The problem with the Helsinki Hookup weekend is that it's like 3 events in one, so when it comes to writing something about it I never quite know where to start. Plus it's so fun (read boozy) that it's usually a bit of a blur... I guess easiest way to get this melted brain to work is probably break it down chronologically.
So the first thing I witnessed was the Death Race. I don't know if any of you have ever seen one of these before but they are fucking gnarly. The idea is to "race" your opponent from one end of the park to the other whilst hitting a few designated obstacles on the way. T-shirt pulling, beer chucking and pretty much anything else is allowed. Needless to say that when one of these takes place in an unforgiving concrete DIY park (Suvilahti) the slams can be pretty brutal.
Some of Sam Clark's photos of the carnage:
Before I move on to the next part of the event (the actual comp) I should probably mention that there was a whole day (and two nights) between it and the Death Race, which in Helsinki holiday time means a lot of beer. So basically half of the skaters who were supposed to enter were still pretty pissed. I know on paper that sounds like the comp was a complete write off but the reality of it was pretty hilarious. On one hand you had the defeatists, that you'd either find hiding in a corner when their names were called or on the course looking for an obscure way to entertain the crowd without having to do tricks, and on the other you had the brave ones. The brave ones were the ones that decided to fully embrace the hangover and use the alcohol to fuel their confidence. Sure there were a few collisions and one or two of them may even have slammed pushing but all in all some damn good skateboarding went down.
Proof here (edit by Ryan Gray):
Some photos by Nikwen and Sam Clark:
This is how Albert Nyberg won the damn thing:
The final event of the Helsinki Hookup, that also turned out to be the most entertaining one, was the outdoor best trick comp. Everyone just went in. The Russian delegation emotionlessly slayed the ledge/driveway thing, a random Swedish dude 540 nose grabbed out of the quarter and the Sweet boys spent the whole session pretending they could fly. But none of these things were even the highlight. The best thing about this whole weekend was when every single skateboarder present refused to let the best trick comp end until a tiny chubby ginger kid who'd repeatedly slammed trying to boardslide the ledge landed his trick. And when he inevitably did the crowd (including the "pros") gave him the most cheering, hugging and high fiving I'd seen all weekend. Sickest shit I've ever witnessed at a skate comp. Kid was so stoked.
Bonus: slightly cheesy slow mo edit of the comp.