This particular event was one that we didn’t plan on covering for Wheelbase. Others had attached themselves pretty heavily to it already, so we were content to just watch from afar. But, and there’s always a “but”, after getting a few calls and emails from fellow skaters telling us they wanted us there, we said “what the hell” and decided to at least show up and skate with the homies. Subsequently, Pete Eubank and Marcus Bandy piled in the Yeehaw-mobile and headed up to Menlo Park. The following are the few shots we managed to click-off when we weren’t skating, as well as a few of our semi-random and half-baked mental-flatulence.
The Camping Situation
The camping was pretty rad no doupt. The site was way up some long, winding road in the middle of nowhere. On Friday night, it took us a while to find the place, but once we found it, saw that the cold beverages were flowing freely, we kicked back with all the other skaters there and set up our tents. The food was very good as well—as it happens, the chef at the adjacent restaurant was trained in Paris—bomb food for sure! We can’t forget to mention the crazy-ass hippy-witch who crashed our site the first night. She rolled up on us, some time after many of us were already asleep, and more than once, yelled for us all to get-up and follow her to the bar where her and her “surfer friends” were “raging”. She repeated over and over: “Come rage with us! Come rage, skateboarders!” Needless to say, she was ultimately heckled out of the campsite. Anyway, the camping spot was very cool.
The Skateboard Shredding
The first day of the event was spent freeriding the road that was to be the main slide jam course the following day. It was a buttery, winding and oak-canopied road in Menlo Park—we sessioned it until around noon, and then they had to open it again to the pubic. After that, we all headed over to the curvaceous Palo Alto Skatepark for a mob session, a BBQ put on by Skate Works, as well as a bowl slalom contest. It was a hot one indeed, but good times nonetheless. The park has no coping and is a rolling undulation of varied transitions—hard to get the hang of, but well worth the work it takes to learn how to shred it. I’m not sure who actually won the slalom race, but if one were to gauge the day’s success by the level of Stoke on everyone’s faces, you might say that a whole lot of skaters took home first prize.
The second day was the all-day slide jam. Twice as many people showed up for this event than the following day and there were even a few local spectators checking it out. One of the raddest parts of the whole deal was seeing so many new faces and young rippers. The slide jam festivities lasted from about eleven till around six in the evening and mass skating ensued that entire time. Our favorite element of the jam was the launch ramp action. One of the highlights of the “air-show” was when guys started trying to launch over another skater as he slide under the back of the ramp. A couple early attempts ended in the launching skater landing on the sliding skater, but, as you’ll see in the accompanying photos, Byron Essert & Liam Morgan pulled-off a couple of these picture-perfect combos. And the crowd went wild! Once again, the whole day was radical—dudes slide the shit out of that hill (Did I see a no-comply slide to revert? Did somebody watch the Nick Hays video?). Anywho, many a skater left with a beautiful road rash and a bright smile.
The Overall Vibe
All in all, the Menlo Park Skate Jam was good times. Skateboarding is growing in such a broad and interesting way right now, and events like this reflect that growth and the spirit embodied within it. It’s always rad to meet new skaters and hang out with the ones you don’t get to see every day. At the Menlo event we got to do just that—very stoked! Big ups to David Hiltbrand for putting this event together. Yeeeaah knuckka!
A special thanks goes out to the presenting sponsors: