The Red Bull ATV - Skateboarding Special Ops
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 by Ryan
Skateboarding Special OpsWords by Ryan Clements
Photos and Captions by Rob Meronek
The VehicleI thought that I was tough with my F-350 4x4, but this thing that we were riding around in was slightly tougher with its six-wheel-drive. It was a van, but more like a military vehicle that fit eight in the back with no A/C and two in the front. It was decked out with all of the Red Bull logos and stuff, but what made it most practical was that you could light up a spot with the flood lights above the cab. Not to mention, there was a killer sound system with speakers that rose out of the roof with the push of a button.
Busch LedgeThis well-known spot was the warm up. It consists of a huge, smooth flat-ground area and a double-sided curb. Up the mellow hill is a loading dock with angle iron on the side of it. Ian Gow stole the session with a bs 180 fakie 5-0 pop-out on it. There is literally no traffic and the security guard is totally cool with everyone skating, but he did ask us to turn down the music. Scotty Conley got broke-off-as-hell trying to ollie a chair. I commend him for trying so many times.
Gap to DumpsterThis spot is no joke. Even the gnarliest of rippers thinks twice about skating this thing. The Red Bull Mobile was used to push the dumpster into a more desirable position, wax was secured, and the session was on. Ian warmed up with a back lip and then nailed a back tail within five tries, stealing yet another session. Matt Seeman was working on a fs nosegrind and he stuck it a few times, but the 5’+ drop got him and took out his knee, leaving him on crutches this morning.
Johnson Controls Double-SetThis spot has been around for a long time. It’s usually a bust, but I think that the workers were so distracted by our rig and free Red Bull that it took nearly 30 minutes to get kicked out. Rob Meronek ollied that sucker way back in 1990 and then did it again last night. Much respect to Rob for that one. Scott Dray ollied it and then started going for a nollie. He stuck it several times and then slammed over and over and over. He was committed as hell, but security interrupted this time and gave us the boot. Next time, Dray.
Busch Gardens BanksThe original Busch Gardens Banks that I’ve skated off and on for the past 18 years are now gone to a new entranceway. I literally couldn’t believe it as we drove up and saw landscaping where the banks once were. Luckily, there’s still one other banked spot around the corner that we’ve either missed in the past or they just built, because I’ve never seen them before. The only downside is that you have to ollie up them because there’s a little lip at the bottom, but that just makes it all the more challenging. Ian’s lipslide closed that session properly.
From there we got some grub in Centro Ybor courtesy of the Red Bull corporate card. Thanks to Aaron Squire for the idea, Tim for driving us around, and for everyone that came and skated.