Photos: Maksim Kalanep & Marcel Veldman
The CPH OPEN ship set sail for the 1st of it’s 5 day voyage through the canals of excessive skate indulgence.
With an event structure that takes in real street, rails, park, bowls, DIY, death races, parties and flatland, it’s a series of skater run comps that pits the world’s greatest against total unknowns, wildcards and loose cannons in one of the chillest cities on planet earth. With an emphasis on good times, Copenhagen’s doors are wide open for skaters from across the globe who want to let loose in the streets.
With cash on the table for those who can stand out in the sea of rage, the top winners from each of the events over the week bank glory, money and entry into the finals on Saturday at the CPH Skatepark.
Day one set the bar high with ‘Open Street’ at Faelledparken followed by 7 shades of padless gnar in the form of the ‘Pro Bowl’ session, where Pedro Barros made front smith fun of 14ft worth of over vert concrete, Chris Russell laid down a 14 trick run and Rune Glifberg was as powerful and fluid as ever.
1. Pedro Barros
2. Sam Beckett
3. Rune Glifberg
4. Alex Sorgente
5. Chris Russell
The day was shut down in blazing style at the Wonderland Bowl in Christiania for Eric Dressen’s Salad Bowl + What Youth Party. The bowl consisting of hips, extensions over vert and a channel is renowned for being tough to skate. This didn’t stop Wonderland local Jonas Bunger tearing open a new hole in it by refusing to fall off anything, all night, or Kevin Baekkel who doesn’t know how to skate anything below ‘really fast’.
1. Jonas Bunger aka Ginger
2. Kevin Baekkel
3. Dannie Carlsen
4. Dario Mattarollo
5. Chris Russell
The second day of the mighty CPH OPEN and it was back to the streets for an afternoon of shutdown and roadblock Copenhagen style.
First stop was the Open Ledge Session at ‘Jarmers Plads’, the OG CPH spot in the city was rammed on a sunny day for a serious session. Although the ground is deceptively rough the quality of skating in the 10 minute jams was nothing but world class from all competitors.
1. TJ Rogers
2. Louie Lopez
3. Youness Amrani
4. Bobby Worrest
5. Luan Oliveira
The journey to the next spot was an event in itself with 500 skaters cruising on bikes led by a sound system in true carnival fashion through the city stoking out everyone it passed.
With everything now seemingly legit in skateboarding, session 2 consisted of a long flat rail and 2 jump ramps for an old school fly off session. At first this confused some of the younger skaters but they were soon set right by a demonstration of style and elegance from Alex Olson - christ airs and tweaked japans out of the jump ramp.. With the whole road shut down block party style, skaters needed to hit both the rail and ramp to be in with a chance of some money and the all important ticket to the finals at the CPH Skatepark.
1. Louie Lopez
2. Curren Caples
3. Axel Cruysberghs
4. Kyle Walker
5. Nyjah Huston
The third day of CPH OPEN madness got everyone down to the canal for some serious early afternoon wake up.
The Christian IV’s Bro triple set is no joke, sitting on the edge of the canal there are more hazards in this make than there are cobble stones in the run up. With an excess of 50+ meters of sprint needed to get enough speed to clear the 2 flat 2 flat 4, skaters had to contend with drain covers, cracks, stones, bikes and a 300 strong crowd that was more reminiscent of the final stages of the Tour de France before they even got to stair set. The short landing right on the canal edge meant that even if you caught a trick there was no guarantee that you weren’t going swimming. The perfect combination for a good session and a treat for skaters and river cruises that were blessed to see Youness Amrani’s banging hard flip, an over stoked front shuv from Gabriel Fortunato and a switch heel from Neverton Casella.TJ Rogers gets a shout for an unreal switch front 360 ollie that was outside the allotted time.
Being on the canal the transport to the next spot was via the ‘champagne love boats’, 2 river barges thumping out music and packed full of the best skaters in the world. A 30 min journey to an abandoned warehouse set up with 2 simple ledges on a loading bay and some of the best ledge crushers in the biz.
The session was an exercise of head messing wizardry with TJ taking a nollie crook to fakie and switch bigspin heelflip in the line only to be nudged into 2nd spot by a super consistent Luan who was knocking out back to back lines - Switch back 5.0 180 to switch kick flip nose grind and Back tail fakie, fakie hard flip to fakie tail slide.
The CPH OPEN cruise ship headed back to dock with what is being touted as the best day of the week so far. Exclusive access to historic buildings, land speed record kick flips, an incredible park session, gladiatorial death races and a watery gap of doom were all on the line up for the final days' schedule.
The first stop of the day was at Copenhagen City Hall, surrounded by ancient statues and mosaic floors, skaters competing in the bump to bench challenge were given plastic axel nut covers to help preserve the 300 year old tiles that got a proper working in the grandeur of this cavernous spot.
Straight outside and it was a case of another city centre shut down and of blatant flouting of Denmark’s strict road speed restrictions for the fastest flip trick comp. Mach 10 skills were given to Madars Apse with a speed of 37 KPH which is allegedly faster than that Usain Bolt between the 40 – 50 metre mark.
So on to the main event, the finals at the CPH skatepark, newly updated for the event and looking every bit as fun as a world class skate facility should. Skaters that placed top 5 throughout the week were entered into jam format heats and a further top 5 went through to a super final. With such an illustrious line up it was hard to know when and where to look as pros dropped baggers in their lines and bypassed sensibilities in poached runs between heats.
Making the finals and becoming the talk of the comp was Oski, whose near faultless qualifying run of flow and spontaneity was only surpassed by his backside kickflip over the channel. Not being one to be left out of channel floating antics, Evan Smith lofted an insane ally-oop disaster revert over the same gap. The super finals fully belonged to Nyjah Huston though who redefines effortless tech, consistency and perfection every time he steps on a board.
Sometimes in skating you are not allowed to want to win, not so in the death race where friendships are left on the coat rack and it’s every man for himself to the finish line. One lap round the park through berms and hips and an ending wallie involved a mixture of speed, agility, luck and elbows. Kevin Baekkel’s steely gaze said he was after a win and snatched it on the second corner from Alex Olson to pop corks later in the night.
The final event was the ever-hectic Best Trick and to complete the nautical theme the good ship CPH Open came to it’s final resting place in a swimming pool behind the skatepark and conveniently in between 2 jump ramps. This watery leap of doom was too much for some but not for a handful of intrepid salty skate dogs, who, with a seeming disregard for the amount of water on every surface, totally smashed it.
1.Herman Stene (BS 360)
2.Nyjah Huston (360 flip)
3.Phil Zwijsen (KF indy footplant)
4.Chris Pfanner (BS 180)
5.Alexander Risvad (KF frontside grab)