When we arrived in Berkeley, the destination was Media Center Theater on Addison Street. There was an educational skateboarding industry panel (and Q&A and workshop series), being hosted by Work In Skateboarding & Collegiate Skate Tour. As a personal project and as an experience, I was stoked. Karl Watson moderated the panel consisting of Kim Woozy, Shawn Connolly, Andrew Cannon, Matt Irving, and Jerry Harris. Everyone in attendance was attentive, eager, and focused, as skaters, filmers, photographers, and of many other roles. Pizza, beer, and coconut water washed down a healthy serving of knowledge, served with a dessert of great conversation afterward.
The Collegiate Skate Tour contest was the first in the SF Bay area, and I was amped. Of course, we got a bit of a late start, and I was more than ready for a coffee, but we got to Town Park in Oakland and had a day of it. The skaters and spectators alike were stoked! The weather was beautiful, sun shining, and energy levels high for the day. There were some major ups and downs. Sick tricks got thrown down, and crazy bails were witnessed. The event was a wrap, and we had hooked all the kids up with some swag, ready to head out when… the locals hijacked the speaker system. All in good fun, without conflict, because we were having fun dancing with them for hours after the contest had finished. I finally got to skate, K Dub and the boys were dancing like we were at a wedding, and smiles were all around. Raney Beres stopped in for the session, and all the kids were either dancing or skating. When the trap music started, we knew it was a party, but when "the electric slide" came on, we knew we weren’t close to stopping. A few brews and lots of laughs happened.
The next day, following a wonderful morning of window breeze, vegan pizza, and front porch dancing, we all decided to go sailing in the bay. Something I had not done since I was a child, sailing sounded very appealing to me. It was a perfect 77 degrees on the bay, with an obvious breeze and a cloudless sunny sky. Perfect for boating, specifically sailing. Never had a I seen views of the Bay Bridge, the Berkeley tower, the SF skyline, and Golden Gate Bridge all at once. And even better, from a bobbing boat in the cool waters of the SF Bay. JB, Chris, Donovan, Melissa, Chloe, and David. The crew. We challenged ourselves and treated ourselves. Learning how to set up the gennaker was a rewarding task. Drinking cold beer on a warm day was relaxing. Moments like those, when there’s nothing more to do than this and that and chill. Those are the days we all need more of.
Back at the house, post-sailing mission, we all sat down for a wholesome pasta dinner. Gluten-free goodness, topped with a nice sauce and garlic bread to match. A tasty experience was much needed after another long day in the sun. Post-dinner puzzling was intense. Visits from the neighbors were mellow. All in all, a killer Sunday, and the next day was set to be another one.
First half of the day was a work day. Calls and emails - necessary. After wrapping up the stuff you don’t wanna hear about, Chloe and I headed into the city. Across the bridge, once we had a coffee in the cupholder, we went to meet up with our friend David. We drove through SF to a nice exploring area, at Land’s End. the view of the Golden Gate Bridge was rad, the Sutro Baths were amazing, and the rock faces of the cliffside ocean front were astounding. After walking through a cave, the three of us ventured past the suggested “go no further” gate and down into the rocky crags for some ocean-sprayed climbing. It’s amazing how we were the only ones willing to hop the fence (there were no signs forbidding anything) and have some fun on our own. The adventure didn’t stop. Up the hill and into the woods, we found a nice little skate spot - historic actually. Fort Miley has these embankments (skate nerds know) that have been made known as a famous skate spot. Many things have been done on them by some of my favorite skaters, so it was nice to have a few runs on it (I brought the board along). A bit more urban exploring led us to find old prison cells underneath and inside the bunker of the fort. There was an eerie yet peaceful vibe to that place, and I actually get a lot of that from the entire city of San Francisco. When looking at the time, we decided it was probably a good time to go get dinner before driving through the night back south to LA.
Another SF trip in the books, another great few stories to be told. And more great people met and experienced. So stoked to have gone with my incredible girlfriend and have shown her a few different sides of the bay. Next trip is a full-on skate trip, so watch for that. But every experience is uncovering something wonderful. Grateful for the opportunities. The time. The life.
- 7Ply Epic