2023 - A Thank You From CSC

by Dan Bunn

Another year done and dusted and this just might be the best one yet. From pro reveals and skatepark builds to baby dragons and Black Mass, 2023's had it all and we wanna say thank you to everyone who's been along for the ride.

CSC Christmas Graphic - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

It seems like we say this every year but 2023 really has been our biggest and best year yet. We've we've helped host some of the UK's most prestigious events right here in Cardiff; we've seen the first new skatepark built in Cardiff in over 10 years, hopefully with many more to come; our team's got bigger and better than ever, and we even turned someone pro; as well as all our usual ads, events and general tomfoolery.

Cardiff Skateboard Club Go Skate Day 2023, photo by Finley Chivers - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop
All the homies at our Go Skate Day event, shot by Finn Chivers.

But as always, we can't take all the credit as we wouldn't have been able to do any of it without your support. Whether you're splashing out on all the latest product, turning up to events or just stopping by the shop for a chat, every bit of support both big and small helps us keep doing what we love: hooking up our team, going on trips, putting on events, supporting other skater-owned companies and generally trying to spread the love of skating and grow the Cardiff scene however we can.

Bug vs Snake

Starting off the year with a bang, we teamed up with The Skateboarder's Companion to help showcase our trip to Mallorca in the 'Bug vs Snake' article and video. Despite the unquantifiable levels of bangers that were unleashed upon that poor, unsuspecting Spanish island, we tried our best to distill the carnage into easily digestible formats with an action-packed video from Harry Deane and a full-scale feature in Companion written by reporter-in-the-field, Don Irfan, and backed up by Mike Ridout's photography.

Oscar Evans Backside Flip from Bug vs Snake, photo by Mike Ridout - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

From Mike flipping burgers to Oscar backside flipping snakes, this was easily one of our biggest and best trips yet and it would never have been possible without the support of you, our beloved friends and customers. That's why we treated you to a montage of PJ smashing cans in every conceivable way possible, as a way of saying thanks. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one!

CSC Media Domination

Alongside all the 'Bug vs Snake' content, we also saw two members of the CSC family having their minds probed in Companion's 'Push' interview series. After PJ and Don received the treatment last year, we've now had CSC's Instagram guru, heelflip connoisseur and fashion icon, Leo Comanescu, alongside the pizza slinging, love choosing, advert machine that is Oscar Evans gracing the pages of Companion and shedding all manner of insight into what makes them tick. It's always nice seeing local lads in the spotlight and it's safe to say 2023 has been a bangin' year for Cardiff skate representation!

Leo Comanescu Push Interview in The Skateboarder's Companion - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

As if that wasn't enough media coverage for one year, we've also kept up with all our usual ads featuring our team in Vague, Grey and The Skateboarder's Companion to spread our love for the homies with the world. Being able to run ads of our mates is one of our favourite things about running the shop (until it gets to the day before the deadline and we realise we've forgotten all about it), not just because we get to see the look on their cute little faces but because we're also helping to support the mags themselves who rely on ad revenue to keep supplying you lovely people with top-quality, free skateboarding content. It's a win-win!

Oscar Evans Halfcab flip advert from Grey Skate Mag, photo by Mike Ridout - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

King of Pigs

Another thing we were particularly hyped to make happen was being able to turn one of our good mates and South Wales' finest stunt-plankers pro in our collab with fellow local legends, Carve Wicked. We teamed up with Carve to make pigs fly and dreams come true with a very well-deserved pro board for all-terrain weapon and lager enthusiast, Jake Collins, whose long-standing devotion to the South Wales scene was well overdue for some recognition - especially after his bonkers part in Carve Wicked's 'Old Skool Nokia' video.

Jake Collins is pro advert, photo by Mike Ridout - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

Alongside Carve Wicked, we once again teamed up with the legends at The Skateboarder's Companion to surprise Jake with his triple-whammy cover, advert and pro boards. We devised a cunning plan to lure him to the shop for the reveal and somehow managed to just about keep it under wraps (shoutout to everyone involved for not ruining the surprise!) and it's safe to say his reaction was worth all the deception. We were blown away by the support we got for this collection and I'm sure Jake was too so thanks to everyone who showed some love!

Jake Collins with his Skateboarders' Companion Cover and pro board - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop
A pig in shit.

Dawn of Dragons

2023 also saw some long-overdue additions to the CSC Team with young legend, Gabe Gorman, and our 2022 Skater of the Year, Jack Branch, taking their rightful place among the CSC Shop Dragons. Both these legends have been killin' the local scene for years with Gabe being a staple in the Cardiff scene since he was old enough to walk while Jack's long been holding it down for Bridgend, even winning our coveted CSC Skater of the Year trophy last year. We've definitely had our eye on these two for quite some time now so we're hyped to finally have them on the team. 

Gabe Gorman Kickflip from his Welcome to the CSC Team Advert, photo by Mike Ridout - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

The CSC Team isn't just limited to Cardiff, or even Wales, though as our international roster of legends have been getting busy across the UK and the globe with some of our London-based ex-pats putting in some serious work. The UK's best vert skater, Conor Charleson, came through with a hectic new part filmed by all-time legend Dan Magee, showcasing his unique vertical capabilities; Jimmy Silv has been absolutely killing the video-making game for HUF with 'headshot'; Billy Trick absolutely smashed it in his part in Sirus Gahan's 'Picking up a bug'; and we've now got Don killin' it back home in Malaysia (I'm not crying, it's hayfever).

Don Irfan Tree Wallie, photo by Mike Ridout - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

An Eventful Year

We always do our best to put on quality events for you lovely lot to enjoy, whether that's our annual Plaza Comp and Go Skate Day events or fun little competitions to give purpose to your time off school. For Go Skate Day this year, we returned to the infamous Penarth hill bomb for another day-filled with speed wobbles, road rash and beers in the sun, although this time with added dirt hillbombs; while it was business as usual for our 13th annual Plaza Comp with all the usual faces laying down banger after banger. We might do these every year but they never get old and we always look forward to seeing how everyone get better and better each year so shoutout to all our regulars for always bringing the stoke!

Another event that popped off extra hard this year was Skate Shop Day which saw unparalleled levels of hype resulting in one of our busiest days ever and even some eager beavers queueing to get first dibs. Adding to the excitement, we had Jim bring down some of his most iconic vintage decks for a little exhibition alongside some more contemporary Cardiff skate photos courtesy of the Gaffer and artwork from Beef Bennet, Phil Morgan, Lloyd Houston and Nouch. Huge shoutout to all the brands and artists who helped make it happen by supplying so much dope product and of course a massive thank you to everyone who came down on the day. The bar's set pretty high for the next one!

However, on top of all our usual events, 2023 took things to a whole new level with some of the UK's most prestigious events coming to Cardiff. We've seen both Sabbath Wheels' 'Black Mass' and the Vans Shop Riot transform Bute Square from the world's best spot into the world's best spot with some extra ramps and obstacles on it, with skaters from all over the country travelling down to take part in the carnage. It was an absolute pleasure seeing so many legends killing it on our home turf so huge shoutout to everyone who helped make both events happen as well as everyone who made the journey down!

There was honestly too much going on this year to give everything the attention it deserves but some of our other favourites had to be our Northern cousins from Welcome making the trip down to skate Spit and Sawdust, our Real Street Easter Edit comp and of course the extremely hectic Cardiff premiere of 'Old Skool Nokia'. Shoutout to everyone for coming down and making it such a fun night, I don't think we'll be getting invited back to Callaghan's any time soon...

Dan Hill at the Old Skool Nokia Cardiff Premiere - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop
Skinny making friends at the Old Skool Nokia prem.

Splott 'Til You Drop

Last but not least, we also helped to achieve something a little bit more permanent with the construction of the Malting's Park skatepark in Splott. It's been a long time in the making but Cardiff Council have finally built a new skatepark for us to enjoy and we were stoked to be able to help them out with our expert advice. The park might only be small but it's still a fun little TF to cruise round on a summer evening and hopefully it'll be the first of many new parks coming to Cardiff with construction of the new Llanrumney skatepark set to begin in 2024.

Maltings Skatepark in Splott, Cardiff - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Shop

That's more than enough chit-chat from us though. Thanks again to everyone who's supported us this year (and any other year), hopefully 2024 will be even better! Safe.

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