Ruling The Streets

Greenskate Los Angeles

I don’t know about you, but I find there to be something oh so gratifying about that sound of sidewalk cracks passing under your wheels. It’s like an audible proof of purchase. The sound of ‘go’. A mantra for the sidewalk surfer in your soul. Downhill and freeriding both have their lovely little idiosyncrasies. The slides, the speed, the adrenaline. But there will always be something just so wonderfully simple about the equation of you, your board, and a cityscape begging to be explored. So with this simple equation acting as our inspiration, our group The Gel Lab teamed up with the good folks at Greenskate and Loaded Boards to host an event reminiscent of New York’s Broadway Bomb.

It was the Sunday after the ILL Slide Jam and I was admittedly a little fatigued. Sun kissed shoulders and arms made me question my thought process as to why I had neglected to apply sunscreen at the jam the day before. But after some time spent farting around on the internet, and three or four glasses of tea, I felt like I had recovered enough health points to drum up a partial take over of Santa Monica. Thirty minutes later and I was out the door with my camera bag slung over my shoulder, bound for the In and Out burger in the city of Westwood.

I arrived to the In and Out to find 30 or so longboarders, all itching to grapple with the urban elements. Asphalt, concrete, a city scape of almost limitless potential. The stoke was high as we took to the streets, making our way down from Westwood / UCLA to Venice beach skate park, and stopping off to session a local freeride favorite along the way.

Marcelo Lopez looks on as he begins to realize what treacherous terrain lies before him.

Adam Stokowski winds his way along the sidewalk.

The crew battles traffic through the LA streets on our way to Venice beach.

Nicholas Escamilla sticks a very tight slide for the patrons of the Cabo Cantina.

A portion of our troop arrives at our first stop on our adventure. Behold, the freeride hill.

A base camp is quickly established as the rest of our armada arrives.

Upon arriving at our first stop on the cruise, a handful of skaters with skillz begin the trek to the top of the hill.

Kyle Chin splitting the gap between John and Ethan with a dialed toe-side.

Nicholas Escamilla snaps out this wicked heelside slide.

Amanda Powell dismantles faces, and gravity.

Marc Juvinall steezin out a classic heelside scrubber.

Kyle Chin with another face melter.

Lone soldier Daisy Johannes craving it out.

 

After a hearty helping of freeriding, the herd begins to amass at the base of the hill bound for Santa Monica.

A steady flow of skaters poured out onto the Los Angeles city streets, fully intent on shredding until the last man.

With the sidewalks packed with skaters and pedestrians alike, the overflow spills onto the city streets.

Our force enters the maelstrom that is 3rd street Santa Monica.

Kyle Chin lookin shady.

The crew navigates its way out of the concrete jungle and presses on towards Venice.

Darren Ratcliffe gets dirty with this heelside stand-up through sand - Bold.

Yours truly nails a foot jam off a twisted tree while Darren mans the shutter.

Big D again, getting pitted in traffic.

After navigating through the streets of Santa Monica, the clan hits the boardwalk for some smooth sailing.

The survivors culminate at the Venice skate plaza after weathering Wilshire Blvd. & Santa Monica streets.

Dane Webber and Adam Stokowski spinnin the yarn.

Greenskate Los Angeles 2012! Woot.

 

It’s honestly a magical sight to behold, battling traffic and raging through the city streets with a pack of skaters. It’s a strength in numbers kind of feeling. Cars merge out of your way (most of the time), people look on in awe. It’s like being a part of one of those huge schools of fish you see on the Planet Earth documentary. Just a snaking cloud of steeze and style. The sounds of dirty bearings, the sweet feeling of wheels rolling on pavement.

Additional photos / larger resolution shots of the event are hosted on The Gel Lab‘s Flickr page at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thegellab/sets/72157629990395207/

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