London Day Out With Manny Lopez
A sunny day out in London with 'Sport Physical Education & Development' student and Spitfire, Thunder, Bronson Speed Co, New Balance Numeric, Footprint Insoles, Levi's skateboarding, Severn, Parlour skate store rider Manny Lopez.
Words and photography: Maksim Kalanep
It was one of those days in February when a full sunny day in London is pure luck and you can't waste it by sitting at home. I texted Manny in the morning to see if he was available. He had university lectures till midday, but then for the rest of the day he was up for it.
We met at the Shadwell DLR station which is almost right next to Manny's current flat and then set off to explore the area. Just around the corner we already had the first spot with a curved flat bar that Manny 50-50'ed for a warm up. The place is ideal for filming lines - there are plenty of other bars and gaps all around, but since we had only a stills camera with us - we moved on.
We decided to go and see if there was anything by the river Thames. A great view and a set of small steps with steep banks on each side were waiting for us. We got stuck there for a bit not without the help of a passer-by who thought it was a great idea to interrupt our little session on these old and worn out concrete steps. In the end, he got bored and left. We left soon after with the tricks in our bag.
Next target was the Limehouse DLR station with its handrails. We cruised a bit along the Thames and got to the station before the rush hour. Manny knew the spot really well so it was not a surprise it took him just 5 minutes all in all to warm up with 50-50 and then to land a couple of 5-0's in a row.
Our final destination was a now regular London meeting and chill spot - Canada Water plaza. The place was filled with riders of all ages, empty cans of beer, a smell of tobacco and last rays of the winter sun. With the light gone - for me it was time to head back home to process the films, Manny stayed longer for an evening session in a company of Harry Lintell & Jak Pietryga.