I left on a Friday morning, en route to Orange County right after the AM rush hour. There, I grabbed a burrito and some good conversation with a new acquaintance. Chryssie works at Sole Tech in Lake Forest. She has a girlfriend that lives in Portland, so with my recent Portland visit and a shared interest in fishing and skateboarding, we had a lot to talk about. After a good lunch, we go to the warehouse store at Sole Tech HQ. Because of our work, we obviously thought of some ways to work together, and before I left Chryssie hooked up some fresh Etnies (skate shoes). Thanks!
On my way further south, I hit some mild traffic before arriving in Del Mar, just in time for the setting of the sun over the 101 and the Pacific Ocean. I met with Beau to take a short hike, chat, and talk about the rest of the weekend. The big hairy plan was to film some skateboarding and general b-roll from skating around downtown San Diego, Washington Street Skatepark, and one or two other local-area skateparks. The skies were cloudy, a non-characteristic condition for the city of SD, so the sunset was nonexistent. However, we enjoyed the cool temperatures (also non-characteristic) and headed out for a burrito. El Cortal was the name, and decent quality Mexi food was its game. Chatting over food is such an historic and meaningful way to exchange social interaction, and I think it’s one of the more beautiful aspects of universal human culture. Not to mention, I love burritos. I fucking love burritos.
*For those not familiar with the culture of building shit out of cement under an overpass: There is a strong and tight-knit community based around “DIY Skateboarding” and the physical products of it. This is when a group of guys (who love skateboarding with all their hearts) become tired of not having legal access to skating street and/or free reign to do whatever they want at public skateparks. They then proceed to culminate however much money they have to purchase materials and tools to build a concrete paradise for their shredding pleasure and as a location for free expression, judgement-free antics, and construction ideation. They slowly form into giant playgrounds for grown men and women who like to skateboard, if they last long enough before demolition of the property owners, etc.*
So Burnside, which I’ve written about on this blog, is widely considered the first real DIY of note. Washington St. (SD) and FDR (Philadelphia) are two others that have grown to great size and have developed respected cultures around them which continue to grow. Washington Street was very much the spot we went to to film me (Beau has a much stronger flatground skill set, something that I do not). So we did capture some solid shots and then went onward to Balboa Park. There, we park and cruise downhill into downtown SD to spontaneously search for and find street spots and aesthetically pleasing flatground freestyle spots.
One spot we went to was just at the base of the Hilton - Bay Front. Perfect curved ledges, with angle iron and cool-looking sculptures in their center. Got some great clips of Beau preforming his wizardry and even filmed a street line of myself. There, we met up with our mutual friend, Dave, and two student skaters from UCSD, Allen and Jimi. It was a crew at that point, and we all shredded the spot for about another 45 minutes. The original three of us were starving, so… You know the drill. Burritos.
FabLab (San Diego) got its name as the fabrication lab of downtown San Diego, but it’s much more than that. It’s a maker space with a real and healthy community of creatives, visionaries and social nerds. Equipment you need to make some shit? They've got it, believe me. It’s really interesting to check out so many active projects happening at once, even on a Saturday. It reminded me very much of Raleigh. A BetaBox-like HQ Raleigh in San Diego. After a couple of hours, we headed out to hit a skatepark north of the city. At this point, the sun has set and we’re heading to Carmel Valley Skatepark in Carmel Valley, CA.
The main reason we decided on going to that particular skatepark was because of it’s lights at night. As we roll up, we see that the lights are NOT on, and a bunch of local kids are hanging out in the parking lot. After talking with them, we find that the lights out are totally random, and everyone is bummed. But we decide to make something from it, taking the two lights we collectively had, lighting up a hip (type of obstacle) in the skatepark, and organizing an impromptu best trick contest. A few of the dudes REALLY killed it (nollie cab heel, lazer flip, gazelle flip, nollie half cab heel the hard way, etc.), and we hooked up the winners with hard goods. Everyone got a t-shirt, hat or a pair of socks. It’s fun to hook it up for dudes that genuinely appreciate it. After that skatepark spot, we hit up some dinner and headed back. Dave drives back to Long Beach, and Beau and I back to his place in SD.
That night, although Beau doesn’t join, I attended a party at UCSD, hosted by our friend from earlier, Allen. Beau and I got caught up watching the video that we’d captured earlier that day, and by the time I go to the party, people were talking of heading to a larger party at San Diego State University. Allen didn’t want to go “out” and I was his guest, so I decided to just chill out with him and about five other people. It got a little stoney, but it was cool. And all the people were cool. So some good conversations, smoking and watching music videos actually worked out as a great way to unwind after a long day. One by one, people decided to leave as we all became exhausted with time. At one point, it’s just three of us, and a friend of Allen’s, Meagan Rose, comes in through the front door. I was basically the only one that’s fully conscious at that point, and her and I were the most sober of the bunch, so we stayed up late, talking, getting to know each other, drinking coffee and smoking herb. A younger girl that acted more mature than most girls my age was refreshing. Looking at the clock, we realized how late it was and both decided to get some sleep. The next day, I woke up early to go skate one last time with Beau in Ocean Beach.
From the skatepark, I head back to LA. A two-hour drive to the Baker Demo at Hollenbeck Plaza in East L.A. This trip was on of my the nest SD excursions yet!
Thanks Beau! And thanks to everyone that made it what it was.
- 7Ply Epic