It’s 7AM, Thursday morning in Stockport, northern England. The sun beams in through it window and I awake feeling nervous, frantic and, above all else, excited. Today is the first day of the 2013 Freestyle World Championships.
The hours, weeks and months of planning from the LateTricks team and the event organisers have all been building to this moment and it’s finally time to see if everything’s come together.
The day starts with a long drive down to the Bath festival alongside the other half of the Northern UK freestyle contingent, John Hanson, riding shotgun. A few Greggs and Subway stops later, we arrived at the event, hyped to meet the freestylers of the world and to finally start skating!
The first man we meet is event organiser and amateur freestyle rider Matthew Smithies, accompanied by fellow freestyler and one of this year’s judges, Matt Cheeseworth. Matthew has been the driving force behind the event and has spent the afternoon chasing up the NASS organisers to ensure that we have the best possible spot for the freestyle event, so at this point he’s understandably very tired!
A short wander round the festival later, I found myself standing opposite the Never Enough freestyle brigade and the legendary Gunter Mokulys. I found myself strangely lost for words in their presence, having grown up watching these guys skate and to see them here in the UK. It only takes watching these guys skate for 5 minutes to know you’re in the presence of some real talent.
I catch my first glimpse of the incredible freestyler Mirei Tsuchida on the miniramp of all places, putting all the guys to shame with some incredible tech lip-trickery. She looked so amped to skate and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the freestyle comp.
The evening wore on and freestylers came and went until I found myself alongside the Never Enough freestyle brigade, Felix Jonnson, Darran Nolan and the incredibly tech street skater Mike Wright, throwing down some truly amazing stuff. Impossible lateflips, pressure flips, half cab impossible caspers and, my personal favourite, Albert Kuncz’s fast flowing freestyle combinations.
At about half 10, a full on freestyle demo kicked off with myself, John Hanson and Darran Nolan in front of excitable crowd who were going absolutely crazy for freestyle. With hundreds amped for the contest the next day, the demo came to a close and the freestylers headed out for the party. I retired to my hotel to put together this little freestyle edit, exhausted and eager to start skating again in the morning!