BLADE LIFE: Shredding a Factory in Poland
Everyone knows that rainy days suck, but a few days in a row of constant rain is the worst possible situation, especially in the middle of May, which even in Poland is expected to be sunny. So the city was sinking (literally, we’ve got some serious flood problems right now in Poland), and all I could do was think about going out and taking some good pics of my friends skating.
That’s about when Adam Zurawiecki, aka Maly, called me to team up with him, Gawron and Igor to go searching for some indoor spots. The city of Czestochowa has plenty of abandoned locations that might be interesting and useful for bladers, but we decided to explore one particular location: the post-industrial grounds of the old Welnopol manufacture facility.
The ground consist of groups of buildings where fabric was made. The most interesting part of the whole complex is a huge warehouse with columns and a roof with endless rows of windows — the place looks amazing through my favorite fisheye lens.
So we strolled through the rugged place and Gawron noticed a piece of slanting wall in a pile of rubble. After using some old doors and plywood, we created the first spot, and I took the first photo that day: Maly grabbing mute off the wallride. I shot it with the Falcon fisheye at f/8, 1/250s, ISO 320 and with a flashgun on the left.
The next interesting thing that we found was a broad gap, dividing the warehouse into two parts. Once again we used some bricks, old doors and plywood to build a kicker, and I got the next photo of Maly doing 180 with a Mute Grab over the gap. Once again it was Falcon, at f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 200 and with two light sources.
And of course that wasn’t all. After few tries Maly flew over the gap with a 540 spin. Picture was cropped a little bit, and shot at f/8, 1/250s, ISO 320, once again with two flashguns.
We were quite satisfied with the fruits of our efforts and decided to spend the rest of the trip exploring the other parts of the warehouse.
Creepy hallways led us to a hole in the wall, and of course we went through it and soon discovered a staircase, which led to the part of the building that was a ghetto during WW II.
(Editor’s Note: We looked into this a little bit and found out that Ol’ Czestochowa wasn’t the best place to be for anyone during WW II.)
The most awesome thing that we saw that day was a room with a huge (but empty) safe in it. Apparently someone was trying to rip the door to sell the scrap, but as you can see, the safe was durable enough to resist.
At the end of the trip we spent awhile looking out the window, overwhelmed by the magnificent sight of the abandoned Welnopol factories.
The next day, the whole 034 crew with Bartek Zgrzeblak, aka Zet and Emil Garasinski (both are Rollerblade Poland teamriders) and the other guys decided to go back there, and as soon as I arrived I saw that a bike stand was placed over the gap, once again creating an awesome spot.
It was getting dark, so the lighting conditions were getting quite difficult. But I was able to get some pics that I’m satisfied with. Here’s Emil’s Royale over the gap, shot at f/8, 1/80s, ISO 500 and with two remotely triggered flashes.
I got a little bit closer and shot Zet’s Top Torque Soul from a slightly different angle, at the same exposure settings.
The last spot of the day was even bigger pile of rubble, with a perfect ledge at the top of it. After a few tries I got the shot that both me and Zet were satisfied with: a fishbrain stall. I took it with Nikkor 50 mm, at f/5, 1/250s, ISO 160 and with one remote flashgun.
As always it was a great pleasure to shoot with the guys, exploring and discovering spots in such a unique location like Welnopol. I’m sure that the 034 crew will surprise us with some fresh ideas another time soon. As far as I know, the guys are currently working on an edit from Welnopol, so stay tuned!
— Maciek Kozuch
Photos © 2010 Maciek Kozuch
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Great stuff. Rollerblading is in constant growing and stuff like this proves it. No other sport has the same versatility as rollerblading. The torque soul pic is amazing. Great job
Good luck with the floods.
All of these pictures are AMAZING!!! So great to hear from he other side of the world… Great read too!
Have been doing this in London (home made squat skateparks) for a little while. Excellent, wherever you are in the world you can find gems like this!
yeah 034 !!
good job guys
it’s cool to see Polish riders from 034 crew in ONE magazine and I’m proud of it ::
Most awesome spot I saw in Poland ! That warehouse rocks ! Good job 034 Crew!