Photo Diary: CPH Open 2022
For the last three months, I’ve been galavanting through America and Europe. Yes, the weather was amazing. No, it was not raining like in Australia. Let’s move on. As far as travelling goes, this trip was not overly structured – sure there was some method to my roving madness, but this jaunt certainly leant heavily towards the madness side of the scales. Copenhagen was never a part of the itinerary.
Post Italy, my girlfriend and I had no flights booked anywhere (including back to Australia). A return ticket was considered. However, I realised Copenhagen Open was happening in June, and we were on the correct continent. We couldn’t miss it. Unlike Australia, travel distance isn’t an excuse – one lousy 3-hour flight and you’re in an entirely new country. So just like that, Copenhagen was now a part of the itinerary.
My words or photos don’t really do CPH Open justice – it should be high on the bucket list, regardless of whether you skate or not. However, if you like dancing in the street, drinking copious amounts of Aperol Spritz, and watching the world's best skateboarders tackle Copenhagen's pre-eminent skate spots, then the CPH Open is 1000% for you. You will never experience anything like it anywhere else. GO.
Kicking off the festivities, the first event was held at Copenhagen's most hesh DIY bowl, ‘Mimersparken’ under the bridge. If you were lucky enough to find a vantage point, the skating that afternoon was pure insanity: all carnage and speed. To put things into perspective, Chris Russel hit the fucking ceiling. Afterwards, the party spilt onto the basketball courts, where the international pros got smoked by local basketball protégées. Tunes by the Soundbok DJ’s filled the courts and streets and would continue to do so for the coming days.
'CPH Open is a movement. An organic adventure set into motion by the people who turn up with big love and good energy. CPH Open is proof that through skateboarding, we can create the best of times and forge long-lasting relationships.
Pro Tip 01: A push bike is your best friend in Copenhagen. Forget about Ubers and cars, cop yourself a bike to get around – just don’t forget to lock the thing up!
We missed the first ‘hill bomb / longest slappy’ contest at The Black Plaza as we were exploring Copenhagen. No complaints, as we were slightly dusty from the previous day and a slower start was somewhat necessary.
Pro Tip 02: Copenhagen Medical Museum is a must-see, although it is not for the faint-hearted. It’s pretty messed up.
Along the footpath from The Black Plaza, we found The Red Plaza, where the second event of the day was about to kick off. Normally, the space is an open skate plaza, with the likes of ledges, curbs, etc. However, for this event, the "world's best quarter pipe" was also occupying the space. The organised chaos of the Open Jam entertained punters for hours before the unofficial-official heats kicked off between a variety of pros from around the world. No one really won… CPH Open isn’t about winning.
Aperol Spritz was aplenty that afternoon thanks to a small bar manned by Nick Boserio and friends. Amongst the chaos, Denmark's very own Ville Wester turned pro for Polar. Raised bottles of Prosecco soon filled the sky.
When the skating stops, the DJs take control of the party, when the DJs stop, the punters take over the music with their speakers. That night we partied in the streets of Red Square before cycling to the 'Meatpacking District’ to continue partying into the early hours. The lineup to the club was massive but we thought fuck it… when in Copenhagen, right?
Unfortunately, day three would mark our final day. However, it was set to be a big one… again.
Whereas the events of the first two days were easily accessible by bike, day three was a little different and required a 30-minute train ride west to ‘Høje Tåstrup’.
Høje Tåstrup seemed like a newly developed town with not too much on offer except for one of the nicest (and apparently longest?) skateparks I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. There is also a ginormous shopping mall neighbouring the skatepark, which was quickly rinsed of all beer supplies. The day kicked off with a kink rail challenge followed by a bowl session featuring some heavy hitters including Rune Glifberg, who helped design the park. The sweet sounds of crunching metal rattled off the pool coping as the four-man heats went down. Winners were determined and prize money was handed out. Again, there is no real winner at CPH Skate... except for everyone.
Wrapping up at the bowl, it was now time to go to prison.
Yes, prison. Some would say prison is the perfect place for skaters to go. And in fact, it was. Built in 1859, ‘Vridsløselille Statsfængsel’ is a former state prison that is no longer occupied by criminals (until this event I suppose). Unlike regular prison, this one was now filled with music, beers and a large excavator with a grindable scoop (just look at the photos, ok). To make prison more enjoyable, there was also a boxing machine where the gnarliest (or dumbest) of people were punching the shit out of a boxing bag in hopes of 100 points. Shout out to the Viking-looking motherfucker who could easily decapitate you with a single punch.
With a lingering hangover and a lingering flight, we decided to call it quits early. However, from what I saw and heard the next day, the prison night unsurprisingly got very rowdy – flying punches at the boxing bag were quickly replaced by diving headbutts.
WATCH: THRASHER CPH VIDEO RECAP
Again, it's hard to describe the real experience of CPH Open in a few paragraphs of text and a handful of photos. So, if you ever get the chance to roll through, do yourself a favour and just go. CPH is for everyone, so take your mum, homies or kids – it’s a guaranteed good time.
- Dougal Gorman.