Reece Archibald takes Gold in Euro Freestyle

Reece Archibald at Euro Freestyle contest in Germany
Reece Archibald at European Championships (Photos courtesy of Euro Freestyle)

September saw the second Euro Freestyle contest in the picturesque town of Brandeberg an der Havel, Germany. Christian Heise and co have been hard at work prepping for this years contest since 2019’s European Freestyle Championship, and in a year that has had not much else going on, we can’t understate our gratitude for their efforts.

Two UK competitors made it out of Manchester ahead of tightened covid restrictions to make the trip over – Never Enough rider Reece Archibald and Alex Foster of Late Tricks. If you’ve been watching the contest runs on YouTube, then you have Alex to thank for that (more on Alex and Late Tricks in a future post).

Reece could not make it to 2019’s Euro’s due to ongoing illness, and was sorely missed by all. Reece is an absolute blast to skate with and always brings the stoke, that’s why we couldn’t have been more pleased to find out that he had placed first in the Pro Division. Were I talented in the art of writing I would tell you the story of Reece’s triumphant return to the contest circuit, to take gold in the European Freestyle Championships! But alas, I am not. Instead I caught up with Reece after he took some well deserved time off, and this is what he had to say…

Reece Archibald Ollie Airwalk at Euro Freestyle
Reece Archibald, Pro Division, Ollie Airwalk

“Incredible contest with incredible skaters. Thank you to everyone in the community who reached out from last year to this year to get me rolling back. What I’m most thankful for is that not only my normal body was back but skateboarding was too. Regardless of placement I knew skateboarding would be with me before and afterwards.

The true free beings of the style please just keep doing what your doing, but push harder. There may be a point you’ll be unable to do it physically and you’ll honestly miss it crazy.

In short I was off the board for 6 months due to undiscovered diabetes type 1. For around 3 months I was almost entirely immobilised and required family and friends to do a bunch of stuff for me.

From October I had a stabbing pain in my abdomen and a range of problems with my organs. Which was eventually confirmed diabetic nerve pain from high blood sugars.

Frequent hospital visits, scans, operations, medications I grew used to. Just getting up and sitting for half the day was progress. I was drowning in a world of pain and misery on so many levels that my body and soul felt constantly under distress. Skateboarding felt impossible.

On regular nerve and bowel medication I was phasing back into work. I had lost about 15kg of weight and my concentration was wack. When it came to skating with the pain my muscles were so wasted that things didn’t spin, and everything hurt afterwards.

I didn’t know I was diabetic until mid may. For a couple of weeks I had been vomiting, having ice cold showers, getting lost and couldn’t quench my first. I ordered up a glucose machine and found my readings were through the roof. I was placed in a resus bed for a DKA. A DKA happens when your blood sugar is very high and acidic substances called ketones build up to dangerous levels in your body

I was hospitalised for 3 days. I kind of know the checkpoints to get out early. The whole experience was awful but incredible. I’m continually learning about the condition and lifestyle. A lot of mixed emotions and time thinking about it all but making steady progress.”

Euro Freestyle 2020

After the unbelievable success of last year’s European Championship, Christian Heise is doing it all again for 2020.

Christian, the founder/boss at Never Enough, really knows how to put on a great event, and this year promises to be even bigger than before. The few issues that were present in 2019 are being dealt with – and considering 2019’s Euro Freestyle was one of the best competitions of all time, that means 2020 should be an amazing event.

Event: Competition
Format: Pro, Am and Masters divisions, two minute runs, two runs per skater. Special beginner/rookie division with two shorter runs, and a female division with runs of unannounced length.
What to expect: A freestyle event run by freestylers, for freestylers. Solid organisation in an amazing space followed by a proper party for all the riders.