Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Places to Skateboard in the Capitol City

The Streets Are Still Free... Sometimes.
I started skating in the streets with a small group of friends. The first tricks we learned were boneless ones, curb grinds, and bert slides. We eventually met other skaters who had backyard ramps. Then the street ollie came on the scene and so did the launch ramps (kickers). Regardless of the era or style one thing has remained the same. Street skating is free (unless you're ticketed). You CAN skateboard anywhere. Give me a curb spot and some wax and I'm Stoked! The positive side can be represented by the freedom to skate unbound by rules and free from crowds. The negative side of street skating can be represented by getting ticketed or thrown out of a buttery spot or having vagrant feces at your wallride spot.

Area 51, formerly "FOCUS"
The Charleston area's only indoor park, Area 51 rose from the ashes of the old "FOCUS" skatepark. Gone is the kidney shaped bowl but owner and operator Greg White has done a good job providing an indoor skatepark to the skaters of Charleston WV. There are a plethora of bank ramps and quarter pipes as well as the mini ramp pictured above and a micro-mini ramp set up that would stoke Neil Blender and Lance Mountain. Helmets are required and it is a pay to $kate park complete with a snackbar and helmet rentals. You will leave dirty and tired and feel as though you really got your money's worth out of the session.

Coonskin Park

Coonskin is what it is. A Skatewave set up of quarter pipes and roll in bank ramps on what has got to be the smoothest concrete in the city. Marc really digs the smoothy pavement. The other positive things about Coonskin are the facts that it is free, it is close to home, it is usually empty early in the mornings, and then there is the metal coping. Nothing else makes that "chink chink" sound. I am grateful to have a free public skatepark within driving distance of my home. Stoked! However the place is not without some drawbacks. Being an outdoor park it goes without saying that not too many sessions are going down on rainy days or during the winter. And show up on a sunny Sunday afternoon, say around 2 o'clock, with the intention of getting some good lines while groups of groms stand atop the bank ramps waiting to take their turn butt boarding down the bank and up the quarter pipe. Line killers. If you want to skate then avoid the weekend scene at this place by all means.

2008 Kentucky Fried Cone Fest...

Lenny is at it again and I'll keep you all posted as more info becomes available. In his own words "Details are being finalized, BUT this year's KFCF with be a THREE DAY EVENT with a Friday night Bro-down Throw-down TS Challenge,a Saturday hybrid and a Sunday Mule Farm GS race. ALSO, Marc Fuentes and www.marcsboardshop.com is sponsoring the Beast of the East prize with a trophy and a crisp new $100 bill (in addition to the other prize money you'll win) to the fastest amateur racer from the Eastern U.S.!!! This promises to be the biggest and best KFCF yet!! Sign up soon at http://www.ncdsa.com/ !!! More Conefest goodness to come!!"
I couldn't have said it better.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Sunday afternoon finds the local public park packed with peckins. Too crowded to get any good runs. An Etch A Sketch without knobs. NO LINES! Hit up my curb spot instead and pieced together some shots taken by Emily Hope.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Go Skateboarding Day Is Officially Official...

...fully. Officially. YEAH!

Shades of Grey

Monochromatic ledge addict. Pics by Emily Hope.

Full Frontal Bert

Tryin' to drag my ass on a frontside Bert Slide amidst the parkscape of Coonskin on Friday Morning. Pic by Emily Hope.


...like Kansas. Or Oklahoma. Or "Hey! Remember the 80s" with Goat Boy. Thank You Emily Hope for the pics and footy. You ROCK! And check the inspiration...

Friday Skate Pics

Down the transition. All photos by Emily Hope.

My ride.

Kickflip on the Grom's 7.5.

Back to the basics, back to the boneless.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wounded Knee

Check it here and learn some history while scoping decks.

Wednesday Skate Short #1

Fakie to tailslide while pushing Mongo (or a switch noseslide to fakie if you're tech). Learned this trick from Donny Humes at a street contest in Chillcothe, Ohio back in the late 1980's. Humes was punk as hell and used to publish the famed "Smelly Curb Zine". My apologies for the 20 second static shot of the curb but I still don't have my laptop back yet. Enjoy!

Wednesday Skate Short #2

A quick trip to the Old Dirty after the curb session. Nothing new but the board.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


No, it's not that movie about the Jamaican Olympic Bobsled Team. Cool Runnings Dyeworks Clothing is what I'm talking about. Homespun ready to wear tie dies. Whether you are Hyphy or Hippie It's All Good. They didn't call me "Grateful" for nothin'.

Joint Chiefs Reunion Mini Tour

Mike P. brought the Joint Chiefs back together for a weekend of shows with the Tom Batchelor Band in the Mountain State. The legendary Morgantown born funk band brought its show to the Empty Glass on Saturday night. The party continues Sunday night at Huntington's V Club.

Mosaic detail.

Mike and T.J. dressed to kill the funk...

Ramey gears up.

Joint Chiefs in action.

Steve on the kit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rainy Day Saturday

Grom pushes a bert slide on the bank while the rain falls.

Yours truly in the blurry midst of a boneless.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Coonskin Pics

Met up with Marc and a few friends at the park to discuss coordinating some skateboarding events with Festivall. I left the discussion up to everyone else and broke in my new set up while Emily shot some pics.

Marc spinning 360's.

Ollie crail on my new board.

Breaking in my new Indy trucks the only way I know.

Marc on one of his many rides.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday Skate Pics by Emily

Today it was my wife's turn to take some pics. Our friends Sarah and Spencer departed for Portland, Oregon this evening but not before a last minute session at the Old Dirty Wall Ride Spot. Thanks Emily for the awesome pics and Thank You S&S for an awesome visit.

The view from above as Spencer frontside grinds the top of the Old Dirty, chopping wild onions to shreds with his trucks.

Yeah Spence, you're making me nervous right about now...

Yours truly on the slab the night before his 36th birthday. Old guys are still happy when they can land a wallride.

So Spencer went about a million miles per hour and did a wall ride over the crack, landed on his front wheels and turned out of it in a pivot. I think my jaw may still be on the ground.

Another view of Spencer in the midst of a frontside wall ride slashing a grind thru the wild onions.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tom Batchelor Band at West Virginia Brewing Co.

Raw, unedited, and uncropped.

Chris Ramey was an original member of Morgantown's Joint Chiefs.

Tom during soundcheck.

Chris on vocals.

Tom is a Wailing Soul.

Mike shows me how he feels.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday Skate Pics

Made it to the park just before 11 this morning. Rode for an hour and came home. Upon arrival there was a dad there with his two small boys. One was riding a little tiny bike and the other one had a popgun. "Popgun" spent most of his time throwing gravel down the kicker and the stairs. If you ride small wheels and you are going to the skatepark today then you may want to take a broom. If I have said it once then I have said it a million times... Sometimes the worst thing about "public parks" are the "public".

Rules. More like suggestions. It should include directions to the
playground to prevent buzzkill.

Frontside 50/50 grind up the ledge. 10 second timer DIY.

Second DIY shot turning out of the grind. Where did my head go?

Landing it. One of the best feelings in the world.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sunday Skate Pics

No Rerun today. This is more like ketchup. Or catching up.

I met up with Marc (pictured above riding his class Powell with Orange Crush wheels) at Coonskin on Wednesday. It was the only day of the week that it didn't rain. Instead I got burned by the Sun and Wind and hurt my knee while doing what I do. Rockin' Good Times.

Grom and I did some TechDeck fingerboarding on Thursday night. It was raining. Again.

Sunday came today and so did the Sunshine. Finally. Grom and I went to Coonskin and met up with about a half dozen friends both old and new and I took some pics with our busted camera. And my buddy Mr. Yuk destroyed some coping.

The Grom did his first ever rock to fakie and immediately slammed on his hip like he was Allen Losi. I think it (the rock to fakie, not the slam) took him by surprise, like he was amazed at what he had just done. I am so proud of my son that it makes me cry. No, Really. I don't joke about that.

I went to visit my wife at the hospital. I miss her being home with me. So instead of coming back here to lonelyville I went and skated my curb spot instead to burn off a little more stress. It worked pretty well. This was shot DIY on a 10 second timer. Thank You Emily, Grom, Russ and Jacob, Tom, and Marc and Melissa and anyone else who rode a skateboard today. You made my day a little brighter.