Marking the beginnings of Aggressive Inline in the early 90’s, skaters like Toto Gali, Jan Homann, Kai Schmidt or Johannes Mann made it a part of the scene and established inside the Skateland a safe port for those who should follow them. After almost a decade the scene had outgrown the first Skateland and its dusty and moist ramps that were fitted inside a rather small warehouse with a tin roof. So it moved to a specially built ample hall of 1.500 square meters with brand new ramps – they only took the legendary wooden bowl with them. Ever since, it’s receiving financial support from the city for being a social youth-project: The Skateland is open every day, except Christmas and New Year’s eve. And on weekdays the admission is free!
The story of the Skateland is a success story, so at this year’s summer party weekend, the feel was pretty special, as we were looking back on those two decades. Still, like every year, there where contests, DJs (Peace Out to DJ Combat) and live-concerts in and outside the Skateland and Grindhouse – Germany’s biggest Inline Warehouse – again generously supported the event with prices. More than 30 riders participated in Sundays inline contests and with over 50 spectators in the audience it became a respectable party. Beyond that, the audience and the judges Maurice “Mo” Regnaut, Karsten Boysen, Marvin Tunnat and the-one-and-only Max Visser witnessed some really sick skating. During “Cooler Grind, Digga!” a.k.a. Best Grind contest, held at the outdoor grindbox, one could for example see a picture-perfect Backside Fastslide to True Fish by the infamous Sidney Hansen, steezed-out Combos and Negatives by surprise guest Feduar (“Where the hell does he come from?”) as well as stylish True Makios 360 Out by Mirco Helbing. That ruction was followed by the “Stuntman of the Year” a.k.a. Best Trick contest that was won confidently by the uprising Melvin Siemianowski, who pulled sick 540 Bios over and down from several obstacles of the outdoor skatepark. Young local Jerome took second place with a nice 540 to Shuffle over the launchbox, while veteran Willi Krüger from Rostock went for bronze with his sick 540 and 720 signature McTwist-like transfers from quarter to bank (“What the heck was that?!”).
Later that Sunday, the action moved inside the Skateland for the “King of the Bowl” contest. One could say, that every skater participating was exceeding his limits, but still it wasn’t enough to stick with Sidney Hansen, who was ripping the bowl like no one else: 900 Transfer into the bowl, Backside Royal on the concrete coping of the oververt, highspeed Backside Backslides Round the Corner to True Topacid 360 Out – you name it! One should definitely not forget about Melvin Siemianowski, who showed off his incredible talent by lacing insane tricks like a Fakie 720 Kindgrind – Hammertime!
It was a great day at the Skateland and in my memories one of the best summer parties there in a long time. The rolling scene in Hamburg continues to grow and there will definitely be some new faces popping up next to those that already made themselves heard. Anyway the Skateland will last and remain home to those who roll. How romantic… but that’s how it is.