Archive for the “Events” Category

While video gear continues to get cheaper, and your grandma is whiling away her free time editing HD video of her parakeet on her iMac, amateur skate videos have gone pro.  Skaters can now apply such high levels of polish to their DIY videos, that they can rival the stuff that comes off the shelf in the skate shop.

It had to happen sometime, but I’m pissed I didn’t think of it first.  The first annual Skateboarding Film Festival is happening this August 14-15 at Seattle Center’s SIFF Cinema.

The guy behind the whole deal, Eric Burgess, tells me that there will be films covering the full spectrum of skateboarding.  If the submissions that he’s posted so far on the festival website are any indication, this event may just establish skateboarders as the bleeding edge of DIY film making.  I mean…all that CKY stuff was shot on XL-1’s and edited on a pre-intel PowerMac.  That dude made millions.  Now it’s your turn, and Eric is bringing skateboarding film to a first-class, high profile Seattle venue for the first time.

Show up, grab some popcorn, and get ready for some amazing skatefilm.

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Marg_gosk81The hater in me wants to be all… “every day is go skateboarding day, man”, and “don’t try to turn this aspect of my lifestyle into a Hallmark holiday you evil corporate skateboard/lifestyle brand managers”, but I am really trying to be more positive these days.  I ventured out.

I figured the most anti-corporate place to celebrate GSD was Marginal, and it’s the closest thing to my house.  I expected to see a lit barbecue, people everywhere, and to hear Slayer riffs echoing off the walls.  Instead I found an empty spot except for this guy, and captured an image of what I believe the essence of GSD to be:

Go skateboarding for yourself, and no one else.

Marginal was probably empty because the SnoCon guys were hosting an awesome event down the street, and I’m sure it fired up later in the afternoon.  Josh Becker captured some awesome photos of the downhill bomb, which you can see here.  But having Marginal to yourself on GSD seemed like an oddly beautiful way to spend the day.


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webbiteTHISfinalSkate Like A Girl is setting up to become the Vera Project equivalent for skaters in Seattle.  They have been given an office at the Seattle Center, just a kingpin’s throw from the new park, and they are already starting to program some cool events.

The first one will be during the Bite of Seattle, which is interesting because the Bite’s management were the first to come out against the SC campus location for the park.

I guess this just shows that when people come together, good things can and will happen. This is really great news, because for a while there was talk of shutting down the entire park during events like the Bite and Bumbershoot.  It’s still not known what will be happening during the latter.

So when you’re down at the Bite this year, bring your board, and contribute to this event.  Make it positive.  That way we can set the right foot forward and ensure that the skatepark will always be open for skaters during the 30+ days a year that there are events programmed at the Seattle Center.

Bite This! and go SLAG!

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keepingquietonline2 Brennan Coyle, who showed his amazing work at the Youngstown open house event to raise awareness for the Delridge skatepark project, is having another show tomorrow night @ SonCon’s Alaskan Way location.  The fun begins at 8pm.

In case you missed it, he creates incredibly detailed pieces that jump right off of the boards they’re made out of.  Get to the show to pick up your own piece before this guy blows up.

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Micah Shapiro from Grindline presents the goods.

Micah Shapiro from Grindline presents the goods.

Despite the immediate lack of construction funding, the Delridge community came out in force to support and participate in the design process for the proposed skatepark in their neighborhood.

The meeting started with a nice intro and overview from Parks’ Kelly Davidson, which ended with a reminder that the Parks Department is actively looking for ways to fund the project.  One option she proposed, was applying for the opportunity funds in the upcoming Parks Levy.  But the outlook for breaking ground is still 2010 at best, and that’s if one of the few options available for skatepark funding develops into actual cash.  Kelly reminded everyone that they should be actively lobbying the City Council to keep the project in the forefront of their minds.

Next up was Nancy Folsom, a neighbor who lives across the street from the park, and Randy Engstrom, executive director of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, to discuss the public art piece of the project.  Randy and his team secured a grant to pay for a parallell process that will focus on building an art component of the skatepark.  The skatepark site is right at the NE corner of the park that is often seen as the gateway to the Delridge neighborhood, so the neighbors would love to have a showcase piece of public art that welcomes you into the neighborhood and the skatepark.  They presented the process, Nancy had some conceptual images for what the art could look like, and they were collecting signatures from anyone who wanted to be involved.

At that point the Abbotswood/Grindline team took the stage and presented a pretty long and exciting video that showcased a lot of Grindline parks, and highlighted the company’s West Seattle history.  After the video, there was a short PowerPoint presentation that gave the audience a very quick and shallow overview of the Abbotswood/Grindline design methodology, some examples of what makes a successful skatepark, and an evaluation of the current site.

Some details emerged last night that were previously unknown, primarily the target footprint size which is now 10,000 sq/ft.  This is down a bit from the original plan, largely due to the limited funds available for the design process.  The upside is that the conceptual images that Micah showed with a 10K skatepark at the site seemed to look like a good fit.  He also showed some similarly sized parks like Yakima that looked like they managed to fit a lot of fun terrain into that footprint.

Finally there was a short design charette where people broke into tables and discussed ideas for the new park.  There was a diverse group of skaters at the meeting, and it seemed like some of the street vs. transition conflict that’s plagued other skatepark design meetings in Seattle was not present at Delridge.  Everyone seemed like they agreed that there should be a good mix, and that all skill levels should be served.  Some of the ideas that came up were:  a snake run, rebuilding the legendary Schmitz Park bowl that started it all, actual vert in the bowl, a signature feature that is recognizable, a 10ft deep end, multiple types of coping, and much more…

A packed Youngstown Theatre soaks in the Grindline video.

The big take-away from the night was how many people showed up, and how diverse the crowd was.  The room was completely full, and it contained multiple generations of skaters, non-skating neighbors, community artists interested in the arts component of the project, and all of the West Seattle local media.  The Delridge skatepark process continues to be an exemplary model of a community all getting behind a skatepark project, and taking an active role in the process to help make it a positive amenity for the entire neighborhood.

Now if there was only funding….

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Copyright Jay Meer - skateparkart.comThis Friday December 5th (6pm-10pm…presentation at 8pm) at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, there will be an art show and presentation on skateable art and creative skatepark design, including an exhibition from five amazing Seattle artists:

Along with the art exhibition, there will be a presentation on skateable art and skatepark design by Peter Whitley from Skaters for Public Skateparks, some action-packed skate video that highlights the cutting edge work by Delridge skatepark designers: West Seattle’s own Grindline, as well as a multi-media presentation on the relationship between art, public spaces, and skateboarding by pioneering Northwest skatepark mural artist Jay Meer.

Copyright Brennan Coyle

To top it off there will be food, prizes, and opportunities to learn more about the Delridge skatepark project.  We will also be collecting video testimonials for a future project that documents the need for facilities like skateparks in local communities. The funding for the Delridge skatepark’s construction was recently cut out of the annual budget by the City Council, so it’s very important that you stop by and show your support for this project.  This will also be a great opportunity for non-skaters to learn more about the rich culture that surrounds skateparks, and witness some of the amazing works created by the skateboarders in your community.

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Mikee rips it in the clover.It was a great day for Seattle skateboarders.

We had a great turnout despite the drab weather, tons of positive energy, and confirmations from both the Mayor and the Parks Superintendent that more skateparks are on the way, with a park in West Seattle at Delridge playfield being the next project.

The skating was furious. There were very few actual “pros” which ended up being better. The demo was performed entirely by Northwest skaters, many of whom were young kids: the future and now of Northwest skateboarding!Lower Woodland ribbon cutting.

The park surpasses all of our expectations. There is something for every type of skater and skill level. There are issues, and Wally himself admitted to me that he wished a few things had turned out more to his liking. But really the only thing technically wrong with the place is that it’s not twice as large.

Mo tests the outcome of his contribution to the skatepark.

Thanks to everyone for a great day, especially the SnoCon family, Marshall from Manik, and all of our sponsors. This park was a group effort and everyone involved really deserves a huge helping of gratitude.

More coverage here, and more photos here.

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wpsposter_11×17f.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, you’ve already skated Lower Woodland skatepark. You’ve seen the construction crew leave, and the armies of kids descending on the park like ants on a Jolly Rancher. You’ve noticed that the flow bowl is actually pretty fun, and that there are way too many bikes, even though most of the bikers seem to be respecting the coping and riding without pegs. You may have even been approached by a police officer and told, very nonchalantly, to please leave until he/she leaves and then come back.

Has anyone spotted Kris Fuller lurking on the fringes, clutching a decibel meter and a copy of her failed lawsuit to try and halt this “incredible waste of taxpayer dollars”?

All jesting aside, Lower Woodland is already a huge success. Yes, T.F. Sahli was not even our third choice of builder, and the park was not built as it was designed. But let’s face it…it’s fun and Seattle really needed a proper centrally-located skatepark with bowl and street terrain, that had something for all levels of expertise. While I’m sure Grindline or Dreamland would’ve built a better park, it really seems like Wally Holiday and T.F. Sahli have created exactly the type of park that is attracting a ton of skaters, and proves that we desperately need more skateparks to address the insanely high demand.

The ribbon cutting and official opening day will be on June 7th, and will include an appearance of Mayor Greg Nickels who paid for the bulk of this park by dipping into his own budget. Sure, Ballard was imploding under the pressure of an entire community wondering why the Parks Department would simply remove such a popular and positive skatepark facility, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Lower Woodland is Mayor Nickels’ baby and he will be there to grab the glory. There will also be a pro team demo as yet to be announced, as SnoCon is still lining up the talent, and a bunch of free stuff will get thrown out. DJ Masa will also be repeating his amazing 7″ skate punk session he performed at the original Ballard bowl.

It definitely won’t be anything like last weekend’s Thrasher event at Marginal, but it’ll be nice to celebrate the opening of Seattle’s first reasonably-sized skatepark with a little bit of revelry, even if it’s going to be executed under the usual Parks Department safety net. See you there.

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kingplazavector2.jpgWhile Seattle is just about to get back to pre-2004 skatepark levels with the opening of Lower Woodland, Bellevue just finished their third park. It’s a sweet plaza design, built by Grindline, and shepherded by Bellevue’s own skatepark demi-god Joe Moorman.

Along with Steve Gonzales (Goods/Innerspace), Moorman has been doing great things for Bellevue skaters for years, starting with the indoor skatepark at Highland that has been hosting clinics, demos, and all around good vibes for Bellevue teens for many years now.

The grand opening of Bellevue’s newest skatepark is Friday May 16th, and looks like it’s going to be a smoker. There’s a demo by the Nike team planned, and the sponsor list reads like a who’s-who of skate royalty. Make sure you check it out, and while you’re there, ask Joe how he’s managed to get three skateparks built in the time it’s taken Seattle to build one.

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marg_ben.jpgMake sure to stop by and throw down some love to the Marginal Crew tomorrow night at King Cobra:

Benefit at the new Capitol Hill rock club King Cobra

Thursday, April 3 (8pm – close, $5 suggested donation, 21+).

The bill features:
All Bets on Death
Same-Sex Dictator

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