Once again we were invited out to the Nordic corner of Europe for the wintery skateboarding and party festival known as Simple Session in Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn. As you might have heard, there was a polar vortex that had descended on the central United States, making it colder than Siberia. That’s relevant to this travel story, and quite ironic, as our first layover was in -30 degree Chicago, en route to a country bordering Russia that was actually a tad warmer. Bam Margera was on our flight out of Chi-town, and after a delay because the refueling trucks were frozen, we landed in Stockholm having missed our flight to Tallinn, and spent a hilarious five-hour layover with Viva La Bam himself. He’s a funny, loud, very-friendly dude that had us entertained and laughing our asses off most of the time.
Bam was flying over as part of a celebrity judging panel and legends session. Tony Hawk was there for his first time, commentating and hosting the LIVE webcast and ripping the super-sized course. Danny Way was supposed to show up but didn’t. Pat Duffy drove his car from his home in Helsinki, onto the ferry that crosses the Baltic Sea, and into Tallinn for his judging and skating duties. It was a five-day festival run of qualifiers, semis, and finals, but here’s the twist—Simple Session throws raging parties each and every night, in Tallinn’s biggest night clubs, with huge DJs and bands, which are free to attend if you have a contest wristband. That’s just how they do it in Europe. Go ahead and type in “Estonia” into your Google search bar right now. How many choices down did it take to get to “Estonian women?” If you’ve talked to anyone who’s gone to a Simple Session, well, there’re a few reasons they make the trek to this snow-covered medieval city.
Greyson Fletcher and Chris Gregson were there for their first time each. Chris skated the contest rather than follow film anyone. Two-time past winner Aurelien Giraud was in the house with his impressive French tech, but couldn’t take home another win. Ivan Federico was looking mighty fresh in a Welcome track suit and skating strong. But on Sunday, it was Liam Pace from Arizona in the good ol’ US of A who won the damn thing. Thanks to Risto and Simple Session for the trip out, it’s always a blast! One of these days we’ll have to visit in the summertime.
Want more Simple Session 19 coverage? Check out Red Bull’s video and photos.
Rewatch the Finals replay
It’s pretty tight when your country supports a skate contest on this level. Shout out to these good people: