were having bad times. He was also an inspiration for us all in the Dark Days of skateboarding and inspired Martin to get the world record, he even rode the same board.

He suffered a major illness which left him in Intensive Care for a very long time and it was a long road to recovery, of which he never fully achieved. He fought on with not a bitter word or complaint, in fact I think we were more worried than him. But when the UKSSA formed and arranged the first major series in the world at that time he was there with his old board and competed like the true Pro he was. He even achieved second place in the series which was very hard fought by the UK’s top slalomers, still on his old board.

He will be massively missed by his Southbank friends and the whole world of slalom. He was a great chef, loved Punk Rock and was a true friend to everyone he knew.

R.I.P. Leon

By Chris “Clingfilm” Linford

with thanks to ISSA/Monique Soderhall

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2020 – An Unprecedented Year

As we say goodbye to 2020 I’m sure like me you will all be looking forward to 2021 and hopefully a return to something bordering on normality, if we can remember what that is?
The year got off to a bad start when we said a sad farewell to our friend, fellow racer and prime supporter Michael. At least we were able to give him a suitably fitting send off before the government-imposed lockdown began, for most of us that was the last time we saw one another.  

With Covid-19 being rife here, (and everywhere else), all UK races were cancelled. The ISSA also announced that all Main and Prime status events planned for May, June and July were cancelled. This meant that the World Championships due to be held in Båstad, Sweden were to be postponed until 2021. At the time we were clinging on to the possibility that things may have improved by October meaning that we could still hold our Hogtoberfest race, but it was not to be.

There were a few socially-distanced meet ups in Victoria Park when Boris relaxed restrictions earlier in the summer and a few races took place in the States and in the Czech Republic but that was about it for the slalom year.

In June the ISSA decided that as it was impossible to adhere to the scheduled international slalom calendar, they would hold several 25-cone World Series Cyber Slalom events.  Those taking part would need to register their participation on-line with the ISSA and set the same 25-cone straight course on the flat. Everyone would compete virtually on the same day, time their runs and submit the results to Corky the same weekend. The Cyber Slalom Course Specifications were as follows:

  • 15ft from start line to centre of first cone. (Push start)
  • Cone spacing – 6ft from centre to centre
  • 15ft from finish line to centre of last cone.
  • 174ft Total from start line to finish line. (174 feet=5304cm)
  • Riders must run the course in both directions, two best times (raw time + cones) for each direction must be submitted.

The First event kicked-off during the “Go Skateboarding Day” weekend, 20/21 June with two further events on 22/23 August and 17/18 October. There is another due to take place on 23 January, so if you are interested in taking part please go to the ISSA website for further details and to see the results of the previous events. http://www.slalomskateboarder.com/

UK No. 1 Louis Selby has been taking part in these events and has consistently remained in the top 10 in the Pro category over the past three events. Well done Louis.

Obviously, we remain optimistic as ever that we will be able to hold races again this year and Sam has provisionally booked some dates at Hog Hill as follows:

  • The Crackling – 15/16 May
  • The Razorback Games – 17/18 July
  • Hogtoberfest – 16/17 October

If the May race takes place then this will be dedicated to the memory of Michael Stride and at the July meeting we hope to hold the “old school” tight slalom (4½ -5ft centres) race for the Martin Sweeney Memorial Trophy which was cancelled in 2019 due to the bad weather.

Finally, a big thank you to Nigel Allgood for sorting out the problems with the website.

I would like to finish off by wishing you all a much brighter, happier and healthy new year and look forward to seeing you all again very soon. Take care and stay safe.

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Michael Stride, 6th April 1964 – 23rd February 2020

Michael Stride. Photo: Jason Bishop

We are deeply saddened to announce that Michael Stride passed away at the North London Hospice on Sunday 23rd February following a lengthy and courageous battle against cancer.

I first met Michael when we were fresh-faced skaters at Southbank early in 1980/81. Little did I know then what a pivotal role this happy-go-lucky chap, driving around in a yellow Triumph Spitfire, would go on to play in the UK Skate scene. Michael was an enthusiastic supporter of all things skateboarding. In recent years his online skate shop, Octane Sport, would go on to sponsor many Slalom and Downhill events as well as maintaining a team of riders of all ages.

His first love was slalom. It’s resurgence in 2000s would see him travel to the States for the World Championships and compete in slalom competitions all over Europe. Historically the Brits have always been very good at tight slalom – where the cones are closely spaced together – and in 2003 in Morro Bay, CA, Michael beat Chris Barker to be crowned Amateur World Tight Slalom Champion.

Michael racing at Hog Hill. Photo: Jason Bishop

When Sam Gordon first secured Hog Hill as a race venue it was Michael that offered help, providing starting ramps, timing gear, speed guns and prizes. This was a progression of the support that he had provided for the Wasteland series at Hillingdon Cycle Track in the years previous. He didn’t provide for just one event, Michael and Octane Sport were title sponsors for over eleven years. He saw it as his duty as a skater to keep the stoke alive. Octane Sport was the UKSSA’s prime supporter. Michael was a decisive presence at the UKSSA’s inaugural meeting at the Punch and Judy pub, Covent Garden, with Chris Linford and Mog and Barny from Brixton Cycles at the start of the Millennium.

Michael’s love of gadgets and Heath Robinson engineering meant that over time he amassed a fair bit of eclectic timing equipment. When the word spread, Michael and kit were in demand. He timed everything from Joel King’s (and Jason Bradbury’s) jet luge World Record attempts on ‘The Gadget Show’ to running the clock on Guy Martin’s street luge when he was in training for an attempt on the toboggan world speed record. But his TV work didn’t end behind the scenes. He appeared as a judge on ‘Scrapheap Challenge’ where teams were tasked to build giant skateboards. Furthermore, Michael proudly won a Blue Peter badge by teaching Helen Skelton, in her first presenter challenge, to skate so that she could enter the Eastbourne Speed Days Downhill race.

Donning his engineering hat Michael designed and developed a range of CNC trucks for slalom and LDP use. These were sold and distributed by Octane Sport under the Virage brand name and made their debut appearance on the international slalom scene at the Tunnel Race in Zurich, April 2009.  

His 50th Birthday present to himself was a Caterham 7, which was fettled and tuned to astonishing capacity, just as he would with a skateboard. Michael joined the 7 Club and went out on drives and rallies, where he made many new like-minded technical friends. At slalom events he would turn up with the Octane shop crammed into the passenger seat of the Caterham, with just a few bolts and bushings squeezed into the tiny boot space. In between races he would gleefully take people for a quick burn up round the block.

Those of us that knew Michael well will each have a lasting image or fond memory of him. The news of his passing spread rapidly around the worldwide skate community and tributes soon came flooding in. It is testament to the kind of person he was that there were so many beautifully written heartfelt posts summing up the person he was. Generous, playful, witty (never crude), irascible, but ultimately always inclusive and considerate.

Thank you for all of your kindness, endless enthusiasm and encouragement but above all your friendship. I shall miss you trackside at Hog Hill with the Ol’ Jalopy Shop – C7 SKT and your terrible jokes. Farewell Michael, enjoy the ride. 

 Our most sincere condolences to his mother, sister Susan and the rest of the Stride family.

 

With thanks to Sam Gordon.

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Race Results 2019

 

Apologies from the editorial staff (Me!) for the lack of race reports last year but it was a particularly busy one for me. Normal service will be restored for the 2020 season. In the meantime, here are the results from 2019. 

 

The Crackling 18/19 May

(ISSA Basic Status)

Hybrid Slalom

A Group

  1. Louis Selby
  2. Sam Gordon
  3. Paul Taylor Crush
  4. Chris Charalambous
  5. John Nicholas
  6. Paul Coupe
  7. Dill Hill
  8. Dobie Campbell

 B Group

  1. Richard Searle
  2. Trevor Baker
  3. Noah Ellison
  4. Trevor Hickey
  5. Alec Brown
  6. Mike Fish
  7. Simon T G Wells
  8. Rob Ashby – DNR

 Official Timekeeper – Rob Ashby

 Giant Slalom

Raw Times – cone penalties (.2 secs) in brackets

 

  1. Louis Selby                           24.57
  2. Sam Gordon                         25.05
  3. Paul Coupe                           25.46 (1)
  4. John Nicholas                      25.85
  5. Noah Ellison                         25.87 (1)
  6. Paul Taylor Crush               26.18
  7. Dill Hill                                   26.13 (1)
  8. Alec Brown                           26.79 (1)
  9. Lance Martins                       27.08
  10. Trevor Hickey                       27.21
  11. Richard Searle                     27.30
  12. Alex Ireton                             27.86 (1)
  13. Mike Fish                               27.83 (2)

 

 Turn or Burn @ Paddle Round the Pier, Brighton

6 July

 Tight Straight

1. Paul Coupe

2. Trevor Hickey

3. Dill Hill

 

Hybrid

1. John Nicholas

2. Dill Hill

3. Andy Makeham 

Summer Swine Stomp – 20/21 July

 (ISSA Basic Status)

Hybrid Slalom

 

  1. Mmedo Duffort
  2. Louis Selby
  3. Sam Gordon
  4. John Nicholas
  5. Chris Charalambous
  6. Dill Hill
  7. Paul Coupe
  8. Paul Taylor-Crush
  9. Noah Ellison
  10. Richard Searle
  11. Trevor Hickey
  12. Simon Wells
  13. Mike Fish

 

Giant Slalom

 

  1. Mmedo Duffort
  2. Sam Gordon                        
  3. Noah Ellison                        
  4. Dill Hill                                  
  5. John Nicholas
  6. Trevor Hickey
  7. Paul Coupe
  8. Paul Taylor Crush
  9. Richard Searle        
  10. Timmy Peters

 

 Hogtoberfest and Martin Sweeney Trophy Race – 12/13 October

(ISSA Basic Status)

 Rained Off!

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Hogtoberfest, 13th-14th October 2018

Hogtoberfest this year was tinged with sadness as we remembered our friend and fellow skater/racer Ed Brockman who passed away on 6th October after an 11-year battle with cancer, our race meeting was dedicated to his memory.

The sun shone down on us as we set up, Chris made a start on course setting while Louis was helping run the sign up and registration desk. Everyone mucked in so in no time at all we were set up and almost ready to roll. A few test runs of the Hybrid course uncovered a couple of sketchy bits that required a bit of tinkering and tweaking but once sorted we were ready for practice to begin.  A late running Vincent Tanguy appeared just as practice got underway, but he was soon ready to race.
Then came our first casualty of the day, resident Swede Olle Bauer came off up by the start ramps and dislocated his shoulder before even going through a cone!

Qualifying Times

There were only a small number of entrants and once qualifying was over the riders were bracketed into two groups of eight. The ‘A Group’ would race first and was comprised of Louis, Chris C, Dobie, Paul T-C, Dill, Vincent, Noah and John Nicholas. The round of 8 saw Dobie, Paul, Noah and John heading for an early bath leaving Louis facing Dill and Chris would be matched against Vincent in the round of 4.  Louis cruised by Dill, the margin almost 3 seconds over the two legs and Vincent dispatched Chris to face Dill in the Consolation Round by a similar margin. Racing was very close in the Consolation Round, but both Chris and Dill picked up cone penalties in their runs, but it was Chris that would take the third-place spot on the podium by 0.37 secs. The final between Louis and Vincent was another close-run thing, both riders picking up a cone penalty, Vincent came out in front by 0.15 seconds. In the second run Louis picked up another cone penalty while Vincent ran clean and took first place.

Trevor Hickey, Simon, Alec, Trevor Baker, Rich, Mike Fish, Paul Coupe and myself were prepared to do battle in the B group. Trevor H. knocked newbie Simon out of contention after he DQ’d his first run leaving too much to make up in the second. Alec versus Trevor Baker was a bit of a cone-fest, but it was Alec that went through on fewer cones. In their first heat Mike and Rich tied, Rich DQ’d and Mike hit 11 cones (10 is a DQ) leaving it all to do in the second run. This time Rich ran smooth and clean, Mike wasn’t so fortunate and took out 5 cones at the bottom of the course meaning The One boss went into the round of 4 with comparative ease. The less said about my efforts the better, I should have opted to stay behind the timing table instead of trying to race as well. The long and short of it, I double DQ’d giving Paul Coupe a very easy journey into the next round. In the round of 4 Trevor went through without too much trouble, Alec hit five cones in the first run and DQ’d in the second. In the other heat Paul Coupe took the first run and Rich just edged over the line ahead of Paul in the second one. However, Paul was just that little bit quicker and advanced to the final by the tiniest of margins, just 0.1 sec.!

In the Consolation Round Alec picked up the third spot after Rich picked up four cone penalties over the two legs to Alec’s 1, leaving the McLaren man smiling at his podium finish. The final between ice cold Paul and fireman Trev was a very even match, both riders were in unison midway through the course on both runs. The only thing that separated them was the fact that Trev hit three cones over the two legs and Paul didn’t, so it was a victory for Paul and a second place for Trev.

With the Hybrid done and dusted it was time to break everything down and head for home.

After the perfect sunshine we experienced on Saturday afternoon we were looking forward to the same on Sunday for the GS, but it was not to be. The rain started and just got progressively heavier as the morning went on, so we sat chatting over numerous cups of tea and coffee in the café. Previously whenever there has been down time between racing we have had a never-ending supply of Ed’s skate tales of yore to keep us entertained but sadly no longer.

At lunchtime we pulled the plug on any hope of racing and began the soggy breakdown and pack up, that was it for another year.

Hybrid Slalom Results

 A Group 

  1. Vincent Tanguy (FRA)
  2. Louis Selby
  3. Chris Charalambous
  4. Dill Hill
  5. Paul Taylor Crush
  6. John Nicholas
  7. Dobie Campbell
  8. Noah Ellison

 

B Group 

  1. Paul Coupe
  2. Trevor Hickey
  3. Alec Brown
  4. Richard Searle
  5. Trevor Baker
  6. Rob Ashby
  7. Mike Fish
  8. Simon T G Wells
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Edwin Brockman 1962 – 2018

Ed at Southbank back in the day.
Photo: Dobie Campbell

On October 6th 2018 the UK skate scene lost another legendary character when Edwin Brockman passed away after a courageous 11 year battle with cancer.

I first met Ed at Southbank in early 1980 along with his very good friend Martin Sweeney and we remained firm friends ever since. Back then, in what has become known as the “dark days” of skateboarding, Southbank was the hub, the focal point of the London scene and home of the LSD Crew (London Skates Dominate – not the drug!). The crew were hardcore, made up of slalomers, freestylers and park riders which made for a great melting pot of talent and Ed was very much at the centre of it all. He would crack funnies at the drop of a hat and have you in stitches as he skated silently behind an unsuspecting pedestrian while pulling faces at them and gesturing. People will probably have their own memory or favourite Ed story. The one it seems that many remember was at one of the legendary post Southbank “food fights” in McDonalds in The Strand. In mid-attack, while bits of gherkin and fries were flying through the air he looked up and shouted, “Oi! I wanna eat my burger not wear it”.  Ed was also the instigator behind the pyjama skates around London not to mention the infamous “dress as an Arab” skate! You’d be locked up for doing that now! He enjoyed travelling to the various competitions around the country with the Southbank crew; always making sure to pick up any stickers and memorabilia wherever he went.      

Following the resurgence of slalom in 2002, Ed travelled to a number of races in Europe to compete with his fellow Brits. Through these European sojourns he not only met new skate friends and fellow collectors but added many more stories to his already extensive repertoire of skate related anecdotes; many of them retold in the café on wet Hog Hill days when he could often be seen holding court and entertaining soggy bedraggled skaters. He loved being at Hog Hill and was always ready and willing to help other riders out be it giving advice based on his wealth of experience or passing on tips to newbies.   

Grüningen, Switzerland, 2005. Pro Tight Slalom – Ed vs YoYo Schulz
Photo: YoYo Schulz

When the UKSSA held their first race at Hog Hill back in 2008 Ed and Martin were there. Ed raced and Martin assisted with cone marshalling duties. In the years that followed, both friends were a common sight trackside at Hog Hill. When Ed was no longer able to race he still came along to help cone marshal, His booming voice became a feature at races and he obviously injected his usual humour to the proceedings, shouting things like “Two of the Queen’s cones on the white lane and f*ck all on the red” on being asked to confirm a cone count. When not marshalling he would take photos of the racing while at the same time shouting words of encouragement to the riders as they passed.

Anyone that knew Ed will know his reputation for being something of a collector, in particular when it came to stickers! “All of the stickers in all of the colourways” springs to mind. They were meticulously stored in albums and plastic storage boxes, each sticker in it’s own individual ziplock bag. If anyone was going to a competition no matter where they always had strict instructions to “Pick up any stickers for me”.   Ed would bring his swaps and duplicates to Hog Hill, setting up his “Little Shop of Treasures” in the cafe selling all things vintage. It wasn’t just stickers though, there were trucks, wheels, bushings, risers as well as various badges and promo items – but always a bargain to be had. 

Even when his health began to deteriorate further it was his wish to come to as many Hog Hill events as he could so he could be with his friends. Paul Coupe would pick Ed and his boxes up from his home in Bermondsey and on arrival at Hog Hill we would get him set up in the café. We are eternally grateful to the very lovely Sylvia from the café who helped keep an eye on Ed and made sure he had his meds on time when we weren’t around.  He still had time for everyone and would sit sharing his memories about being a skater in London during the 70’s and chatting about past races or events. It was always entertaining looking through old skate books with Ed, he would normally have a story about something or someone in it. A few years back we were looking at an article about Skate City in one of my books when he shouted out “F*ck me!” and pointed to the page “See that grem in the white Cooper helmet on the lip, that’s me!” and it was!

Racing at Hog Hill.
Photo: Andy Turner

I will always remember the opening day of The House of Vans in London. Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi, John Cardiel and Steve Van Doren were in town for the official opening. Whilst talking to TA at the signing Ed said “I need to confess something to you Tony” He went on to explain how he and Bricky had ridden his board around at Mad Dog Bowl in the 70’s. It happened when TA and Mark Baker went off to get food before they did their demo later that day. “That’s right” TA said, “That’s right I had a bowl named after me, Ha Ha! So you rode my board huh?” He then proceeded to sign a vans poster, personalising for Ed and referring to Mad Dog Bowl. He was so stoked! About a fortnight later he called me up to ask if I had seen a particular Alva interview? In the interview TA had mentioned talking to some English skater at House of Vans about Mad Dog Bowl and riding his board around when he wasn’t there. “That’s me!” Ed exclaimed.

Ed with TA, the smile says it all.
Photo: Rob Ashby

Ed’s funeral took place at Honor Oak Crematorium in South London on Monday October 22nd. It was standing room only in the chapel as his family, friends and fellow skaters gathered to pay tribute and say their last goodbyes. Ed’s wishes had specified “Vans are optional but compulsory for skaters” and in accordance with this there were Vans of all colours and styles on show. 
Friends in the skate industry donated skate stickers and I made up sticker bags with them which were given out to skaters in exchange for a donation to the family’s chosen charity Dimbleby Cancer Care, who had supported them throughout the duration of Ed’s illness.

Ed’s board and a pair of his  favorite Vans with floral tribute.
Photo: Alec Brown

TheUK skate scene has lost a truly unique and much loved character and I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are all better people for having known him and that he will be sadly missed by us all.

Our most sincere condolences and thoughts go out to Jill, Jack, Annie-Mae and the whole Brockman family.

Skaters, family and friends remembering Ed after the service.
Photo: Michael Stride

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