We caught up with long-time friend of Wistla Sam Charlton to discuss where he and his friends from Chandos London think are the best spots in South London.
" I very rarely leave south-east London, like many south-Londoners going north of the river makes me tense and uneasy. I've discussed it at length but I’ll save that for another time.
Number 1: Queens Road Peckham
A few years back they started digging up the road outside the overground station and when they were working, they must have hit a wormhole or something because what they built is Peckham’s skate Mecca.
You can rock up on any night and be sure there will be friends skating. It's essentially a smooth flat ground area with three trees, and around each tree is a square of curb, each one with a centimetre thick layer of wax. My friends from north London say "I'm not getting on a train for an hour to go skate some curbs”, but for us it's so much more than that. Somehow three 4 inch high curbs have created the heaviest sessions, and on top of all that it dries up quicker than any other place I know. My friend Lettice works in the bakery next to the spot and she says they're always getting calls asking if the ground is dry. Which it is - so rad.
Number 2: Telegraph Hill
Telegraph Hill is one of those parks you get to and after you skate around, you quietly sit down and look around. Everything is on a slope, one side of the half pipe is considerably bigger than the other and after you pop over the hip at the bottom of the slope where the whole park ends, you're 20mph worth of radness is greeted with three feet of tranny. So as you sit there observing this nonsense all you and your friends will talk about is what you would change: "that needs to be bigger, why is that there? why is there a massive gap between the ramp and the safety rail?”. But when you skate it a few times, and find your lines you wouldn't change it for the world. It's right on top of a hill as well so in the summer, when you've had one of the best skates of your life, you can sit on the grass and watch the sun set over London.
Number 3: Canada Water
That spot has become super popular recently. I remember going when it was first built and I didn't really enjoy it. It was just a couple of two sets right in the path of a thousand pedestrians. But slowly the skateboarders have began to outnumber the pedestrians and so any day you turn up now there’s always a large group of skateboarders. They're usually killing it as well so you get stoked to try new things. I think there’s a strange magic about spots that weren't built for skateboarding. They very quickly get used for nothing else.
Number 4: The entire surroundings of Clampham Junction Station
I once went to my friend Aimee’s place in one of the highrise council buildings and when I parked up to go in I think I counted 2 or 3 spots on the way to her door. There was a hippy jump to bank, a rad quarterpipe planter thing, so i was stoked already. But when I left to pick up someone from Clapham Junction station I felt like I was walking through something from EA’s Skate 2. There were rails, benches, manny pads, stair sets, it's madness. There’s a bench you can grind at the top of a kinda mellow bank, so you grind into a bank. Honestly there’s so much stuff there. You could easily spend all day there and not scratch the surface.
Number 5: Peckham Library
Bit of an odd one really - as well as being a popular meeting place for some of the scummiest people on earth, sometimes people skate there. There’s 3 mosaic, half-sphere bumps that come out of the ground, each one a different size. Riding over them is as difficult as you wanna make it. I remember hitting the floor like a sack of shit coming down the big one fakie. There's also curvy metal benches, a manny pad and a green bank made of wood. The bank is stupidly fun considering what it is. Since I moved to Peckham 2 years ago I’ve always wanted to Boneless 180 into the bank from the top of the stairs and yeah it took me two years but I got there in the end. It was a mental battle really. Like I said before, it’s as hard as you wanna make it. I think it's the same with spots - don’t get me wrong, these spots suck compared to what's out there but it's all as good as you wanna make it! "
You can see Sam and some of the other Peckham locals skating these spots here
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