We were now pretty firmly planted in Santa Cruz for a few days. surrounded by parks, waves, food and beer, we really couldn’t ask for much more. Much like the beginning of our trip up in Portland, we planned to stay in SC for a few days and soak up everything the area had to offer.
It was pretty shitty too..
First up was some much needed breakfast and then straight to the parking lot at the Capitola Mall to check out the contest that our good friend TC and the rest of the guys at the Santa Cruz Boardroom put on every year. The scene was awesome with kids and adults of all ages tearing around the course while everyone watching got to sample the free hot dogs and swag that was getting passed out from all the tents.
Groms getting after it.
Hand plant from a local shredder.
Everyone killed it, the open division went off firmly proving that Santa Cruz skaters are always a force to be reckoned with as they showed off their signature beach vato style. We also got to meet legendary snowboarder Chris Roach as he walked around and checked the scene. If you don’t know who Roach is, do some research because he is one of the main reasons snowboarding stepped aways from the neon and hardboots and got cool back in the 90’s. Big ups to TC and everyone at the Boardroom for putting on the contest and to Skin Dog from Volcom for holding down the Volcom tent and making sure everyone walked around with hats and stickers.
By this time the waves were calling our names and we headed back to to beach to try our luck a second time. We all suited up, some of us with better luck than others. JP, oblivious to what was going on, walked out with his wetsuit on backwards/insideout and we almost let him run it that way, but couldn’t keep our mouths shut and had to make fun of him. Fucking haole! JP fixed his gear crisis and we hit the waves, stoked to be in the water and again we surfed until the sun dipped off behind the horizon.
Caralson with a nice bottom turn.
The next day would be a big one. We started off at the Boardroom to check out the shop and pick up a couple kids that were going to show us around for the day. The Boardroom is one of the coolest shops we saw on the whole trip. Every inch of the walls in covered in old, original boards and you could easily spend a whole day there with your neck crooked up in awe of all the history around you.
Once we finished gawking at the walls, we grabbed Boardroom riders Jesse and Cody and jammed the truck into gear towards the new Santa Cruz skatepark. In true SC style, the park is minutes from the beach, in full view of the Boardwalk roller coaster and has a fullpipe painted like a curling wave. The park is no joke and Cody and Jesse got right too it showing us again and again that kids and Santa Cruz don’t fuck around.
Cody and Jesse pre skate sesh.
Cody Front side smith at wormhoudt park.
Jesse stalefish out of the deep end.
Grandma santa cruz making sure everybody was high.
After they shut down the park we packed up and headed across town to Derby, one of the oldest parks and most fun parks in the country to the day. Derby had just undergone a controversial makeover but just about everyone thats skated it agrees that it is indeed better now with a few more options and smoother crete while still keeping the classic Derby snakerun and hips intact. Our buddy Jeremy met up with us along with his friend Brooke and we had a classic session in the iconic park, everyone getting a little something. Cody and Jesse had the place wired with rediculous pop on the hips and creative lines all around.
Cody with a trash can nose bonk into tranny.
Its never a real skatepark session without some tweaker sighting and this was no different. Probably all hopped up on Tina, we soon became friends with a skater, rapper and all around tweaker that, after taking a heavy shinner, climbed dangerously high up in a tree and offered his chipped, shitty board to anyone that dared climb up and join him. No one took him up on the offer and we all left laughing with George of the concrete jungle still hanging out 100ft off the ground.
Who wants a skateboard? Come n get it…
We dropped Jesse and Cody off, thanked them for showing us around and skating with us and then headed to get some food and beers to power us up for our evening surf session. We got back to Carlson’s and were pumped to meet up with Dave Abarta who would be joining us for the next couple weeks of the trip. We were finally getting used to surfing and we all got some before the sun dropped and we turned in for the night.
Skaten down the street to check the surf.
Dcon waiting in between sets.
Our third and final full day in Santa Cruz couldn’t have been better. After a quick bite of food and some coffee we headed over to NHS to meet up with Brad Oates and get a full tour of one of the best companies in the business. Home to Santa Cruz, Creature and Flip Skateboards as well as Independent and Krux Trucks and OJ and Ricta Wheels. NHS is an institution in skateboarding and has been since the late 70’s. The walls were covered in artwork from Jim Phillips, now owned by Rich Novak, the N in NHS.
NHS Factory keeping it real.
Brad gave us the full tour, showing us everything from the offices, to the production room to the amazing R+D area. Words cannot do NHS justice, everyone working there was pumped to meet us and show off what they were working on and the place is a testament to where skateboarding has come from and where it’s headed.
Though it was hard to leave, I could have stayed there for days just looking at the old Jason Jesse and Grosso boards on the walls, we had other places to be and we said our farewells to Brad and everyone else at NHS. Again, thanks so much guys! Keep on doing it right!
After lunch we headed over to Jimbo Phillips house. Son of Jim Phillips, Jimbo is carrying on in his dads footsteps pumping out amazing art every day which can be seen on a number of NHS products as well as original paintings, album art for bands and a plethora of other awesome stuff. Jimbo was nice enough to let us in his house, show us some of his stockpile, tell us about his creative process and his history in skateboarding and art, which is truly amazing. Look for the video interview online soon, the man and his family are truly legends within our community.
Pumped up from our NHS tour and Jimbo’s creativity, Foy, Dave and Dan headed up to Scotts Valley to check out the Tim Brauch Memorial park and get some skating in for the day. The park is awesome, the scene was pretty beat. Just about a full reversal of what made the Santa Cruz park cool. Gone were the local rippers, street trash and culture and in were hoarders of scooters. They are becoming a plague at skateparks and are as dangerous to themselves as they are to everyone around them. Regardless, we had fun while dodging the scoots and getting ours in between. The park is a must hit if you’re in the area, and hopefully if you stop by the scooter infestation will have died down.
Tired, sweaty and fulfilled, we headed back to Carlsons to slap on our wetsuits and get one more surf in before hitting the road in the morning. The waves were pretty flat so we grabbed some longboards and headed of the Pleasure Point to make to most of the small surf. We all got a hang of the big boards quickly and were handling the waves like seasoned locals in no time. Its hard not to have fun in the water no matter whats going on and this evening was no different. Again the sun dipped and we reluctantly crawled out of the water ready to get some food and drinks for our last night in Santa Cruz.