On Sunday, June 19, the SPUI Square in the Hague was the place to be for all skateboarders in Holland. SPUI Square is suffering the same uncertain future as LOVE Park in Philadelphia, so the locals got together for a Wild in the Streets celebration with Emerica to show the city how much skateboarders care for their spot. At 1:00 p.m., everyone came together. Some skateboarders took a two-hour train to the Hague. And even though it was warm out (almost 30 degrees C, 100 degrees F), most everyone skated all day.
At 1.30 p.m., Emerica give away 100 yellow shirts with a big SPUI Square logo on it to those who signed up at the Web site of Anti-Lope, the local skate shop. All locals got a green one. Underneath the big logo, were the words FIGHT FOR YOUR RIDE! After all the shirts were handed out, there was a sea of green and yellow everywhere you looked. People could see from a mile away that something big was going on at the SPUI Square!
At 2:00 p.m., about 200 skateboarders rode for a few minutes toward the Dutch Parliament curb, a super-wide double-sided curb. It was at this spot that the first best trick event of the day was held. The already infamous gold Emerica road barrier was put next to the curb, creating a small gap that was killed over the next 30 minutes.
After a few warm-up ollies, came all of the kickflips, heelflips, frontside flips and backside flips. Leon Huiskes did a double kickflip, while Dutch Emerica team rider Sewa Kroetkov did a switch heelflip, a pop shove-it, a switch kickflip and a super clean hardflip. Everyone thought he was gonna win until Marc Peter Kooistra did a super fat switch 360 flip right before the group was leaving. Everyone screamed and yelled for Marc Peter then got back on their boards.
Now it was really time to get Wild in the Streets, as the skateboarders headed into a busy downtown shopping street. It was Sunday, so downtown was pretty packed. Random passersby couldn’t believe what they were seeing! Almost 200 kids dressed in green and yellow invaded the streets! After that, the skateboarders moved on past the train station. Cars stopped and people were still just gasping and staring. After the train station, the skateboarders made a right. The sidewalk was all smooth marble, so everyone cruised with smiles on their faces.
Next stop; the Courthouse of the Hague. Skateboarding got banned at this spot a little over a year ago. Riding your skateboard there now can get you a ticket, and if the cops want to, they can even take your board! But now it was time for Wild in the Streets! Skateboarders took over the spot for a few minutes, and lots of them did some illegal grinding and sliding. Although it was still a little risky, most skaters enjoyed the quick stop. After getting a photo of the whole group on the entrance stairs, we moved on.
After the Courthouse, the skateboarders moved on toward the train station. Riding through it was easy, since the ground was super smooth. Security guards tried to stop the first skateboarders that entered, but when more and more kept coming, they realized it would be hopeless, so they stepped back! Ha! Finally, it looked like the skateboarders were in control! Once everyone left the train station, it was about a half mile back toward the SPUI Square. The ground was all smooth marble again, so everyone enjoyed the roll.
Midway, we encountered a police strike, which was good for the skateboarders. It meant less police officers in the streets, and a good way to show all coppers what we were doing here. The skateboarders handed all the cops little flyers explaining why all the skateboarders where in the Hague on this day. Thanks for the strike, guys! Please strike again! Back at the SPUI Square, it was time to chill out a little bit and get ready for another event.
After everyone kicked back for a half hour, it was time for the highest ollie contest. After five minutes, eight skateboards were stacked on each other, and only three people wanted to try nine. Casper, Ian and Bart all made it over the nine boards. But at 10 boards, Casper and Ian had to give up. The crowd was screaming at Bart to give it a go, and on his fourth try, he made it! 10 skateboards! Damn!
Right after the highest ollie, it was time for the longest ollie. Many people tried, but very few went far. In the end, it was Delft resident Davy Dijksman who cleared 18 boards lined up next to each other. The last best trick was done over the Emerica barrier. That thing is at least knee high, so not many could clear it with more than an ollie. But Tio Smit has more pop than anyone and did a switch heelflip and a nollie frontside heelflip over the damned thing with ease! All four winners from the best trick contests won a brand-new pair of Emerica shoes!
If all this wasn’t enough, filmer Bas Ackerman took all of his and others filmers’ footage home and started to edit all of it. So, at 9:30 p.m., Emerica presented the Wild in the Streets promo video at a squatted bar, where all the locals came together once again to see what had been going on all day.
All in all, it was a very exciting day with a very good vibe. We made quite a few heads turn, and it was good to run into the police strike, so they can see how many skateboarders care about street spots. Thanks to everyone involved and to all of the skateboarders that showed up!
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