Set in Ventspils, on the lovely Latvian coast along the Baltic see, the Ghetto Games host the annual Nils Jansons Invitational, a blade contest which has been steadily growing over the course of the past three editions. Gathering more international competitors every year, and too many underrage girls to even count, it quickly became one of the highlights of the summer, and the perfect place to enjoy a little blade vacation… Rain or shine!

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Words: Freddy White
Photography: Kaspars Alksnis

Friday went shiny indeed, and after some heated qualification rounds in the hot sun, most of the crew spent the afternoon chilling on the wonderful beach, resting after a first night which usually involves drinking before you even leave the airport and starting the party on the three hours bus ride to Ventspils. The local beach just so happens to be the longest one in Europe, and it would be hard to think of a better place to get rid of a hangover.

Unfortunately, we weren’t so lucky with our Saturday. Our hangovers had to stay confined in our hotel rooms, as the day started off with pouring rain. The park never dried up long enough to hold the finals, and these were eventually cancelled, thus granting Joe Atkinson the top spot on the podium. Well, wet grounds were not to prevent anyone from having a good time anyway, and the cash-for-tricks contest might have hyped the crowd just as well as proper finals: if anything, it just brought everyone a bit closer.

On the final Sunday, one more hangover was to be taken care of, as of course the official afterparty did not fail to turn into a crazy one. But there again, chilling on the sand watching the wakeboard finals provided for a great cure, and left us with just enough time to recover before being welcomed to the local waterpark. Reserved specially for the Ghetto Games athletes, it is the perfect place to combine both drinking and getting genuinely retarded in the crazy slides… And another reason to come back again: rain or shine, see you next year Ventspils!

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