Weird caption: “Practice alone, Practice by night, with friends by day. Practice will make perfect”. More to the point: who are the skaters in the pictures? The first is at Harrow Skatepark, no idea where the second one is. No photographer is credited, which usually means that I took them, but the second one doesn’t like mine. Anyway… on with the instructions:
Day 28: Thursday, 18th July Off to Münster. On the journey play the cassingle (with it’s new “Black Arabs” B side) over and over again in your Walkman. Get those tunes in your head, know every beat.
That evening you will arrive at Münster. Go straight to the Sports Hall, then straight to registration. Münster is an all professional affair now. You are not a professional. You are not even an amateur. You don’t even receive stickers from your local shop. You’re just a guy with a goal. But no matter how rad you are, your goal will not be achieved unless you get to enter. Deception is called for.
Go to the reception room. Ask, in your convincing Irish accent, to register for the street competition. They will be wary; they will want to know where you’re from and who you skate for. Tell them you’re from Ireland and a pro on “Shamrock Skates”. Your name will float around the office, somebody will have heard it yesterday and they will feel comfortable with it. They will have no other professional from Ireland entering, they want this to be an “international” event and you’re giving them another country to add to the list. They will let you enter.
Go down to the street course immediately. Stare at it. If you get a chance, session it. However, if there are other people there (and there will be) do not under any circumstances skate rad. Skate adequately, limit yourself to a few of your first set of tricks and suss the course. After a while go sit in the stand and draw a plan of the course. Examine the the perimeter of the course as well for crowd barriers and other objects.
Now is the time you must think. You are tired from your journey, but you must use this time. You must not go out, find friends and party. Study the course, work out lines and see if any of the perimeter objects can be used as well? Where can you do the tricks you know for greatest effect? Is there a weird object there? Something most people will shine, but which you could use if you thought hard enough about it? Skate around again, suss the course, know every inch, feel every inch. But don’t pay too much attention to that weird object and definitely don’t try to skate any perimeter object you’ve spotted.
That night you must make a lot of preparations. First find out the format of the competition as well as all the times. Work out how many runs you will need to win. Remember you must not qualify in first place (this isn’t cool), so the following will be appropriate.
You will be skating two runs in the prelims, two runs in the semis and two runs in the final. So you will need six separate runs — you’ll be using the same group of tricks in each one, but you’re not going to win with tramlines. Go to the press room and photocopy your plan of the course five times. Find a quiet corner and draw up your six runs. It should run something like this.