Skateboarding is one of the purest things in my life. Some of my favorite memories have been of skateboarding…
In the beginning, I skated because my older brother did it…It was what the “cool kids” did… I skated because landing a kickflip was the dopest feeling in the world. I skated because I needed a positive outlet for all my energy, and without it, I know for a fact my life would not be the same.
Skateboarding has taken me all over the country in search of new spots to skate, and even old ones that have been famed by pros. It’s been like a treasure hunt of legendary architecture and memories of dope tricks landed…
Everson - Syracuse New York
Everson, in Syracuse New York, is a street skaters dream. Smooth marble flooring and smooth marble ledges everywhere. This, is to Syracuse skaters, as EMB is to San Francisco. Go there, but watch out for cops!
The photo (above) is the “legendary Mark Gonzales (born June 1, 1968), also known as “Gonz” and “The Gonz”, an American professional skateboarder and artist. He is known in the skateboarding world as a pioneer of modern street skateboarding and was named by the Transworld Skateboarding magazine as the “Most Influential Skateboarder of all Time” in December 2011.” – Wikipedia. This photo is the legendary kickflip, which gave the gap a new name, “The Gonz Gap” at the famous EMB ledges in San Francisco.
(Above) Outside of Charm City is a little daunting, but as you’ll see below, the inside of Charm City is nothing less than a skaters dream come true. Big combi-bowl, sick street course and a super fun mini-ramp upstairs. Kinda hard to find and the location is definitely sketch, but well worth the trip. Prices are fair, and it’s usually pretty empty. Indoor, so you can skate all year. 5 out of 5 for sure.
(Above) SSFSTS -Switch Stance Frontside Tail Slide. Photo: Justice Corpin (invisible board?)
The S.P.O.T is known to some as a crusty little warehouse in Tampa, Florida, but to anybody that skates it’s the Mecca, the holy land…It’s where legends are made and dreams come true. It’s host to the infamous competitions DamnAM & TampaPro, where the best of the best come to show their skills in a relentless battle for the trophy, fame, and nowadays FORTUNE!
I think every skater with a camera phone has a pic like this. (Above)
Skatepark of Houston
I stopped off in Houston during a road trip from Florida to California, and saw The Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park, one of the biggest man-made skate parks in existence. You know how they say everything in Texas is bigger? Well they aren’t kidding, this skatepark is füking HUGE! They have some serious transition and vert that would make Danny Way crap his pants. No wonder it’s “no helmet, no skate’ legislation at this park, you could seriously die if you don’t know what you’re doing. Houston, we don’t have a problem, your park is shredadociously awesome!
Venice Skatepark, Venice Beach CA
Ahhhh, yes… Venice Skate Park. Officially known as the Dennis “Polar Bear” Agnew Memorial Skatepark, this gleaming jewel of a skatepark smack in the middle of Venice Beach is maintained – every single day – by the Venice Surf and Skateboard Association (V.S.A.), which really means by professional skate legend and V.S.A. President, Jesse Martinez, and his helpers. Home of DogTown, and Venice Originals, a extreme and local skate crew that shreds this park like no other. By far the most fun I’ve ever had skating and the best skating I’ve seen in real life, all goes down right here at legendary Venice Beach. You can usually see the DTA Posse shredding here daily, and they skate HARD! DTA’s own Haden McKenna is there everyday perfecting the sickest airs and pushing the limits of what is possible at that park. Watch out for him, he’s gonna be at the top someday.
(Above) Kyle Corpin - Nollie FSTS (video link). My claim to fame at the Venice Skate park, as I’m the only one to pull “that trick, on that ledge” a diehard local, once told me.
(Above) This is what “The Venice Graffiti Pit” or to some, known as ”The Pavillion” in Venice used to look like, before they filled it with sand. If you were watching skate videos like 411VM in the 90′s, you’ve probably seen you’re favorite street skater bust some epic tricks at this spot.
(Above) This is what “The Pit” looks like now… All filled in with sand… It’s kinda sad but, at least now you can legally paint graffiti here, so it’s good that artist have an outlet, but it hasn’t stopped crackheads and tweakers from using the walls as cover.
You can find just about anything on the Venice Boardwalk. It’s fun just to cruise around and see what’s going on. Music videos, Movies, TV commercials, Strongest Man Competition, Tony Hawk, Topless protest… yeah, all here. #bucketlist
Skating from Venice Beach to Santa Monica is about 3 miles, but the view is like nothing else and the pavement is super smooth so it’s really fun. Plenty to see along the way, just watch out for hardcore bikers that want to take you out. No joke.
I got this board from Venice Originals, a super legit skate shop run by Legend “Block” & endorsed by Jesse Martinez and Christian Hosoi. Truly a legendary skate shop and the staff is always super helpful in getting you all set up and ready to shred. 5 out of 5.
Sunset at Venice Skatepark is always a bitter-sweet ending to the day. There’s no lights and if you try to skate at night, you’ll be met with swift force from the locals. Word for the wise, don’t skate after dark, and don’t mess with Blue. He’s a legend in Venice, age unknown, but a true OG. He’s sort of the unofficial grounds keeper when Jesse isn’t around. This park is on lock down by the skaters, and it’s one of the last, skater governed parks left.
“I talked to V.S.A. member and the pretty much lone consistent volunteer, Victor Blue, who like Martinez, was born and raised -and hell-raised – his whole life in Venice. After a life of trouble-making, Blue got into skating, which led him to spending pretty much all day, every day at the skatepark, giving back and helping out today’s skaters. “I get to be a good example here,” Blue told me, after sharing a story about how a local mother interrupted a meeting to find out who this “Mr. Blue” was that her kid had been talking about so much. She wanted to thank him for putting her son on the right path, with his counsel and support every day down at the park. As Blue sees it, “The skatepark is the brightest spot in Venice right now … this park was built to stop destroying other areas … and you can see the positivity down here spread through Venice like a virus.” Let it!” – C.J Groner
Love this place! 5 out of 5.