For four Brits this was a dream come true, finally we get to skate the real deal in the USA, Pool, bowls and anything that just happened to be there, nothing that we have done before could prepare you for this, we just don’t have “pools” in the UK
I couldn’t workout how to really type this up because there is so much detail it really wouldn’t be a great read or just to involved, so this is just a more light hearted overview of our trip, so please bear with me as I crap on about our 2 weeks of complete indulgence
Day 1 10 hour flight!
LAX …. they let Andrew huggins in, but as ever I (Carl Arnfield) and my crime watch face get stopped and checked ..!!!
and asked “WHY am I coming to the US of A …?”
“Skateboarding, drinking beer and falling over” I said …..
“open your your bags sir” .. was the reply …..And once again I unpacked and re packed the bags … and finally they let me in……..
so off to Santa monica .. and see what the fuss was about ?
No fuss at all?… all a little dull .. i guess we are 30 years to late (smile) .. just shit loads of fag bladers !
Pala Full pipes, since andrew or I had never been in a full pipe .. this was a blast .. more pics to follow…but the bee hives were a little bit of a issue … i will come back to that later ….
Clinton Keith Pool,
Due to Pala Pool being rammed we head over to Clinton Keith to have our trial by fire and our first glimpses of a true pool, I know I just stared to smile from ear to ear when I saw no fuckers was there and we had the place to ourselves, while Huggins and I swept up and Mark Centre got the tunes wired up and blasting out, (you can’t skate without tunes dude)
We just couldn’t believe that we were finally in California and stood in a real life pool with real coping and had once been full of water and the love seat / death box and would have had people swim in.
Just where do you start, I guess by seeing how the hell it rides and I seemed to always be the crash test dumb on this trip went first (I will come back to that later)
20 minuets later and it was just work out your lines and start pushing more and work the hips and attempt that shallow end stuff.
We were really skating A POOL ….. Awesome Dude, (yes they talk like that out there in California).
The hours past and our progress wasn’t as slow as we expected, our time at ROM for Huggins and Stockport for me had paid off …. phew, it was a great relief to me knowing I had not wasted 10 hours on a plane and 300 quid.
The is was time to go skate a real ditch ….
Not as easy as we thought, but this had been cleared and had some coping on, see second pic, mr Huggins axel stailing on it, but id had a nice long curve that was great to carve around.
11th April Clinton Keith Pool
We returned to Clinton Keith Pool for another few hours to warm up and the progress was good, a little higher and finding our lines a little better.
Then off to Chino Skatepark for some clover leaf bowl action, and our first taster of US supper smooth park concrete!, which I found very difficult to deal with at first until I adapted
after an hour after seeing the local tear the place apart, you soon learn the lines, but thank fuck for hip pads … cos this slippy crete really fucked you up
Pala Pool! April 12th
Yes dudes this is the place you have seen so many times in DVD… and yes this is a awesome place to skate,
This does have great tranny and just flows, it really didn’t take long to find a nice line even in the shallow end
Awesome pool … and one that we will return to over and over and over
Then is was
BIG fast and slippy … wow what fun you can have, thanks to George (local) for the tips on the lines … your lines rock dude and your grinds are awesome
a Park that i want to hit again on the next trip … i have to master this beast
…. after yet another pala pool session with Dave Andrect and Rob Mertz … no pics yet
Then we heard about two new pool … so off we went to find the fuckers … after a number of wrong turns we find one of them, …. too square and really not worth the effort of cleaning it … it was a real let down … but still it was a find, but with so many great pools around, this one isn’t really of interest
really was not that great … so we didn’t bother draining it … but good to have that buzz of hearing about a place / finding it … checking to see if anyone was home, and sneaking in to check out the pool
Thanks once again to Mark for 1. having a bullshit line why we were there and 2. knocking on the door to see who was home :)….
The it was off to the Vans blue bowl, a little lumpy but fucking fast and nice vert in the shallow as well … well worth a visit or three, the rest of the park is a little dull and the snake run is crap …. but the blue bowl rocked!
What else can you say other than .. you have to skate this place!…
But once you have it is very clear that is might have been great in the 70′s … but 30 years on the place is rough .. and i MEAN rough … you have to see this place skate it hear the noise and then walk away
FUCKING hell !!!! … this place is MASSIVE dudes!
Upland is fast Big and fuck loads of fun … so carve the monster
April 15th ….Once again it was Pala at 8am … you just can’t beat a warm sunny morn in a pool
what was nice we were joined by Rob Mertz and Dave Andrect, great guys and really good skaters, so nice to to meet people that just wanted to skate and had no bull shit … thanks guys
Then is was UP UP UP and away… well we hired a plane to fine empty pools ….
So we headed to a very small Prop plane and all squeezed in …..
This pool we couldn’t find ! … it looks about 15 to 20 feet deep !
The rest of the time we just saw poll after pool after pool … but all full of water, damn them Californians
Well we found this one…. but had a guy acid cleaning it….. and we couldn’t skate it !
The flight was great to see whats was there and almost see mark chuck his food up … the best roller coaster ride i have ever been on, the pilot was also a ex pool builder … how lucky was that
So off to collect another pool fool and we head off to Anaheim West Park
I didn’t like the rest of the park, but the little kidney was just awesome, took a little time to get used to it, but just killer to have a miniture bowl to skate, mr Huggins really loved the rest of the park, so we all walked away very happy
Then it was off to the Vans Block, but sady no pics of yet, but this place is big and i mean a BIG combi.. will try and get pics
A Day of rest …. never thought I would say this but after 7 days of skating Andrew, mark and I needed this.
So it was back to LAX to collect Gary “Gazza” Palmer, And Ian “Nude”Doddy, and then it was off to Santa Monica to see the sites of Dog Town.
You know the normal place that you have always waned to visit .. the Jeff Ho Surf shop, the piers that you saw in the Dog Town film, and the Old Star shop
I guess I am a little cynical of the hype around DT and when you see T’s that are grossly over priced that just have the name of the Ho surf shop on them ? …. come on!
And another trail by fire the new guys, Clinton Keith pool, the guys did real well seeing this is one of the harder pools to skate, and Rob Mertz showed up to prove even the good guys struggle in this pool, but once again it was just a great way to srat off another day in CA
And then on to the Rat pool, Escondedo, a little bit of draining, sweeping up, patching up, quick crete and once again it is down to skate crash test dummy to see what I can make of this very tight and rough pool. This is a great little pool, but sadly we never got back to this pool, it isn’t easy but great fun and seeing it is a permission only pool we paid the guy for letting us skate… well worth it for that added “we are really doing this pool thing”
Then it was a little sesh at pala with some of the rather good locals, a nice day to end a great day, but 3 pools in one day really take it out of your legs
Palm Springs, amazing drive into the desert, through the wind farms, only ever seen it on films .. was awesome to be there, the park was closed ….. and didn’t open till several hours later in the midday sun!
So once again we had to eat at Dennys Mr Huggins Fav place to eat…. and then wait .. and wait
This bowl Rocked! … it was meant to be a replica of the “nude bowl” … but we heard it was nothing like the original … but still it was awesome ….
Then is was on to Fontana, to a unreal free park, just amazing what the Americans will build, awesome combi bowl and multi level bowled areas, and some killer local skaters that we spent time with chatting to and showing us the lines, sadly another park we never got to hit with fresh legs
Once again it was a eairly morning and back to Pala Pool, this place just got better for us and we all improved fast and worked our lines and all used the hips and shallow ends to have longer runs
Then it was on to the Alva shop………and he had just left… so we were told .. yeah right!, basicaly it was a self named shop paying homage to himself! …. me me me me me … yawn.
I just read a magazine on african american music …. and left loads of middle age shred stickers and a gnarly dude CD around the place … opppssss
Then is was on to Tracker Trucks to meet Buddy Carr and see the factory and just chill for a while and talk skate and talk trucks, and parks and the re pressing of the 70′s trucks for the new Dog town film, seems tracker kept all the old molds, if you like tracker trucks or not getting a insight to how they are molded and made was really interesting,
And …. so it was down to Corinado for the final skate of the day, not a great park in my eye’s after what we have skated in the US, but i am sure if i had this park in the UK i would be impressed. I guess it was just a little mellow after the intense bowls and pools
Back to Badly Pipe Line for the new guys, after the slam I took and the decay of the surface, Mr Huggins and I decided to watch over the truck while the nu guys went to see ?it was wet, so they didn’t do much other than view the place and see how ROUGH it really was,
…. and so it was on to Upland again …. YES ….It’s still as big and as slippy as Huggins, Centre, and I remember …. but seeing Gazza’s and Doddy’s face was a picture, this place is just Awesome, and it is free… can you really see that ever been free in the UK ?
And the final place was Vans the Block at Orange, this time some of the locals showed up and ragged the place and now showing us the lines that we needed we started to get a true free for the place… just fucking amazing !!!!
And so it was off to the new Etnies park… and no cameras in the park, so pics are not that great from here…. anyway … awesome park, fucking unreal bowl, the locals once again skated like demons and Buddy was there to rip the bowl apart
Then after a very sore day of slams under the hot sun we head off to Laguna …..yet another park that just didn’t do it for me …. too mellow after Etnies bowl …. and just unintesting!
But a very tip off for a great mexican place to eat that did killer margaritas …… yum yum … then a very long and scary drive home
The last day …… fuck! it is over…. shit cunt piss twat
but just one last early morning sesh at Pala Pool with Rob Mertz, no pics I am afraid, we just wanted to skate… and skate we did, so nice to know that we made friends and skated some of the most gnarly terrain in the world,
then we thought .. the Pala full pipes .. and off we went .. Andrew said “i hope the noise doesn’t piss of the bees….”
the next thing we knew Gazzas was screaming “theres a bee in my hair” … “it’s stinging me” … laugh .. i was howling … we have this on video .. i will get pics … classic comedy moment
So time to pack (how much shit did we buy dude’s) and head back to LAX and the 10 hour flight home to the UK……
I guess we all lived to tell the tales and show the battle scares of the trip …. oh the memories
But thanks to CA Crew that made this the best fucking skate road trip we have ever had..
The thanks list is :-
Mark Centre / the Nazi Skate Gimp
The Down Hill Guys
Jim and Chase Web
All the skaters that we meet at the parks that showed us the lines, the names we can remember are George from Clairmont, Red from Fontana, and all the ones that just made this fucking awesome !
The Shops that gave us the time of the day:-
Alva (not the man but the sales assistant)
The None Skaters ..
Tony / the Gigolo
The girl in the coffee shop
Beau the dog
The guy who flew the plane
The Mexican that let us skate his pool
Over and out guys ……. roll on …for “Shits and Giggles” 2005