2016 Menlo Park Jam Recap With Andrew Medeiros

Atherton is safe town. Smoothly paved streets tracing through neighborhoods of cavernous houses. The last time I was here, a jogger asked me if my mother knew what I was doing. She insisted with wide eyes that I must be another misguided teenager taking unnecessary risks. Of course, she is right. However, I also conveniently pointed at the car I arrived in. My mom waved back. The jogger smiled nervously and kept her even pace down the street. It seems that we are doing the right work when the joggers are wide-eyed.

Without the Menlo Park skate jam, valpo hill would just another blue line on the route of a steady jogger. Without the skate community supporting this event financially and vocally, this event would dissolve into oblivion like so many others.

“Look! You’re number one!”

I was so fired up all morning to see all of the family members, I was not sure if the competition started until I heard a faint call of my name over the hammering of urethane on top of wooden plies. I take off my helmet to inspect my registration number sticker. I see the bold 001 and bolt up the hill. Officially, there were two warm up runs and two judged runs. I don’t take winning too seriously, but I do like performing.

Dubler in effect.

With an event like this, I have the rare opportunity to stoke out all of my family at the same time and place. As I try my best at floating down the run, I catch AFB’s eyes. His smile is as vibrant as his dashiki.

Everyone from the OG downhill skateboarders to freeboarders in plush onesies have their eyes on each rider that drop. Since everyone is lending their support and hype, it guarantees that every skater there took many more than the “required” number of runs to compete.

Judge Liam.

Hard to impress.

Whether it was Big Dave rolling up in Sunset Sliders style packing the Scholarship with the San Francisco shredders or it was Michal Cihlar taking a break from school in Boulder to roll around in his flossy beamer, this event worked because we all wanted to see the whole family together.

The JSM president/ staff cinematographer/ hype man Stephan Reinhardt hacked James’ Facebook account and kept a live video feed for about 45 minutes. Through his smile, giggling as he interjects on the announcing mic “Ryka Mohammadian, sponsored by Freebord”.

Amidst the banter and lurking, we still kept the audience of moms and joggers watching as a steady-eyed Quentin Gachot stare down a gap that could have taken his board away like a game of Hungry Hippos.

Or as a 7-man pack run bomb down the first two sweepers of the course while holding hands. Or as I pulled some blatantly awkward sitdown foot breaks.

Or as a 7-man pack run bomb down the first two sweepers of the course while holding hands. Or as I pulled some blatantly awkward sitdown foot breaks.

As the viewers of Stephan’s live feed on James’ Facebook begins to diminish, and young gun Jasper finally went too hard and hit a curb, we start to wrap things up. As the sun settled behind the wide oak trees, the wood paneling of the ramps are deconstructed and find their home in the Freebord van.

Every time the family gets together and throws down, time and space moves differently. I didn’t even realize I skated for almost 5 hours straight. The walk up was always expedited with conversations with people I haven’t seen since the last California event. Keep downhill skateboarding weird ( See: Being a goof at Menlo).

Good luck out there,

PS. I have a few posts rolling on the blog here. check out my California Outlaw Recaps as well!