chicago-bridge

Another Random Chicago Spot Check

Bridge launch ramp and/or bank in Chicago. Watch out for those bolts. Someone point me to a skate photo of a spot like this.

chicago

These things happen

I stumbled upon this skatepark while visiting Chicago recently. These things (new skateparks) happen when you move away from a city for 15 years or so. This street plaza-style park is much more interesting than this panorama photo may lead you to believe. I’m standing on top of a wall that is maybe 10 feet tall. Under my feet and out of view for the most part, are the assorted transitions and banks that butt up against the wall. The panorama makes everything seem more spread out than the reality, but it is a pretty expansive park. There was not much going on there during my accidental visit, but it looks fun.

terrorists

Midwest Skateboard Terrorists from the 80’s

Here’s an excellent time capsule of skateboard harassment from a local Springfield Illinois news channel concerning a proposed ban on skateboarding downtown. Local business and civic leaders speak out against “skateboard terrorists” in advance of the ban, which ultimately passed. The video was digitized from a decrepit old VHS tape, so there are tracking issues and the sound doesn’t always sync right, but it’s still a good watch. One of the skateboarders makes a reasonable request for a public skatepark to serve the needs of the population, and they did get one after only 25 years.

– Thanks to Nick Rudd for the tip.

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sturgeon-bay1

Sturgeon Bay Skatepark

Let’s see… cleaning out the old inbox here. What’s this? The Sturgeon Bay Skatepark Initiative has met their finding goal and hopes to break ground on a new Grindline park in June. I wonder how that’s coming along… It’s finished? That was fast. Wait, what’s the date on that email? 2014. OK , well, that makes sense. Hold on, now they’re saying it was built by Dreamland. Maybe Wisconsin has the same wacky law that Washington has. Whatever, looks fun. Did you know Wisconsin ranks 6th out of all the states in beer consumption? I would have thought that the state with The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous would have ranked higher than Vermont. Sturgeon are kind of gnarly.

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leopardknee

Radical Leopard Denim

In the second half of the 80’s I bought a barely used set of Pro Designed knee pads from local Champaign-Urbana skater Martin Pelequin. “The Mertster” as he liked to call himself, was a colorful character to say the least, almost a miniature version of Steven Tyler in appearance and behavior. Skinny, and around five foot tall and some change, he definitely overbought these double capped kneepads that he had custom made with blue denim and leopard skin lycra. They looked and felt like hockey goalie kneepads on him, so he sold them to me at a substantial discount. I rode these kneepads until the early 90’s when I loaned them to a friend in Chicago, ironically to play outdoor hockey. He accidentally left one behind and so I never had a full set again. I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the remaining one. One of my cats peed on it at some point this millennia, and I’m still having a hard time sending it to a landfill. The cat has long since run away. I’ve got a couple pics of the Mertster after the jump.

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random-ohio

5 Days of Ohio: Random Ohio

Day 5 of 5 Days of Ohio (for no particular reason.) Yes, there are lots of obvious things I could have covered (Skatopia, Rob Dyrdek’s Kettering Skate Plaza, Devo…) but you know about those already. Instead, here’s a bunch of random, unrelated Ohio items.

– Thanks to Zack, Dan, and Clint for the tips.

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public-cleveland

5 Days of Ohio: Public Square Group

Day 4 of 5 Days of Ohio (for no particular reason.) Public Square Group is part skateboard/skatepark advocacy, part community outreach, and part skateboarding support group. They are named after the Cleveland’s public plaza, a not-built-for-skateboarding spot that has a history in the scene dating back to the 80’s. They also run the Skate Kitchen, which until this year had been in an actual physical location with an indoor miniramp. The non-profit membership based model (with public hours) seems to have been replaced with pop up skate events while they look for a new space. Grindline recently finished Cleveland’s Crooked River Skatepark on the riverfront. Opening day was snowed in, Meanwhile, Broadway Skatepark in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland has already gone through early design presentations. Public Square Group is acting as the conduit for feedback.

– Thanks to Dan Overfield for the tip.

[Video Still: Share the River]

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fickle

5 Days of Ohio: Loyalty to Fickle Skateboards

This is day 3 of 5 Days of Ohio posts – for no particular reason. This came in from reader Jeff Haynes:

When I think of Ohio, I think of G.S.D., Donnie Humes and Smelly Curb Zine, the Dayton Visitor’s center, and most recently Fickle Skateboards. What makes this Cincinnati skate “company” different is that Lew Ross is known to drive to Canada to pick up veneers, presses his boards in his workshop, and does all production work d.i.y. from pressing to printing to shipping.

It looks like Fickle has been around since 2009. Even while early boards were made by Pennswood, the DIY spirit was still going in those early trucker hats that look like the logo was spray painted on with a stencil. Fast forward to today, and Everything is done in-house, even the pressing and screen printing of the boards.

Still need suggestions for 5 Days of Ohio.

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alienworkshop

5 Days of Ohio: Some Histories of Alien Workshop

On day 2 of 5 Days of Ohio (for no real reason) we have various, assorted histories of Alien Workshop, from Transworld Skatebaording, Realm 3, Quartersnacks via Will Staley, and Jenkem (Musical history). If you’ve got any good Alien Workshop links, leave them in the comments.

Send your tips for 5 Days of Ohio.

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