Agua De Coco

Tick-tock, it is that time on the clock….February once again.  February means one thing to me, Southern California’s (Socal) annual Canadian invasion.  Meeting up with old friends and a couple of new friends to enjoy some great skatespots, it’s always a blast.


 Group Shot: (L to R) Jessica Middleton, Ri Abderrahmane, Glenn Woloski, Jean Brunelle Bradette, Otis Williamson, Trevor Moncaster, Dave Brown, Mackenzie Carruthers, Leon Chapdelaine, Chris Bright, Chris Macallum, Sean Cavanaugh, Brad McGinn, Vance Hutchinson, Mark Best, Greg Baller, Steve Kotsopoulos, Ryan Baxter, Dave Sawler, Mason Burke, David White, Alex Keaveny, Shawn Pierce, Chris Fonseca, John Finley, and Jeff Gluck. Missing from this photo: Rob Bell, John Raimondo, Scott Finn, and Mike Chan.

Photo by Adam Cassidy.


Mack FS Disaster BibleBowl

 Mack about to slap down a frontside disaster during an early morning session at the Bible Bowl.


The trip included 26 Canadians (originally), basically all arriving and leaving at different times.  On top of the 26 guys, two guys drove down from B.C., a Quebecer happened to be driving back from down south just at the right time, and there was an additional guy from Ontario who flew down.  A total planning nightmare is what the 2015 trip started off as.  Whatever?  Once you are in Socal with the boys, shit happens, rooms are rented, cars are rented, and fun is had.


Shawn FS Carve Carlsbad

Shawn came down from the Yukon (no real daylight at this time of the year) to show us that a frontside kickstand (hand on the step) Alga Norte skatepark is easy.


Each road trip has a life of its own.  The running jokes, the weird sayings, the vibe, and the mishaps are never the same.  What spots would we hit?  What would go down?  Who is the clown of the trip going to be?  Oh wait, Macallum (AKA Bumbles) is on the trip, he will be the clown for sure.

Tristan BS Smith Moorpark

Tristan backside smith grind over the deathbox at Moorpark sporting a hi-viz shirt.


Every year Bumbles shows up with a new kit, as in wardrobe.  The last couple of years it was « his vert outfit ».  Apparently Bumbles requires different clothes to skate transitions that go to vert.  Oh yeah, on those days there is a little less beer going down his throat.  If you remember, his last years’ vert kit had a florescent yellow sleeveless top and red basketball shorts.  We called his outfit hi-viz.  Jokes have been made all year long about people sporting the hi-viz gear.  A couple of us made a point to bring a hi-viz kit for this years trip.  In the above photo is Tristan Rennie kicking the hi-viz top.  My hi-viz kit was florescent yellow shirt with a Discharge print (that I made) on it.  Mark Best purchased the only hi-viz official trip T-shirt; yes, John got some shirts made for this years trip.

Jean_BSGrind Death Box Fontana NorthJean has his board flop onto the deck while he goes over the deathbox at Fontana North’s Roman pool, aggressive!


Many people had stair missions this year i.e. making it frontside or backside over stairs in a pool.  It is weird how just having stairs in your sight make you jump off your board.  In reality, people that have problems making it over stairs is because their brain thinks it is harder to do than it actually is.  People often run into a stair before they even make it to the peak of their carve.  That is because they think they need to start their carve late to clear the stairs which is wrong.  Even a quick carve in the shallow end of a pool will be eight feet wide.  Eight feet is much more than the width of skatepark pool stairs.  I kind of have a different problem, stairs help my carve.  Without stairs to go over, I never backside grind.  With stairs under my path, I grind every time.  Maybe all pool pockets should have stairs in them just for me, haha.  On a side note, I did not complete my stair mission at the Alga Norte pool which was making over the stairs switch frontside.  One day I will learn high speed frontside feebles to fakie in the deep and then I will have enough speed to make it over the stairs.

Steve BSCarve Bail PeckThis is how not to make it over stairs.  Steve’s legs got fully extended and then he will get weightless and bail.

Steve BS Carve PeckNow here Steve left his legs bent and carved over these difficult stairs in the Peck Park pool.

 Mark FS Carve LakesideThese Lakeside pool stairs are the first stairs that Mark has gone over frontside.  Yippie!


John FS Carve LakesideThe Lakeside stairs were John’s first frontside stairs too.  A day earlier, John went over his first stairs ever.


The Canadian Invasion is basically one week long.  This year, because Steve Kotsopoulos and Mike « Chanimal » Chan are turning 50 years old, four guys stayed an extra week.  Last year I stay 12 days and I was totally dead when I got home.  I guess it did not help that I dislocated my tailbone and shoulder on that trip on separate bails.  How would I last for 16 days of full on skating?  The only answer I could come up with was to take it mellow the first week.  Trying to keep my skating down to less than four hours a day the first week really did help out my body.  Sadly, with three more days left of skating, I dislocated my shoulder again.  Possibly my worst dislocation ever.  After four tries I finally got my should to stay in the socket so I could climb out of my favourite bowl, Clairemont.  When Darren Navarrette over heard me talking to one of his Skeleton Key riders about how it was my favourite bowl he asked me, « Is it still your favourite? »  My answer was « Yes! ».  The bowl did not do anything to me, I am the one who fell.

Chan BS Carve Light RidiculousYou says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick?  Chanimal going over his first backyard pool light thanks to Salba.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPool skating 101 (college level)


For the first time ever, I spent a bunch of time in San Diego on this trip.  I think it was a total of six days during the two weeks.  In previous years, the San Diego skateparks were mainly the private Y.M.C.A. parks with their shitty hours during the week, 2:30 – 5:00.  This year there was a bunch of new skateparks and skate spots around San Diego to ride during the day.  We also have a sweet motel across the street from the ocean in Carlsbad.  Good food, beers, the ocean (to take my weekly bath in), and some great skate stuff, SD is much more fun now a days.  New for 2015 was the Lakeside skatepark, a D.I.Y. named Valley Center Skate Spot (VCSS), and the Encinitas skatepark.  Lakeside was a very Team Pain style skatepark with the coloured concrete, stamped China banks, and street nipple.  The pool had a pool style deepend but the two shallow end pockets were a little to mellow for me (much steeper than Spin though).  Going to VCSS was a shot in the dark.  I had only seen a couple of photos of the spot and it was hard to see the actual layout of the D.I.Y.  We got lost a little bit but once we looked at the spot, guys were stoked.  The quick detour ended up being a two hour session which made us late for a Huntington Beach session, oops.

Valley Center Skate Spot- FlowThe bottom left of my image is messed up but you can get an idea of the VCSS layout.


Lakeside Overview

 Lakeside was a little sketchy to ride with bmxs.  Go there early in the day.


The city of Encinitas had a new skatepark.  Its street section was huge.  Both times I was there, some pro street skater was in the house.  Photos did not do the park justice so check out Pat White’s video.


By the second week all the guys (besides Chinamal) were addicted to coconut water.  Not that shit with sugar added to it, the pure stuff.  Mornings became a race to the Dep. (corner store) to score the coconut water.  If there were no more good coconut waters left, we would not buy the sugar water.  I still do not understand why this by product (coconut water) is so expensive?  It is a great energy drink for skating though.  Sorry guys, I do not have a vested interest in any one of the coconut water brands.

coconut water

Bingo, they still have some here.  Photo by Steve.


I have barely written anything about the trip and the post is already to long to scroll through.  Looks like I will have to create a part II.  I guess a part II is fitting since it was a two week trip.  No ending this post before adding two bonus photos.

Trevor FS Air Channel  Washington Street

At the beginning of the trip Steve had captured a photo of Trevor doing a STINKY-ASS STINK BUG over this channel at Washington Street.  When we went back, Trevor needed some redemption.   I hope he is happier with this photo.


Leon BS Hurricane  Moorpark

Leon killed it the whole trip.  Every day he would amaze me.  He came out the gate brazing this hurricane on a wall that is hard to just grind at Moorpark.