Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
These spots are right across the street from my old apartment and all are literally around this one block. I've been wanting to go skate these for a while and thought it would be fun to hit them up one night trying to race the sun before it set.
First spot is this little flat rail, so much fun, but the problem is that you have to skate around the corner to hit it, so you have very little set up time to hit a smaller portion of the rail. Then the wall next to it is like razor sharp coral, so if you bail into it you come out bloody. I was stoked I got the nerve up to switch front board pretty fast, so I knew the rest of the hour would work out.
Next is my favorite 'Secret Ledge. It's a perfect bench with kind of rough ground. I used to skate it all the time, but security got to be a problem. I was just happy to get in and out before getting the boot.
The third spot was the low high ledge with the bush you have to pop out before. I wanted to K grind, but I could only manage the boardslide to fakie, before my legs turned to jelly.
The final spot is so much fun a natural bump along the sidewalk. Too bad the butt shot is the only one that came out, every ollie I did felt so fun. I could skate this thing for hours.
As I'm posting this I just remembered that there are 2 other small spots I left out, but I'm pretty stoked on what I was able to skate from 7 to 8 just before sunset.
I was driving around on Memorial Day trying to find a good court to play some basketball (that's why this is hopefully the only photo you will ever see of me skating in shorts), and I remembered this spot. I've only skated here one time before, everytime I've been back there have been cars parked on either side of the ledge. I set the timer on the digi cam and pressed my luck. Taking skate self portraits is so hard, positioning the camera and running back to try to hit the trick when you think the shutter is going off. I'm stoked on how it all turned out considering how hard it is to skate this spot.
Friday, May 25, 2007
This was from the Article written by Scott Archer that never got published of our Summer 2006 trip.
There I was, lying in that familiar position with my face to the sky in a pool of my own sweat. Even though pain was shooting through my entire body, I still managed to get up with a smile on my face. I’m 22 years old and lucky enough to travel all the way across the country for two simple reasons, skateboarding and friends. This was the end, our final night in California with my sponsor Sevenfold skateboards. God damn, it had been a fun trip! My body was bruised, bloodied, and battered. My new board was already thrashed, and my muscles were so sore I could hardly walk. These were all good signs that the week had been productive!
This wasn’t just a vacation, but more of a filming and photo mission on the west coast. The objective was for the Sevenfold family I, Scott Archer, Jake Mendelson, Jordan Puett, Chris Blose and Chris Opilla, to leave our normal lives and remind each other how important skateboarding really is to all of us. Unfortunately Matt House and Kyle Jensen could not make it, but we were joined by a close friend of the family and Basement team rider Tim Eckles. Sevenfold is about one thing and one thing only, skateboarding in its purest form! Sevenfold isn’t about a specific style, image or click, but a company owned and operated by skateboarders making quality products for all skaters, and this trip was about expressing our version of skateboarding and the love we have for it.
The first thing I would like say is that the owners of Sevenfold, Chris Opilla and Chris Blose are some of the most down to earth, generous guys I’ve ever met. They loaded us up with new shoes, decks, and other products we needed by using all the resources they were capable of. We even had a family truckster equipped with a DVD player to transport us to and from all of L.A.’s skate spots, which we had previously only seen on skate videos. We felt like celebrities, or one’s that slept on the floor anyways. We skated all day going from spot to unfamiliar spot throwing down the tricks we could with limited time. At night, we sat around Chris’s apartment watching the day’s accomplishments and other skate videos like a bunch of ten year old skate rats. The only difference was we were old enough to drink beer. We skated, partied, bonded, chilled, and more! It was an adventure, and I felt free, the most I’d felt in a very long time, it was exactly what we all needed. To get away from our ordinary lives, and do what we love to do! All in all this was probably one of the best trips, if not the best trip I’d ever gone on. It’s skating that brought us together, we all came from different places and stages of our lives but we all share the same common bond, skateboarding. This whole trip was nothing but a good time with good people doing what we love to do. That’s how life should be and there’s no reason in the world to live your life any other way. It’s hard for me to put into words all the things we packed into this one week so here is a day by day break down of events.
- Busting through a traffic line of people at John Wayne airport in orange co. California, on my skateboard while my arms where completely stacked with luggage. Very nice greeted by Chris O., Jordan, and Jake.
- Went back to Chris O’s, got my first smell of cali. Jordan hadn’t slept for 48 hours and NEEDED beer before he could go skate.
- Got burritos and discussed being a vegetarian with Jordan, he could not believe Chris and I did not eat meat. Apparently he’d never known any vegetarians prior to us.
- Went to the Etnies skatepark, which was amazing, and completely crowded with little kids and random kids playing flat ground skate right in front of the ledges we were attempting to session. Watched Jordan kill the cement tranny as if he’d skated it a million times already. Jetlagged, a little delirious and annoyed by the pads I relaxed and cruised around taking it easy. I tried to grind the 10 foot vert section, bailed and fell straight to the flat bottom. Jake learned nollie 270 heelflips on a sick hip and managed to stick them every try. We also watched some little girl around the age of 7 completely kill it, doing 4 foot airs out of a 6 foot quarter.
- Played skate with Jake in random a parking. After a long first day I got home and drank and smoked a few. Jordan passed out sitting up on the couch with a Natural Light still in his hand. We watched skate videos and footage till 3am.
- Woke up later than planned, and drove the legendary Santa Monica sand pits. I watched Jake kill the gaps with an arsenal of flip tricks, including perfect switch flips over the sand gaps, and managed to piece together in a line. He also pulled some sick switch backside heel flips over the gaps. Jordan proved his street skills by nailing backside kickflips and 360 flips consistently over the pits. I did some varial heels over it, and half-heartedly tried a line myself but was completely distracted by the palm trees, beach and beautiful women surrounding me. Chris O. managed to film a little line himself but deemed it not worthy. We also met up with a friend of the family, our filmer Ben Fordham, who had the most amazing camera I had ever seen, a new Panasonic.
- Jordan and I wanted to skate a rail so we went to the Westwood rail, the one in the Girl video. We just got warmed up with some board slides when the session was broken up by some tennis players. This would start some a verbal battle between our crew and at least a dozen angry rich tennis players.
- Skated the infamous L.A. courthouse unfortunately they knobbed the stage which was no joke by the way. All the stuff I’ve seen filmed on that thing is seriously amazing. This was actually a really fun spot which and I was able to land a lot of ledge tricks on despite its chunky and completely rugged appearance. Managed to film a crooked grind across the full distance of one of the ledge. It was just a long crooked grind on a ledge, but our Ben’s camera was the perfect cheating device. Finally, the cops ran us out!
- Hung out at Ben’s house partying and watching the footage of the day. I was surprised t the find out the whole L.A. crew at Ben’s were all originally from MD.
- Chris O. took us out to dinner at the famous Jerry’s deli which was some of the best food I had ever eaten.
- Spend the rest of the evening drinking beers, smoking, and watching skate videos again.
- Chris also was gave us all a limited edition Andy Howell book called Art Skateboarding and Life.
- Awoke around noon to Chris Blose and Tim Eckles greeting us at the door. The rest of the crew had arrived, with our tour van and they were ready to skate.
- Staying in Orange Co, we drove to a steep ditch that was a bit rough but really sick. I had seen it before on the cover of Thrasher were Mark Appleyard was doing a large backside ollie. I managed to pull some ollies and front side flips, and had fun cruising around the concrete walls. Chris Blose set the pace by killing it right off the bat, sticking consistent kickflips to fakie and frontside 180 heelflips, and then proceeded to shoot photos while Chris O. filmed. Jordan completely killed this spot, landing 360 flips, backside flips, backside heels, fakie frontside flips, and a gnarly taildrop from this high sketchy railing. Both Chris’s did an awesome job filming and shooting photos of the whole session. Tim also did a sick 360 flip to fakie. Then Jordan, Chris B. and Jake sessioned this burley section of the ditch, which was a gnarly bank to vert wall landing in a weird underpass filled with broken glass, I wasn’t about to touch it. I had fun cruising through some super tight full pipe at the end of the ditch.
- Next was a set of double-sided ledges, never seen in any video before which was conveniently right by Chris O.’s house. I had a blast boardsliding and and lipsliding the full distance of the ledge. Chris O. also did a sick boardslide all the way across. Jordan relaxed and Tim showed of his feebles and back smiths. Jake passed on the ledges, but managed to nosebonk, and switch ollie this enormous fire hydrant, it was seriously waist high with out any exaggeration. There was no way I could have even ollied it regular stance. Chris B. started to film a line including a tre flip boardslide pop out and nollie backlip but our GL2 went on the frits before he could lay it down.
- We then stocked up on groceries and beer to ease our muscles, I decided to purchase a mini keg of Heineken, Jordan bought himself a large bottle of Jack Daniels and Chris B. and Tim bought some expensive micro brews for themselves, and cooked dinner for the crew.
- We partied and watched some skate videos including own new footage. Once again, I drank a lot more than intended, Jordan as got wasted as well and we all celebrated being in LA.
- Fourth Day:
- Woke up a bit earlier, Chris B. suggested checking out the San Pedro Park, which is a skater, made park similar to FDR or Burnside. This place was fucking sick, yet intimidating and very difficult to skate, every wall went to vert. Jordan loved it and you could surely tell. He pulled tons of tricks on this sketchy vert wall, 5-0ed the tombstone that was the entrance to the park, carved with speed and generally killed it. Jordan stuck two long lines each consisted of fifteen to twenty tricks each. Chris B. did big fronside ollies over a very steep hip. Jake did some ollies across the entrance gap while the rest of us did a few grinds, but mostly just cruised. We also watched a young kid probably around eight years old skate the place as if it was the easiest spot on earth. At this point I realized I was better off taking photos. I managed to take a sick photo of Chris B. doing a wall ride to pop shuv it on the outside wall of the park.
- We then drove back to the LA. Sand pits. Jake filmed an insane line with a switch ollie and a backside heelflip over the gaps. I was over the spot and had a great time swimming in the ocean. I completely jacked my shin trying to skate with a bathing suit and exposed pale legs; this is why I do not skate in shorts. Every one else seemed to be exhausted from San Pedro and took in the sites or filmed.
- Everyone got a second wind at Paul Revere, the banks from dogtown films, those giant 20-foot tall asphalt ones and the birth of skateboarding. This place was like a giant roller coaster; everyone had fun and skated good. Jake did nollie heels, no comply’s, and a sick nollie inward heel. Tim did kickflips, tre flips, and bigspin flips, Chris B. did a rack of tricks, kickflips, backside flips, tre flips, big ollies into the banks, ect. I did kickflips, frontside flips, varial heels, and learned bigspin heels. This spot was ridiculously fun, and full of skating history.
- We then went back to Ben’s house and watched the footy and got really stoked with all of our footage. The trip had been very productive and we all had a blast skating new spots. It was a shame Jake and Jordan had to leave the next day. We made the most of it though, me killing the rest of my keg, Jordan killing the Jack and just us being ridiculous in general that night.
- Fifth Day:
- Jordan and Jake went home, and the rental van went back.
- This morning I was actually a lot more hung over that I’d like to admit, but apparently we all where.
- This day would be a lot more casual, it took us a while to get moving. We spent a good portion of the day lounging in the hot tub and around by the pool area, just hanging. I even managed to fall asleep on the couch for a bit right as we were about to go skating.
- We went back to the double sided ledge, spot had a super fun session. Minus me stressing over trying to film a backside tailslide up and around this scary escalator ledge. I fell over and repeatedly and finally gave upon the trick. My hands had giant cuts, my shins were destroyed, and my new board was already thrashed, I had been skating hard! Everyone was sore from skating so hard for five days in row and it was showing.
- This night would be mellow for a change. None of us really drank or partied much, we had a long day ahead of us. However we did check out this really sick gap ledge spot which we couldn’t exactly skate at the time do to a crowd of more obnoxious tennis players.
- 6th Day:
- Woke up early to go skate a handrail in LA. It was the same one Jordan and I was kicked out a few days before. I did a few frontside boardslides and stressed over frontside feebles, and fell hard quite a few times. I was the only one skating, I was sore as hell. I was over it!
- Next was LA. High and all of us had a blast skating this spot, including Mike York and company. The brick ledges were super fun, and surprisingly they actually grinded well. Chris O. did a really sick fakie frontside nose slide on the ledge. Chris B. and I pushed each other to the top of the big bank walls grinding the top. We both did a few frontside 5-0s and such, though they were tough. Chris B. even did a sick back smith and some frontboard slides!
- We then skated around the back of the school, and saw the painted gray slanted wallride over a dirt gap. All of us had a blast skating this unique obstacle; I managed to pull some more frontside 5-0s across the gap. Blose did some crazy backside wallride to revert and then progresses to a frontside wallride revert! Tim also blasted through some wallrides as well, and then chatted with the locals.
- We then went back to our filmer’s house, bought beer and food. All of us got really drunk on whiskey and beer! A sober Chris O. drove all the way back to Orange County, while the rest of us talked a bunch of shit about skating the gap to ledge spot. Once we got there we realized we were all way to drunk for serious skating. Tim watched, laughed and heckled Chris and I but we still went for it. We both over came our diminishing coordination and did 5050’s, I was seriously seeing double, somehow I managed to do some 5-0’s and tailslides across the ledge without getting hurt. I was now confident enough to go for a front crook, Big mistake! I fell hard as shit, literally hard as shit! That was the end of the session.
- We then went back home, drank some beers, munched out, and called it a night.
- 7th day:
- - woke up hung over and in pain! Rode to the airport with Chris O. Almost missed my flight due to some seriously bullshit security precautions! Fell asleep most of the flight home, woke up with a nice drool stain on my t shirt.
- Apparently, Chris O., Tim, and Chris B. went to Laguna Beach and just chilled for their last day taking many photos and lounging at the beach. They left the following day.