On Sunday 29th October, Lariatt cordially invited all skateboarders from everywhere and anywhere to engage in some high-class skateboarding with all the trimmings. ‘The Lariatt Awards’ was a Red Carpet event; formal yet informal (as it is skateboarding at the end of the day.) Proper etiquette was expected from all- pinkies out, perfect posture, suit and tie, ball gowns, the lot! The turn-ups were traded for ties and the stern faces for smiles!
“It’s humbling to host an event at a skatepark that’s so close to my heart. I’m glad it was a complete success... so much better than I anticipated. I feel we’ve really grown a community here in St Albans by following in the footsteps of Conspiracy (RIP). Lariatt’s only been open for a short time, but I feel our common goal is to keep the St Albans community strong.” - Alex Barton, Lariatt Owner.
Midday hit St Albans on a sunny Sunday and skateboarders old and young flocked to meld with some of skateboarding’s most distinguished humans. The smoke machines bellowed at the grand entrance to the Pioneer like a Vegas Casino with lasers that resembled some sort of 1980s Sci-Fi movie, twinkling in suburban decadence. The gentlemen looked sharp and dapper and the ladies were out to impress- all dripping in their synthetic opulence for a hard day of SKATEBOARDING!
The girls kick started the day of middle class mayhem on the newly built miniramp, all in for the chance of winning the all important ‘Lady of the Ramp Award.’ The jam format first competition of the day erased the bourgeoisie theme immediately. Dresses were flying; suits and tuxes were torn and tattered, but one lady in shining armour (tuxedo) stood out to the judges without any shadow of a doubt. Anita Alvy took the Award with no room for prisoners! Back smith grinds for days, coping dancing like choreography and flipping into lip tricks like it wasn’t even a thang. The female skate community really is a special, close-knit part of skateboarding. Anita however, was a lady on a mission and took that trophy through pure determination- An absolute belter of a skateboarder and a really rad person to put the icing on that cake. Well done, i complimente, you gnarly Italian, you!
Now it was time for the boys to follow suit, quite literally! With the Waterton brothers smashing it all day, Alex Decuhna flipping out of mannies on the platform and Mark Radden wall planting things that shouldn’t be wall planted, the judges really had their work cut out for them! After the big man on the microphone, Judd, confusing the two brothers all afternoon, Callum Waterton won the ‘Lord of the Ramp Award’ (the one that wasn’t wearing a dress). With a combination of high speed miniramp onslaught and consistency, Callum had ‘WINNER’ metaphorically stapled to his forehead that day. With beanplants that giants would live on top of, blunt variations that shouldn’t even be a thing and smiling during his entire 1 minute run, you took the biscuit my friend. Absolutely smashed it. Fee-fi-fo-fumbs up!
“An amazing success. It’s great to see skaters of all ages competing together, in an atmosphere that was fun and inclusive. As a long standing, local charity, the event was true to our heritage, and raised important funds that support our ongoing work.”- Anna Hemmings, Chair of the Pioneer charity.
After the rowdy kerfuffle outside, it was time to make our way inside. Everyone had seemed to forget that this was a formal event and the girls had quite enough of this hogwash! The Girl’s park comp was about to begin. How alleviating! Some finesse; some pure, gourmet skateboarding with enough class to slap that well-tailored suit right off. Nope. It was bloody carnage! Last minute entries, chaos in the park, the elegance of these ladies had seemed to have washed away! It couldn’t have been the fine burgers and hot dogs Mr Ian Chorley was providing! This was lunch fit for a queen! It must have been the thirst for ‘The Lady of the Park Award;’ the thirst for victory... The award was presented to none other than Anita Arvy once again for her outstanding performance! Both Lady of the Ramp and Lady of the Park in one day... not bad for a day of skateboarding one might say.
Before the gentlemen were set free to warm up, it was about time to present the ‘Passion for Fashion Award.’ By Jove! It was relaxing to leave the chaos behind for a few minutes and admire the delicate detailing of one’s attire for the day. Glamour and elegance were calculated by the judges oh so very intricately. However, the award was presented to none other than Andy Hair for his beautiful red Ball Gown. Here, for the first time, we saw impeccably tailored pieces. The dress looked so effortless, sitting on the exact and correct part of his shoulders. The fabrics were top notch as always; silky cotton with beautiful views of his legs that questioned the very essence of masculinity. There was a brilliant use of colour. The red resembled a true sun set across the Himalayan Mountains. Ultimately an outfit to be jealous of. Congratulations Hairy Hair, you are a man of style!
The boys park competition... My oh my, what a sight to see on the Holy day of Sunday. The outfits were drenched with sweat, the ties became bandanas, but the smiles were still gleaming like shining stars that pierce the night sky. Where was the class? What happened to bourgeoisie themed day that we all hoped could give The Pioneer some character? It was gone; gone in the wind like a Waitrose carrier bag hitting a sewer. Skateboarders and glamour do not mix and to tell you the truth, and we bloody loved it. The local kids tore The Pioneer a new one, using all of the obstacles like it was the back of their once cleansed hand. It seems that Skate School must have paid off for these guys. Well done in your first competition young bucks. Stickers, caps, t-shirts and accessories rained from the ceiling like a clearance sale at Harrods to give these guys what they needed most- materials with no panache! The class was gone from the day, but we were ready for the boys. They were back in business and they were all looking for trouble.
Beaver, Kieran Waterton, Callum Waterton and Ed Benham made it through to the grand finale. Beaver VS the young guns- The secret Russian experiments that skateboarding had manifested in caves unknown to secular society. The judges start sweating, shaking and loosening their ties in discontent. How had skateboarding become so insane in just 3 minutes? How have children mastered the arts of wizardry with such ease? Kudos to you all you all smashed it, but it was a war that couldn’t be won. Sporting a trilby hat like an undead jazz musician and a dress that your grandmother would wear, Kieran Waterton trampled over the competition. Bomb dropping off of the vert wall, hitting the handrail with such ease and melding with the walls like Chanel No5 lipstick, there was no shadow of a doubt this child had trained his entire life for this moment. Some say they could see the robotic wires from beneath the dress, but this is ludicrous. A cybernetic robo-child at The Pioneer? We’ll look into this further.
‘Lord of the Park’ and lord of our hearts went to Kieran. You’re a Gremlin and we love you for it! To end the day, the Red Carpet was rolled out again for all skateboarders to exit the park the same way they arrived; with etiquette and swank. This turned into some sort of long jump challenge! The Red Carpet was a mere four and a half metres and was no challenge for Alex Decuhna who took home ‘The Red Carpet Award’ for his efforts, or lack of! The carpet was destroyed, but the Lariatt Awards live on and the legacy continues...
Lastly, everyone here at Lariatt would love to thank you for supporting us and The Pioneer on October 29th. Having an indoor skatepark on our doorstep is an amazing opportunity, but none of this would have been possible without your help, so we thank you dearly. Thank you to our sponsors: Death Skateboards, Lovenskate, Volcom, Vans, Lakai, FP insoles, Girl, Chocolate, 2nd Chapter Supplies and ABC Skateboarding for your generous donations for the day! The kids were stoked and skateboarding is not only alive and well, it’s now been crowned as the swankiest lifestyle there is! By supporting us on the 29th, you’ve made Lariatt’s goal attainable. Generating and growing the local skate community is our overall aim and I think it’s safe to say that this collaborative event with Pioneer has helped that become a reality. Skateboarding has changed all of our lives in such a positive way, so why not give back to the very thing that’s given all of us happiness and keep the fire burning?
Thank you all and see you next time on The Red Carpet for #TheLariattAwards2018