I was training indoor cycling when I opened Simple Session’s website to check riders list and... OMG!
First portrait was my young bro from Italy, Ivan Federico, that was been already 6 years I didn't see him from last time he was here and I left him like a young child 12 y.o. It was an unexpected surprise. In the same time my vintage Nikon D2H camera from 2003 was full of dust and barks like a dog that wanna go out after two years I didn't touch it. I was been at Simple Session from 2004, first like spectator and year later I started doing report about all issues. I missed last two years so I decided it was good time to go back to check what was changed. As everything for me happened last minute I discovered that one week before the event it was too late to request press pass. Thanks to old good boy Risto Kalmre I had chance to g forward. After many issues at Session it's always interesting to be around, it's a kind of sociological research. When I met Ivan Federico and his homie photographer Fabrizio Actis I understood that I'm not anymore a teen, so it was really nice and interesting to talk and sharing, for few days, Tallinn lifestyle with two youngsters. We had discuss a lot about skateboarding and it was nice to share different opinion from two skaters that are related to skateboarding on opposite side.
I come from 90s and I was riding for fun and mainly asphalt, pure street, instead Ivan Federico is going to be a professional bowl rider on his young age, and now that he grown up is nice to listen his speech that's pretty rad, as far from a video camera he'll tell you that he doesn't give a fuck about all surrounding skateboarding of others riders, just because he's a truly genuine free spirit, a real punk, born to ride, you can't stop him, let him to go, support him and we'll see that's not talkin' shit. This is not a whole story about Ivan, but it's interesting to know how people think about skateboarding.
Estonia is peaceful country to live, nice people to hang out, a lot of fun unexpected behind a grey sky that keep you to live without sun for months and create a parallel universe while you see all other people in Instagram posting sunny photos and make you really weird. Here in Estonia there is no space for haters, everybody is welcome, and truly fact is Simple Session as an action sports event able to bring together all those different disciplines like skateboarding, bmx and scooters too, a situation that out of Saku Arena it's impossible to see, I mean, just check in Instagram hashtags scooters video that are sharing a skatepark with skateboarders. No comment. I'm NOT really fan of scooters, of course, but pretending to set up a democratic society I can't be a hater, so welcome to everybody, it's always marketing. After that, like usual Session is going like the most known endurance event worldwide, set up into hardest Baltic winter season with 4 days of skateboarding, parties and all related stuff aside that doesn't need to be mentioned.
The winner is always somebody you don't expect as everybody ride so extremely good, so even this year the surprise was not missing and of course the most fresh rider will be able to go first. After you saw the amazing movie of Ty Evans "The flat earth", the day after you won't expect something more from the riders but, never say never, you're at Simple Session. It looks a contest like others, but once you go through you understand that's a unique blend. An extra parallel outdoor event was introducing the indoor event, a really nice ice hockey match Skaters VS Bmxers, pretty lovely. For about a week worldwide riders are meeting here in Tallinn, for a moment it's going to be the Mecca of skateboarding on a deep winter, even global warming changed all, for Session there was enough cold to remind where Estonia is located on world map, but still I heard:
"ok, we're here in Tallinn, right, but I didn't understand where we're!"
"I told you, Tallinn it's located same level of Stockholm"
"Oh yeah! Stockholm! Right! But where is Stockholm?"...
People constantly addicted to social media, face looking down at screen, trying to hook up a girl via Tinder, to be sure don't waste time at party, everybody posting and sharing the same trick till you scroll your Instagram and it looks like your cell phone is broken as you see the same video going in a loop for 100 of your following, while Session it's already been floating all around the globe before officially start, because believe me or not, we live in Instagram, we can't lie, I'm into that shit too, that's how we're related each others nowadays. When I heard: "a post of Thrasher on Instagram has 1000 times value then their website you start think about the role and power of social media, that three years ago wasn't still so dominant, of course everybody wanna be there, be first be famous. Winning a competition doesn't count anymore, what count are followers, as much you got as much you're famous, people know you, talking about, you'll acquire value, you'll be a VIP, your life will depend from that, you'll be a slave, but you'll fee like a king, you'll be proud to open your account and see that you've more followers then others, but less than your friend, that's he was a good friend, but now you just consider him like a competitor on social media.You can believe me or not, but that's what I realized. Hi-tech create monsters.
On the other side soon Estonia is going to celebrate an Anniversary of 100 years of Republic, with unfortunately still grandparents on queue on cold street to buy cheapest local potatoes, due ex mayer Mr. Savisaar is out of business and back in the days he was so kindly to offer like X-Mas gift free potatoes and wood for poor estonian grandparents. I still remember that huge installation at Vabaduse valjak, it was an artwork, as he's an artist. If you don't have enough pension to invest for heating you apartment due a crisis with Russia where price of gas went higher, you can still buy only cheap vodka e black bread to forget that your pension has no value. Working one life for nothing, that's how it goes and it's not that Italy is going better, same shit on large scale, if not even worst, as my parents know. Welcome to reality. Here urban development is growing as inflation is so hi that at one point during winter the city become a desert, but you can't expect that same people are doing party Friday and Saturday night are millionaires and they will be out again during the week. After all also for an outsider Tallinn looks wonderland as a lot of fun and crazy party going on, on other side Tallinn it's a normal city, where people work hard, wake up early into darkness of winter and go to their work place to make great Estonia, but if don't live here, you'll have only a small experience about a place that is magic also it looks out of standard european city, that's make this place amazing, not average for sure. It took me a lot of time to understand that words, but then I realized when a good old friend told me:"I'm leaving for London, but please enjoy Tallinn, also for me"It was -10, full of snow and everybody left after Session but that words was going on into my mind, and I was asking myself: " what should I fuck enjoy here alone into coldness?" Thanks Deeli, back in the days your words was pearls of wisdom. I left Saku Arena with strong parfume of Red Bull under my nose, and strong smell of weed that people was hide into shoes, while I was curious to try a new snack called Kelly bar, but time was fly and I had to leave.
The after party was something that I can't describe and tell, you must be there to believe your eyes. After all it was interesting to talk during Session with different skateboarders about different topic, as well skateboarding, food, diet, cancer, sex, drugs and Olympic games 2020. In the end if is not clear where Tallinn is located on world map, is it clear that you can't compete at Olympic game if you like enjoy drugs?...Now you know, so next time don't miss it ! And you're really welcome also before and after Session!
Thanks to: Risto&Mario Kalmre, Liina Ristoja, Jarmo Kangro and all the stuff involved.