LA Skatepark Tour 2008



My friend Adam was getting married and wanted me to be in his wedding, so I booked a trip to California, and I figured while I was there that I would get some skating in.  I made plans to fly out, get my boy hitched and then spend the rest of the week house-sitting and taking care of his and the new wife’s animals.  Of course, as soon as I told Nate about this, and him being an old friend of Adam, he decided that I couldn’t have all of the fun so he joined me on my west coast skate expedition. We planned it all out, got our plane booked and headed out just a couple of days after new years for sunny SoCal.


Day 1 - 1/3/08
I knew that there would be problems as soon as we got to the Knoxville Airport.  Our first flight to our connection in Cincinnati had been cancelled due to mechanical problems.  For a while it looked like we would not make it out of Knoxville that day.  After about 30 minutes on the computer, the desk guy for Delta found us a flight on another airline that would get us into Dallas and then on into the John Wayne Airport in Orange county.  Our rental car was booked in at LAX, but they gave us a voucher for a free shuttle ride from Orange County to LAX to get our car.  All of this put us about two hours behind schedule.  I guess that we would be missing the rehearsal dinner. 


After a long day of travel, getting the shuttle, getting the car and making our way to Malibu, we found the motel and our soon to be married friend.  The dinner was over, but he took us down to meet all of his family in one of the rooms at the inn.  Everyone looked like they were having a good time, the wine was flowing and we were introduced around to everyone. Once the introductions had been made, we took Adam back to our room for the night to talk over some old times and catch up with a few beers.  That night Nate and I got no sleep.  Adam hit the sack with a vengeance, and about 20 minutes later he was snoring up a storm.  This guy was not just cutting logs, he was practicing industrial clear cut logging like they do in the Amazon where they can clear thousand of acres in no time.  I had in ear plugs and a pillow over my head, and still was getting no relief.  I got up several times to shake him, but the reprieve would only last a short time.  Nate was using the extra room pillows as ammo to assault the snorefest, but it was also a futile attempt. Finally morning came and it was time for the start of Adam’s new life as a married dude.

Day 2 - 1/4-08
We got up the next morning to a sight that is not very often seen in sunny SoCal, Rain, and lots of it. After checking the weather channel we found that it would be torrential downpours all day and into the next 2.  So much for skating all of that fine California concrete for a few days.  Just another one of the events that was trying to defeat our tour, but we would persevere  We got our act together and headed to Adam and Rachel’s house to get him ready, meet the animals that we would be responsible for, and to learn the lay of the land.  It was here that Adam gave us the most valuable piece of equipment of our entire trip, his GPS with all of the skateparks in LA programmed into it. If you have ever driven in LA, and got lost in seconds, you know how much of a help this device would provide us poor hillbillies who have never had to deal with a town that has more that one interstate. This would prove to be a godsend for the rest of the week.


We headed back to the hotel, and started the process of getting all spiffed up for the coming nuptials. Once we are all donned in our finest attire, and had a couple of beers under our belt, we headed for the wedding site. The wedding was to be held at some country club, spa, California get-a-way place up in the canyons of Malibu.  The place looked great, but we didn’t get to see much of the landscaping because of the downpour.  It rained like hell and did not let up for the next 12 hours. We had the pictures made of the wedding party, and then the guests arrived. Both families showed up in force, as well as several of Adam’s and Rachel’s friends that I did not know, except for Knoxville expatriate Don “Maddog” Rutherford and his wife Deborah. The wedding began and the rain cam down.  The ceremony was short and was lead by some new age California type lady who seemed to be more of a motivational speaker than a preacher.  I guess that I am just an ignorant redneck from the south and don’t know anything about these weirdo California hippy weddings.


It was a good thing the ceremony was short, because soon the rain began to leak through the roof that never gets rained on, and the wind began to howl.  There was a fireplace behind the preacher, and the wind began to blow down the chimney, which cause the room to begin to fill with smoke.  At one point during the wedding, I looked up to see what I thought was snow coming from the ceiling.  The wind was blowing ash out of the fireplace and into the air where it was gently drifting down onto the happy couple and the rest of the wedding party.  But before we all caught fire, the ceremony was over, the bar was opened and dinner was served.  The meal was good and Adam’s brother gave a great spiel about the happy couple.  The DJ cranked up the music and the dancing began. Everyone got quite a bit drunk, and before long it was back to the hotel.


Day 3 - 1/5/08
The next morning, myself and Nate awoke hung over and ready to skate it out.  The only problem was that it was cold and raining.  Welcome to sunny LA my ass!  We made it to Adam’s house in Van Nuys and proceeded to make plans. Since all of the outdoor concrete would be wet, we decided to take the indoor route to skating.  This left us with only two options, SkateLab to the north, and Van’s at the Block to the south.  We decided on SkateLab.  We jumped in our mighty rental Corolla and we were off.


We go to SkateLab right when the session was changing, and there was a huge line to get in.  We suited up and got in line with about a million kids under the age of 15 and their parents.  The entrance to the park is really cool with old skateboards from the 60’s to the present lining the walls from the floor to the top of the 20’ ceilings.  I counted off at least 2 dozen that I have ridden, many I have not seen since they were original back in the 70’s.  Like stepping into a very cool skateboard time machine.  By the time we had soaked in all of that skate culture, the older skater behind the counter saw us and told us to come on over and fill out the forms to skate.  He seemed a bit surprised that we were from Tennessee.  We took care of business, paid our dues and asked the guy, “Where’s the pool?”  He looked at us kinda strange like, “you mean you didn’t travel all the way across the country to skate the street ramps?” and then told us that the pool was in the back warehouse.  And that is were we headed.


The street area at SkateLab is quite expansive and has some good stuff in it, but it was packed to the gills with hundreds of thousands of little kids.  I figured that there must be some kinda age limit or ID check and you must be under 18 to ride it, so rather than invoke the wrath of the skate gods by skating some little pussy shit for kids, we skipped all of that and headed for the pool.  The SkateLab pool is a kinda L-shaped with about a 5’ square shaped shallow end that goes into a 8’-9’ square shaped deep end.  In between the bowls there is a nice hip. The bowl was a little slick, and the orange peel slices of plywood in the corners gave it a bit of the feel that you were on a train track when going around the corners (Ch-chuck, Ch-chuck, Ch-chuck).  The coping was metal and stuck out a little bit to far, resulting in our board popping into your face our body instead of your hand when exiting the pool, but over all, it was a decent ride, and certainly better than anything in Knoxville (at least until our park opens.)  Several older guys showed up to skate with us. Rock and rolls, grinds, and axle stalls were the order of the day.  There were also some kid types skating the ramp.  Most of the kids were unimpressive, but there were a couple that were blowing up hard.  One kid was doing face high backside airs that were killer.  There was even a roller blade kid doing really queer back flips.  After about 2 hours of this, we decided that we had had our fill and that it was time for a beer. We took our leave and headed back to Van Nuys to the house.  That evening was pretty uneventful as we were tired from the wedding and skating.  Hopefully the concrete would be dry in the morning and we could start the day at a real concrete California skatepark.


Day 4 -1/6/08
The next morning we awoke to the sound of more rain.  It only lasted a bit, but that was enough to kill any outdoor skating for the day.  We looked at our map and decided that our only option was the Van’s skatepark at the Block and it’s world famous combi-pool. We headed south.  The Van’s skatepark is located in an outdoor mall called “The Block”.  The entire place looked like a movie set for a California mall, except that it was cold and damp, unlike the California malls that I have seen on TV.  We arrived at opening time, and once again were forced into line with a bunch of little skate groms waiting to get in the park.


Once again we encountered strange looks from the staff once they found out we were from Tennessee, and we moved on inside and headed for the pool.  The first sight of the pool was very intimidating.  This thing is huge, 13’ deep with at least 3’-4’ of vert in the square bowl and just a tiny bit less in the round.  We decided that we should warm up a little bit before we tangled with that monster.  We rode a excellent 5’ minihalf  with 8’ extensions, plus a channel with a bridge of death.  This was fun for a bit, and there were a few locals ripping it up, but soon we were drawn back to the pool like moths to a flame. The sessions only last for 2 hours at a time at the Van’s park, so by the time we got warmed up and over to the pool, there were already several locals shredding. 


After a few runs we were beginning to get it down and were getting a few hoots from the local boys.  I was able to hit some carving tiles and a few cess slides in the square, but getting up to the coping was quite a feat.  Nate got into the groove and did a few lein to tails in the round, a rock and roll and a layback air.  This was as impressive as anything the locals were doing, except for this one kid who was blasting f-side airs about 4 feet out of the round bowl.  After a few of the locals found out we were from TN, they were even more amazed. 


The session was tons of fun and was the biggest thing that Nate had ever skated, and the biggest thing that I had skated since riding the Get-a-Way skatepark in Huntsville, AL in the early 80’s.  Although I had heard that there were no cameras allowed in the park, I made a quick run to the car, got my video camera and snuck it in.  I wasn’t going to miss out on getting a little footie of me in that big fuckin’ hole. Keeping things very discrete, we were able to get a couple of runs of each of us. 


Then the session time was over.  We went out to the car, took off our pads, and decided to walk around the mall and shoot a little more tourist film, but we were soon informed by the security guy on a fake Segway that there were no cameras allowed anyway on the mall premises. We put the cameras back in the car and dorked around at the mall for a few minutes, and then we were out of there.


We noticed that the rain had finally stopped, and the ground had become dryer, and the sun was coming out.  Maybe we would get to skate an outdoor park today.  We took a look at the selection and found the Pedro Project.  I had been there several years before on my first LA skate tour, and I knew that it was under a bridge, so we decided that we could hit it while the sun was working on the puddles. We hopped in the car and consulted the GPS and it told us exactly where to go.  Thirty minutes later, the GPS told us that we had arrived at the skatepark, but we were in the middle of a busy interstate.  We were lost.  Help me GePuS!  We soon figured out that the GPS was correct, and that the skatepark was underneath the bridge that we were driving over!  We exited the highway, and with the help of GePuS we found the park.


Pedro is a strange little park.  Completely built by local skaters, it is a bit rough, sketchy, small, and fun.  It reminded me a lot of some of the homemade parks that we have cobbled together in Knoxville. Located under a bridge, it is about 25’ wide by about 50 yards long.  When I went there a few years ago, it was just getting going, but it has been vastly improved since then.  I consists of three connected bowls, more like long halfpipes, laid end to end with their ends bowled off. The end bowl of one connects via a spine to the next, forming a line of  bowls. The transitions were tight, the design weird, and there were all kinda little kinks and rough patches, but over all a very fun and challenging park.  When we arrived, the locals were working on a mosaic in front of the park, and another group was bucketing water out of the bowls. We started to skate while they all worked.  I felt bad for not helping out, but I was on vacation. 


There were a couple of groms, a chick and an older guy skating.  The chick was pretty good, and the old guy did a transfer over the door that leads into the park.  Pretty hot!  We talked to the locals and they said that they had been working on something like this for years, but it just kept getting shut down.  “Ya just gotta keep trying and working on it.  The city would tear it down or run us out, but you just gotta stick with it until they give in.” was what one of the locals said.  “Hmmmm….. Sounds a lot like Knoxville” we told him. “It only took us 20 years of hassling the city to get our park” we added. We skated for a few more minutes and then decided that the puddles were drying up and that we should try for one of the parks that was closer to the home base.  “GePus, lead me to the next park”, and away went to Pedlow, one of the newest parks in SoCal.


When we arrived at Pedlow, the attendants were there, and said we could take a look around, but we were very disappointed.  The peanut pool had about 4 ft of water in it, and the snake run was full of water as well.  Apparently, since it never rains in Southern California, they had not put any drains in the pool and it would need to be pumped out but the city work crew.  WTF??????  “They should have is pumped out by Wednesday or Thursday” said the attendant.  “That doesn’t do us a damn bit of good” we told him “we are leaving on Thursday.”  “We’ll be back” we added.  The sun was quickly setting so we decided that we should try to hit the next closest skatepark, Highland Park Skatepark.


We arrived at Highland Park, and surprise, surprise, surprise, it was open and people we skating.  The sun was quickly setting, so we took a quick look at the terrain and then bolted back to the car to pad up and get some runs in before it got dark.  Just as we were getting our pads on, the attendant lady stepped out of her shack and announced “The park is closed, everyone leave.”  We that ended that session before if even started. We suited down, and headed back to the crib.  We then gave Don a call to see what he was up to, and he told us to come on out to his pad and hangout. So after a quick refresher, we headed back to the 101 and the Casa del Perro Loco. 


Once we got to Don’s, he took us out to his local Mexican eatery and we had a delicious diner. We then made it back to Don’s for a few more beers.  He turned us on to some funny as hell videos, and then Don turned on all his guitar gear and we formed a band, which was pretty amazing being as Don is the only one who knows how to play an instrument.  Don played lead, I took up rhythm, and Nate was the bass man.  We learned some ZZ Top and some Iggy Pop and we rocked the night away.  As the hour became later, it was time to head back to the home base, which was much harder to find our way around after all of the nights festivities.  Help me GePuS! With the help of GePuS, and the intense concentration of two rather inebriated minds, we made it back to headquarters.


Day 5 -1/7/08
The next morning it was back on that skate tour and time to sweat out some of the sprits from the night before.  The sky was finally clear, but it was still a bit chill.  We looked at our map, and decided that it would be a good day to head to the east.  The first park was Chino.  I had skate Chino a few years before on my last LA skate tour, and knew it had a killer freeflow area.  Unfortunately after a nice long drive, we found the park to be closed and wet. Bummer! All we could do was to stand outside the fence and look at all of the puddles.  Oh well, maybe next time.  On to the next park.


The next park was Harada.  This park had only been open a few months and I didn’t know what to expect, but Adam had told us that it was a good one. On the way there we passed these HUGE cow farms with thousands of head of cattle, lots of rundown barns, and ENORMOUS run-off ponds filled with cow waste.  It was quite offense to our olfactory senses.  The strange thing was the houses and the new construction of condos that was going on within not just smell, but sight of the waste ponds.  The condos looked really upscale, and we wondered who in the hell would pay outrageous California housing prices to live right next to a huge lake of cow shit.  Only in Cali.  We finally made it to the park, but even several miles away, we would still occasionally catch a whiff of Lake Poo.


The park was killer. There was a cool snake run that lead into a double bowl, a nice 5’ egg bowl, a killer 8’ keyhole, a tiny little 4’ kidney that went to vert, and some street stuff.  We padded up and started to skate.  It was a great time.  Doing endless carves in the Keyhole until you could find the entrance again to get out was ruling. We were having a great time, that is, until Nate piled on a lien-to-tail in one of the bowls at the end of the snake run. He missed the tail, hit the back wheels, did a head first into the bowl, and jammed his elbow up good.  I was afraid that the trip was over, and a new one was beginning, a trip to the emergency room.  But luckily, Nate was only injured bad enough that he couldn’t skate, and time would heal his injury, just not in the time we had left in Cali.  I skated for a bit more while Nate sat and recovered, unable to move his arm.  Later we made a sling for him from a long sleeve t-shirt and that seemed to help his injury. 


After a few more minutes of skating, we decided it was time to move on.  Unfortunately for me, due to Nate’s bum wing, I would have to take over the driving responsibilities in one of the worst driving cities in the world.  Last time I had been to sunny LA, Adam had chauffeured me around the city and I just looked out the window and it had been going the same way so far this trip.  I was hoping that I would make two trips to LaLa land and never have to endure the stress of LA traffic, but Nate’s injury bought a quick end to that pipedream. Help me GePuS!  We piled into the car and drove out past the million dollar condos next to the poo pits and headed back to Chino. 


When we arrived back at Chino, the park was open, most of the puddles were gone, and there were some locals there shredding the place up.  Chino has a great free flow area consisting of several bowl, banks, spines, and hips all interconnected.  When skated with a good line, you can ride all the way from one end of the park to the other and back again without having to ever put a foot down. Chino also has a really nice tri-bowl that has a couple of 4’ foot square pockets with a waterfall into a 9’ bowl.  Next to that is a three leaf clover pool with 6’ and 9’ depths, tile and cement coping. The locals were taking up most of the lines in the flow area, so I stuck with skating the pool for a while until some room cleared for a big line in the flow area. The locals were ripping it up with huge ollies, ollies to tail, and all kinds of new age tricks at high speed with big air, all the while wearing ipod headphones and no pads. Nate was bummed, but was gracious enough to take some pictures and shoot a bit of video of me skating for the archives.  After about an hour of skating by myself and having to take all of the runs, I began to run outta steam, and we decided to move onward to the next park on the way home.


After a bit of a drive, we got the Glendale skatepark.  We had stopped by a day or two before, and it was closed, but this time it was open and dry.  There were only a few people skating, which left most of the park open just for me.  In California, it seems that if it drops below 65 degrees, or the sun goes behind a cloud, that everyone freaks out and stays indoors.  Everyone we saw out was bundled in winter coats, scarves, gloves, and hats.  It looked like they were refugees from a Minnesota blizzard, but it was 60 degrees outside.  We were wearing shorts and long sleeve t’s and everyone looked at us like we were crazy to brave such harsh elements dressed like that.  California is fucked up.  Or maybe it is just the kooks that live there.  I signed the forms, and paid the $2 entry fee to the bundled up attendant who look like a lost Eskimo in the 60 degree weather, and entered the park. Once again when I signed the forms and they found out we were from Tennessee, we got these strange looks like we had just got of a UFO from Mars.


Glendale is one of the best skateparks in LA.  Designed by Ben Schroeder and packed into a really small area across the street from Glendale Community College, it offer a wide variety of terrain of all skaters and a choice selection of California college girls constantly walking by.  The park has a killer snake run with a ¾ pocket that has pool coping, a right hand kidney pool with a deep end that is higher than the shallow end, and a 3 pocket clover bowl with a square shallow, a square deep and a round deep pocket that goes to over vert and has real pool coping on top of the over vert section. The concrete is smooth and the lines are fast.  Once again, Nate played camera monkey, while I got to skate my ass off until I was getting the noodle legs.  So after another prime SoCal park, we decided to head back to the crib for a little rest and some liquid refreshment. We got back to the house and I was too tired to do anything after skating all day, and Nate was not to happy with is busted wing, so we ordered a pizza and stayed in for the evening. 


Day 6 -1/8/08
The next day I woke up sore and hung over again, and knew it was time to go skate to work out all of the kinks. Today was a day that I had been looking forward to because of the parks we were going to skate. I had heard that these were two of the best parks in SoCal, and I had never skated either one, so I was looking forward the exploring the new terrain.  The first stop was Culver City.  The park was crowed with runners, dog walkers, etc. so parking was kinda tough, but we found some street parking across the street from the skatepark so that we could keep an eye on the car, and on our time left of the parking meter. This would prove to be wise later, as we almost got a ticket for running over our meter time.


The park was nice with a little street area and a big flat area with a bank on one side, and on the other side was a bank that turned into a transition the further down the run you skated.  It was kinda like a cool ditch.  There was also a variety of banks, ledges, and stairs to be skated.  But by far the best thing about this park was the pool.  Designed by Jay from CA skateparks, this was probably the best pool that I skated while in LaLa land.  A really nice clover, the deep end was about 10’ and very wide open with a lot of flat bottom.  The 2 shallow pockets were about 7’ deep and went right to vert with plenty of flat bottom.  This was one of the first pools that I have hit in Cali where the shallow end was actually skateable and fun.  We hung out and skated with an older guy and the chick that we had met a couple of days before at Pedro. Both of them were ripping it up. I was getting used to the pool, doing grinds, cess and kiwi slides. 


After about an hour, I was getting tired and Nate was getting cold due to his bad wing not letting him skate, so we decided to call it and head for the next destination, the Cove skatepark in Santa Monica.


We arrived at the Santa Monica skatepark, and they were just opening.  We walked up and talked to attendant. 
“Well.” He said “You need to sign up first, and then go over to that building and pay for your session.  Wait, it looks like they aren’t here yet to take the money. You guys are from out of town?”
“yep” I said
“How long are you going to be here?”
“I am probably going to just skate about an hour”
“Do you have helmet and full pads”
“Yeah, we got everything”
“Well just sign this, and I will let you go ahead and skate for free”
“Cool man, thanks a lot”
We walked back out to the car to suit up, and get the cameras.  Nate had to get his helmet out, as they wanted him to wear it while he was in the park shooting pictures even though he was not skating. 


When we got back there were about 5 older guys sessioning the park.  The Santa Monica park is probably the best park overall that I have skated in SoCal.  Another park designed by Wally Hollyday and built by CA skateparks, this park is a real jewel.


The first thing I hit was the small size freeflow bowl.  This was a bunch of fun, about 5’ deep with hips, bowls and twinkes.   This was a typical Wally designed bowl, and it only took a few seconds to figure out the lines.  After a quick warm up, it was time to move to the bigger stuff where the real men play.  The big size free flow bowl was very nice, with walls starting at around 7’ foot in the square bowl., and them leading into a monster ¾ pocket and ending in a 8’ foot round bowl. This was also very easy to adapt to and reminded me of the flow areas in Bowling Green and Nashville, but to tell the truth it was really close in size to the free flow area in the Knoxville skatepark.  The main difference between all of these mid east flow area and the Santa Monica flow was the size of the ¾ pocket.  This thing was a monster and at least a few feet taller than any of the other ones that I have skated.  The whole thing was very nice with a wide variety of good lines and the ¾ was really easy to get into with max speed. 


After a few good runs in the large freeflow area, it was time for the pool. The Santa Monica pool is a nice right hand kidney, about 6’ in the shallow, which is very small, and about 10 ½’ in the deep end.  It is a very sweet pool, smooth and full of good lines.  I was able to do a few grinds in it, but once again my lack of skating round wall often meant my endurance was weak, and soon I was getting tired and beginning to sketch to the point of disaster.  I decided to head back to the large flow area for a few more runs and I some nice grinds and a wheeler in the ¾ pocket.  I finished off the session with some playing around in the killer street area they had.  The locals their were all really cool, and one of them turned out to be originally from Ashville, NC.  I really didn’t want to leave this park, and would love to have skated longer, but my legs were protesting, and I felt bad dragging around a crippled Nate and skating all the great terrain while he has to bum and film. So after a good 1 ½ session, we decided to head for the world famous Santa Monica Pier. 


We got to the pier, but it was not really pleasant.  The temp was about 50 degrees with a ocean breeze making it much colder and the sky was overcast.  So much for sunny SoCal.  I have been to the pier twice in my life and both times it has been that way.  Look out Cali, next time I come out, plan for bad weather.  We spent a little time hanging out and walking around the pier and taking it easy. We decided to have a little lunch and a beer and then we walked outside and watched some guy catch a fish.  It was cold and there was not much of a crowd, so we left the pier and walked down to the beach to check out the ocean. I had come all the way across the country, and I figured that I needed to at least touch the Pacific, so I did, bundled in a coat and a warm hat.  California weather sux. We headed back to the car and decided to head back to the house.


We decided to take the scenic route back via Venice Beach, Sunset and Beverly Hills. This turned out to be a big mistake.  We were fine for the first hour or so as we checked out all of the cool multimillion dollar homes in Venice Beach.  These were very cool and no two were architecturally alike.  A PostMod house next to a Spanish Colonial, Next toan  Abode, next to a Faux Beach house, next to a Victorian, all of them very cool and very expensive. We then made our way onward to Beverly Hills, and then it hit.  We had not been watching out clock very well, and now it was 5:00 and rush hour in LA was beginning.  Take my advice, don’t be in your car ANYWHERE in LA between 4:30 and 6:30.  If you really want to get a feel for what it was like, go out to your driveway, get in your car, start it up, and SIT there for the next two hours. That is what rush hour in LA is all about.  Not just on the freeways, but on all the roads.  We sat through Beverly Hills and slowly made our way down the Sunset Strip, past the Hustler store, the Rainbow room, and the Cat Club.  Finally after a quite some time, a few wrong turns, and more time sitting in traffic we made it back to the crib way past dark. 


We decided that this would be our last night to have any fun in LA, so we decided to make the trek back out to Maddog’s palatial LA home. We got out to Don’s and they had some fried chicken waiting on us for dinner.  Wow, just like home!  Then we sat around and don showed us the most incredible cartoons that his bother Lloyd had drawn documenting his other brother, Boyd’s life.  There were seriously funny and they should be on the net and they should be making some money off of them, but unfortunately, his brothers are both crazy, and I mean like real crazy.  So we had a few more laughs and talked over some more old times and then with a bit of a buzz on, we once again decided to pursue the most popular pass time in LA and drive back home.  Help me GePuS!


Day 7 -1/9/08
We got up the next morning, and since I was feeling every one of my many years and Nate still had a busted wing, we decided to get a little culture.  At first we were going to see a really cool Dali Exhibit, but the museum was closed on Wednesdays.  Then we decided to go to the La Brea Tar pits, but they were closed on Wednesdays.  We looked up a couple more places of interest, and they were also closed on Wednesdays.  What is up with LA.  Tennessee comes to town, it is cold, raining, and they shut down all the cultural attractions.  We opted to take in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 


We had passed by it several times in our excursions in the last few days and decided that it looked really cool.  So we were off.  We arrived at our destination in the correct frame of mind for a long cultural experience and to get a good dose of art.


The Getty was amazing.  First you park.  It cost $8 to park, but then the rest is free.  Next you board a tram/train/shuttle thing that take you up a narrow track way up the side of a mountain to the museum grounds.  As you step out of the tram, you are greeted by a large courtyard and some really lovely sculpture.  Up the stairs and into the main building where you can see some of the most amazing architecture in SoCal.  We went straight away to the medieval art exhibit that was on exhibition.  After seeing some really cool painting, a suit of very ornate armor and some medieval weaponry, we when outside and explored the gardens.  Very cool layout.  Then we decided to have a little lunch that was very good and reasonably priced.  Then we took a look at some really fine art by Degas, Monet, Moore, Turner, and many other giants of the art word.  After about 4 hours of this, we were about cultured out, so we decided to head back in the direction of Van Nuys. 


When we got back towards home base, we stopped by Pedlow to see if they had drained the bowls from the rain earlier in the week.  Low and behold, the bowls were dry.  I suited up to skate, and went in to sign the forms.  After that was taken care of, the attendant told me that they would be closing in 30 minutes, and since I was from out of town and would not be coming back, she let me skate for free.  Pedlow is a pretty nice little park.  There is the obligatory street shit, a really nice, fun little snake run, and a nice pool.  The pool is about 10’ deep with a really wide and shallow shallow end.  The Shallow end did not get anywhere near vert and had a big roll-in waterfall that I think ruined the entire shallow end.  This roll-in was about 20 ft. wide and took away what could have been a good section of grindable wall.  It also allowed kids of any age and experience to just roll into the bowl and get in the way of the more experienced skaters. But that all aside, the pool was very nice, and since I was low on time, this is where I stayed. 


There were some guys really ripping there, doing small airs and such, and one guy doing super fast 50-50’s around the pool.  I have gotten old enough that I don’t snake little kids any more, but due to the fact that time was limited, and I would not be back for a few years, I snaked a bunch of little kids over and over, but in this case age took precedence.  By the time they yelled last call, my legs were once again turning into fettuccini.


The session was done, and my time in SoCal was coming to an end, but we had been having a pretty good time, and it was all on film.  We climbed back in the car and made the last trip back to Radam’s for the final night. When we got back home, we cranked back a few beers and spent the rest of the evening packing up our shit for our flight the next day.


Day 8 -1/10/08
  The morning came, and it was off to LAX.  We got there way to early and had a couple of hours to just sit around before the flight took off.  We finally got in the air on time and on our way to Cinni.  When we arrived in Cincinnati, we got to our gate and found out that the connector to Knoxville had not even left the Charlotte airport to come to Cinnci to get us. 


Once again we were delayed for a couple of hours. We decided to get some dinner while we were in the airport, but unfortunately, all of the food places close at 9:00.  It was 9:05.  Bummer.  Our plane finally got in and we were at last on our way to K-town.  We made it back about 1:00 am, and after everything else, I was finally at home around 2:00 am.  Back to snowboarding at Gat, waiting for our skatepark, and all the other glorious things that make Knoxville home.



The Wedding

Coming into LA
John Wayne
The state said it was OK and gave him the Manual
On the way to the nuptials
Wedding Boys
Wedding boys
Nate and Jay
The Groom's Party
The Groom and his Mom
All in the Family
The Happy Couple
The fun begins
Adam and Don
After a Few Drinks



Skatelab Entrance

Nate Rocks Skatelab
(Click to see Video)
Old Decks at Skatelab
Jay At Skatelab
(Click to See Video)

Van's and Pedro

Outside Vans
Nate at Vans
(Click to see Video)
Pedro Park Rules
The main Pedro Bowl
Over the Entrance line
The back Bowls at Pedro needed bailing
More Pedro


Harada mini pool with vert
Harada Snake Run
Nate Bums after slamming
Jay at Harada
Harada Egg Bowl
The Road East
Jay at Harada
The bottom of the Hirada Snake
The Harad Keyhole
Jay in the Egg
Volcano at Harada

Chino and Glendale

Jay in the egg
Jay in the Keyhole
Chino Local ollie
Chino Pool
LA Sunset
Chino Local to tail
Chino Bowl
Chino Flow Bowl
Glendale Pool

Culver City

Jay Kiwi's Culver City
Jcab at Culver City
Culver City Local
Jcab, Culver City Grind

Santa Monica and Pedlow



The Cove Skatepark (Santa Monica)
Jcab, The Cove Pool
Jcab wheels the oververt at The Cove
Small Flow Area, THe Cove
Jcab, Santa Monica Flow Bowl
Jay at Pedlow


Santa Monica Pier
At the pier
At the pier
At the pier
The pacific ocean
The pacific ocean
Adam and steve Comics
Dave and Doug Comics
The Hustler Store on Sunset
City View

The Getty Museum