Red Bull Flugtag 2008
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 by Ryan
Captions and Words by Ryan Clements
Skateboarding has been illegal in downtown Tampa for as long as anyone at Skatepark of Tampa can remember. And considering SPoT has been around for over 15 years, that’s quite a long while. For literally decades now, the Tampa Police Department has been chasing and arresting skateboarders who refuse to abide by the City Ordinance.
Most of the Skatepark staff has been harassed and even arrested at some point or another during their skateboarding ventures. More recently, it seems that TPD has been following skateboarders around Tampa to interrupt various skateboarding events.
It started on Go Skateboarding Day in 2006, when 200+ skateboarders skated through downtown, stopping traffic, startling pedestrians, and pretty much doing anything they pleased. Eventually, Clements, Meronek, Welch, and a dozen or so others were pursued, arrested, and booked.
TPD wasn’t about to allow that situation to go down again, so when the Tampa skateboarders once again assembled at Bro Bowl in 2007 for GSD, there were 50 (yes, really...there were 50 of them) police officers waiting to make sure those bad, evil, destructive skateboarders didn’t get to have any fun in downtown Tampa that day.
More recently, on April 20, 2008, TPD had four of their finest waiting for skateboarders at the Bro Bowl, who were there simply to celebrate a mellow 4/20 afternoon. But TPD was on hand to make sure that everyone was legally parked and to ensure that no music was played during the get-together.
With all of the seriousness of the Tampa skateboarders vs. TPD, it’s time to make light of the situation and show the police officers that everyone needs a sense of humor. So we’re going to dress up like cops and attempt to arrest any and all persons that look like skateboarders.
But our skateboarder is going to be special...we’re going to make him an angel and give him wings. While the supporting crew dresses up like donut-eating cops with short shorts, mustaches, and bad attitudes, our skateboarder will exemplify the goodness all skateboarders have in their hearts.
Up on the platform the silly police officers will be bumping into each other, like bumbling Keystone Cops, in pursuit of the skateboarder. One by one they will be tripped, pushed, and propelled into the water below, leaving the skateboarder atop to fasten his wings and launch into the Bay via skateboard and jump ramp.
That's it in a nutshell right there...and of course it was accepted. But I neglected to mention that we were going to be in character all day, which ended up being some of the best times that we've ever had. We were checking ID's, looking through coolers, and telling people to "STAY CLEAR OF THE POLICE AREA!" Lako filmed a lot of it, but we're going to release the clip a bit down the road in the What's Up Column.
However, Jorge managed to film it POV style when he jumped into the Bay:
And then by the next morning someone had it on myspace. Thanks to you, whoever you might be...
And special THANKS to all of our friends at Red Bull, especially Red Bull Sarah. That was the most fun we've ever had SOBER!