Sunday, 31 January 2010

The sound of my shoes

The trainer queue. It's something I've only ever read about. Anything from a handful to hundreds of dedicated souls waiting outside a shop for anything from a few hours up to a week to get their feet into that special pair of trainers on the morning of release. This weekend, I finally bit the bullet and tried out the experience for myself. But the queue is just part of the story...

On Friday night, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the UK release of the Fluff SB book launch. The book, presented by Nike Skateboarding and dutch skateboard magazine Fluff, comprises photographs by Marcel Veldman, following 117 riders from the European Nike SB teams on various tours through 19 European countries.

To celebrate the book release, there's an exhibition of photos from the UK content of the book at the Nike Sportswear London shop, 1948.

The show opened on Saturday, but I was there for the party on Friday night. As most of the photos were taken in Ramsgate, the exhibition has a traditional British seaside resort theme, with the photos displayed on the walls of beach huts.

Keeping with the theme, there was also free Nike SB/Fluff rock. And a free copy of the (600-page, 5kg) book for everyone who was invited. There was also free beer. Lots of free beer.

After the Nike party, it was on to party two. It started out as Kate's birthday party, but soon turned into a celebration of Kate and Steph's engagement.

Getting home from drunken karaoke at about 2am, I went to bed for about two-and-a-half hours before getting up and heading out into the snow to pick up one of 12 pairs of Nike Zoom Bruin SBs, designed by the people at Fluff magazine, that were released to promote the Fluff SB book.

Swaddled in all my warmest clothes, some of which I hadn't worn since climbing Mount Kenya in the summer of 1997, I got (back) to 1948 (the aforementioned shop, rather than the year) around 6am, definitely feeling the after-effects of the free booze consumed in the very same place not 12 hours before. There were two people already there. They'd turned up at 1am and slept in their car. Between then and 10.30, when the shop opened, people turned up in dribs and drabs, until there were about 16 people (unfortunately for the last four, the fact that there were only 12 pairs had previously been just been a rumour).

Despite one of the guys in front of me also being a size 8, I was very happy to pick up a pair in my size. Very happy, very relieved and ridiculously tired. All in all, the trainer queue was an enjoyable experience, but not one I'm planning in making a habit of.

For those of you with an interest in photography or skateboarding, the Fluff SB exhibition runs until 14th February and it's well worth a look.

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