Skateboarding The Ditches Of Albuquerque
Skating is skating in Albuquerque. Downhill is skating. Street is skating. Freeride is skating. And dancing is well something. Albuquerque didn’t really coin the phrase “skate everything” but has always been a way of life in the ditches and hills that cover the city.
You can find ditches elsewhere, Cali, Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas. But nothing comes close to the concentration of ditches that cover the beautiful city of Albuquerque.
Nestled next to the Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque has need for these ditches or arroyos to prevent the city from flooding. The ground is dry and the whole city is on a incline. During our monsoon season the ditches fill up to the top and still don’t prevent the streets from flooding. This is why we have 100s of miles of downhill ditches with new ditches being built every year.
This is also why you’ll never meet a Burqueno that doesn’t naturally skate everything. Every downhiller has a double kick with traditional king pins. Every street skater has a set of soft wheels for bombing the ditches and eventually hills.
Through the ditches all types of skaters can find an interest and respect in all disciplines. Skaters are forced to evolve and adapt to the terrain around them.
I picked up skating when I was 13, that year I started bombing Indian School on a Kebbek “John Caften” that was a third of my weight. I hiked that shit for years, just to mob down in a few minutes. The only reason I had a double kick in 2003 was tech sliding was really cool. Still is! But it was the ditches that made me put on TKP trucks, and start riding parks and the epic spots littered down every ditch.
Now one run will take half the day as a couple homies and I inch our way down the ditch from spot to spot. My set up is now a compromise or a hybrid of downhill and street. Now I do both, bombing ditches from spot to spot.
While everyone has been catching up and started saying “skate everything” I got to grow up skating everything because of the terrain. If you aren’t lucky enough to have skated in Albuquerque you should consider visiting and expanding your view on what you can do with 4 wheels and a plank of wood.
Lucky for you the Annual Ditch SLAP is about to go down and I highly recommend you check it out.
Thanks to Khaleeq Alfred for the epic photos. Please find his instagram here.