OBX 2015

For the ninth year in a row for me, it was North Kakalaka time.  Oh crap, already nine years.  It is going to be scary when I have been doing the trip longer than some of the guys on the trip have been alive.  That has not happened yet but, most likely one day it will.  Maybe then I will stop going….no way.

Leon FS Wallride  FDR

Leon some how finds speed in the mellow section at FDR to wallride this high.  Basically only bike tire marks up there.

 

At the beginning of April my friend from NYC had posted a video of him skating a new private indoor pool in Brooklyn named the Winter Bowl.  The pool looked sick.  The company I work for is going through rough times so I have only been working 4 days a week.  With Fridays off, this year we could break the drive down to the OBX into two days instead of a 13 hours (limited piss breaks) drive down.  TJ agreed to help us get into the Winter Bowl.  Lucky for us since that day was super windy and cold.  Indoor warmth was very welcome.  Thanks TJ, the pool was so sick.

This how how I found out that the Winter Bowl existed.

 

In no real rush to get to the house in Duck, NC, I forced the guys in the van to skate.  We stopped off in Bowie, MD.  I have been there a couple of times before.  The bowl is gnarly; lots of vert or over-vert everywhere in the bowl.  The park even includes a little snake run into a fun street section.  We ended up staying there a little longer than planned since Trevor, who we were picking up in Norfolk told us it was raining there.  We might as well skate while Trevor works his tinder magic.  Much later that day we found the Applebee’s where Trevor had been holding out all day.  Jean and myself walked in and we both could not find him.  Way to start a trip; we lost a guy before even meeting up with him.  A text and a couple of minutes and Trevor stepped out of the restaurant.  Man were Jean and I confused that we could not find him when we walked around the Applebee’s.  He was way more sober than I thought he would be after spending the day drinking.

Nim_PoleJam-Bowie

Nimrod styling a tuck-knee off a vertical pole jam at the Bowie skatepark.

 

Once at the Hovey House, that is the name of the house where we stay in Duck, NC, we cracked open some beers with the first of the Ottawa crew that had arrived moments before us.  Then beds/bedrooms were reserved before the masses arrived.  Before long we were 13 guys deep in the house and still waiting for one car load to arrive the following day.

JordanW FS Grind  Hovey House

Jordan Wells ripped frontside grinds up and over the hip at the Hovey House.

 

The OBX trip is very different from any other road trip I go on.  It is much more of a vacation then a pure skateboard road trip.  Mornings are slow with a bike ride to the coffee shop followed by a dip in the ocean before heading home to cook up lunch.  As we found out, the ocean has been colder than normal this years.  You know the cold winter Montreal experienced this year, the North Atlantic Ocean did also.  I kind of enjoy the cold water though.  It’s great for icing the body and waking me up.  The first morning it was cloudy outside and the water was colder than I had ever felt in the OBX before.  Cold, shmold, I was going in that water.  After a couple of minutes in the water I had three Adam’s apples.

Trejo Layback Air  Egg

Trevor (Trejo) making his best impression of old local Packy in this layback air at Boogie’s (The Egg).

 

Once things started drying up it was getting a little late in the day.  The guys couldn’t wait to skate.  The backyard pool was cleaned out for a session before it got dark.  The Hovey House pool is slightly better than the Spin skatepark pool.  Really not my cup of tea so I just sat around and drank.  The other guys were mega stoked to be skating though.  Once again, the rookies had issues remembering the pool had a death box in the shallow end.  That first session, there were many close calls with guys almost dropping in on the deathbox.  Many of the guys got to know the plaster surface of the pool up close and personal; man is it rough.

Trevor (Moncaster) playing with a special feature at the Team Pain park in Virginia Beach.

 

Over the years the local skatepark builders, Artisan Skateparks have built many backyard pools and skateparks around the area.  Every year we can not seem the hit all the good spots anymore.  A couple of years ago Team Pain came to Virginia Beach and built a skatepark.  I have never been able to skate it before since they have pad nannies that make everyone within the park wear a helmet (I mean everyone).  The crew on this trip never seem to bring helmets.  I warmed the guys in my minivan that they should bring helmets.  One of the days we drove to Norfolk to skate the parks there, once the big transition riders got bored we headed to the Virginia Beach park.  One of the Ottawa SUVs decided to join in on the session.  After signing our lives away and getting skatepark membership cards, we got to roll around finally.  The bowl is really similar to The Yard in Palm Springs (and built by the same company).  The flow bowl is crazy with its huge bank with a parking block at the top and finite lines.  It would take me a couple of weeks to get used to that flow blow.  I was not a fan of the street section but after our second session there it grew on me.

Virginia Beach Street Section

Williams Farm (Team Pain built) skatepark street section.

Virginia Beach Flow Section

Williams Farm skatepark flow bowl.

VirginiaBeach Bowl

Williams Farm skatepark combi bowl.

 

With some more rain in the forecast, we tried to skate two spots every sunny day.  At least we tried to.  The beach and our mellowness sometimes got in the way.  Skating a Boogies is always a blast when he is around.  His son even joined us in the egg this year.  A couple of the Artisan Skatepark guys joined in on the session once they had finished work for the day.  Local sensation Dave « Sciencefair » Maxwell being one of them.  He showed up tired and covered with concrete dust from renovating a pool (a swimmer only) all day.  Tired or not, whenever Sciencefair starts skating the show is incredible.

ScienceFair FS Boneless Egg

Concrete dust blowing off Sciencefair during a frontside boneless at Boogie’s.

 

Talking with the Artisan builders I found out they are planning on leaving their hood to go build some skateboard parks.  Last year was a calm year for them.  The previous couple of years they were in Sweden building parks for the whole summer.  They surprised me this year stating that they are heading north to build some parks.  Sorry readers, not as far north as Canada but real close.  The huge skatepark that has been in the works in Burlington, Vermont for the last 10 years is finally getting built this summer.  It was designed by Grindline and is getting built by Artisan.  That is so rad!  At the same time they are building a small park in Saranac Lake.  That is only a 60 minute drive away.  Currently I have no idea what either skatepark will look like but with Artisan building them, the park will be fun even if it is just a street park.

Jean BS 50  Norfolk

T-shirtless backside 5-0 over the large loveseat at the Norfolk skatepark.

Leon BS Lip Slide  Norfolk

After a full on session in the street section Leon skated over to the bowl and slayed the loveseat with a backside lip slide.

 

7 days in the OBX flies by so quickly.  Throw in some rainy days and those 7 days start to feel like a weekend.  One of my local OBX friends stopped by the house to welcome us back.  Mike has been a big part of the OBX skateboard and surf scenes.  He started Hooked skateboards which is now no longer but also started Hooked surf boards which is doing very well.  He also has a great pool in his backyard which, you guessed it, is named the Hooked pool.  The Canadian crew has not been able to skate the Hooked pool in maybe 5 years.  Mike came by to tell us the bad news, his wife left him.  The news kind of bummed me out.  He also told us that he is rocking a bachelor pad (house) now and the pool was empty and ready to skate, sick.  Later on during the week we squeaked in a session between rain drops.  It was great to ride it after many so years off.

Trevor Rockn Roll  Egg

Trevor’s rock’n rolls have come a long way.  They are legit now.

 

Saturday morning rolled around sadly and it was time to leave the house.  On our two day path home we dropped off Trevor at the Norfolk airport.  The airport looked much like a storefront then an airport.  Yes, it is a really small airport.  On our way north we were to meet the Ottawa guys at the Lost Bowl.  Located in Richmond, Virgnia, it is a great D.I.Y. private spot.  When we arrived a session was already raging.  I sat around checking how people were skating the different obstacles and trying to remember their flow patterns.  Nothing is worst than showing up somewhere and always getting in the locals way.  To my surprise I was able to skate for a while without my kneepads on and my knees were not killing me.  Perhaps my knees are getting better.  The Lost Bowl was super fun.

Leon FS Ollie  Hovey House

Leon just learned these ollie.  Go big or go home I guess.

 

We all left the Lost Bowl late and headed north.  Most of the vehicles talked about skating FDR the next morning.  My plan on the way home was always to hit FDR and check out the new stuff they are building down there.  The Ottawa vehicles ran into issues on the road.  Traffic jams and not finding a motel kind of put a damper on their Sunday plans.  One of the Ottawa vehicles even ended up sleeping in the vehicle.  The Montreal minivan found a shitty motel on our first try in the middle of nowhere.  Once I heard what happened to the Ottawa guys, I felt lucky.

Nim FS Stalefish  Waves

Nimrod loves to blast stalefish airs out of the blue; at Waves.

 

Philly was hosting a marathon right next to FDR so we were a little lost in where to park.  We ended up parking far away and walking to FDR.  Once there, the spot was empty.  We could work on lines and I could take photos basically anywhere since I was not getting into anyone’s way.  As the day wore on a couple of the locals showed up but no Ottawa guys made it.  Later we would find out that one group was there at 9 am for a short session.  Just before we left FDR Chuck Treece (McRad) showed up to skate.  I was so hype.  No one else in the minivan knew who he was.  My shoulder was tired so I could not skate much.  We decided it best to hit the road and try to skate something in Connecticut to cut down on the long drive.  Before splitting Philly we hit Luke’s for a Philly Cheese Steak.  It was so good.

Alex BS 50 Fakie  Hovey House

Winch 5-0 to fakie over the death box.

 

On the way home we ran into weekend traffic in and around NYC so we aborted the Connecticut mission.  Instead we headed straight home.  As we were aproaching Saratoga Springs I took the boys on a little detour to check the pool in the local skatepark.  Since I was driving right by there it was a great time to check on the condition of the pool.  Well, the pool block is hurting.  A couple of blocks have broken down into dust.  Sadly it does not seem as though the city is going to fix them.  I might just have to drive the Artisan guys there to replace a couple on the blocks.  After seeing the disrepair of the pool we headed home.  Another great trip in the books.

FDR New Project

The new section at FDR.  It looks like it is going to be fun.

 

Duncan Feeble Tale Grab  Egg

Feeble tale grab at the Boogie’s by Duncan.

 

Leon Rockn Roll  Norfolk

Rock’n roll may not be a trick but they do look cool when done right.  Leon styles this one.