Skatopia offers a "one of a kind" environment for the truly
hardcore. No whiners are allowed. You either skate tough or get
out of the way. Even the sign out front has pool coping on it. That
should tell you something right there.
Friday I arrive at Skatopia around 2:30pm. A hefty session was
going on in the Lula Bowl. Skaters getting that "cradle time" in.
Saturday would be the highest frontside line in the cradle
contest. There were other events also planned. "Longest frontside
grind in the Epcot Bean", "Best trick over the Gap". Just so you
know... we are talking a 16' wide gap between the King Dong ramp
and the massive 3/4 pipe.
"Bowl Troll" Matt was snaking everybody and killing every run.
There were several rippers hitting high lines in the cradle. Dale
ripped all over the place. "Pack" killed it. The Skatopia "jihad" was in
FULL EFFECT. Lots of skaters doing what skaters do.
After an all day session in the Lula Bowl ... skaters moved over
to the Barn facility for the evening session/party. Well.. not
everyone. At some point someone setup a generator and lights to
keep the Lula nice and lit up. Two sessions were going on. One in
the Bean and one in the Dong bowl. Both were just going off! the
flow in the bowl was fast carves and long grinds. The scene in
the bean was much the same. Roots skating was the rule NOT the
exception. There is a reason that they have INDEPENDENT banners
and stickers all over the place.
A lot of people were drinking a lot of beer. Some skated ..but
most folks just partied in the intense vibe. Some band played.
No clue who they were. At this point in time when you have heard
one hardcore band .. you've heard them all. Thats cool though.
Live music is always a bonus.
Met Dave Tuck and a bunch of the Colorado tribe there. Nice group
of folks. Dave introduced me to his crew and it was as if they
were "family" I didn't know I had. You know what I mean? A WAY
positive vibe. Much RESPECT to the Arvada Army and the SBA (Shit
Bag Army) for the hospitality. Pretty much the whole camp area
was cool. No assholes or troublemakers. Just skaters blowing off
steam in various ways.
One highlight of the evening was shooting off fireworks at the
derby/grunge cars that drove by. Here is the deal. Someone would
buy a super cheap, piece of shit car and get it towed or trailed
in. The area at the top of the hill makes for a big square shaped
dirt track. Cars would race around that. As the cars came by our
campsite they were either going to get bombed with fireworks or
Tuck would run out and beat on the car with a baseball bat.. or
both. *laugh* One of the crew scored a "direct hit" with a pack
of fire crackers sending a shower of sparks and explosions all
over the windshield.
At one point one of the Dogs, or yea.. there are many dogs at
Skatopia, ran out and did his own attack on a passing car. It was
pure luck that dog wasn't killed. Oh yea.. there are several dogs
here that LOVE to eat lit fireworks. So.... everytime you fired
off a bottle rocket or something.. you would have dogs jumping at
you trying to eat the sparks. I've never seen anything like that
before in my life. Not just the skaters ...but also the animals
are fucking nuts.
At some point in the night the rain came. Those without a tent
were left to scramble for cover. I was pretty damn comfortable
sleeping in my van. I brought my camping kit with me. Come morning
I was able to brew up a pot of coffee and chill back. With laptop
running .. I was able to write some of this story and do a proper
"wake and bake".
Well.. that was rad. Its early saturday morning and I just
witnessed "dog sex". Yup .. two amourous pups kickin' it.
Doggiestyle of course. Nice.
Ok .. after a breakfast of Zingerman's "farm bread" and smoked salmon
a few of the crew decided to try and get the SBA's derby car running.
Damn thing wouldn't stay running. We all took turns wrenching and
trying different things to get it started. Bah. To make things more
interesting... sometime during the night those fuckers from North Carolina
smeared dog shit ALL over the car! After several hours of messing with
this car we gave up. Besides.. it was time to start they contest.
First event was the "highest frontside line" in the cradle. The format was a
jam session. Each skater dropped in right after the previous one stepped off.
This built up an intense energy amongest them that made each one go higher and higher in the cradle. The crowd showed much respect to the over vert heroes.
"Bowl Troll" skates very fast. This picture was taken a bit late. You can see that he was much higher in the arc.
Even the bails were gnarly. Stepping off your line could be your last move of the day.
Pack commands. He proved to be King that day.
Here are some video clips from the cradle session
Dale Busta's cradle run (4 Meg file size)
Cradle Session (13 Meg file size)WORTH IT!
Dale and Pack's cradle run(9.5 Meg file size)
After a 30 minute break there would be the "Highest sticker in the full pipe".
The crowd took this time to grab beers, smoke phattys, eat some food and make their way down the hill to the big barn. After a pretty entertaining commentary by Brewce on the "State of Skate Manliness" the
contest got underway. Skaters were each given several stickers a piece to
try their best to post one higher than anyone else.
Tuckman gets it going with pasting a sticker at about 20" from the top. That got the crowd and the skaters all hyped. Next up was Dale Busta. He gets his flow on and slaps one a bit farther up the pipe. He was now in first and Dave was bumped to second. A couple of more skaters gave it a shot but it was Grant who showed whats up. Grant got a sticker about 7" from the top. On his second run he pasted one just under his first one. He was King of the Full Pipe.
The "Best Trick over the Gap" contest was cancelled. But once again .. Dale Busta shows whats up by flowing a BIG Stalefish over the 16' gap. The whole place fell apart when he landed. Beers exploded, people started eating dirt.
Now people were starting to get fired up and it was time to skate! The Punisher, dong bowl, 3/4 pipe and the big vert ramp were all seeing some session hungry skaters ripping the flow they know. I even laid down a couple of lines on the vert ramp that got me a couple of whoops and cheers. ;-) the dong bowl had a huge session going on. I wasn't able to get any good pictures but I did get some footage of skaters runs.
Here are some video clips (.AVI) of the evening action.
Michelle and Miller get their skate on (10 Meg file size)
Miller, Dana and some dude in the dong bowl.(10.5 Meg file size)
Bowl Run.(3.2 Meg file size)
LATE night action saw a hellish session in the Punisher. Bands played and skaters ground pool coping. The "Highest WALL Ride" was set up and Brewce proved who lived there. Grant took second and Matt "Bowl Troll" took third.
Other highlights of the evening were the HUGE bonfire built out of several cars and lots of wood. Hidden pockets of gas in the carnage made for very cool explosions as the fire grew hotter.
Sunday morning I was up early and packed all my shit up. Pretty much everyone else was still crashed out except for a small session going on in the Lula. I drove slowly around the cars, campsites and random bodies. The Skatopia complex was covered in fog. A beautiful "misty morning" you could write a song about. No wait.. someone already did. ;-) . The morning was very calm and it all felt kinda surreal considering what took place only hours before.