Thursday, August 28, 2008

When one walks by a wall and another sees it as a ledge...

You know you've got some serious snaps, not to mention with a broken board. We'll leave the "ledge" photo for another day though. Oh yeah, this is Shaun. A cool ass dude with some mean pop.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back in the D, fool.

Yes, I'm back in Detroit and milking the last few days of my summer before I'm back to school. I probably won't be making as many blog updates but that's ok, juicier content will ensue. I had a huge heart-breaking moment when I was in the car and Matt told me Justin had rolled his ankle on his trip to Wisconsin after I had last seen him in Toronto. Damn! Anyways, this was my first day (right off the bus) of skating and I met a new guy named Joe and skated with Dave who I had met the last time I was here. We already have some plans for the weekend and everyone already knows Monday is Labour Day...

Dave, backside lipslide.

Joe, front crookie grind.

Joe middle-of-the-ghetto-at-12am
frontside noseslide.

Dave, first go switch ollie.

Got to test out my new Bronica 35mm fisheye too, pretty stoked.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Detroit Film

Got my film back from my Detroit trip and scanned it all today. I learned a hard lesson with four separate rolls of film as soon as I started scanning and that's to always make sure no dirt gets inside your back. If that does end up happening look forward to tons and tons of fun with the clone stamp tool in photoshop.

Ben, back tailer.

Pole jam.

Justin, 5-0.

Backside 180 nosegrind to gap out of my frame.

Back smith. That poke.

A high switch 5-0, that's for sure!

Hart Plaza fountain

Hart Plaza manual pad/ring

I'll be back.

Time to say goodbye!

I've always tried to avoid going to Toronto just because I've heard (and dealt with it first hand) the stories of people having no idea where to go and getting trapped downtown at the most common and worst spots. On the other hand, when I had heard Isaac was going to come out and then we'd pick up Drew when we got into the city my worries went away. Basically two guys that are a walking spot book, things went smooth. Our first spot of the day was going to be the junkyard until we caught wind that all the ledges had been smashed up. With quick improvising we all warmed up at a ledge spot close to Drew's house. Drew mention this cool little bar in a snake run and when we got there the word "death" was going through everybody's minds. Short and brutal run and a smooth pavement that sends you flying through a bush there was no time to mess up when trying this thing. Being the man he is, Ben stepped forward and did two ollies, both looking awesome. On our way to the next spot we hit up a common upledge in the middle of a highway, no biggie. Ben got a clip there too. Two and counting.

Our next spot was a bit of a bust when we rolled up since there was already a crew rolling 6+ deep. None of us were into that so Drew mentioned this bank that we all headed off too. I was told this thing doesn't get skated much and I could see why, the thing was basically gravel. Luckily Justin had a sign so that made things a tiny bit better. Drew got a dope trick and Ben got one too. Three clips now! When Isaac told the guys we were going to a spot Levi Brown skated they both got super stoked, off to the Beaches Rails we went. The guys messed around a little and Ben started thrashing the stairs. After a warm up ollie he got faked out with a high five by some hood rat, whatever. Ben was over it and got down to business. Once warm up ollies and kickflips were done and over with Ben put down a front shove and a hardflip. Both of which he did twice because the first ones were too sketchy. Five clips in one day? What a trooper.

My favourite spot of the day was
the snake run. Ben, 2 pushes on
cracked wood and ollie.

Ben, back tail.

Ben, Pivot fakie.

Do I really need to repeat the name? Front

Hard flip.

I forgot to mention Ben got
a little worked skating the steps.

I'm glad the Detroit guys could come and skate Canada soon after I left even if the whole loonie and toonie system was a bit confusing. Hopefully see you soon guys!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Looked Who Followed Me Home

While I was down visiting in Detroit I was let in on a little secret that some of my new found friends would be coming to my homeland to shred some gnar, I was stoked! Today they showed up and we skated around Kitchener and Cambridge for a bit while they got acquainted with some of the local guys from here. We didn't do much skating as we'll be getting busy tomorrow in Toronto (stay posted for a blog from that day for sure) so we just took it easy. Watched some skate videos (Nota Bene!) relaxed. Photos from the short day are below.

A quick start before Aaron Wynia is late for

Justin didn't land this switch
5-0 but got totally worked trying
it so he deserves his picture up

Ben, nosegrind on the sign
in Cambridge.

Aaron, back smith.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 5: CAMPUS police suck.

So the final day has come and gone *tear tear*. I'm a little bummed as I write this considering my Detroit adventure has come to an end but I'm also pretty damn stoked on everything that has come out of it. A ton of new homies, a solid Detroit connection and future (Canadian and American) adventures with the same guys.

Getting to the basic run down of the day...

Justin, Matt and I headed out to downtown Detroit early on to try and get some skating done before meeting up with some of the other guys. We skated the harbor front ledges for quite a bit while we warmed up and decided it was time to get down to business. We headed off to the Comerica (black out ledge) ledge because Matt was really feeling a boardslide pop out. In no time at all he was rolling away and we were ready to move on. The next spot was dubbed "poo poo alley" because crack heads will sit up against the wall and take a shit, leaving a brown streak down the wall. Pretty fucking disgusting but for some reason we stayed there for a good hour while Justin got a few tricks.

It was time to meet up with Mike Sholar so we could go shoot a handrail at a university. We got there, met up, took care of business and just as we were leaving the campus police roll up and start laying into us super hard by taking our boards away and putting them in their trunk and acting like they ruled for catching some pesty kids skateboarding. I was pretty amazed and pissed off at the same time that porker in the school patrol uniform was straight up throwing us around. Whatever, we played the super respectful game and got our stuff back and we were on our way.

Finally Ben and Daryl had shown up so we decided to go and see what was happening at Hart Plaza. Unfortunately the def-mute security guard had to kick us out and call for back up because the poor bastard had some how forgotten how to speak. We had no choice but to cruise around and figure out a new spot. We stuck around the harbor front area for the rest of the night and got a few tricks, you'll just have to stay posted.

Justin, 5-0 for poo poo alley.

Mike, front board.

focus check

Justin, switch 5-0.

I'm stoked for things that are going to come in the future, can't wait to see these dudes again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 4: Chili's rules.

The day started off slow at the indoor park here and I was a little afraid not much would get done. It seemed like everyone was working during the day and Ben couldn't really get anyone to come out. We eventually thought it would be a good idea just to go check out a few spots and see what was up. Spot number one (and only spot due to a shinner) was this chunky-ass flatbar outside of a person's house. I had never seen a chunky metal bar before but I guess there are always firsts for everything. Ben got the hustle on his tricks though. Front smiths were all the norm on this day and then he decided to step it up and try a front feeble pop out. Things got a little messy (and frustrating for Ben) until something clicked and pulled one out. Thinking it was too sketchy Ben went back for more and the rail was not willing to go for a round two so Ben walked away with a brand new shinner. Time for some food and back to Landslide to meet up with Garza, Bill and Robbie.

Back to the Pontiac ledges (which I really didn't mind skating). A guy named Kevin ended up showing up and him and I both got lines on film, only difference was that his was super dope and mine Icing on the cake for Kevin was that he was doing a Russ Milligan trick and skated just like Alex Klein. Awesome. After a lengthy session at the ledges it was dinner time. Since roughly all the main dudes from my trip were together tonight we went to Chili's for a "special" *tear tear* dinner since tomorrow is my last day in Detroit.

Things weren't over after dinner! I don't know what Justin's deal is but he gets more stoked to skate at night than any other time. This time he was feeling a super rough ledge spot at some high bust spot. So I set up really fast and we realized one thing: there was no lighting there at all. Justin barged the shit and "copped" (I've been teaching these guys weak-ass Canadian words) a back smith there and security showed up right after, a bitter end to the night.

Tomorrow is the last day of my trip and we'll have a deep crew heading downtown Detroit, hopefully everyone will be able to "cop" something. Nevermind, fuck that word.

Ben, front smith.

Same dude, same spot, new trick. Front feebs
pop out.

Justin, back smith. Maybe one day I will reveal
the secret to his tweak.

Stay posted, day five is going to go off with a bang.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 3: Dodging rain drops and Detroit's finest crack heads

This morning when Justin and I left the house I had an unsure feeling about how the day would end up since the forecast was calling for isolated showers and there was a giant dark storm cloud over head. That aside, Justin and I drove on to downtown Detroit to meet up with Daryl, John, Ben and a Jim. Justin and I ended up waiting around for a few minutes so we decided to check out the harbour front ledges where there apparently was a wedding with hundreds of drunk bone-head retards walking around and stumbling on the ledge we were trying to shoot on. Just as we decided to pack up the rest of the crew arrived and the rain started to come down. I was getting pretty bummed. We hung out in the basement of Hart Plaza for a bit and the rain stopped and dried up pretty quickly. Daryl got down to business and decided to nollie shove the little Hart gap within three tries. I just happened to snap a quick photo but I wasn't feeling it too much. Now the rain started to come off and on which became rather annoying. Eventually Daryl decided a hardflip would suit the little Hart gap so he put one down in perfect manner, everyone got stoked. Soon after Ben put down a rather lofty front shove and everyone thought that was a good way to start the day, next spot!

I'll be honest, I'm damn tired as I write this and I imagine it's not the best time to do up an account of the day so I'll make this short and sweet.

Throughout the rest of the day we skated an out ledge, an over-the-rail spot and a flatbar spot. Ben got a really dope sequence (see below) at the outledge spot while Daryl did an ollie at the over rail spot and focussed on his board trying a nollie. All dudes decided it was time to retire except for Justin who was still hungry for some tricks. This flatbar spot is no joke since it's right up against a wall. Justin got technical with a backside 180 switch nosegrind and reversed that with a switch 180 5-0. Check the goods below!

Justin, backside tailslide.

Ben, front shove nosegrind.

Daryl, ollie.

Justin, back 180 switch nosegrind.

Reverse Reverse! Switch backside 180 5-0.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Day 2: When it rains, it pours.

Today it rained on and off just enough to keep us from skateboarding outside. Daryl showed me a lot of videos from the Michigan area so it was cool to see the area's skate history. Tomorrow we will be going into downtown Detroit if it's nice so I will definitely have stuff to report back with, weather permitting.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Day 1: Michigan U-Turns and White Castle

So far I have been pretty impressed considering I basically got off the bus and already shot some gnar. Anyways, this morning I got a wake up call from a friend I hadn't seen for a while...Garza! It was a bit of a bummer he was just in the area and didn't bring his board to skate.

Moving on, Daryl thought it would be a good idea to go warm up at a gap with shitty ground and a switch trick. Wind and a run up full of dips and waves only brought out the frustration in Daryl. We all agreed on a new spot which just happened to be a busy daycare. Luckily Dave had a good eye for a fire hydrant at the same spot and was feeling a trick from the moment he laid eyes on it. We got there, got a trick and got out.

Daryl and Dave had to jet to work and other errands so it was just Ben, Justin and I. Ben wanted to show us this cool spot I had seen in the Shred Til Yer Dead promo and it ended up being pretty awesome. Ben threw down pretty quick with a pole jam and a frontside flip. Next spot, ledges. I got a fun line while Justin and Ben just messed around on the ledges. Ben got a dope sequence and we were off to the next spot...more ledges! Now these ledges...not ledges I would take just anyone to, these things were huge. Both of the guys didn't seem to have a problem and I ended up shooting a roll of film there. Unfortunately I shot Justin's trick only on film so I've got nothing to show for him. Ben on the other hand got super gnarly on the giant hubba there (see below!)

Things we were winding down and I was getting stoked, it was time to go eat at White Castle. Let me say, horrible idea. Anything I had ever imagined about that place was totally destroyed after eating the four burger combo, I regret every part of it. Besides the shitty food we met up with a guy named Chris who was killing this flatbar spot when we got there. We decided to head to the library to shoot some things Chris had previously done which turned out nice. After that we had a (quick) game of S.K.A.T.E. and everyone was ready to go home. Overall, super productive day.

The Good Morning Garza show

Stretching, warming up.

There are a lot of lights here

Dave, frontside 180 switch manual with
Ben trailing behind.

Walking to the next the forest?

Voila! Ben busting out a
frontside flip rather quick
on the forest gap.

Next spot. DIY Ledge spot, fun time! Before
we shot this Ben asked me if this trick would be
"okay" for a sequence. Front Smith Kickflip Out,
the proof is in the puddin'.

More ledge spots, more Ben.
This time back tailing through
a curve and lots of chunks.

Michigan's hubba hide-out, Ben
getting gnarly.

Time for food and meet ups!

We didn't shoot any photos at the yellow flatbar
but Chris and I made up for it with this front
blunt pop out at the library.

I'll try and update this thing everyday with photos and all that good stuff but if I don't, forgive me! Over and out for day one.

My Arrival

So here I am, sitting in Daryl's living room recounting the amount of awesome that already filled my first day. Actually, I wouldn't even count this as my first day considering I only arrive at my final destination, Southfield, at about 5 in the evening or so.

Ah yeah, the seven hour plus bus ride. I'll be honest and say I didn't mind it that much at all, just a lot of sleeping, text messaging and snacking out. Met and saw some interesting characters starting in London. Some people (in London) had lost their luckage and were not stoked. A result of paying the extra $10 luggage fee and it being lost these certain people decided to attack the mail cart. Their trip ended quick. On to the actual travelling. I never realized how many broke-ass towns there are in between London and Windsor, the whole time I was just sitting on the bus being thankful I had never grown up there. Anyways, arriving in Detroit I learned that their “accents” were something I would have to get ahold of real quick; I had to ask four separate times what time my bus showed up because I couldn't understand the first three people. Movin' on! Finally arriving in Southfield I called up Daryl to come pick me up, no sweat, he'd be there in 20 minutes. Turns out the bus station was a lot further than he figured, the station closed at six and there was a thunder storm moving in fast. So now I'm waiting outside, the station is closed and the rain starts coming down colder and harder than ever. Thankfully Lowepro bags rule and have their own separate rain coats but for some reason I had a blue poncho in my actual luggage so that came in super handy. So now I'm not super bummed, just soaked and freezing my ass off.

Daryl finally shows up and the sun decides to come out at the same time which we're both stoked on. He tells me he wants to show me this flatgap he's got some stuff on before. We roll up, the thing is huge. Daryl claims backside flip as soon as we get there. “I've done it before”, he says. Okay, cool, I set up, 15 tries later he's rolling away from the trick and “cleaner than before.” I'm pretty hyped because I didn't even count on skating on my first “day” in let alone the first half hour. We decided to head over to the local indoor park to meet up with Justin and the rest of the crew. Everyone here was super dope and welcoming which I was hyped on. I get told we're just going to run an after hours session instead of trying to maneuver through a bunch of the not-so regulars. Some fun skate times were had and I even re-learned a few new tricks.

Aside from the first day ruling from skating alone I also got some Michigan knowledge dropped on me. Number one, dill pickles in bags are sold at every gas station here and are apparently a hot product. Number two, everybody's favourite pop here is called “Faygo.” I'll be honest and say I was pretty stunned but the black cherry flavour is actually damn good. Number three, the band “Insane Clown Posse” is from Michigan and can always be found getting stoked on their Faygo.

That's all for my arrival, take a look at Daryl's pretty backside flip.


Eating before our after hours session