First our trip to Switzerland, then celebrating Christmas at home with our families, then back to Mayrhofen for some park riding and new years eve drinking, then back to Holland again but no time to chill.
After a well spended 30 hours in Holland it was time again to pack our vitamin pills and painkillers for three weeks of hotdog eating and rail riding in Scandinavia with the Shaped snowboarding team.
As a tradition something has to go wrong for this yearly trip. This time the tire of Gerben Verweij’s golden passat exploded just a few hours before we left. Luckily the local handyman was willing to fix it for just thirty bucks.
When that was fixed it was just a matter of picking up the drop-in ramp, generator, winch, lights, and other bullshit we might need
The trip went relatively quick until the point where we hit Sweden customs. For about 400 kilometers it was dumping and the highway was covered with snow. With our trailer behind the car we where drafting our way across Sweden.
In Stockholm we got on board of the ferry that would bring us to Helsinki in 14 hours, wich is pretty long if you ask me! It was four o’clock and everybody was tired since we didn’t get much sleep in the car that day. We slept a while, grabbed something to eat, slept some more and before we knew it we where in Helsinki.
This city reminds me of San Velona (the city of the Skate games). We drove into the city for about 2 minutes and we already spotted 4 famous handrails that we have all seen in movies like Videogangs all the way to the newest Cheers movie.
Luckily Gerben knows his way around Helsinki and probably knows where to find every rail someone would want to hit. He showed us some legendary rails like the Green and the Blue Monster.
Enough sight seeing though, time to dump our luggage and hit the streets! We drove around for a while looking for a mellow spot to warm up on. The guys wanted to try out the winch, the newest piece of equipment in our street rail arsenal. We found this cool up-rail into a soft powder landing. After we set the spot up it was time for Cees Wille to give it a go. The spot however, didn’t turn out to be so mellow after all. We blasted the winch full throttle to get some decent airtime, mostly gapping the landing to flat. Everybody got some nice shots though.
The next day we got up early to go hit ‘the-double-kinked-rail-that-Joe Sexton pretzeled’. Since there is a record amount of snow fall in Helsinki, it took us more than an hour to clear all the stairs and the rails for the shot. Joey gave the natural inrun a try but wasn’t able to create enough speed. Time for item number two in our arsenal: the drop-in ramp. That worked much better and after landing 4 bangers we had to call it a day to pick up Kas Lemmens at the airport.
Saturday we started sessioning the famous searchplate rail.
Cees got his shot relatively quick but busted his board trying to get more, more, more!
Gerben landed a Cab180 tailpress 180 out though!
For the second rail we planned a black ops operation for one of the most famous handrails in Helsinki. Unfortunately it was knobbed, so we paid a visit to the hardware store and got us some tools to get rid of those suckers.
A bit to stoked we drove back to the spot where we got pulled over by undercover police for crossing red lights. They where not cutting any slacks and took G’s divers license. The police didn’t mind us hitting the rail though, they even wished us a good session and hoped we would ‘get some good shots’. We took their advice because after hours of removing snow from the spot and removing stoppers we felt like we had to hit this rail. Kas went first but luck was against us this night. He got a nice stair massage and hurt his elbow pretty bad. In the end the rest landed their tricks but the satisfaction didn’t feel as usual. With a displeased feeling we went to bed, hoping that the next day had more fortune in store for us.
Luckily that was the case. We slept until late, and got a mellow session started that lasted untill the end of the day. Joey and Kas completely killed that rail!
The first week basically went on like this. Get up in the morning, drive to the first spot, set it up, kill it, second spot, kill it, bed. Some highlights are Gerben gapping a double kinked rail back 270, Joey nosepressing the ‘Cheers’ ender triple down in an hour or so, and Cees backlipping a huge doublekinked rail for the first time.
This week made us al super stoked for the coming weeks we have left in Helsinki. The next days we hope to be able to step it up to some huge rails. Joey’s lady will be joining us with her camera gear, so hopefully we will have some better picture quality our next update.
Cees closing things down with a blunt to fakie on this gap rail. Weirdest session ever, blasting full speed through the streets of helsinki behind a winch for this gap rail. Landing 3 meters behind the rail most of the time.
We had a chance to talk to Kas when he got back home after a week of destroying streetrails. He went to see a doctor in Holland and found out he broke is arm in three places with his crash, which is crazy since he has been riding like nothing happened for the rest of the week.
We wish him a swift recovery!
Words by Tim Schiphorst