The essence of skate spots is that they are often a fleeting oasis avaliable one day and then dried up the very next. The fact that so many of our canvas's are subject to such a temporary existence stands to only add substance to the memories of the time spent there. There is a certain satisfaction knowing that you were on top of things to the point that you were able to sneak past Babylon's guard and get some well deserved session time in repurposing what is soon to be nothing but an addition to the seeming endless concrete jungle. What follows is a story about one such spot whose days were numbered from its very conception but due to diligence and an adventurous attitude, a solid session went down on a feature that almost every skateboarder has always wanted to skate but seldom would ever have the chance. This is due to the fact that skateboards do not normally comply with the minimum highway speed limit but this complaint was tested by a crew who took them down a pre-opened mega over pass many moons ago...
Stumbling upon skate spots may be one of the best feelings. It is a like being thrown a free-bee when normally the struggle is real trying to find something new and exciting to facilitate your artistic endeavors. Finding 49's was an accidentally blessing literally on top of a previous blessing found by our group just a few weeks earlier. The Concrete Wave was discovered as a highway underpass that had a hill leading into a very skate-able wall of concrete. This mythical find was enough to keep us occupied for multiple visits with out ever wondering what this wave was "underpassing". The credit for taking the initiative to poke their head over the lip goes to Bill Dunn who initially explored the unopened high way atop the Concrete Wave.
What was found was a four lane mega highway that was completely virgin to any traffic minus the construction crew who had made it and now our skateboards. A short push down the landing stripe was a huge over pass that was marked by an exit sign bearing "49" which was about to play host to an eager crew of shredders. The apex of the beast was such that both the front side and back side were rideable with nice grades of decent both ways and a double lane construction made for a wide enough platform to really explore our surroundings. Conditions were prime with all the expansion joints on the over passes tightly sealed due to the warm weather with the most beautiful black butter pavement in between the concrete sections that was just begging to host urethane wheels.
This unique session will forever live in the memories of those who participated in a once in a life time experience. We did not execute the most radical maneuver's of the day or even come close to ripping the spot to pieces but each of us felt the essence of skateboarding that day. Our boards may have been longer than the ones our forefathers rode but their adventurous spirit certainly lived on that day in each of us. Personally I can say this session was a piece of the foundation that would help to solidify my lifelong commitment to the Push-Life.
Moral of this story is get out and explore. Grab your board, get out the door and search for you never know what may be right on top of you! Never limit your self to one discipline of skateboarding but allow your mind's eye to expand and express its inner visions by equipping your self with the proper gear to tackle your own virgin territory. Hit up your local skate shop to snag what you need before your expedition and help support skater owned/operated brands that are pushing and progressing our community. JAH Bless y'all and good luck lookin'!
Last week I had the opportunity to skate with an OG homie who helped me get back into skating about 5 years ago at the newly built Team Pain park in Apex NC. Collin Gueterman is a wizard on his board making every maneuver look effortless no matter what the obstacle he is hitting. I pulled the camera out to digitize these movements and within a single hour, Collin had produced enough footie to throw together an edit. I will preface this video with the fact that Collin fell on only one attempt and was even able to replicate the back lip down the hand rail when I blew it and missed it the first go round. This boy good and he has an extensive bag of tricks that I am looking forward to further documenting in the future fr all of y'all to see! JAH Bless y'all and get out and skate today!
Deep within the skateboarding community resides an individual whose persona is best related to the entity of BigFoot; a creature of mythical means that is often thought of or mentioned, but very rarely actually seen. This individual lives as an enigma by choice and to those who have had the eye opening experience of meeting him, he is known simply as Bruce.
Despite this lack of visual presence Bruce has managed to influence the skateboarding community in a very deep and meaningful way and he continues to do so without a single backing corporate sponsor or Go-Fund-Me account. Bruce represents a way of skateboarding that can best be described as an artist who is as free as the art they are creating. This approach holds limitless options of possibilities as well as limits hesitation of exploration within skateboarding. And explore Bruce has, leaving his fabled roots in the Sunset district of San Fransisco and venturing all over the world skating anything and everything that he could put four wheels on. During these explorations he has influenced individual skaters, entire skate groups, shops, and even brands into a near state of brain washing making it so "normal" skating no longer is enough.
The lack of bigotry in the skateboarding exemplified by Bruce has helped to inspire some of the key players in todays true "Skate Everything" movement. These individuals try to replicate his effortless transition between the various set-ups found on the wheelbase spectrum and gear their approach toward total urban domination via their skateboard. Names like Big Dave Tannaci, Eric Jensen, Dead Fred, and Aaron AFB Grulich all have met, skated with, and been indoctrinated by the principles founded by Bruce. Fat standies, slappy sessions, mountain mobbing, barging backyard pools, as well as going wild in the streets each have been assigned their own course study with Bruce as the professor making sure that each of his pupils receive a fair and unbiased exposure to the most self expressive art form found on planet earth.
The followers of this rootsy revolution of skateboarding have coined the term "Brucin" to describe the new freedom they experienced atop their wooden wagons as a way to pay homage to the man who brought the attention back to fun. So the next time you're at the skatepark, your local hill, or just rolling around town and hear someone call you "Bruce" do not take this as a mistake for your God given name but rather a term of endearment from another inspired member of our community. JAH Bless y'all and make sure to keep an eye out the next time you step onto your skateboard, Bruce has a way of popping up the moment that you start looking for him.
I am a skater who lives in Baltimore, MD. I am looking to spread the love of skateboarding through both visual and written means.