Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec 18th: Sign this petition! Southend Skaters Need you!

Hey all! Just a quick piece about a petition I'd really appreciate you to sign.

Basically, I run a Southend based community of skateboarders, helping guide and developing downhill Longboarding in the area.
Visit the page and you'll see there's plenty going on and we promote a good, healthy message.

PAST: There is a concrete road along Clifton Avenue in Southend which was a CLOSED (open for public access but gated) maintenance road leading down to a cliff slip, which has been left for years. There were dangerous stairs at the bottom which lead to the seafront. 
People still went in the fenced area to smoke weed and drink etc,(classy), but this problem was mostly ignored by the authorities (FACT)... However, the ONE real shred of POSITIVITY in this area, was the skaters and bands of people using the road leading down to this area. This included weekday, weekend friendly sport practice, unofficial organised competitions and bringing tourism to Southend alongside young people following their passions in terms of filming and photography.
With a good week of weather you'd see 50+ mainly young people enjoying, 
practising  developing and exercising through skateboarding. Alongside older and experienced members of the community, a good ethic and morality developed around the space, leading people to CARE for a disused and abandoned space. Good links were built with local residents and businesses.

Being a closed road, it offered skaters a SAFE place to practice, rather than on OPEN ROADS in Southend and neighbouring towns. We have gained media coverage from local newspapers, and support from local and national businesses.

PRESENT: Currently the road comes to a dead end, blocked off where the council had set up barriers/fences around the cliff slip area to hide the problem of the slip. The entire road and walkway is BLOCKED OFF except for heavy trucks and works vehicles for the redevelopment of the cliff slip. (POSITIVE GENERALLY) - 
This road is, according to planning posters, to be made LONGER and thus better for those who regularly skate there.

We believe a few outcomes may occur.
1. We are concerned that the road, once work is completed, will be deliberately ruined for skateboarders to devoid the council of responsibility, under the false-illusion of " Ensuring Safety".

2. Reopened as a public walkway, and skateboarders will be told off for skating in this space by authorities, due to public lack of pedestrian awareness.

3. Specifically banning the use of skateboards on this hill on ground of safety, but not amending the hill itself.

These options lead to: a removed provision in the area, creating something which was pro- socially approved of (Police were in support of us while on the beat), to become an anti-social activity, actually adding to A.S.B and wasted police time. The above also gives the message of discouraging physical activity from young and older people in alternative sports alongside many other negative outcomes.

These are all short sighted, naive and negative options to what could be a positive, nurturing and simple choice to develop a first in the UK and an easy to manage shared space for the community as a whole.

Suggestion of what SHOULD happen with the space: 
1. Keep the road as it is going to be according to plans, enable a good and consistent surface for all users in terms of safety, look and function.

2. Spray-paint or signpost that the hill is a "SHARED SPACE" clearly marking "skateboarding  allowed" at top, bottom and along the hill. - This enables public to be aware of space users.

3. Work with local skate community group, Southend Longboarding, to develop an agreed code of conduct for users of the space, INCLUDING, things like wearing protective equipment, being respectful to other users of the space, not doing anything that would put others at risk and skating within limits. etc etc. - This gives authority figures i.e, public servants and police to clearly see who is practising safely or not, as prescribed by those 'IN the know'.

We understand our request is not conventional, and that there are factors in terms of liability and maintenance to consider, but both, in reality are minimal asks for a positive outcome in many areas.

Firstly, People ARE aware of their own actions, sign it up and people agree to it be practising, no-one would do bungee jumping and not realise there is no risk involved.... We care and love what we do, better here and accepted, then on open roads and forbidden.

 Secondly,Southend has made a huge deal over it's redevelopment, and creating so-called, "shared spaces" for pedestrians, cyclists and transport systems to live and move harmoniously with one another.... How about we see this concept become a little bolder; daring and support SPORT in the area. BE THE FIRST town in the UK to enable downhill skateboarders to practice in a safer space.

We are, after-all  in the post Olympic boom.... lets see the money and time put into sport in our "great" Britian, doing something really great, for the people to whom this space means a whole lot to.


Friday, December 14, 2012

14th December 2012 - News, News, NEWS.

Well, as always, been a while, it's cold grey and wet, go Britian!

Quick update and some important stuff I'd love to readers and ANYONE to help out with where possible, so please read and re-share and I'll love you forever.

Quick Updates:
-Turned 25 on the 7th October - Yes I am old!

- Went to America with Jenna! Hung out with family for thanksgiving, (Lush although I passed out drunk and locked myself in a room ;p), went to Harry Potter World at Islands of Adventure, ate A LOT of great food, really awesome time!


- Working hard for Southend YMCA, creating Community Events and helping raise vital funds!

- Roller Derby - Going well, helping to develop our leagues ref stuff and going over the NEW RULESET (Rubbish wording) but hey, gotta' get on with it for the new year!


- HOGTOBERFEST 2013 - VETERAN UK Downhill event at the end of October: Slept in a van, freezed my ass off and came 2nd place the next day on the open downhill. GOOD FUN! New board, can't complain.

2012 has been a full on year and I've been working hard to make the most of the opportunities in front of me. This certainly isn't easy when I have to shuffle 2 jobs, AND all my hobbies and passions, AND the ventures in trying to include: Youtube, writing, and working on skateboard modding, Derby and UK Downhill development.

Nonetheless I'm trying and working hard to make things better for the people around the area and to help progress the things I love, so please have a good read of the few things below.

1. Expect to see more PARKOUR and training stuff appearing back on this blog. Yes, that's right.
2. Sign this petition to help Southend become the first place in the UK to create a shared space for downhill skateboarders. PLEASE REHSARE!

If the image above doesn't work, visit the petition HERE:

3. Local skate project: I'm trying to establish a system where people can get GOOD quality recycled Skateboarding goods, combating the frankly shoddy set ups most mainstream stores sell and charge through the nose for. If you have any old, used decks, wheels, trucks, grip, hardware which is used but in a usable condition please drop me a comment below, or message us via . This will make it CHEAPER and easier to help people get onto Skateboards throughout Southend, Essex and the UK as a whole, while recycling and supporting the scene through your giving!

Thanks all! and Expect for training vids and articles soon!