Seems like skateboarding was a bit on hold in 2023. But on the second though, scrolling through IG story archives, digging through photo galleries, and just using your good old brains, you can surely say 2023 was a fulfilled year.
Here’s a list of notable events and non-events that we all need to remember and be thankful we witnessed in 2023.
Year of the Premiere
For our small scene to have 4 video premieres in one year is crazy. It all started with Linda’s “The Baltic Conncetion” video which premiered in KSuns on 6th of April. The flick recently dropped online after a couple of bonus screening with the most notable being Vladimir skate film festival in Croatia. Then Rob premiered his magnum opus dubbed Riga City The Experiment. The vid premiered on 13th of May also in KSuns. The Experiment came out with a clothing and boards collection. Rob made another skate vid for Tikari called “Fetish” which premiered on 13th of October in Zefires adding Tikari skateshop to a the list of local shops with full length vids behinds their belts. Both vids are yet to be released online. And on December 1st our own production “Tension in Zemgale” premiered in Oratorio.
Piena Ledges aka the hottest spot of 2021 got taken down in 2023. It was not a huge surprise since it was a DIY spot (props to Riga DIY) and life spans of those are unpredictable. Surprise followed later in 2023 when the ledges materialized a couple kilometers south from their og location. Big thank you to Nauris Dollins for the insights. The flat is not good at the new location, the Kojusalas darzs, so no skating there: the benches are now used just for sitting (who would want to sit on them, hard to tell). As skaters we tend to repurpose objects in the streets to out needs. Well, we finally got treated with our own medicine. The benches designed for skating by us, got repurposed for sitting and chilling by the city.
Takeover Maxlas / Takeover GSD
The next generation of local skate scene doers is ripening. 2023 marked the noticeable activation of Takeover gang. Guys organized a couple cool things at the start of the year at Maxlas and then took GSD in their hands as well. Also, throughout summer Takeover boys updated Maxlas skateable trash collection and tested the nerves of security there. Seems like the big heads at Maxlas are ok with all that trash lying around. 2024 might bring more. We had a rail, a box, a wallie thing and a kicker there. Looking forward for something more original.
Jenkem Piece on Madars and Latvian scene
From time-to-time Latvian scene gets a blip of exposure on the worldwide arena :D. Yes, it is always Madars who spreads the word about Latvia. In 2022 he was featured in the Nine Club and last summer Jenkem, the skate world’s cheekiest media outlet, stepped on our soil do make mini documentary on him. They produced 17-minute documentary about Madars and touched a little bit of the scene too. Latvia was, quote, the most “remote” place they have visited to film a video piece. They showed Isolator, Maxlas, visited Ventspils. The vid got received very well. Maybe next summer we’ll get more visitors here.
Clockwise skateshop demise
Legendary Riga’s Clockwise skateshop got sh*t done for good. Shop’s headman Arts Amoliņš explained the reasons for closing in an IG facebook posts. Arts mentions burn out, growing out of the project and taxes as the main reasons for closing. “Clockwise Skateshop has always been a For The Culture project, accordingly no one has ever received any remuneration other than a board or a hat there and everything I and the others have done is purely for enthusiasm and to send Latvian skateboarding culture, which in my opinion has also succeeded well.“ Also, worth remembering that Clockwise celebrated it’s last birthday in the beginning of 2023.
2023 saw an emergence of a new brand in Latvian skateboarding. Maksims Feofilovs started Opera wheels in February 2023 with Fricis Štrauss, Martiņš Reitups, Kaspars Gobiņš and Maksims himself in the team. The brand released a cinematic commercial filmed by Rudolfs Henčels. The brand, though, a bit quite lately is still kicking it. There’s a new wheel coming soon from what we have heard.
The only time of the year when the murky walls of Isolator see any life (besides the lurking shadows of its fanatic preachers) is during the event of Isolator Madness. On that day the place lights up, its cheeks blush, and creepiness changes to charm. This year isolator Madness crew put in good effort to build a huge funbox, a bigger stage for a rock concert and cool things. It was loud, exciting, and intoxicating. Truly and event we will never forget. A huge shout out to LSK for holding it down.
Kristaps Horns Memorial opening
Kristaps Horns was a skateboarder from Cesis who tragically passed away in 2020. Last summer Kristap’s friends organized an installation of a memorial in the Cesis skatepark. Karlis Bogustovs was invited as an artist to develop and install the memorial statue. There was a skate jam around the opening of the memorial that we visited. We also went to skate around Cesis for a mini Around the Block event. We spent the evening at Mala bar, where we premiere “Svetavots 3” a video showing Ralfs and other Cesis locals. Kristaps would have been stocked.
3rd annual RajonTV tour “Tension in Zemgale”
Latvia got 3rd in Hockey World Cup
Pus8Grab short vid “I got you!”
RAJONTV Awards + Tikari VEF Clean Up
Trash Can Jam at Spot
Takeover Series at Spot by BIG MAC
HOT SPOT OF 2023 – NEW BARAX LEDGES
SOTY, ROOKIE 2023 – COMING AT RAJONTV AWARDS IN APRIL