Drift to the Hill

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The Drift to the Centre crew met up with the legendary skater and Tech Slide pioneer Mark Short at Castle Hill on Friday the 13th this month in Falmouth. Team rider Richard Travers tells us more.

“As Mark was leaving to go back to Canada the following day, DttC grabbed a last chance to session the hill with him before he left.

Castle hill has a long history within the Tech Slide community, gaining attention internationally from many including Cliff Coleman, inventor of “slide skateboarding” back in the 1960’s and, of course, inventor of the classic Coleman slide. The hill has also drawn pro Tech Slider Sergio Yuppie to its tarmac. It’s fair to say it has played an integral role in the development of the UK Tech Slide scene and skaters have had sessions here since before the early 2000’s.

Mark Short is one of the first skaters to have sessioned this legendary spot as part of the Faltown Tech slide team. If you haven’t heard of Faltown they have videos scattered around the internet which are highly worth checking out. The hill is on English Heritage land and is an extremely beautiful setting and although next to Pendinnis Castle, it can be skated after it closes at 6pm as the Castle staff friendly and have a good rapport with local skaters.

Drift to the Centre have been putting on events and sessions for two years now, with their inaugural event being sponsored by many companies from the longboard community (including Thrill Magazine). Their small crew of skaters is highly dedicated and made up of Ryan Beer, Sheree Wall, Jirka Matusek, Louis Williams and myself, Richard Travers. Together we cover a range of longboard styles including Longboard Dance, Downhill, Tech Sliding and, of course, Hippy Jump!

The session started with an early meet up at around 4pm under the shady trees overhanging the hill. It was a beautiful sunny day. “It looks stunning,” we all remarked.

Ryan Beer’s first words were “I think I must have died and gone to heaven.”

Mark was super friendly, dropping jokes and a few tips for us then the session kicked off for real!

Mark and his crew shredded the long hill hard, rolling out crazy Nose Blunt slides, Coleman slides, Pendulums, sliding nose manuals – and all at break neck speed! This is what happens when you get to session with a pro who’s been in the game as long as Mark has.

“What was that”? I said out loud as a Mark shaped blur sped past me backwards into a one-footed hands-down slide!

I couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing and the speed he was hitting the hill with and backwards?!

“This man is insane,” I laughed to myself and his friends looked up at me saying “yep, that’s Mark, he’s a beast!”

Ryan Beer did our Drift to the Centre crew proud, rolling out 720’s and long stylish grabs. I’d never seen him do many of these slides before and we’ve been skating together for a few years now. He made it look simple, rolling out a Stalefish slide that went on forever – not to mention, Laybacks, Frontside slides and Backside slides!

Sheree Wall skated hard too, pulling out Colemans and Pendulums in really nice lines. We all skated hard; none of us had pushed ourselves quite that much before and it felt incredible.

By the end of the day we were all exhausted!

It was a great evening and one we won’t forget as the day we skated with a legend.”

Words : Richard Travers
Images : Matt Bramhall