Words by Chris Job
The first round of the 2017 UK BMX Park and Vert series went down over the weekend of 1st and 2nd April, kicking off the fifth year the series has been running.
Unit3Sixty Park in Stourbridge played host to the park round on the Saturday. Gav Pardoe has worked really hard to make a park that supports a strong West Midlands scene, and this was reflected in the numbers entering each group. 23 riders aged from 4 up made up the under 13s group, wheel sizes from 12″ to 20″, with tricks from a first ever roll-in to full on wall ride transfers round the bowl getting everyone stoked.
New for 2017 was a girls’ category, strongly supported with seven entrants, and again some great riding. Am and Pro were stacked too and saw some great riding, with a hoarse ex-Midlander (yours truly) heckling on the mic and a worldwide audience (well, I’m sure there was) following on Facebook live feed as the bowl had its arse torn out of it.
Plenty of highlights, I was stoked on people I had heard of before shredding hard and people I had barely heard of shredding equally hard. Jack Mould spun an awesome 900, “Sam” agreed to wear a helmet before hitting a rafter and flinging a massive front flip to flat, and Kaine Mitchell took all before him for his first, and well deserved, pro win.
“Dennis Wingham over-rotated a 900 at the tender age of probably 57.”
One day later (sandwiched by a Ride On meet up on Saturday night) was vert, held at Beast Rampz in Manchester. I can only pass second hand judgement on this as I wasn’t there for various reasons, but all you need to know is Kaine Mitchell hit the roof and Dennis Wingham over-rotated a 900 (a 930!) at the tender age of probably 57.
Check the videos for coverage (courtesy of Neil Waddington), many thanks to all the riders for supporting the events, and the UK industry for sponsoring the contests.
Give some love back and buy something from Total BMX, BSD, Mongoose, Seventies, Four Down, Custom Riders, Grind BMX and The Lab!
Mount Hawke skatepark, Cornwall.
27th – 28th May.