Many of you have already seen at least some visual remenance or heard at least one tall-tale attempting to explain exactly what happened this past Saturday between the hours of 10am and 4pm, atop & flowing downward from each side of the legendary Gaffey Street hill in the City of San Pedro, California. Well, we are here to tell you what actually happened this past Saturday—no omissions, no fluff, no bullshit.
The Official Video Recap:
What transpired last weekend was the most dynamic, diverse, and inclusive skateboarding event we have ever witnessed. And due to the event’s perfect location—as well as the team of people and brands involved in organizing and supporting it—this event’s future potential is seemingly limitless. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; we still need to fulfill our promise and tell the day’s tale:
The title of Saturday’s event was the “San Pedro Shred: Festival of Skate” and encompassed the skateboarding disiplines of downhill, street, and transition. The focus was on community, diversity, and safety—with a wide range of skaters, vendors, brands, and local residence in attendance.
The Festival Area:
The event was a trifecta of radical and featured three main sections: One of these sections was the Festival Area where the street course, mini-ramp, stage, and vendor booths all sat happily together atop of Gaffey Street and overlooking San Pedro, the Port of Los Angeles, and the vast Pacific Ocean beyond that. It was truly awe-inspiring to witness so many ripping skaters shredding the ramps, having the opportunity to listen to the talented local musicians, as well as snack on some good-eats from the many San Pedro area food trucks on-site. The weather was sunny and warm—a perfect spring-day for a skate festival.
The Freeride was the second section and point of interest of this past weekend’s event—a hill winding flowingly down the backside of Gaffey and ending at a blocked-off intersection. Further beyond that, a cliff-side park overlooking the south bay of Los Angeles. Truly majestic! The freeride portion of the event was open from 10am till mid afternoon and spearheaded by the amazing guys and gals over at Riviera Skateboards, Divine Wheels, and Paris Trucks. The day started with a “Downhill 101” course for the beginners—in order to promote safe riding practices. As the day progressed onward the hill filled quickly with eager downhillers ready to go fast. Before ya knew it there were over a 100 riders in rotation and shredding down this mellow stretch of Gaffey. We found out later in the day that our homegirl Amanda Powell was taking runs with legendary Venice Beach skater, Jesse Martinez. That’s what’s up!
The Slide Jam:
The Slide Jam happened on the other side of the hill that dips from the top of Gaffey (Festival Area) and descends steeply into the heart of San Pedro proper. To the right, views of the port—further on—Long Beach. To the left, a steep 30ft embankment of dirt, rocks, and grass.
The Slide Jammy was hosted by us here at Wheelbase Magazine, and as you can imagine, we wanted to make sure that we put on the best slide show possible. We opted for a demo-style jam and invited the best downhillers in the industry. To ensure that the jam was of galactic proportions, we joined forces with some of the raddest brands in the industry (Landyachtz, Muir Skate, Bustin, Rayne, and Loaded) to build what we have coined the “Downhill Boomerang.” With the help of master builder Big D, we erected an 18ft high and 32ft wide rainbow-style bank ramp on the side of the road, as well as an 8ft wide wedge ramp provided by Landyachtz’s Compton Crew.
The official start time for the Slide Jam was 2pm, but the ramps were finished by 11am, so we started shredding soon after that. The huge ramp scared some of the skaters at first, but as they warmed up to our banked behemoth the crowd began to grow in direct correlation to the skater’s cajones. Throughout the day the excitement for what was possible on the ramp gained momentum—serious shredding continued, and minds were blown, all day long.
Had too much fun at the San Pedro Downhill event! . . . Thanks again to everyone there killing it and having the best time. (Daewon Song)
It was awesome to see so many skaters from all over the industry in attendance. The Editor and Chief Photographer of Thrasher Magazine were both seen watching the slide jam as well as skating and shooting pictures. Not only that, but legendary street skater, Daewon Song, hopped into the slide jam with a huge smile on his face and commenced to shred—spreading serious stoke to all who were in attendance.
And that’s exactly what happened, as we saw it—a whole mess of skaters got together and shredded hard in San Pedro—it was a badass time. Next year’s event will be even better.
Other photos, articles, and videos from the event:
Teamwork makes the dream work. That’s our motto here at Wheelbase Magazine and this event would never have happened without the support and collaborative efforts of the following team of awesome people, and radical organizations:
A very, very special thanks goes out to Gianine Rizzi at East West 3 as Event Production Manager. Gianine is the glue that held this event together. Kudos! Thank you so much Gianine—mad respect! A huge thanks must go out to the local residents of San Pedro for hosting us and for putting up with all our hustle and bustle. A very special thank you to Council District 15, City of Los Angeles: Jacob Haik, Branimir Kvartuc, Kevin Bingham, Sandra Ciaramitaro, and most of all Councilman Joe Buscaino who sponsored and supported this event—without you, this event would have not been possible. A huge thanks goes out to all the homies over at Resource Distribution (Paris Trucks, Divine Wheels, & Riviera Skateboards) for all their support. Specifically, The Dubes and Justin Reynolds for their critical organization, overall support, and for handling the Freeride Slope. a huge high-five to all the sponsors that made the slide jam portion of the event possible: Landyachtz Longboards, Muir Skate, Bustin Boards, Rayne Longboards, Loaded Boards, and Orangatang Wheels. A big shout out to Andrew Mercado of No Future and Gullwing Truck Co. for his equipment contributions and for helping MC the slide jam. A bear-hug goes out to Big-D for helping design and build the Wheelbase “Boomerang of Radness” ramp—you stoked so many skaters with this crazy ramp. Hell yeah! Thank you Ryan Evans, Tom Iturraran, and Debby Marano for manning the Wheelbase Magazine tent. A bro-kiss to Cameron Frazier for all your support. Huge homie-downs to John Kreutter for working like a slave. Big props to all the bands and Djs who cam out and melted-faces: Toys That Kill, Kidlittle, Bombón, Can of Beans, Leeches, DJ Cesar and others. . . A special thank you to Eric Garcetti for coming out to support the San Pedro Shred and helping us kick off this one of a kind event. Thanks to the LA City Fire Dept. Battalion 6 Dept Engine 48 and Rescue Ambulance 112 who supplied medical treatment and transport. A very special thanks to Fire Inspector John Williams who worked with us prior to the event advising us on our layout, and who stayed with us throughout the event to make sure things were running smoothly. Thanks to the Parks and Recs department who allowed us to utilize their parking lots and worked with us to make sure spectators had access to the event. A special thanks to LAPD who worked with us on parking enforcement and street closure to ensure the street was cleared for set-up and tear down. A special thank you to Investigator Llanes who assisted with our permits. Thank you to Red Bull who supplied their infrastructure and Red Bull throughout the day, as well as promoted the event on their social media outlets. A huge thanks to all our volunteers such as The Beacon House, and The House of Hope who helped set-up, tear down, do security, and assisted with parking and other logistics. To Drea Di Biasi who manned the registration and check-in booth. Thank you to Joe and Genevieve Contrades from Helmet Head—they organized the helmets to be loaned throughout the day and gave away helmets to kids that did not own one. Joe and Gen also supplied water, ice, and breakfast for all the volunteers. Thank you to Billy Deans our MC who rocked the mic in the festival area and kept the crowd going. Thank you to CA Skateparks for use of their half pipe. Thank you to Andy Harris, Bill Seargent, and Robbie from San Pedro Skate Park Association for building awesome ramps, organizing an awesome street course, and overall being such an amazing sponsor.Thank you to Jeff Oppelet and Rick Larry from TuffBlocks for supplying our TuffBlocks. Thanks to Otto Henke of Urban Feet and Skate for all his support in general and via his vendors: Arbor, DC shoe, DVS, Dwindle dist, Globe, Etnies, Girl/Lakai, NHS dist, Emerica, Vans. A special thank you to Vans for all the Pizzas and Vitamin water. Mike Wilder for donating his garage and his expertise in ramp building, Scott Minton for his shirt art. Also, Scrubz hats and apparel, BG surfboards, and Spank stencil art. And lastly, but in no way least—thank you to all the skaters that came out and shredded the event and shared in all the good times. We hope to see you all next year!