Well. "Bowl Bash 9" has come and went .. and I must say that a weekend at Skatopia was EXACTLY what this old skater needed to get his "zen" back together.
It ended up being Jeff Johnson and myself making the trek. We were the only skaters from Michigan who made the trip down for the party. Thats cool. When we got there the first thing we did was checkout the cement kidney pool. Jeff and I talked about skating that thing the whole way time we were driving. I think that was probably the the one thing we both wanted to skate the most. But FUCK! We were DENIED skating it due to ground water seepage. CIA would pump out the water only to have it fill right back up. Too bad as this pool was looking WAY cool. Oh ... and it was a real pool shape with REAL pool coping. Not something you find in a skate park. Even the shallow end went to vert. Thats ok, there is plenty of other radical terrain at Skatopia.
Next thing to check out was the "King Dong" ramp. Another awesome structure. BIG vert on this ramp. 2' was normal, 3'-4' in other places. This ramp was basically "L" shaped but had curved sections and weird walls in places. Oh . and it spined into a NICE rectangle shaped wooden bowl. A session was starting to take place on the bowl side.. but I chose to begin my rip at Skatopia by dropping in off 2' into the big side. Rusted steel surface provided plenty of grip. This ramp was not slick at all. The flow was easy and getting speed wasn't a problem. Nice.
The wooden 3/4 pipe was sitting at one end of the King Dong ramp. 16' seperated the two ramps and Brewce, owner and the supreme local at Skatopia, could clear that gap. I do not know the diameter of that 3/4 .. but is was big and pumping it was pretty easy. I've never really ridden a 3/4 pipe before so it was very cool to be able to flow something like this. Just another example of insane terrain that Skatopia is known for.
The newest addition to all this skateboard anarchy was the "Lula Bowl". All cement.. 2 different bowl depths that pooled into a huge cradle for that over vert thrill. Skaters were hitting the cradle either to begin a speed run or just for the sheer excitment of being damn near upside down. Dropping from 10 oclock meant that you went straight to the bottom. Needless to say .. you didn't want to step off your board while in the cradle. The Lula Bowl has a mix of cement edges, steel pipe and real pool coping. All this flows out the door of an old school bus. Totally psychadelic. You have to see it to believe it.
During the day bands played on a small stage that was next to the Lula Bowl. Skating to live music is a MAJOR bonus!. Especially when you have bands like "El Destructo" that rock the fuck out.
Ok .. now its saturday night and the party is RAGING!. I'd guess that over 200 people were there to skate and party. The main party was in the barn that housed "The Punisher". Oh yea .. The Punisher ...this wooden bowl is nothing short of the most intense skate structure I've ever seen. PERFECT wooden bowl, 3' of vert in the deep end, 1' of vert in the shallow end. HARSH pool coping all the way around. Highlights on the session were Grant's (didn't get his last name) FULLON standup frontside grinds in the deepend. The dude left sparks everytime he hit the coping. Oh . and he didn't have those lame sparks producers either. His skatin was VERY real. Brewce skated faster then anyone I've ever seen before. Highlights of his runs were 50-50s ALL the way around, BIG lien to tails and this one move where he would blast up the waterfall, catching air, flying across the shallow end and SLAMMING into a frontside smith hookup. Once again.. something you just have to see in person to believe. Tim Cline showed whats up with big backside laps in the deepend and killer frontside snapback grinds in the shallow. Another Skater .. damn .. didn't get his name was hitting backside airs 3'-4' out along with killer backside ollies about 3' out, stalled inverts, BIG grinds and carves.
On each side of the Punisher they had a stage built for bands to play on. It was cool .. while one band played.. another band was setting up on the other stage. This pretty much allowed for close to non-stop live music. The website said that 29 bands signed up to play. I have no idea how many actually played, but it was a lot. Live music went till 4am or so. The session never really stopped. Once the sun came up .. skaters moved back over to the Lula Bowl. The reason for that was due to Lula not having lights yet and since it was fresh everyone wanted to skate that. Everything else at Skatopia was lite up very well. Given how hot it gets down there in the summer, my guess would be that nightime sessions are the norm.
Now.. the party wasn't without incident. I seen several fights break out. I guess that happens when you mix alcohol and NON-SKATERS together. No skater caused any trouble. It was all "outsiders". As for the skating .. one skater knocked a tooth out. Blood was all over the flatspace. One guy broke his wrist. There might have even been a broken ankle or two. I seen several skaters get helped up out of the bowls. LOTS of skaters "gave blood" to Skatopia. Its just that kind of a place.
At one point Brewce grabbed a microphone to announce that the cops were sitting down at the end of his road. EVERY car that left the party was being pulled over. He HIGHLY encouraged everyone to spend the night. I think most did as the next morning there were bodies laying all over the place. The place looked like a war zone. *laugh*
So yea.. it was very cool to meet Tim, Brewce, Dan, Roach, Corey, Matt and the rest of the CIA. True rippers and bros. This fall will be the "Backwoods Blowout" and you can bet that I will be going back for that.
They got it going on down in Meigs Co. ---Wes