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TOP TEN: Indoor Skatepark Photos by Robin Pearson

Ten of the best and the stories behind them.


Words and photos by Robin Pearson


Riding BMX indoors… Some people love it. You can guarantee it’ll be dry (pretty handy in the UK), lit up for evening sessions, and well maintained. You can often play your own music through the PA system to get the crew stoked. Also, there’s usually some kind of café or shop set up, plus often a BMX / Skate shop for hooking up fresh parts. Yes, there are many, many advantages to riding indoors.

On the other side of things, many riders find riding indoors to be a major compromise. The thrill of being out riding the streets with your friends, warming up, hitting new spots… How you sometimes feel like it’s more worth it when you have to sweep and dry and spot to ride it… And don’t even get me started on trails. Put simply, there’s that pleasure of being outdoors on your bike that will never go away. However, being realistic, indoor skateparks are pretty much the only place you can ride reliably in any weather. And thankfully, here in the UK we have an abundance of amazing indoor parks.

Shooting photos at indoor parks is never great for a photographer – you have to be careful with off-camera flashes and work strategically with the environment. Often, you end up with a bit of a jumble sale of ramps, random dudes in the background, scooter kids flying into shot… And there’s no nice natural light to balance your strobes with. It’s all a big compromise but anyway, here we are. As the clocks have changed and riding indoors on the reg is now on most peoples’ agendas, I thought it would be about time to look at some of the finest indoor moments I’ve been privileged to photograph.


01 – Ben Wallace, cannonball, Rush Skatepark

Ben Wallace shreds on any terrain, he is a nice dude and has a great family. Dude straight up rules. This photo was from a session at Rush when we shot Ben’s THRICE feature.


02 – Alex Coleborn, carve, Adrenaline Alley

When I went to shoot with Coleborn, I thought I was going to be setting up for flair bars, whip variations, and the like. But then Alex came through with this – his best Garrett Byrnes impression. I was stoked! Originally appeared in the Corby feature – HERE.


 

03 – Alex Kennedy, toboggan, Warehouse Project 2014

One of four special edition front covers for Ride UK issue #195. Alex Kennedy, classic toboggan, against a big panel of lights dreamt up by Will Evans for the Warehouse Project 2014. This was a crazy time in the old Seventies warehouse. Check the video below.


04 – Brad McNicol, carve, Warehouse Project 2012

Talking of The Warehouse Project, here’s a wild one from the first year we did it. Brad McNicol decided to line up this vertwall and then go NUTS on it. I couldn’t believe how high he was going. Madness.

Good fact: this warehouse later became Rush Skatepark.


05 – Danny Stanzl, 360 can-can, The Base Skatepark

Professional loose goose Danny Stanzl, sweet step through 360 on a very nice jumpbox. Why is he topless? Because he was wearing a black shirt that night and thought he’d stand out better in the photo with bare skin. Good shout Danny, good shout.

Hit our Spot Check at The Base – HERE.


06 – Kevin Kalkoff, tyreslide, Warehouse Project 2014

Yeah, this is big. We made that forklift higher and higher and higher… Until Kevin said it was about right. Pretty insane. Also appears in the Seventies video for The Warehouse Project, above.


07 – Sam Marden, 360 table, Asylum Skatepark

Sam Marden may be a street boss but he can handle a ramp with the best of them. Classic 360 tabes, shot for our Spot Check at Asylum.


 

08 – Vinnie Mayne, alleyoop wallride, Mount Hawke Skatepark

Vinnie is one of my favourite dudes to hang out with. On this summer road trip down to Cornwall, typically there was a lot of rain one day so we hit Mount Hawke skatepark. Vinnie hit this alleyoop wallride, we played some dice, then went and partied. Standard.

Mount Hawke has a new layout now. Check it out HERE.


09 – Mat Burton, one hand table, Bypass Spot

OK, this isn’t strictly indoors, but it’s so badass I had to include it. Mat is inches away from the beams and the roof here… But I guess when you build a spot by hand you get to know every nook and cranny. Video below.


 

10 – Matt Priest, footplant table, Charge Unit

Originally used for a Halo Wheels advert, it’s just a damn cool move on a damn big box, going backwards no less. Stoked to see Matt riding properly again after a long time off from a badly broken ankle.

Charge Unit boxes are pretty crazy. Info HERE.


 

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