Thanks For Making 2020 A Bit Better

by Mike

With Christmas just gone, and we’re fully in the season of love and good will and all that nonsense, we thought that now would be a good time to reflect on the absolute shit show that 2020 has been and try to see if we can squeeze a few positives out of it.

We love you guys.

Firstly, we want to say a massive thank you to all our customers who have stuck by us through all this, your support is what keeps us going and it's been more important than ever this year. When you stop by the shop, when we see your name in our inbox, when you come to pick up a mag or when we see you skating kit from the shop, it keeps us stoked. Thanks you lot.

What we've done with all the money!

Whilst we haven't been able to get up to any of our usual shenanigans this year - with COVID ruining the Summer Cookout, forcing the Plaza Comp and Go Skate Day to move online, as well as cancelling various seasonal jams at Spit and Sawdust in between - we wanted to round up some of the things we have been able to achieve this year despite the difficult circumstances, all thanks to your support.

Dan's Vert Ramp

CSC vert ramp Spit and Sawdust

In pride of place at the top of the list, we got on board with Chav Dan and the Carve Wicked crew who had the inspired idea to crowd-fund a vert ramp!

First Welsh Vert Ramp in 10 years!

Unbelievably...we helped to make history with the first vert ramp in South Wales for 10 years. The crowdfunding campaign got half the cash sorted (massive thank you to everyone who donated!), and CSC was able to pump in the same again to push it over the top and get the ramp built! With skatelite too.

Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, Spit and Sawdust is now home to a terrifyingly big vert ramp for everyone and anyone to use.

@stew_bacca  - Pic by @chiversss

With a bit of luck, in a couple of years Cardiff could be home to the next generation of high-flying vert lunatics, and that's all thanks to everyone who donated - whether it was time or money - as well as every single one of our customers who have supported us throughout this year and enabled us to bring amazing projects like this to life.

On top of this, in between various lockdowns (cheers Boris) we managed to get the boys together and leave rainy old Wales, along with good friends Fore-Cast and CRV-WKD, to make the pilgrimage up to equally rainy Scotland to film our tour video, Bran New.

Whilst the weather, and several day hangovers, were working against us, the boys still absolutely smashed it for your viewing pleasure. With heavy-hitters Jake Collins and Sam Pulley laying down the hammers, backed up by the smooth-as-a-baby's-arse styles of CSC team members Sean Barnes, Jack Steele, and the one and only Peej, we hope this video helped brighten up what's been a pretty bleak year.

And we can't not mention one of our favourite expats to London Billy Trick's incredible part him and Will Miles dropped earlier this year.

Keeping Cardiff Artists busy

It's not all as exciting as vert ramps and tour videos though, every time you show support for us you're helping out the Cardiff skate scene in more ways than you would ever realise.

Not only are you helping local skaters live out their dreams of avoiding adulthood and trying to make a living from messing about with planks of wood; you're also helping to support local artists such as legends Phil Morgan, Nathaniel JonesLloyd Houston, and Will Folwell.  

Cardiff Skateboarding Global Hype

With the support we receive from all our customers we've been able to publish Lloyd's mind-boggling artwork as an advert in Thrasher - and if the thought of a bunch of Americans scratching their heads trying to decode Lloyd's deranged imaginings doesn't bring a smile to your face then we're not sure what will.

We back legit mags

It's not all about us though; by supporting us we can in turn run adverts in mags like VagueNorth, a certain yet-to-drop new mag which helps fund their work, pays the photographers, artists and designers and keep making skate mags which are free for everyone to enjoy - because, let's be real, nobody wants to pay £5 for a magazine. 

So to sum it all up, if you buy from us, or if you just swing by the shop to ask what size board Spencer Hamilton skates, you're a fucking legend. With the increasing pressures faced by local businesses it's now more important than ever to get out there and show support - because if you don't then you'd better get used to buying all your skate clothes from Primark.

Support Independent Skate Shops - It makes a difference!

It might seem corny to keep trying to get this point across...but skate shops shouldn't just be there to take your money, your local skate shop is fuel for the scene.

Yeah it's been a shitty year but watch this space...we've got some big plans for 2021 that are gonna make you forget all this bullshit and just be stoked to be living and skating in Cardiff!

With a bit of luck, next year we'll be back to some kind of normal and we'll be back bigger than ever to make up for lost time, bringing you skate events and videos to get you hyped and keep the Cardiff skate scene alive and kicking.

So again, a massive thank you to all our customers for letting us keep doing what we do; but it's not all about us, get out there and support local independent businesses, because when it comes down to it, we've got your back.

And finally...2020 is the year we lost Danny and Nippa

We can't post a round up of 2020 without remembering the passing of Danny the North Wales legend who lost out to cancer and Nippa the ripper from the Valleys.

Rhys Nippa Thomas was one of those guys everyone in South Wales knew. Partly thanks to his involvement with the notorious WelshCakes crew but more from turning up at events and comps through the years and smashing it in his signature balls out style. In recent years he'd been a regular at Spit and Sawdust and was still ripping, sinking beers and enjoying the session. Sadly, behind the scenes he was battling depression and Rhys took his own life aged just 32.

Men's mental health is a real issue and in these weirdly antisocial times it's even more important to look out for friends and family and to know how to cope if it begins to affect you. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or any other mental health issues it's not just you, and it's important to let someone else know. For more resources check out the links on the NHS website here.

Check out some Nippa footage from 2015 here and watch the edit from the RIP NIP jam in his local Aberdare park.

RIP Nippa, a proper character, a gnarly skateboarder, and gone way too soon.

If you've been involved in the Welsh skate scene over the past twenty years, chances are you've heard of Danny. Here in Cardiff, most of us met Danny when a bunch of North Wales skaters moved down for University. Turning up at house parties, he was an unmissable presence, the squawk of his Holyhead accent cutting through any and all background noise like a rusty skateshop grip blade.

If you're not familiar with North Wales, you might not understand how someone like Danny can exist. North Wales is mostly mountains and coast, but it's also caught between Liverpool and Ireland, making it a melting pot of sorts for influences from both. Danny was the perfect example of how these influences can converge. Streetwise, a bit Scouse, and always in the middle of things, he could easily be mistaken for a gate-crashing dealer, yet within a few words he would reveal himself as being totally immersed in skateboarding. He lived a too-brief life filled with box-fresh trainers, flash motors, jail-time, sketchiness, epic adventures, and loyal friends and family. We had quite a few dealings with Danny over the years, and helped him with product through the shop. He did more than most people know for the skate scenes in North Wales and Bangkok.

We won't say too much more ourselves, but here's a fitting eulogy from another legend of the scene, Rob Essex... (click for embiggerness)

Danny eulogy

RIP Danny. See ya later 2020, bring on the new year.
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