There were Warriors Weekends in Lugano decades ago. Legendary ones. With roaring toga parties in the woods. Never ending beer showers with Rock ’n’ roll music. Some were rather classic contests. Maybe with a little art show. Or with a neat artisanal market next to the transitions. Music was certainly involved. To remember our live concerts in living rooms, video premiers. Friends visiting from all over Europe. Hello Belgium! The very first Warriors Weekends were not even called Warriors Weekends and were probably just a bunch of kids sitting in a circle with a radio and a few cans, celebrating their annual existence. And now, some thirty years later, even if it took an other dimension, it’s still a gathering of friends.
It became a reunion for many. The elder bring their kids, or regroup the teenage punk band they had to accompany the best trick session, or just help out at the bar as they did twenty years ago. What is generally felt, is a strong sense of friendship which, together with the beauty of the location gives you a very warm feeling in your heart. Two mini-ramps are set up right next to Lake Lugano.
The stage is only a few meters away and has a backdrop as magical as it can get. With the right weather, as it was the case this year, the bands start playing into a mellow night after the heat of the contest. Music is generally quite a thing, since a lot of the Warriors have an artistic flair and became musicians and artists themselves. A little more than your average garage band, you know. We’ve put together a list at the end, if you are interested. Anyway, long story short. This is something more than just a contest, it’s a family thing shared for the whole skate scene, with incredible dedication. Skateboarding as skateboarding should be…
Warriors Weekend – Lugano, Switzerland
Video & Edit: Andrés Bignasca
This includes a good ol’ miniramp contest. When’s the last time you’ve been to one of those? No gnar DIY shred, no massive bowl contest, no over-hyped street happening. Just a plain old mini session? Friday easy qualifiers, Saturday the main mayhem with a little bank to bank session for the street lads, the semis and the famous Warriors Wheel of fortune. And Sunday finals. Not that it really matters who won, but Cedric Oosterhoff got chosen to have skated the best. Him, Icaro Nardi, Tibet and Raphi Marxer had a full session going on in the final, which didn’t make it easy to pick a winner. Then again, does it matter?
More important, something that caught my attention, is the Warriors Wheel of fortune. You might have seen it already, at Team Trouble or at Basel ESC. The Warriors used it already in different forms, as a game, where you can win goodies, shots, or get punished by kneeling on raw chickpeas, getting kissed by a monk, or getting your eyebrow shaved. Since last year, for Warriors Weekend, they started using it for a sort of best trick session though; longest grind, best double, or a best flip (in Lugano best flip means that, yes, you can finger flip or land on all four) best grab etc. You get the point, it’s nothing revolutionary, but it is quite fun, especially because the little sessions only last as long as the band next to the ramp wants to play their song before the wheel is spun again. All the different challenges are sponsored by very unique and core realities that operate around Lugano, and they get to choose what the challenge will be (last year there was even a triathlon, check out last year recap if you’ve missed it).
It’s good fun to watch, and even if a bit confusing at times, quite interesting to skate because you never know what’s up next. Definitely something I’m looking forward to see again next year. – Alan Maag
The bands who played at Warriors Weekend 2023:
Poor Live Music session