Fear and Loathing in South Wales

  • Fear and Loathing in South Wales | Alex Ramsell

    I remember getting the Facebook notification mid-June that read ‘Robert Whiston has added you to Skate Camping Trip’. I had just quit my job and had all the time in the world. I was keen from the start! A weekend going all around South Wales, skating, BBQ’ing and proper camping with some of the finest West Midlands skaters. The solid crew that went consisted of; Rob Whiston, Henry Fox, John ‘Duck’ Adams, John ’T’ Evans, Brad Edwards, Cam ‘Mongo’ Edwards, Dan Brueton, Cie Denison, Ellis Vanes and Finch. 

    We started by all meeting up at Cardiff Bay on the Friday evening and began shooting photos, Rob was filming and the tone was set for the rest of the weekend. Once the sun started to set and Mongo flew himself out of the park via an indy grab out of the small brick quarter we realised we had to find somewhere to camp and get some food before it went dark. Rob pitched the idea of Witches Point, a beach not far away with a tonne of open space to set up a few tents including Mongo’s massive 8 man tent! We drove out and onto the beach to set up our tents in the dark. Duck has an amazing collection of Makita tools, including a flash light which proved useful the entire time. After an amazing BBQ, campfire and Mongo’s select choice of drum and bass tunes on Duck’s Makita speaker until 3am, it was time for a few hours sleep. 

    Cie Denison Powerslides whilst Henry Fox Disasters.

    The gnarly thing was, we climbed over a tiny wall to get to our ‘campsite’ at Witches Point, only to realise the next morning when the sun was out that we were effectively camping on someone’s back garden. It wouldn’t be that bad if Mongo didn’t have his massive tent. On the Saturday morning me and Brad, two of the first awake had a walk across the beach. When we got back people were starting to pack away saying some woman had kicked us off, which was fair enough really, she even pulled the standard “I’ll call the police” but they never showed. After packing down, Cie and Mongo skated the beach for a hot 10 minutes before we left and headed for Porthcawl, the infamous penis shaped bowl. 

    By 11am Mongo had already shut down the deep end of the bowl. That dude doesn’t seem to need to warm up, he just sends anything and somehow rolls away! After getting everybody stoked, Cie Denison slashed the deep end barefoot, Rob was sweeping the deck, Duck was krooking, Brute was Backside Ollie-ing and Brad Backside Bonelessing from the deep end into the shallow. Even Henry Fox, the famous ledge ‘backtailer’ was skating the bowl. After we all had enough of the phallic shaped bowl, we headed for a DIY ditch spot we had had heard was somewhat near (I still have no clue where that was). After a lot of driving round to find it, and hopping over walls and walking through shrubbery we were finally in. After seeing a bank to a sketchy rusty old rail at the ditch, Henry Fox quickly rifled off a Frontside Smith and Noseslide. A hyped Cie Denison battled and  Feeble’d it to follow. Duck also flip Back Smithed one of the bank to curbs there which was actually really awkward to skate and that was that, before more ramp action for Mongo. We headed for the Burry Port vert ramp and ‘skatepark’ (just a few slabs with some mellow banks) that was situated on another beach. Mongo didn’t disappoint. He blunted, swept, smithed and more on the seriously crusty vert, even filming some lines for Rob’s video he’s currently working on ‘Hate’ Vol.1. The only thing to do after that was get in the sea and enjoy Burry Port like true tourists. 

    Cam Edwards Blunts at Burry Port

    Cie sadly had work the next day and so drove back with Ellis, which was a shame as I knew we’d hit Newport the next day. We realised again when the sun started to set, we needed somewhere to sleep and after driving around randomly for 2 hours trying to find a patch of grass that was excluded we began to lose hope. Finch and John T had enough and booked into a BNB, while we were still driving around in circles trying to find that magical patch of grass. Finally, we came across it under a bridge in a small village (I don’t even know where). We BBQ’d once more, had a better fire with wood we found from the ditch earlier on and crashed out because driving around endlessly for hours really drains it out of you, even more after skating 3 spots beforehand. We were so tired we all just decided to only put up Mongos big tent for everyone to sleep in. With Cie and Ellis gone, and T and Finch in a BNB we could all happily fit in with more than enough space. That tent was freezing that night and the patch of grass wasn’t so smooth. I’m pretty sure I was half on a rock. 

    John Adams Nose Reverts whilst Rob Whiston styles out a Smith

    On the Sunday morning, we realised where we slept was actually really out in the open and people were just walking past but we had no trouble unlike at Witches Point. After a pack down of Mongos tent, Rob formed the plan to head to Cwmbran skatepark and then Newport for the last stop of the trip. For me, John T, Finch, and Henry it was nice to actually go to a couple of parks with street sections! The bowl at Cwmbran was rad, with ‘Slayer’ and ’419+1’ next to a weed plant graffiti’d over it. It made for some sick photo opportunities for sure. With the day moving on we headed for the last stop of the weekend, which was actually the gnarliest, Newport. I remember from the start I told Duck I wanted to shoot a photo of John T but it was proving difficult with us hitting massive bowls, but once we got to Newport and saw T frontside flipping the hip perfectly on command I knew that would be my photo. He hasn’t even seen it yet so hopefully he’ll be stoked seeing it here! Then after the usual carnage from Mongo and Rob in the bowl it was time to head back home. You can watch ‘Too Long For Instagram #4’ on the Hangup blog, Sidewalk or Rob’s youtube to witness it all go down, because I probably forgot some stuff! You should also keep an eye out for Rob’s ‘Hate’ Vol.1 video and zine that will be out soon. He’s been working on that pretty much all year and I’ve seen most of the shit go down, believe me when I say it won’t disappoint. That weekend was one of the best, and I’d highly recommend a camping skate trip to anyone. Thanks Rob and everyone involved, you all smashed it! Thanks Hangup for publishing this write up and my photos. Get out there and skate before the British winter comes!

    Alex Ramsell

    Check out Alex's full gallery from the trip here.

    Here's an edit from the trip filmed by Rob Whiston!