Martin Kopecky - RIP

[January 2nd, 2012 by Jani Soderhall]

[November 22, 2011 by Jani Soderhall]

News is spreading that Martin Kopecky died yesterday, Nov 21, 2011.
The Czech skate site http://www.skaterock.cz is having a tribute article:

Martin Kopecky was, as someone said, the GodFather of Czech skateboarding. He was the guy holding together the events in the 80's in Czechoslovakia (the joint country it was at the time) and thereafter. Together with Tomas Potucek he founded Rock'n Roll Skateboards, but later left skateboarding to concentrate in import of dart boards and promotion of dart as a sport. What is less known is that he in 2000 participated in the men's synchronized swimming in the Sydney Olympics! A true pioneer in all what he did! http://www.skaterock.cz/clanky.php?ru=3&cl=276

In 1987 Martin took over my position as President of the AES - Association of European Skateboarders and brought the European Championships to Prague in 1988. It was to be the most important Euros ever held, and the last great one where all the skateboard disciplines still kept together as one big family. It was organized in the World Championships Hockey stadium. Visiting skaters had never seen anything like it before. Here we were greeted with respect unseen in this sport, with dedicated translators (yes, of course good looking), great organization, great audience and live TV coverage during the race. Eurosport sent the event over and over again in the years to follow. At the end of the race, a party where we all literally bathed in champagne was held. There's never been anything like it ever since!

Martin's name is forever associated with Czech skateboarding's history and if it wasn't for Martin, Czech Republic wouldn't be the slalom nation it is today.

His absence at the European Indoor Championships a week ago was felt, but we all talked about him at one time or another during the weekend, going through old skate memories, not knowing then that 10 days later he'd no longer be with us.

Martin, you'll always be with us in our hearts and memories!
Thanks' for everything you've done for our sport!


Grassroots slalom: Kerestat Wood Cup, Brittany, France

[December 17th, 2011 by Jani Soderhall]

As Christmas is coming closer it's good to see there is still a positive slalom vibe out there! On small islands just outside the coast of Brittany, France, Charles Thubert is keeping the scene going with a series of local races. It started 6 years ago with the Christmas event at Batz island, but has now grown into a full race series, one out of three local race series in France this year.

The registration is now open for the next event - at Batz island:
Batz Island, Dec 30

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