“Let’s have an over 30’s night and call it Silver Surfers” said the owner one day. I didn’t quite know what to make of it, but “sure, why not” was the response. That was how it all came about, an idea which has turned into one of the greatest nights of the month.
That was in the summer 2014 and with little promotion it all started, quietly at first and with a few hic-cups, but it started. I contacted a few older skateboarder and BMX friends I have and invited them along. Being a skateboarder and over 30 I was hyped on the idea of the night, a chance for us guys to get together, have a ride and then some pizza a drink afterwards. That’s what I thought it would be, just some chill times and then food. And for the first couple of months that was exactly what happened, some of the older Cheltenham crew of skateboarders started showing up regularly, some with old boards which hadn’t seen the light of days for years, some brandishing new kit, yet to be used. And for those first couple of months people seemed a bit shy, especially those that hadn’t been riding for years. Of course there was one or two of us that had never stopped, granted way past our best but still we hadn’t stopped.
About 5 months in it was obvious that we were getting a regular bunch of guys on skateboards and bike and what was also obvious and pleasantly surprising was the change in how they spent their time in the park. Gone was the standing around chatting about the good old days and instead everyone was getting in, getting warmed up and riding right until we were getting kicked out. All of sudden, everyone had brand new boards and shoes and clothes.
Next, along with the new kit, people started getting back old tricks that only months ago they had been talking about, people started venturing into new areas of the park and pushing themselves to ride new terrain. Then, with massive smiles all round, came the new tricks, faster, higher, better. Before we knew it people were back to their previous ability level, people had progressed to new points, people had ridden new obstacles that they had only looked at before, people were stoked.
Thankfully that vibe has stayed that way, every month we have a strong crew of people on bikes, blades and skateboards who are no longer looking for a trip down memory lane, but who are looking to shred a bit harder than they did last time. No more standing round talking, instead its standing with board or bike underfoot, eager to jump into the session and push themselves. Everyone is super supportive because we are all old enough to understand that it’s all relative, if you did better than your last run then you’re shredding. No one cares about what tricks you’re doing, what fashion you have, what board or bike you ride, we just care about getting involved and supporting each other. No one is busy on their phone checking their Instagram, we are too busy watching real life skateboarding, blading and BMXing being done by real people.
There is real progression being made now-a-days and people are so stoked that many of the “Silver Surfers” make a regular appearance during the week. Simply, many of them have become skaters and BMXers again. The vibe is one of complete involvement, we welcome all abilities and all people, if you want to try it out after many years away then come along, if you never stopped then come along.
The photos you can see are from the last Silver Surfers in Jan 2016, we had a guest who brought some hype. What we also had was a killer skateboard session in the bowl with everyone landing new trick or taking their existing tricks to a new level.
I for one love it, I love that a lot of the same guys also come along in-between, I love the vibe and most of all I love watching the progression that everyone is making, guys that only a year ago didn’t go near the bowl are now coming along all padded up and shredding some serious lines.
Long live Silver Surfers.
Written by Brett Dye
Photography by Ben Wilkinson
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