Text & photos by Jean Christophe Baller
The place looks like a large giant squat of artists illuminated thanks to a generator. As for ramps, we were far from imagining such a place. The construction is comparable to other great European skateparks and is perfectly suited to rollerblading. Lots of corners, copings and a long and really nice kink ledge. Some of us want to put skates on, but it’s late and we have to find a hostel to accommodate us that night.
The original idea was to sleep in this park. We opted not to after realizing we were in a slightly ghettoish neighborhood. Samo leads us to a first hostel which unfortunately is booked out. We finally find one but only with 3 beds. Eager to help us, the guy of the home agrees the rest of the troops could sleep on the floor of the room. I’am one of those who will benefit from the very hard and cold ground tonight. We decide to go to drink some beers in the city, the suffering of sleeping on the floor will be more bearable when it will be time to sleep. Thus, with Nicolas Auroux, David Sizemore and Robert Guerrero, we find ourselves on the 6th floor of a building which is a pretty amazing nightclub with a giant balcony overlooking the city. The girls are beautiful – very beautiful – and the sound carries us until dawn. At this late hour, we are almost alone, continuing to move our asses to old American hip-hop sounds that are well overplayed. It is 5:30 am, we go to bed knowing that we must leave at 10 am. This will be difficult.
It is 10am and of course, everyone is still asleep. Employees of the institution put pressure on us and it works for some. Outside, we find Rob sitting on the roof of the van, bothered too early by incessant passages near the sofa in the reception where he spent the night. People gather, we load up the van and head to the market in the city.
At the market we enjoy fresh fruit offered by the smiling and friendly local merchants. Samo, then takes us to the spot where he started rollerblading. Or rather a place with a few steps without too much of interest. So we decide not to dwell too much and head to a rail which we heard about. Once there, it just flows in all directions despite the substantial length of the rail and its curvature. We get a good session going. A girl in orange pants tries to lace a pornstar and is not discouraged after many falls. She does not finish it but her dedication was amazing. Rob offers us a perfect backside, David a side-walk almost off the end and Warren a soul grind not without difficulty.
The session dragged on until we feel the need to eat something. Samo proposes to go eat horse’s hamburgers, an idea that pleases many but not all. When eating, the group divides into two parties: fans of horse meat and those who prefer the classic McDonald’s.
The afternoon was too hot for skating. Now it’s dark, it will be possible. I also put on my skates, the urge is too strong. Pictures in such places are usually not very interesting, so I put my camera on stand-by this time of a session. We stay there until 1am or 2am, much time to film tricks of each skater. Too late again compare to the whole road ahead to reach Vienna. No matter what, we will spend the night in the van, our brave drivers are starting to know how it is.
-Jean Christophe Baller