John Hanson - Airwalk
John Hanson – Airwalk at NASS 2011.

Freestyle Skateboarding has only continued to grow in popularity in recent years, but the origins of the sport tell a different story.

In the mid to late eighties, freestyle contests were a common occurance. A well known event in the NSA line up, freestyle contests were viewed around the world, bringing forward some of the world’s greatest freestylers into the limelight. Whilst freestyle contests were never held in as high regard as street or vert contests, it was still a respected discipline hosting heated and dramatic contests.

Entering the nineties, skateboarding suffered a heavy blow in popularity, with contests, videos and riders across the entire skateboarding spectrum disappearing in their masses. One of the first casualties was freestyle skateboarding, which vanished into obscurity and was eradicated by the resurgeance of street skateboarding.

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Pressureflip Late Flip at  NASS 2011

Freestyle Skateboarding lay dormant for many years, brought back into the limelight through the emergence of the internet. in the year 2000, The WFSA was formed by Stefan “Lillis” Akesson and “Steelwheel” Bob Staton, bringing with it the first in a new series of annual events – The Freestyle Skateboarding World Championships.

The world championships have continued to grow in popularity over the years, the event travelling the globe attracting newcomers to the sport and allowing international riders who are unable to travel the opportunity to take centre stage. The event has also seen a wide berth of champions, the event being truly open for anyone to claim the title.

 2012 – Paderborn, Germany – 1st. Sebastian Heupel

2011 – Stockholm, Sweden – 1st. Stefan Lillis Akesson

2010 – Philly, USA – 1st. Gunter Mokulys

NASS Festival
NASS Festival returns for 2013

The National Action Sports Show, or NASS as it is more commonly known, is one of europe’s leading action sport events, drawing in crowds by their thousands with a thirst for great music and thrilling extreme sport action. Spanning over 10 years, the festival has seen the likes of athletes such as Tony Hawk and Matt Hoffman and attracting high profile artists such as Pendulum, NERD and Chase & Status.

Within the British Skateboarding community, NASS is known as the home of UK freestyling events, having hosted the freestylers since 2004. The event has also seen contests on an international scale, previously hosting the European Championships and, in 2006, even the World Championships themselves.

Photography from Alistair Nimmo