Roll Away Solutions

Riga spots are often lacking perfection. Besides the obvious cracks and bad surface, the spots can lack run up or roll away. The solutions are simple: either be a grown up and let it go, or think of creative ways of how to fix the problem. We don’t use bondo like real American pros, so fixing cracks is not a common thing, however it does happen.

Mostly local skaters have dealt with roll away problems by using the technique of “plāksne” (eng. plywood). This roll away solution is extremely common and some Latvian spots wouldn’t have existed without it. We gathered a few  examples of plāksne roll away solutions below.

Exhibit A. Andrej Pižov – frontside boardslide Olimpija rail. From Workout 2 by Andzej Gavriss ~2007

Using “plāksne” technology is not inspired by good living. When there are no handrails in sight, especially small ones, plaksne is the only way to go. Pižov takes it further by adding a run up plāksne. The length of the roll away is questionable. If it had been so short on regular flat it wouldn’t count, but on plāksne it kind of counts.

Exhibit B. Jevgenijs Kostirko – backside lipslide at Smirdigais ledž (eng, Stinky ledge)

This spot was not skateable without a good “plāksne”. Think of all the work you  had to put in to bring this huge piece of plywood there. Hopefully it stayed there between session. It was a rather popular spot and had seen a lot of good tricks. Again, it is not clear whether he would roll away from this on regular flat, but as long as he covered the length of the plāksne, it kind of counts.

Exhibit C. Niks Kolosovskis – Nollie backside noseslide. From SkateRadio video 2006

As hubbas are rare in our parts, using a plāksne was worth the effort in this case. Even if it is a skatepark size hubba, it is still a hubba.

Exhibit D. Fricis Štrauss – Ollie. From Straightforward skateboards – Pis Taisnāk! 2019. Filmed by Armands Baumanis

Fricis is the guru of roll away solutions and works hard to keep the tradition alive. He even takes his own private roll away plāksne on trips and contests. Did this spot need roll away aid? Maybe Fricis is used to landing his tricks into plāksne, so he added it there simply for motivation.

To sum up, the roll away aiding technologies are not dormant and are constantly developing.  As long as there are bad spots, there’s always going to be a plāksne near by to help.

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