Ventspils Indoor X-Wekeend Contest Report

2   Two or three months ago I got email from Martins (Latvia) with info about park comp which was scheduled for end of February 2007, organised in Ventspils. My previous experiences with summer trip to Latvia were very good so I just couldn`t be indifferent about it. Together with Mirek we quickly found people who were willing to go and booked four tickets to Ryga, with connecting flight from London. The flights` time forced us to buy return tickets for 31th February, so we got a chance to spend whole week at ours east neighbours. 

On 24th February, at the morning I (Szymon) with Piotrek Combrzyński, Mirek Ragan and Adam Żurawiecki hit the airport in Balice. We were a little late because Mirek didn`t wake up on time and we had to reorganise our luggage because of weight limit but fortunately we managed to get on the plane from our favourite airways RyanAir.

After rather boring flight during which I carefully tried to explain the guy who was sitting next to me that Latvia is not a London`s district and that I wasn`t going to London to find work, we finally got to London, change the planes and went to Ryga. The second flight would be just the same but funny thing happened – some guy tried to smoke a cig in the toilet and ended with getting arrested by the police. 
        Later on, after the last check-in, we waited for our luggage and met with local guys. Then we went to Jansons` brothers house where we took qucik shower, and got huge dinner. Next we headed to some house party at Liene, but we were so tired after 12-hour travel that we returned quickly.
  25th February morning – we got up and with much better shape we went to Ventspils by private bus, grabbing sth to eat on the way. During the 3 hour trip we got a chance to listen to many Latvian radio hits. It was snowing heavily. 
When we arrived most of the rollerbalders went straight to the skatepark, but we thought that it would be better to go to the Matrtins`s place and leave our stuff there.
Another tasty meal at the local bar and we went to check the park. There were not many skaters yet, the park looked cool but it was hard to skate because of dust everywhere, the place was still under construction.   
While we were getting ready, Nils Janson with his crew (unfortunately without his brother Martins Janson, who forgot his skates) was warming up, showing great skills and how to use this park properly. I won`t write about the tricks which went down because you can see it by yourself in the edit or photos.
After the great session we came back to Martins`s house, chilled a little and went to the park again. Only me, Almants and Piotrek Combrzyński was eager to skate, there was nobody at the park except the workers so our night session went really well. Also Dmitrijs Sokolo accompanied us with some of his friends who were practising before the saturday afterparty.

Almants, juiced by few light beers, wanted to pull out backflip 180 and fakie backflip, and after some solid bails nailed it. Piotrek Combrzyński did a perfect 900 (it was hard to pull it because of very low ceiling and very narrow funbox) and destroyed the whole quarter by doing stylish Bs torqe all the way with rounded extension, bad luck that we didn`t catch it o camera though. We planned to check the pool club nearby but since we had to get up at 9:00 next day so we skipped the idea, leaving it for another night. 
We started Saturday by a morning walk to the park were some of us registered. The comp was divided into bmx, skateboards and rollerblading and since it was still a few hours left to the rolling eliminations we came back to Martins`s house. 

The first part of rollig comp was the amateur eliminations, it is worth mentioning that two girls where participating: Kaili Randmae from Estonia and Liene Nulle from Latvia. Each rider had two runs to show his skills. Each run was scored and the one who got most points from two runs wins. It was interesting that the winner of amateur part was getting a chance to compete in the Pro finals – new and very good idea. Toms Slukins was the guy who stood out and won thanks to his very clean and consistent runs. Second place went to Kaili Randmae from Estonia who had some serious falls before the comp but managed to show good skating soon after. The third place was won by Kristaps Skudikis
The results were announced late because of very even level of the skaters. First the prizes for amateur contest were handed and then with lots of props from the crowd Dmitrijs Sokolovs was given the third place in pro comp. Second place was won by Nils Jansons who give the right to the first place to Piotr Combrzyński who got the main prize.

We got back home late, took a shower, ate our fav freezed garlic baguettes and returned to the park again where afterparty was already on. We managed to get some drinks earlier because they are not avaiable here after 10 pm. The afterparty at the park wasn`t so good idea because of the dust again so we moved to the local bar and I guess the only club in that town. 

The club itself which we were familiar with already from our previous trip to Latvia, didn`t surprise us with nothing but the after party was very nice. Some pool games, which was dominated by backflip master – Almants, lots of drinks and talks ended out the comp in Ventspils. 

At sunday we didn`t have any particular plan so we could sleep long and rest after weekend. After breakfast we went to the park where almost everyone was preparing for take off. Again there was to much dust and bmx-ers so we decided to get back here later. Even the park was closed at 5pm, Martin had a key, we were alone so teh sunday night session was the best one. Unfortunatelly not for everyone – Mirek had a back ache got back to house and kept watching Friends with our favourite Latvian model, Adam skated for some time but he didn`t feel very well and came back too, and Martin after two clips hit his face hard. The edit covers the tricks which went down that night so make sure you check it.

At monday we say goodbye to Martin and his girlfriend and return to Ryga, where Martins janson picked us up, and headed to Liene`s house where we spent out last two days.

In the last day we wanted to go sightseeing in Ryga which partly was success. We visited two Latvian skatshops – Ripo and Taktika and next took a long walk in the centre, ending up in another pool-club to get some beers and to chill. That day Nils Jansons was playing very good despite his broken wrist (he attempted topsoul to hardspin topsoul), the day was finished yet in another bar where we were lucky to catch on Happy hour – during which you can get two drinks for a price of one.
After returning to Jurmali, where there was one of the most cosy house which I have had a chance to live, we had a goodbye-party. Almants was the hero of the night, who proved that an old fishermen` saying of his friends can be easily used to describe rollerbladers: there is no such thing as bad weather, there are only bad dressed up fishermen (rollerbalders). 

Whole Wednesday was nothing more than just boring flights and all stuff connected with getting back to Poland.
How sum up the whole Latvia trip? Maybe I just share my few findings, which I experienced:

- When asking sb about anything most will answer: no problem
- Everything is so close 
- 90% of people which we have met spoke English quite well
- prices little lower than in Poland
- there aren`t any football fans, but there are Hockey fans
- In almost every house we stayed, there was a water-bong
- Light beer which name I can`t remember is the most often drank thing 

I also asked Martins and Almants to wrtite few words, as they there were people who we spent most time:

This was amazing, 5 days of skating and partying with great guys from Poland. I accompanied with them all teh time and it didn`t get boring at all. When we came to Ventspils, we went to Martin`s house to put our stuff and then went to skatepark, like everyone else I saw it for the first time, park was upgraded, so we put on our skates and sessinon started, that was the day before competition so ther weren`t so many riders. Skatepark is small but there is a lot of stuff to do, you can do crazy lines, grinds, walltaps and much more. After skating we went to Martin`s house and chill a bit. Drunk some beers and then went to park for a night session. Piotrek is the man, I mean pussy magnet is the man!! He did a crazy bs torq. Man that was SICK. Next day there was a competition, there were so many people and so much dust in the skatepark, it was hard to breath. The competition was sick, a lot of crazy tricks like disaster 360 souls, 450 bs savanna, 540 true top porn and much more. After the competition we went to club and make our own afterparty, play some pool, meet some girls.. 
Last day we spent in Jurmala, there was little party and it was first day when Piotrek could drink vodka with us so.... It was great, I can`t wait till next time guys. And thanks for everything. 

I think I don't have to write much about tricks or places because all of that you can see in competition video edit or just look in All what I can say about competition is that in the begining of a day I thought that the competition will be one of the worst because of the dust in the air and because there was too many people skating, skateboarding and riding their bikes so there was almost impossible to warm up. everybody had one qualification run and I think that was not enough but I was happy to use whole park 1min just to ride alone in the park. Qualification was a 1-min run and the final was jam session. Finals was really crazy Piotrek, Adam, Nils, Dimons and other finalists went crazy a little bit and I hope that you will get some idea from the video.
Next day we just chilled at my place and in the evening went to park so hedonskate guys could shoot some footage from the park. for me it was interesting to watch how different people see the park and how they find new lines to skate.
After the comp we went to local club and that was so good because most of the people in the club was from the competition. Almants beat everybody at the pool table and I spent all of my money on two cocktails because I didn't learn how to count at school. 
These three days was full of good skating, lot of jokes, good skating again and few D-lite beers :)) party with snoop dog aka. feebee. 
Thanks everybod for coming to this competition, it turned out to be better that I anticipated. 

Text: Szymon Photo: Mirek/Szymon/Adam Edit Adam Translating: Basza