08 September 2021

K Curb


Curbs. I was starting to look beyond curbs. But it is where it all started and where it will all end. There is no getting away from that. I have known of this Fire Lane curb for some time but I had been delaying sampling it. Short on time and inspiration, last Sunday, I grabbed my board and walked over to this curb. I walked to keep my presence discrete. The air was hot, humid and hazy, as was my hair. This brilliant red curb was in the shade. Perhaps a few centimeters lower than your typical Portland curb. A cheater but also gift to experimentation. A half hour blast resulted in movement in new directions. This clip will not come with directions. 

The next day I went surfing at my favorite spot. I was the first out, paddling into the mist, completely unaware of how the waves were unloading on the reef. Turns out they were mostly slow and sloppy. The hordes soon followed, as did the jostling and competition. The rip sucked us all on top of each other for three hours. I snagged a few including one set wave bomb, but really, this curb cuts clearer than all that shit. I didn't think it would be this way at this stage of the game.

06 September 2021

04 September 2021


 

28 August 2021

Bay City Rollin'



A lesser visited park on the Oregon Coast. The smooth Dreamland finish has been weathered to a coastal crust. The slip to grip to speed ratio is currently perfect. Not quite skin-eating texture but it might get there in another year or two. Deceptively simple in lay out, hidden corners and features abound. Here is a quick clip of a session on my way back to the Val after three days of Tillamook County surf navigation.

14 August 2021


   Photo from The Guardian, I think.

12 August 2021

"When the cities lie at the Monster's Feet

There are left

Mountains."


-Robinson Jeffers

27 July 2021

Podiumed: Tokyo 2021


Podium definition  - a low wall serving as a foundation to be seen, or receive an award. Team A'ali, late 80s. Photos by Ahmed and Nader Baqer. 
 

One of the best facets of skateboarding over the last few years are the big steps it has taken both intentionally and organically toward inclusivity. More and more kids and adults from marginalized skate.  There are lots more girl and women skateboarders and queer and trans pros who make their own videos, create their own scenes. Young kids and older and older adults. Skateboarders always championed themselves as a sanctuary for the outcasts but until relatively recently that meant if you were a straight-white male between 12 and 30. Now, we kind of mean it. And its great.

I first saw someone on a skateboard in the early 80s. I believe a few of them skated past my house while I was probably playing Star Wars in the front garden and they were on their way to the beach to check the surf. At least, that is how I like to remember it. But I immediately knew I wanted in, a terrifying of a prospect that that might be. At first I had no idea why, it just looked like the coolest fucking thing I had ever seen. I got my first board at age nine and it became a daily obsession by elven or twelve. 

A few years later I started to unpack the appeal in my mind. You wanted a place to go but on your own terms. No start time, no end time, no uniform or organization, definitely no coaches, referees, trainers or authority figures. Yes, there were some unwritten codes and yes you had to earn your place. There was a language to learn and an esoteric culture to navigate but that was the draw as a troubled pre-teen. 
It was a curious little world that I had to put a lot effort into finding, understanding and becoming a part of, especially if you lived outside California in the 80s and 90s. 

If I was a child right now in 2021, I'm not sure skateboarding would have much appeal to me and part of that is due to exposure and accessibility as well commodification, co-option and exploitation of the culture. These things are nothing new, of course. Contests, sponsors etc, have long been a part of skateboarding. How many people, were stoked o skateboarding after "Police Academy 4?"

There is a lots of talk about how inspiring Olympic skateboarding might be for a young girl in Afghanistan on her way to liberation. Great. But then there is a  thirteen year old in China who was hand-picked by coaches to leave her King-Fu Academy to become an Olympic champion. Within three years, her moves and routines were good enough, with daily training, to get her there. I hope she loves it. I hope she gets to smash curbs and bomb hills with friends on her weekends but I doubt it. 

I tried to watch the Olympics and I know I am going to sound old, stale and predictable here but I just did not get it. Honestly, the rugby was more exciting. It is as if they have broken down skateboarding to its most sanitized, cynical machine-like, characterless, tasteless base-level. Very boring. 

I'm too old to count but I hope today's eleven-year-olds- have a special little subculture that speaks to them in ways, uniforms, training, golf hats, "best tricks,"judges, points, flags, podiums, teams, energy drinks, robotic routines, televised performances never can. 

Not sure what that subculture might be but it is not skateboarding.

As for surfing... ah... I'd rather not waste another keyboard tap... 


18 June 2021

Fixed Gear Metric Century On A Stolen Bike

I decided I had to spend some extra time on this bike after I retrieved it from a thief last week. If you know me, you know this bike. I've had it about fifteen years now. My oldest material possession. Nothing fancy about it but we've seen some things together... 

___________________________
First off I believe I received more sympathy from a stolen bike than I would have if I had had a heart attack. You people get me. So thanks!

 

Anyway, Alison and I were on our way to TuffShed to get a replacement lock for our broken into shed, to no avail. On the way home we drive by some Chop Shop hot spots to look for my stolen bike. Again to no avail. So we decided to resign ourselves to hard kombucha at John’s Market (Ginger Lime is our current jam).

 

Driving West down Powell at about 68th I see my fucking bike! On the other side of the road being ridden west but some dude. I ask Alison to stop the car, jump out and negotiate my way across four lanes of rush-hour traffic as the adrenaline begins to surge. 

 

The closer I get I realize the dude it not that small and looks a little gnarly (Alison said he looked soft). So I decide to go in 100% and give him no option.

 

“That’s my fucking bike!”

 

“What dude?”

 

“That’s my fucking bike!”

 

“Ha ha sure. No its not.”

 

“That’s my fucking bike!”

 

“I just bought it.”

 

“I don’t care. That’s my fucking bike.”

 

and then he slowly got off my bike and handed it to me.

 

“Take your fucking bike, then.”

 

And I did. No one was hurt and I have my bicycle back. Thank you all for looking out for me. I was already day dreaming about a new bike but this is way better. 

07 June 2021


 

03 May 2021

5@17