Folks, this is Abbey Skate Fest – a three-day event held every February half-term in the 12th Century Malmesbury Abbey and fast becoming a traditional date in the Church of England calendar.
Words by Ben Schofield:
The ever big push to do something different, challenging, and more importantly, fun. Pushing the boundaries of our sport is always on our minds.
The power of social media played a big part in making this session happen. It all started a few weeks ago when a friend tweeted a picture of me skitching on the back of a Volkswagon Passat. The local VW garage did there marketing thing of retweeting and clicking favourite on Twitter, with this lead I jumped straight on it and simply tweeted Breeze Volkswagon.
Thats all it took, with this, I built on the conversation with the marketing team at Breeze on what we could do.
Over a couple of weeks of organising dates, vehicles etc we were finally given a brand new Transporter 2.0TDI Sportline Kombi, with so many extras. It was a dream vehicle to drive around in and to use for the shoot. I wanted to try and capture images of the van in both action and parked up showing people that it is the “The van of every occassion”.
After speaking to Pete, Louis, Eddie and Hamish we decided that we would take the van to a few different hills locally that we knew all had relatively stunning views that we could capture the van in all its glory.The weather forecast was looking to be awesome as it has been over the last few weeks here in Dorset. High 20’s, light winds, perfection.
The first hill we took the van and the guys to was Cocknowle, Its a local hill that has held many SFOL events there and as the location has an awesome section of road and a sweet hairpin. It’s nestled in and around a steep valley that gave Eddie and Hamish an amazing perspective of the hill and the van in motion. I wanted to capture the van both following Pete and Louis down the hill and also parked up on the side of the hair pin with us skating past it and chilling out. The sun beat down hard on us down in the valley with no wind managing to reach us, We quickly managed to collect enough photos and some clips of what we were after.
With what we needed to collect from here we quickly shot off to Weymouth and Portland to do some follow raw runs. We parked up in a layby just outside of Weymouth. The road was a long flowing country road dropping down towards Weymouth. Then Pete and Louis quickly got kitted up and went for a quick bomb down the hill to test it out as Pete had never skated it before Whereas Louis lived not that far away and had skated many times.
With the vans double electric sliding doors it was easy to drive down and collect them from the bottom and shuttle them back to the top. We set up the van with the SLR on a suction mount on the windscreen to capture some raw runs. Following on from this we attached the camera to the back of Eddies car, he drove down in front while Hamish was in the back capturing photos and Video of Myself driving the van down behind the guys, inching closer and closer to the back of them, as soon as i saw them air break i dropped back to give them space. It was the first time I have ever done anything like this But we had walkie talkies and made sure everyone knew what signals we were using to allow everyone to be the safest possible.
All the runs were super smooth and fast for our County. Pete and Louis hitting over 40 mph on the GPS. Louis was loving wearing his new TSG pass helmet that he recently purchased.
The final place we went and skated was Portland. If you haven’t heard of Portland then its bit of an odd place with a variety of people. It could be snowing, raining, hail on the mainland then could be like paradise on Portland. Odd!
The Isle of Portland is a limestone tied island, 6 kilometres long by 2.4 kilometres wide, in theEnglish Channel. Portland is 8 kilometres south of the resort of Weymouth, forming the southernmost point of the county of Dorset. A barrier beach made of connects it to Chesil Beach and the mainland.
When looking on Google maps theres a prison right on top with a road leading up to it with about 8 hair pins. From speaking to people in past they’ve all said it wasn’t skateable, to rough, thrown off by the prison guards. We decided to head to the top anyway to check it out and we were greeted by the most amazing view of Portland, Weymouth, and Chesil beach. You could easily see the stretch of beach that goes on for 18 miles into the distant.
We had lunch then skated down the 1st hair pin which then lead down to a smooth road leading to the next hairpin which was also skateable. We then found a path that was the most perfect laid, Smooth path the flowed down the side of the hair pins. It was wide enough to freeride down as well as bombing it straight to the bottom with a great shut down area. We decided to go back to the top and session the hair pin capturing the van parked up with the insane view behind it then driving the van down the path to session the path we found.
Overall the day was a huge stoke! we were in a rush from the start to get stuff done as People had to work, I had to get the van back by half 5. But I feel massively happy that we did what we set out do.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Breeze Volkswagen for lending me the van to make the day a massive buzz for everyone, everyone skated hard and pushed themselves throughout the day, my driving was pretty epic to say the least… hahaha Thanks Jimmy’s Iced Coffee for keeping us refreshed with some crates of his finest Iced Coffee, and Woolsey Clothing who chucked us some fresh T shirts to wear for the day also cheers Eddie and Hamish for capturing the day.
You can see all the photos on any of our Facebook profiles. Go have a look right now… Like seriously, Right now! why are you still reading this, and not looking at the photos.
A video sent in by Alexander Hurst. We'll let his video do the talking.
A compilation of longboarding clips, filmed entirely for the fun of it…oh, and also the title pun – apologies. Enjoy. Directed & Created by Alexander Hurst
Featuring Riders –