Over the years skateboarders have had to endure numerous ‘extreme’ events throughout South Africa with the same boring rehashed formula. Here is how they often go down;
The course will consist of a four foot miniramp (if you’re lucky), a box and a shitty launch ramp, which you’ll need later once the organisers decide the 1 foot box isn’t high enough and they should rather put it up on it’s side, which should help up the spectators appeal but sure won’t help the aesthetics. You will have to listen to every know-nothing rad dad talk about skateboarding as if they have something in common with you because they skated once for five days over ten years ago, all while simultaneously being ear-fucked by some unknown band from Bellville or Edenvale. The same tricks will be done from the last five years and the DJ rocking the Adio shirt still won’t know the correct terminology. Companies will sponsor the event because it has general public appeal but nothing will go back into skateboarding. You will have to pay to witness this wankfest and then continue to endure weeks of pictures of it in your facebook newsfeed.
The underlying motivation to host an event on the same day as the an ‘extreme’ event was to show people that these events can be done in a more unique manner, and only for skateboarders. Most skateboarders who consistently are out skating the city don’t care for these ‘extreme’ events. Therefore, the idea for ‘Take Sides, Powerslide!’ was born. I’ve always considered Cape Town to have parallels with San Francisco in terms of the urban environment, so powersliding made a lot of sense and the odd inevitable slam would make for good entertainment. The winners would be decided on who could Powerslide the longest distance and who had the most flat spotted wheel. I set up a Facebook event and started inviting people. Nike SB, Familia, Bones and Baseline all got onboard and sponsored the event. Needless to say, the organiser of the other event was less than amused with this idea; “U got nothing better to do pal… Fucken idiot…!! Why not get off Fucken face book and Go skate rather… Stay out of my way Pal…” The truth is, I did have nothing better to do.
We organised to meet at 4PM on Christiaan Street in District 6. It’s a quiet road so we could get away with drinking beer there too. AD Henderson from Damd had planned to put a little edit together for us but within the first five minutes of being there he decided to smash his Sony VX all over the road. There’s nothing more beautiful yet disheartening than watching a fisheye bomb a hill all on it’s own – see the footage at the end of this article. Dewald Bruwer slammed about two seconds afterwards and dislocated his shoulder. I had clearly underestimated the seriousness of what could go down and started getting a little worried as both AD and Dewald are talented skateboarders. More skateboarders arrived just in time to witness the bloodshed, which I think freaked everybody out before we even got started.
Luckily there was only one more incident involving a longboarder – he was struggling with powerslides and decided that he would impress everybody by bombing the hill at about 70km p/h without a helmet or any gear. What was slightly less impressive was the fact that he didn’t see the road ended in a T-Junction and was going far to fast to stop. It ended with a bloody head and his now desecrated “Sotally Tober” T-shirt was appropriately renamed to “Huckin’ Furt”.
Justin Leslie, Leon Bester and Pedro St Clair all killed it and walked away with some new product from Familia, Nike SB, Baseline and Bones. Loads of other guys won product too for just skating as hard as possible and going for it, that’s all that matters at the end of the day. I’m not going go on about what went down detail by detail, come check it out again next year and see for yourself. Thanks to everyone who came through and supported the event, I hope you’ve managed to grow back some of the skin you parted ways with that Saturday.