To Old To Skate

During the winter of 2007, five old Quebec skaters jumped on an Air Canada flight with the help of Mike Lavoie and headed to Florida.  I was part of the crew but we barely knew each other at the time.  Back then we were all miniramp skaters and knew little to nothing about skating bowls and pools.  Things have changed a little since then.  Team Pain is the main builder of quality skateparks in Florida and they enjoy building tight small pools and gnarly bowls.  We were game to see what we could do in the pools and bowls.  At the time Yanick Nolet had the opportunity to write an article for La Presse which I posted at the bottom of this post.



Brandon Florida skatepark, yes that is a hip along the flat wall.  The water wall was rather steep into the 9 foot deep-end.  The street section here was super fun.  I must have skated it half the time we were at this park.


It’s hard to believe that I hadn’t returned to Florida since that trip.  Every time the guys went down there I was busy at work or hurt or both.  I was super stoked to be getting a second crack at skating in Florida.  Most of the parks on the itinerary were new parks.  They didn’t exist in 2007.


Mike hasn’t been doing many frontside inverts lately so I had to pull out my camera for this one at the new Tampa park.


Once in Florida, Kevin pulled out the tackie old man Florida shirt that he purchased on my first trip.  I laughed that it still existed.  Since he only wears it in Florida, it might last a long time.  Kevin had a bunch of missions and I think he completed all of them including all the stairs, deathboxes, and loveseats.  There was the Sarasota stairs that he could not do but those ones are nuts.  Team Pain made that one a real pool.


Kevin makes the deathbox in the Dunedin pool look easy.


Here are a couple of firsts in that same Dunedin pool.  As the rain had begun, Louis was running out of time to get over the stairs.  After fifteen minutes of heading towards the stairs and jumping off his board before even getting to the transition, it only took him three actual tries to make it over.  This  sketchy grind was a make with some big rain drops in the pool and his first time over any stairs in a pool.  Mike had recently made a couple of stairs in Socal but he was never able to get over the Dunedin stairs.  On almost every try Mike was making it over but jumping off his board.  Over the many tries he seemed to be getting more and more tired and farther away from making it over.  Then, out of the blue, he just went over the stairs as if they weren’t there.  Good job guys.




During this trip we got to visit the beach in Daytona Beach.  Our hotel was right on the beach.  Of course we went for a dip.


Gratuitous nudity for one and all.  My girl is waiting for me and no Kevin and I aren’t holding hands.  Photo by Mike.

The second park of the trip took me out.  It was a stupid jump off the board to back on the board, back off of it and of course back onto it.  I wish I had a video of the stupidness.  I was super lucky to not have fallen on my face but I did hit my right knee good.  No more possibility of knee sliding kept me skating mellow the rest of the trip.  Just cruising around is a blast still.


I should have been grinding but I kind of like the photo with the ACE t-shirt and the Independent sticker.  Saratoga Pool. 

Photo by Mike.

Since Kevin and Mike had skated the New Smyrna Beach park a couple years ago, they haven’t shut up about how good this park is.  This park is really fun and the guys that run it are super cool.  Imagine having that flow park in Montreal?  Oh sorry, I was dreaming there.  Now back to reality, it was fun as shit and the bowl was just as good.  The bowl has shade though so we basically just skated that.


New Smyrna Beach flow.  

New Smyrna Beach bowl.

We missed the Daytona Bike Week by one day.  I’m not sure if I’m happy about that or not yet but my pocketbook is.  We tried out the local park but it wasn’t up to par with the parks we’d been skating on this trip.  That’s when we headed to the New Smyrna Beach (NSB).  NSB is super fun and way better then the Daytona Beach park.  NSB was the last park of the trip.  Mike was in a big rush to get to the airport in Orlando but I didn’t listen to him and told him we had to check the actual beach in New Smyrna Beach and get some food.  We found a pub that was next to the drawbridge going into town.  Every time the drawbridge went up beer was 50 cents or maybe a dollar.  What a good way to end the trip.  Oh yeah, we still ended up 2.5 hours early for our flight in Orlando.

Kevin_BSGrind-Brandon Kevin carving in his fancy attire and Brandon.  Photo by Mike.



We found out that Louis doesn’t do rock’n rolls, he can just do rock’n roll slides like this in Tampa.  Photo by Mike.


Below is the 2007 article by Yanick Nolet.  We are even older now but never to old.  Good memories.



Thanks Mike for getting us to Florida once again.  The first class trip home was a total bonus.  The trip to Florida will always be about the Lavoie family.