Boyhood Skate Mecca

i was in 8th grade, at the peak of my skateboarding supremacy. i was 15 and a little asshole. i was banging heads with my stepfather, and skateboarding was the perfect rebellion. punk rock, fucking girls, getting into fights, and skating. ALWAYS.SKATING. i blew off fucking girls to session.

i became friends with a dude that owned the massive ramp i’ve posted here before (pic is in the link above). his name was iggy. ALL the big skaters shredded there. i used to leave the house at 8am and skate 30 minutes to his house so i could session a little before the older guys showed up.

see, i was a grom.

groms are are the bottom of the skating hierarchy. we skate last, after the guys were done or they were resting. i have no idea why he took a shine to me, but i became friends with his family. i’d walk into the house and his mom and sisters would greet me. if there was a contest or demo, i watched from his open bedroom window.

well, i learned about a contest in lafayette, la. lafayette has a HUGE skating community. i BEGGED my mom to let me go. and much to my surprise, she let me. i was so fucking AMPED. lafayette is about 3 hours away so it was a road trip. i think mom gave iggy some money to buy me food, which i’m sure he kept because i ate ramen everyday.

the place we were staying at was a fucking shithole that only a man could say was a suitable place to sleep. it was a 3 bedroom trailer. i got the sofa, an end pillow, and a shitty blanket. but i didn’t care: i was one of the guys. they had 2 ramps, a 9 footer and a 4 foot dork. i had the dork all to myself. i spent friday night reading batman graphic novels and joking with the guys.

saturday we sessioned all day and i got some props for my skills on the dork. eventually, they wanted to see the little grom work a REAL ramp. by then, i had gotten OK on iggy’s 12 foot behemoth. i managed a few decent airs but mostly worked the lip. then i knocked out a nice invert.

that got them. i felt like a fucking king. i had won the approval of the tribe. and skaters/surfers SHIT on grooms. again, that evening, the guys had girls over and they fawned over how “adorable” i was. now, i was 15. the guys i was hanging with were out of high school.

the contest was on sunday and each skater had 2 runs. i was in the street intermediate class. there was a launch, 6 foot transition, box, 12 foot rail slide, and a bank. there were 10-11 of us in my category. i went third and qualified for the finals, there were 3 of us. i ended up finishing second, BUT won best of class in “style”. i knocked back a sick kick-flip to frontside rail slide where i put my hands on my hip backwards and arched my hips forward. then i landed a NICE sad plant on the transition that i held for a good 5-6 seconds. this is a sad plant.


i had a bout 30 seconds in my final run and i ran a ho-ho to one legged sad. it looks like this.

only i popped fakie from the board into it, ho-ho’d for 10 seconds, sad planted for 10 seconds, than landed it. everyone went fucking insane when i landed it. even though it was so long ago, it was an integral part of my youth. and i can never thank my mom enough for letting my little ass go.

but the funny thing is, it was my first experience in minimalism. and i LOVED it. these guys worked 3-4 days a weeks, what money they made went mostly on cheap food. there were 4 guys living in a 3 bedroom trailer, and the place was a fucking wreck. you wanted to eat out of a dish, you had to clean a dish.

these guys just worked to survive, but they lived to skate, enjoy their friendships, and the women fucking FLOCKED to them. i think i know another blogger who talks about minimalism. thinking back on this memory makes me all the more anxious to the next phase of my life when i leave the military.

stay up.

2 Comments on “Boyhood Skate Mecca”

  1. RojoC says:

    Funny that “Grom” means thunder in Russian.

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