📷 Photo by Reece Leung
We have talked about how a first arrival to a famous, foreign spot is often met with a bit of disappointment regarding the reality of said spot. It’ll be cuttier, more worn down, or gnarlier than you initially expected. Do a bit of skate travel, and you’ll learn to manage expectations for your bucket list spots.
But what about a spot you know is going to be fucked? Like, the footage already conveys how cutty, worn down, and gnarly it’ll be. No way you’ll be shocked, right?
Ok, well, what if it’s worse than you even prepared for?
That was our experience in 2014, on our sole venture out to Croydon — an outer borough of London known for being the birthplace of Kate Moss and having a very large Ikea — to skate the Fairfield Halls spot made famous by Paul Shier, Nick Jensen, et al. It is U.K. spot royalty, recognizable from every Blueprint video, to Jacob Harris’ earlier projects, and right through Palasonic.
The videos made no fantasy of this place: you could hear how rugged the ground was, and see the ledges were worn to shreds. In real life, it was somehow worse. Every flip trick here — especially the nollie and fakie ones — was a masterwork of eagle-eyed timing of the ten million cracks. You could see the rebar peeking through some of the ledges that had been grinded the most. Everyone knows London spots are rough, but the people good at skating this place were scientists.
Which brings us to Dom Henry‘s “Farewell to Fairfield” part, which we are honored to share with you today. Filmed from 2017, right through when the spot met its demise in July of 2019, Dom mentioned he wished he had thought of having the footage create a proper one-spot part sooner, but better late than never :) The result puts his work in Croydon right up there with the best of them.