It’s always those most mundane moments when my brain decides to dredge up my most profound memories. Looking back now, I liken the memories to more of a measure of survival rather than so much day dreaming. If you’ve ever been in start and stop traffic in Los Angeles, you’ll know what I’m on about. It takes nothing short of Shaolin Zen to keep yourself from going absolutely mental. A line of break-lights for as far as you can see, and no freeway exit in sight. Even the weeds manage to squeeze through cracks in the pavement just to mock you as you creep on by at 5mph. Traffic in Los Angeles is just something you learn to deal with. Some cities have blizzards, others have rain, we have traffic, and to get anywhere between the hours of 4 and 6pm becomes more a matter of wishful thinking.
However, despite the grinding gridlock, true natives to the Southland are all professional dreamers. We specialize in being in two places at once. It’s a skill we’ve learned to develop over many many hours spent sitting in traffic. So as bland and boring as sitting in traffic on a freeway is, it gives you time to process your thoughts. You instantly think of all the other places you’d much rather be, things that you’d much rather be doing. You dream of your ideal afternoon, with an ideal set of people to enjoy it with you. Perhaps it’s a beach on some tropical coast line, maybe it’s a boat on some alpine lake, but for me, it’s a little place called Malibu, and I’m standing at the top of a canyon road with my skateboard.
This is what comes to mind when people tell me to, “Go to your happy place”.
Everyone piles into the bed of AJ Ricciardo’s truck (highly illegal in CA), as Ryan Galgas shuttles us back to the start of the run.
Malibu, where dreams really do come true… for downhill skateboarders.
Matt and Joe sticking the left while avoiding an asteroid field.
This is one of my favorite runs in all of Malibu, and when I’m not skating it, you can be damn sure that I’m thinking about it. Which corners to drift, and which to stick. When to tuck, and when to carve. I’ve walked this road a dozen times or more, studied it’s apexes, plotted my lines. Because it’s true what they say, curves are sexier than straight lines.
Matt and Joe again, prepping for our last run of the day.
Matt Peckson and Steven Nash scoping out the run in the background as the sun sets on an picture perfect day of skateboarding. Moments like these possess a half life of sorts. They impact me in such a way that the memories linger for days after. It is for days like this that I skateboard.
After all these years, I’ve learned something very important from all of my hours logged inching along. I’ve learned that it is always important to dream. Because without a dream, nothing is possible. A new trick, a new road, a new perspective on how or why we do what we do, all has to start with a dream to want to experience something new. The emphasis these days tends to be placed on professionalism within the sport. And becoming a professional skateboarder is one thing, but first and above all else one must be a professional dreamer, because a dream or an idea can make you a better skater. You can learn a lot from two hours in traffic.
A very special thanks to Ryan Galgas for the additional photography assistance.