So. Cal. Skate Trip, Summer 2012

July 15, 2012

The whole concept of this trip was to take the typical skateboard road trip, add in some private parks, a couple core spots, and some skateboard industry tours.  Mostly, we kept driving.  There was plenty of time for skaters to sleep while we drove, but I can’t tell you what a challenge it is skating a new park or spot every hour or two.  It was super fun, but it was by no means easy.

Oh, yeah, everywhere we went was a secret until we arrived.  They could ask questions, but we didn’t always provide direct answers

Day One:  We went straight from LAX to the Transworld private skatepark.  My friend Steve Schultz, a Gould alum, is an in-house video editor there.  We skated the place up.  It has a simple design and is really fun to ride.  Then, Steve toured us through the Transworld offices.  We saw some amazing photos and got a quiet sense of how many folks work there.  Then, we said goodbye to Steve.  His wife is pregnant and due any day.

The next stop was one of the two Oceanside public skateparks, Bishop.  It is basically all street features.  There were a couple great skaters there which was good inspiration.  The we went to Martin Luther King skatepark which has more flow.  The legendary Bruno Passo was there skating with his family.

From there we went to Vista to watch the Spiderman movie in 3D. Afterwards we had sushi.

Day Two: Went to one of the Riverside skateparks and met Samarria Brevard there.  She came with her brother, “Son,” her cousin and her friend Trey.  So, we got a sense of Samarria’s crew.  They took us to a couple stair sets and a grass gap near where they live.

Then, we all headed out to the new park in Rialto.  Rialto is a really beautiful new park.  It is 80% street with great gaps, ledges, and rails. After we said our goodbyes to Samarria and her crew we headed to Baldy Pipeline.

Baldy has been skated since the 1960’s and it is a cool hike down into the mountain.  It is the kind of place I can stay all day, a special spot.

Day Three: We started out at Venice skatepark.  It was still early so that stores weren’t open yet and the lurkers hadn’t gathered.  Sam and Lexi both landed a ton of tricks right away.

Then, we headed off to Pedlow.  It was starting to get more than a little hot.

After lunch we went out to Santa Clarita which is just a beautiful park.  It is sprawling plaza with a half-pipe run in the center underneath the plaza.  It is amazing.

Before we had dinner in Claremont we skated that park.

After dinner we hit up Todd Huber’s Skatelab.  We ran into Julie Kindstrand, aka Jules Lynn.  She is skateboarding to Oregon, what an amazing journey.

Day Four: After our daily Starbucks run for breakfast and coffee we drove down to Imperial Beach, the last town before Mexico.  The skatepark was small, but perfect with really smooth concrete.  The locals were nice.  It was a great place to get tuned up for the day.  We went to see the Sloughs and looked out to the back side of Tijuana.  It is a really powerful place.

We stopped by the Chula Vista skatepark.  It is a place in transition.

Then, we went to downtown San Diego to the Washington Street skater built park.  It is a beautiful, burly thing.  I love it.

Matt Condon let us swim in his pool and he tried hard to get to session Claremont.

We had plans to skate with Cara-Beth Burnside at her mini-ramp.  C.B. is a legendary pro skateboarder and snowboarder.  She is a great advocate for girls and woman in skateboarding.  Perhaps inspired by that both Sam and Lexi learned new tricks.  Lexi might have learned about ten tricks in that session.  C.B. skated strong and had lots of encouragement for both Sam and Lexi.

We drove to Cardiff and found Lexi’s friend Mary at their campfire with her family and friends.  They served us dinner and we roasted marshmallows for some-mores.

Afterwards, we went to the Yellow Deli.

Day Five: I got progressively more excited as we went.  We visited Gould alum, Aidan Payson at the Vans Corporate offices.  What is super cool about that was the wooden bowl.  Before we skated Aidan took us on a tour of the Vans offices.  There are over 300 employees working there.  Lots of them ride the halls on their skateboards.  We saw the fall 2013 shoe line.  When we skated the bowl with Aidan we ran into Lincoln Ueda and his son.  They were just getting there to skate when we were finishing up.  A big thanks to Aidan for the tour and the skate session.

We went on to the Block in Orange.  This is the Vans skatepark, home to the Combi Bowl.

After lunch we drove to L.A. to Stoner Plaza.  It is a wonderfully simple street plaza.  The skaters there were good and it was pretty crowded.

When we went to Hollywood High I climbed the fence and stood atop the 12 set.  The 16 set had a construction box blocking it.  The school is being worked on for the next six months or so.  Sam and Lexi skated around the front of the school.

From there we headed over to some of the cool skate shops on Fairfax Avenue.  Supreme has a beautiful bowl in it. Diamond looks like an art gallery.  The Hundreds was closing so they gave us stickers and we barely got to look in.

We had dinner at Canter’s Deli.

Day Six:  We went to a coffee shop called Urth.  It was one of those upscale fresh everything places.  We killed a bit of time until the appointed hour.  Then, we met Joel at the Berrics.  Joel runs the operation and oversees something like eighteen employees.  For the time that we skated, the place was deserted.  A couple filmers came in as we were leaving.  A big thanks goes out to both the Poseiden Foundation and Joel.

Then, we drove and drove north into the Mohave Desert up to Teahachpi, CA, home of Woodward West.  We spent the rest of the day skating and catching up with friends.  Big thanks go out to Neal Hendrix.

On the drive to our motel right near LAX it rained.  I took that as a great sign and despite the fact that we got up at 4:30 a.m. on Friday the 13th we got Sam and Lexi to their flights without a problem.What started out as a simple skateboard road trip turned out to be a journey to the heart of what skateboarding is, was, and will always be.  Hopefully we can arrange another So. Cal. Skate Trip, maybe for the week after Thanksgiving.  See you then.

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