Thursday, July 08, 2010

Stonegate Skatepark Overlooking East Bay Hills

In my early quest to meet skaters in the area, I found myself deep in San Jose at Stonegate Skatepark. I immediately loved the place. It is a bit hood. On one visit, a portly park goer tried to sell me a video camera. He was wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet.

This time around, the only folks there were riding BMX bikes or skateboards. Here's some of each.

Matt, on the Smith

Smith Bowl

Indy Grab Bowl to Bank

Big Indy

B/S Noseslide Down Hubba

B/S Noseslide

Scott BMX

Scott BMX

F/S Rock

Front Rock Vertical

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Breakin' my Vert Cherry

Vert Ramp Teaser

I've been on a vert ramp before last night. Once. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, backyards were for BBQ'ing and goofing around. The plots were largish, certainly large enough for a skate ramp, but it wasn't something you saw. In the summertime, those with means would head over the state line into Wisconsin to chill. Later in life, making friends with WI natives, I was introduced to the term FIP or Fucking Illinois People. We just called them ched-heads and got on with it.

My family would go to Lake Geneva to hang out with our neighbors at their summer house. I had a Vision board and I would take it with me every time. Our friends house was on a huge hill and i enjoyed hill bombs down it and would periodically wipe out and leave skin all up and down the road. That was about the extent of my skate prowess. Our friends whispered that there was a half-pipe across the street. We snuck into the neighbors yard and saw it. It was HUGE. I couldn't believe it was skateable. The thing had to be 8 feet tall. I think it had a little roll-in section because I remember being confused about how you would deal with that. I never got up the nerve to take my board onto the ramp. Rather, I just remember being in awe that anyone could skate that thing. I would have to use my imagination, though, the neighbors were nowhere to be seen.

I got a last minute call from Tony who wanted to head to a vert ramp in Richmond to meet a friend. I quickly agreed and we were off.

Tony 1

My first impression? Holy shit this thing is big. It dwarfed my memory of the Wisconsin ramp. I learned it had recently gotten an upgrade to make it even taller. One of the first tricks: Ffej on the Sweeper.



John Backside

Jeff clearly had this place dialed. He is the master of the invert.

Favorite Invert

Jeff took more runs than anyone else with the possible exception of Greg who owns the ramp.

Jeff Nose Grab Air

Jeff 50-50

Greg Backside Air

Oh yea, Greg can do inverts too.

Greg Invert

Before too long, Brad McClain showed up. He took his skills honed at 6TwentyOne's mini to the vert ramp with no issue. He probably got more air than anyone else that night.


Brad FSA 2


Brad Boneless

Front Rock

Brad Front Rock

My favorite trick of the night: Crailslide

Brad Crail

There were also two youngsters in the house that night. Their mom let me know it was the first time on the ramp. Here's the youngest, who can't be older than 6 droppin in on 11 feet of vert.

Droppin in on 11 Feet o' Vert

And the older brother, reaching sweet coping at the other end.

Getting Coping

Okay, more inverts.

Ffej Invert 3

Angled Invert

After midnight, we wound it down.

After Party

Here, Have a Cold One

Ffej, Tony and Troy

Special thanks to Greg for letting us barge in on the session. I hope these photos do some justice to the spot.

And that's how I finally broke my vert cherry.

Sphere: Related Content