Normally we'd send Lea to events not organised by ourselves to do this sort of recap writing, but we figured it wouldn't hurt if she'd do her thing at our own event: the launch of issue #13.

Essay just came out with its thirteenth issue and celebrated with a cosy launch party at Skatepark Utrecht last Saturday. A big crowd of supporters showed up, all eager and curious to see what Essay was getting up to in the last couple of months. As Essay's event poster mentioned, there was a library showcasing various magazines Public Skateshop donated, a skate/reading race contest, and a lottery with goodies up for grabs, so we were all in for an exciting night! 

Walking inside, the first thing you saw was a bunch of OG Essay merch on display, hanging on a clothing line above everyone. Between them were limited edition shirts with Arthur Le Duc's wallride grab in Belgium screen-printed on the back, as an ode to the issue's cover (yes, I made sure to secure one for myself). There were stacks of the newest Essay magazine and a table completely covered with stickers, which was empty by the end of the night. 

While some people were still busy getting their tricks in, others were already picking up a copy of the issue and flipping through the pages to see pictures shot by Frederick Walker, Ziggy Schaap, Hugo Snelooper, CEO of Essay Sander Rodenhuis, Hobbe Hollands, and more. 19:00 onwards, many more came in to support the newest issue and the crew. We even got a special appearance from the SPU resident mouse, who kept running around the place with enthusiasm. 

After people signed themselves up for the reading race, they first started playing in pairs in the trivia/skate game. As Hobbe was asking questions about the new issue, the other teammate had to land a trick on either the hip, the rail, or the three-stair. But, this all didn't exactly go as planned as no one was entirely sure how to play. After some confusion about the format, they eventually decided to fast-forward to the race, which was quite successful because, how could you go wrong with that? The cherry on top was when someone asked to join the game as soon as Hobbe started announcing who had won it. Speaking of which, congrats to Tom and his mate for getting first place!  

Before leaving, I talked to Sander about how the event turned out, and he insisted on how terrible the reading race contest was. Sure, there were some mishaps about the rules, but none of that mattered. And, they were already brainstorming a new game format for next time, so there's still hope for a comeback! Either way, everyone was just happy to be there that night, sharing some laughs and enjoying the event, all in support of the magazine. 

After cramming in another slippery skate session, everyone started huddling up like canned sardines in SPU's mini reception area to watch  the premiere of new videos by Public and Falus Skateboarding, accompanied by the smell of pizza cooking in the toaster oven. 

As if people couldn't get more excited, the CEO began announcing the winning numbers of the lottery as everyone eagerly stared at the piece of paper with numbers in their hands. The first lucky winner got the latest Essay tote bag, the second winner received a deck, and the third won an exclusive Essay/Falus/Skateriors cutting board, which I'm glad I know is a thing because now I want one. 

Essay's newest issue features stories and action-filled skate pictures, many of which were shot while filming both videos, so it was a no-brainer to play the two of them during the viewing! As expected, there was much love for all the skaters and their parts, and certainly, for Essay for putting this whole event together. 

Just as the lights in the skatepark started turning off and others had their last chats of the night, others made their way through to the stands to pick up an extra issue and some stickers on their way out. In it, you'll find many lovely photos of your favourite Dutch skaters and other candid behind-the-scenes shots. If you're more into reading stuff, there's also an up-close and personal interview by Martijn van Velden with Yannick Witvoet, a story about Hugo Snelooper's life and photography, and a recap of Falus Skateboards' trip to Budapest. So treat yourself with a copy at your local skate shop or park! Happy page-turning!