Where’s The Bark?

Guy FS Grind - Rye

Guy found the bark on a frontside grind.  Photo by Kevin.

As we roll into February, Montreal skaters start to forget what grinding concrete sounds like. It’s been months that I haven’t done a slappy or grinded the Big O. So usually around February a couple of old guys head down to Rye, New Hampshire.

Nora BS Air - Rye

Nora flapping out a big backside air.  Photo by Mike.

We try and wash away the winter blues a couple of times during the winter at Rye Air Field so over the years we’ve made some friends down there.  We’d skated with Nora before but it wasn’t until Kevin, Mike and I ran into her at the Ladies Combi Pool Party that we’d talked to each other.  She’s from South Boston but makes the trek north to skate Rye Air Field as much as possible.  When I grow up, I want to skate like Nora.

Nora Vasconcellos from AMP on Vimeo.

This trip was started by a group of Ottawa skaters.  Until two weeks before the trip there were only guys from Ottawa going but once the trip dates rolled around, only one car with three old guys (Chris, Simon, and Tyler) left from Ottawa.  I just find it funny that all the young guns from Ottawa bailed on the road trip when they are the ones with the most flexable schedules.

Simon FS Ollie - Rye

Simon making good use of the little time away from his new born and the rest of the family.  Photo by Kevin.

ri, one trick pony.  Photo by Simon [click on the image for hi rez].

Because Kevin came by my house so early on the way down to Rye, we had time to kill before the 15h session began so we decided to check out the new (out door) Hampton bowl.  It was below my wimpy ass rule of 10 degrees outside so, I was the only one that didn’t even try the bowl.  Even Mike padded up for a little 30 minute session.  The guys approved of the job Whoskates did on this bowl.

Kevin grinding clean the new coping on a cool 3 degree day.  Photo by ri [click on the image for hi rez].

From Montreal we had two cars go down.  None of the cars were full since not only Ottawa has issues planning road trips.  Using one of those car spots was Annie.  Over the last two years her transition skating has gotten so much better.  Skating the different transitions at Projet 45 has helped her a lot to evolve into a much more confident skater.  Hopefully her street skills don’t pay the price though since I heard she lost a game of skate to Elo, haha.  Before heading down I never thought Annie would have any problem skating anything at Rye Air Field and as it turns out, I was right.  She had no problems dropping into the big bowl (even the deep end) or getting to the tiles backside.  As for the frontside tiles, she would carve around the bowl before going for the frontside line so with her small wheels she’d have to work extremely hard to keep up her speed.  The big bowl is really hard to keep up speed even with large diameter wheels; I remember how sad all us old guys looked the first time we tried to skate it.

Annie FS Carve - Rye

Annie rolling over the tiles frontside in the big skull bowl.  Photo by Kevin.

On second day Annie worked on rolling in.  Starting in the smallest section of the small bowl.  By the end of the session, she had worked her way up to the deep end of the small bowl or the middle section of the middle bowl.  All the while she was still taking tons of runs in the big bowl to hit more tiles.  Between working hard in the bowls and climbing out of them, I think the bowls killed Annie.

Annie Dead - Rye

Annie needed a little rest 15 minutes before the end of the session so that she could still get in another 5 minutes before the buzzer.  Photo by Mike.


Kevin FS Air - Rye

Kevin has got FS airs on lock down now.  Photo by Guy.

At some point before we left for Rye, Kevin mentioned that he was going to bring down some epoxy to fix the coping in the big bowl.  I told him that it had been a full year since we’d got to Rye and that they had fix the coping for sure.  Man was I wrong.  The camel toe (moose knuckle for Canadians) was really bad in the shallow end.  At the end of the first day, Kevin pull out the rubber gloves and the epoxy and got straight to work on the coping.  The next morning the coping was totally fixed and ready to bark.

Kevin Fixing Camel Toe

Kevin helping out skaters in any country.  The black section is the repaired section.  Photo by Guy.

A friend of mine from the 80’s skate days is from Maine and every time I head down to Rye I try and get a session in with him at Rye Air Field.  This time Dave Lemieux even got me on the vert ramp.  I’m very much afraid of heights, not really heights but me wanting to jump from those heights.  I have a hard time with dropping in and being on the decks of large vert ramps and Rye has a 14 foot 2 inch monster with roll-ins that are 8 feet above the decks.  After a couple of runs I got a grind and a rock’n roll.  That was enough for me.

ri Rockn Roll - Rye

ri rock’n roll with the proper form, this is not a trick so I’m still a one trick pony.  Photo by Kevin.

Thanks to the Ottawa guys for starting the ball rolling on this road trip and a big shout out to the guys that actually came.  I had a blast even though the music at Rye Air Field sucks the bag.

Nora BS Tail Grab - Rye

Nora snapping a big backside ollie to tail grab like it was nothing.  Photo by Kevin.