Lewis Elliot - crooked grind. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The last time Sabbath Wheels summoned the Black Mass hordes, it was November. Despite the obvious reservations given the bleak time of year, the faithful made the pilgrimage to Birmingham - the spiritual homeland of all things Sabbath - and Fastlands bore witness to a raw street takeover for the ages, the likes of which had not been seen in the West Midlands city for 15 years (if I'm not mistaken).
Despite the events of the day being hurried along to ensure as much skateboarding as possible took place whilst all present could actually still see, the promise that the format held, coupled with the hyperactive atmosphere that the few short hours produced, left all and sundry in desperate need of a Black Mass follow up. Preferably taking place when the days were longer, and the temperatures were safely upwards of freezing.
Jordan Thackeray - rock n' roll slide. Photo: Jamie 'Swampy' Harold.
After a winter that seemed both never ending and unforgiving, springtime arrived with word that Black Mass II was being etched into the U.K. event calendar, this time around heading west, to Dragon Country, for an appointment at Cardiff's Callaghan Square. Callaghan Square - referred to locally by its original name of Bute Square - is located just south of the city centre, and, at some point in time, has slipped through the cracks of the local authorities, now serving as an almost sanctioned-but-definitely-not-sanctioned home for skateboarders, along with various other members of street dwelling community groups that the general population don't like to see lurking outside of Urban Outfitters or Turtle Bay. The space has everything that you could possibly need for some steady 7-ply banter - good floor, kerbs, ledges of varying sizes, a couple of free standing walls, a fountain to dive head first into should you see fit, and a Tesco Express a couple of minutes walk away. Understandably, Cardiff Skateboard Club have utilised Bute Square and the council's "what we don't know can't hurt us" attitude towards the area many times over the years, and it was hardly surprising when the Sabbath mob named this Cardiff staple as the site for their second Black Mass gathering.
Jake Collins, aka Pants Man - early doors 5050. Photo: CJ.
Photos: Finley Chivers.
The appearance of moveable, temporary obstacles at Bute Square is quite commonplace, though it seemed that for Black Mass II, Slap Ramps - under instruction from Sabbath, Heathen, Vans, OG Dist and the CSC dragons - decided to see exactly how grand a structure the time-honored Cardiff blind eye could be turned to. The appropriately named Gates of Hell was undoubtedly the largest unauthorised construction ever to be placed upon the square's red bricks, consisting of two five foot quarterpipes, joined by coping that ran over a pit of Beelzebub’s most ferocious flames. At a 90 degree angle to the Gates sat a two ramp wallride configuration, with a neighbouring chest high shed* being bestowed with iron angle and a custom built kicker, enabling all sorts of previously unaccessible slide and grind heroics. At the opposite end of the square, a freestanding, heavy duty Black Mass kerb was installed, and in the fountain located closest to the statue of John Crichton-Stuart, 2nd Marquess of Bute, a rail was run straight across the green, stagnant water, eagerly waiting for the inevitable...
*CSC head dragon turned MC for the day Jimo, pondering the intended use of the object that was being skated, described it as "a thing with a shed roof, but no door". I'm sure he settled on it being a shed of some sort, even if there was no forthcoming access to its innards.
Lewis Davies - frontside crook. Photo: CJ.
Dan Smith - frontside noseslide pop over. Photo: CJ.
Spying himself an opportunity to kick proceedings off properly, not long after the hour struck 12, Jake Collins stripped down to his boxers and 5050'd the fountain rail second go, escaping the escapade relatively dry. Especially in comparison to those whom attempted to follow suit later in the day.
Oscar Evans - backside smith. Photo: Swampy.
Oscar Evans - crooked grind. Photo: CJ.
As you'd expect when an assemblage such as this was due to take place in central Cardiff, crews from all over South Wales turned out in force to sample the Black Mass delights, whilst carloads of Sabbath affiliates from the Midlands were understandably in tow, along with the Forecast mob from Bristol, some Get Lesta representatives, cohorts from Essex, the Derby based Rollersnakes squad... the list of humans present was seemingly endless, and appeared to swell in numbers as the bank holiday Sunday wore on. Manhead and Amanda from Vans were both on hand to serve up waffles - following some technical issues - and canned H2O from Liquid Death kept everyone present well hydrated under the strong Cymru sun. But not too hydrated, as Jimo was keen to point out (having grown up in the rave era) that overhydration can cause swelling of the brain.
Marcus Palmer - frontside noseslide. Photo: CJ.
Dan Smith - kickflip 5050. Photo: CJ.
Anyway, that's more than enough rambling from I. Allow the assorted Black Mass radness found upon this page to penetrate your eyeballs, scroll to the bottom of the page for the full edit from the day, and keep your fingers crossed for a third chaotic round of Sabbath Wheels orchestrated mayhem finding its way into your diary soon. Long live loosely coordinated street carnage, the type of which Sabbath seem to be very adept at initiating - no points, no judges, no podium, no prize money, just adults throwing themselves into pungent water in hope of glory and maybe a set of wheels.
Ben Plumb - backside smith. Photo: Swampy.
Ben Broyd - backside boneless wallplant. Photo: (top) Finley, (below) Swampy.
Thanks to Sabbath Wheels, Vans, Heathen Skateboards, Cardiff Skateboard Club, OG Distribution and Slap Ramps for making this second dose of Black Mass possible.
Jordo Lightowler - nosegrind. Photo: CJ.
Ben Plumb - backside tailslide. Photo: CJ.
Sam Pulley - dragon grind. Photo: Finley.
Ben Broyd - frontside air. Photo: CJ.
Marcus Palmer - frontside rock n' roll slide. Photo: Swampy.
Gabe Gorman - 5050. Photo: Swampy.
Lewis Elliot. Photo: CJ.
Lewis Elliot. Photo: Swampy.
Ben Broyd & Ben Plumb - Black Mass II MVPs. Photo: CJ.
Take in the full edit from the day below - filmed by Ryan Gray & Toby Batchelor.