The Barn itself is unlike anything a lot of people have seen. It is literally an old barn in Hampstead, NC, a 30-minute drive from my mom’s place in Wilmington. Among the trees in the country of North Carolina, tucked back within a small grove. With a gravel path leading to a dirt lot, bordered by a head-high halfpipe constructed carefully of wood and metal. There are indoor and outdoor sections. The barn was used to house old stock cars in the late 80s before it was left empty. That’s when Jimmy, the current owner, was given the blessing from his dad, then-owner, to build skateboarding ramps inside. The ramps were previously in Carolina Beach at a skatepark that exists there before I was born. And the Skate Barn exists still, in the sticks of North Carolina.
The Barn has shown to be a proving ground for young talent coming out of southeastern North Carolina for decades now. The progression of skaters that regularly session at the park is tangible. There is always a new kid, or a group of new kids, that push the envelope, amongst themselves and within skateboarding at large.
One of the aspects of skateboarding that is so hard to explain to outsiders is the energy that it can provide within a group, despite its lack of a team dynamic. There’s something special that a group can share that goes beyond external gratification: the word “vibe” doesn’t quite nail it. The shared passion for skateboarding shines strongly amongst a faction of skaters. It seems “emo” to even try and explain it, but I think it’s worth a shot.
The moral of the story: The RIP Lemmy session got me into one of those sessions; one that got everyone going as hard as they could. It wasn’t about what you could do, but rather that you could do it, even if you haven’t done it in a long while. It boosted the ability to try, and it reminded me how skateboarding hooked me from the very beginning. Getting older, it’s easy to justify “taking it easy” on most days, yet it’s days like those that get the fire burning under our asses once more.
Cheers to skateboarding, and cheers to Patrick and Nathan for being there that day. Cheers to the Skate Barn. Cheers to North Carolina skateboarding!
Stay tuned for more tales of the recent NC visit!
- 7Ply Epic