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Know How: Parking Garage Shredding

We found it on one of our session nights. It was sitting there, brightly illuminated, directly in front of us the whole time. Eight speedy floors of pure parking garage bliss. It was completely gated off, but after catching sight of its various concrete chutes and corners, we deemed it necessary to attempt access. Trevor and I hopped a fence and made our way down a little space between the building and the fence with the hopes that we could get in through the back. It took a bit of lock-jimmying, but our efforts paid off. What we discovered is one of the best garages we’ve ever skated. A multi-directional, figure eight shaped structure with two ramps leading down to one chute in the middle on each floor. To most people it was the beginning and the end of their daily rush hour commute, but to us it was a thing of beauty.

It has been a year and change since we found that garage, and it continues to serve as a wonderful after hours retreat for everyone who knows how to get in. However, it has survived as a shred spot as the direct result of a few rules. I believe these few simple truths can aid in maximizing the amount of enjoyment you and your troop can reap from these towering concrete creations.

Mad Mike, on the edge of grip.

Mad Mike, on the edge of grip.

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Parking structure shadows.

Parking structure shadows.

Nightrider And The Sad Clown – Skating parking garages at night (usually past the hour of 11:30pm) means that there’ll be less cars and less chances for you to be hit by them. Additionally, there will be little or no security, with the occasional guard who is actually on duty counting down the minutes until he gets to go home and watch Friends re-runs while stuffing his gab with Pringles and crying softly to sleep. Shred at night.

Skaters in the dark.

Skaters in the dark.

Silencio – Sometimes this is hard to achieve with a large group of rough and rowdy hessians on skateboards, but if you want to rage a garage for as long as possible without alerting a potential security guard from phonin’ up the boys in blue, this is a proper move. Keeping the banshee yells to a minimum is usually a good start.

Into the depths of the basement.

Austin, not afraid of the dark.

Never Go Below The 2nd Floor – Sometimes all it takes is for you and your posse to come steamin’ past the security kiosk on ground level to get your party rumbled. No two parking garages are the same! It’s important to remember not to fully indulge, and to get out while the gettin’ is good.

In a parking garage, there is no wrong way to ride your board.

In a parking garage, there is no wrong way to ride your board.

Stair Master – A little bit of cardio ain’t never hurt nobody, and besides, you should be working off that “little more to love” you acquired after GTA 5 dropped. Taking the elevator in garages is an easy way to get popped by Mr. Windbreaker-and-a-Mag-Light, because more often than not there are cameras in or around elevators, and all they have to do is push a button and wait for you to come to them. So if you want more runs in that epic garage you just discovered, being a stair master is sometimes the way to go.

Jimmy truckin, with Mad Mike not far behind.

Jimmy truckin, with Mad Mike not far behind.

Kill That Litterbug – If you’re lucky, you’ll get a security guard that hasn’t entirely forgotten what it was like to be a kid, and will, on rare occasion, be stoked on you shredding the structure. Don’t make him regret the decision that could potentially cost him his job. Be the respectful youth that we all know you can be and throw away your trash, leaving the garage looking like you were never there to begin with.

Game face.

Game face.

Never Stop For The Angry Security Guard – He’s upset that he didn’t make it into the police academy, and he’s got crushing-your-good-time on his mind as therapy to make himself feel better about it. Don’t give him that satisfaction. Diplomacy won’t work with these raging bulls, so your best bet is to be like Batman and vanish. He can’t arrest you, and he’s furious he’ll never have the chance, so don’t stop and let him keep you there until the 5-0 show. Put the hammer down and make use of those ceramic bearings you never actually needed.

Dat slalom steeze.

Dat slalom steeze.

Contingency Plan – What if things have gone pear shaped and the cops have been called, or have arrived and are in the garage? It’s important for you to have a proper contingency plan. When exiting a structure under these circumstances, it is essential to take measures to avoid receiving a nasty trespassing ticket, or worse, being arrested. Staying together while mobbing structures is always a solid survival move. Separation leads to stragglers, and stragglers are always the kids with their helmets on backward, not well prepared to fend for themselves. To avoid getting caught, staying together and getting to that exit is paramount. Again, taking the stairs is usually your best bet to avoid being seen. If the cops have rolled, get out and get gone.

Doubles run.

Doubles run.

Be Nice & Have Fun – No one likes a goober. Keep yourself together, be respectful, be smart, be nice, and have fun. If these things are coming as an epiphany to you right now, “do not pass go, do not collect 100 dollars, go directly to jail” -Monopoly, The Game.

Skeleton runs.

Skeleton runs.

Wednesday night TGL crew.

Wednesday night TGL crew + drunk man & meth lady

With these simple tips in mind when touring your town’s structure scene, it ensures that you’ll get the most amount of hassle-free shredding, while minimizing your chances of getting caught. Parking garages are a rad way to get your roll on in the city at night, but also an easy way to get popped for trespassing. Don’t be a coconut, be alert, skate safe, be nice, and you’ll do fine.

Thanks for reading, now go shred a parking structure.

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  1. Mikko Biffle

    I've been caught or spotted numerous times in garages and find in those instance, the guy was more pissed at the runners. Because I just walked right up to him to chat after he had clearly engaged us, he was first surprised, then finally smiling as I tried to get him to come ride next time. *-) So it's a mixed bag on bailing and of course NO ONE wants a ticket. (Never seen a ticket given at our 13yr long-running structure, wherever that might be?) In the end, it might be best to bail, but I kinda like engaging and trying to win them over.


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