Chase Travels with Yaqine to the Biggest Skateboarding Event in Europe
One of our most talented Chase-photographers Yaqine Hamzaoui was recently invited by Levi’s to the 10th anniversary of the “Copenhagen Open” in Denmark. This skateboarding event is seen as the biggest in its kind in Europe, as the best skaters from all over the world come together in Copenhagen city. Yaqine was selected to capture this 5-day-event through her lens thanks to the rawness she puts into her photography as well as the fact that she skates herself. “I’ve always loved to observe skaters, while I’m skating or as a bystander. The whole skate atmosphere really attracts me,” she says.
Photography by Yaqine Hamzaoui, interview by Chess Teugels
It was Yaqines first time in Copenhagen, but the trip left a deep impression. “The fact that I didn’t want to leave says enough. I know the reason for that is mainly the skate event, but I would definitely like to return to discover the city itself.”
“I guess I think like a skater”, Yaqine says when asked what she liked about the city. “What immediately struck me were the broad and smooth street decks, as well as the presence of lots of interesting spots and skate parks.” She totally recommends this city to fellow skaters and adds that Copenhagen is also very clean. The only downer is the fact that grabbing a fresh beer is out of the question, they only sell warm beer in supermarkets.
There is no doubt that Yaqine went home with many good memories. "My favourite moments were when everybody jumped on their bikes each time a contest finished. There were hundreds of skaters on the move in the streets of Copenhagen, following one bike in front with a boom box. That feeling was amazing. I felt in tune with all the other skaters. During the whole event we moved from spot to spot in groups by bike”
What amazed Yaqine as well was how the public lost themselves in the contest: “The cheering, the good vibes… to me that whole package was complete.”
Sadly the weather wasn’t always ideal to skate. “On the second day, before the first contest would start, we went to have brunch with the whole Levi’s team. We hoped it would stop raining, but that didn’t happen so the contest was cancelled.” Luckily the group found other ways to entertain themselves. “We brunched a bit longer and people began to drink some alcohol. Afterwards we went on a boat trip to the Levi's event where the new skate collection was presented, along with a bite and a drink."
This season is the debut of the Levi’s® 501® jeans in the Levi’s skateboarding collection. This jeans has been around since 1873 and has been upgraded to withstand the demands of today’s skateboarding with Lycra® and CORDURA® fiber. The new skate-ready collection has a timeless style while the fit and durability are as innovative as ever with the most advanced stretch and recovery.
"Meanwhile people were getting tipsy, but the skate park was still wet, so some people decided to take a dive in the water." Yaqine was quick to capture that moment, but stayed out of the cold water herself. "I preferred the sauna over the cold water"
“When everybody gets hyped, lots of funny situations happen,” Yaqine says, and that was no different at The Copenhagen Open. “I love that nobody was judging one another and you could just see everyone having the time of their lives."
She vividly remembers one hilarious incident that illustrates how hyped and open minded the whole atmosphere was. “One evening I was watching a skate movie they projected outside. When I went back to the skaters, there was a naked guy on the ramp, ready to drop. He fell hard, twice. But the public kept cheering him on, so he didn’t give up and succeeded the third time.”
“Photography is my passion, so it was awesome to be selected to capture such a big event with my camera. I think that as a photographer you shouldn’t be scared to claim your place. At events like this you can use your camera as an excuse to have a good spot. In this case it was also important for me to make sure I didn't get run over by skaters!”
“All in all these 5 days where wonderful and I got to know people from all over the world, who gave me the motivation to get out there even more… Sorry, mom!”
Check the full photo album of the Copenhagen Open on our Facebook page. As a creative jack of all trades Yaqine is currently working on a series of t-shirts printed with her work, so keep an eye on her Instagram!