Mission: Search and Destroy Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Mission: Search and Destroy

Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 by Ryan

Story by Ryan Clements, Photos and captions by Rob Meronek, Cell Phone Pics by Mike Derewenko

Mike and I met at the undisclosed location on Christmas Eve at about 1pm. The pictures really don't show how sketchy the area truly is. It's basically a couple of acres behind a trailer park with dirt roads. It's completely abandoned, with the exception of an old dog house that now houses wild cats. The ground that was once a lawn is totally overgrown with weeds, vines, and those wild potatoes. Especially prevalent are those 'hitchikers' and other vegetation that sticks to your clothing. The pool resides in a fenced-in area at the front of the property and you don't really even know it's there until you actually drive up to it.

The pool was completely full upon our arrival, but Derewenko rented a commercial pump that really got the job done quick. About an hour and a half later the pit was left only about 1/4 full. Since it was Christmas Eve and all, we aborted the mission until Sunday, the day after Christmas. And the pump ran out of gas, too, so that was another problem.

Sunday morning rolled around and we had quite the crew ready to divide and conquer. I chopped up the tree in the shallow end with a chainsaw and Derewenko got the pump set up for the rest of the gunk in the deep end. Although the pump was gassed up and ready to rock, there was so much muck in the bottom that it constantly got clogged up. There was nothing to do at that point except to remove the muck by hand. Derewenko, Rappy, Giles, Lehman, Wade, and I spent the next couple of hours shoveling and scooping some of the most foul-smelling rotten leaves and debris of all time. We found logs, cinder blocks, frogs, toys, limbs, shoes, ladders, and you name it amongst the muck. Those that were there know the filth that we dealt with, and getting the boat out of there is a whole other story. I don't think that I can really describe it much better.

I left with Rappy and Wade while the rest of the guys finished up. Apparently they got to skate it on Sunday, but the walls were still kind of slick with algae at that point. The first real session went down yesterday afternoon, from 4:30pm - sundown. I think the photos say it all. Ironically, my old friend and pool destroyer Jimmy Marcus happened to be in town, so we invited him to join us. It was the first session, but it won't be the last. Derewenko says, "Don't ask for directions."


Add your two cents: Would you have done all this work just to skate this pool?
Would you want to clean this mess up? This is what it looked like to start out
Half way there...
This reminds me of a horror movie where human hands start coming out of the muck or something
Cleaning this crap was probably harder than rebuilding the street course
The final clean up...see, I was there. Check me out in the deep end sweeping up
All the work was worth it...
Video footage of the pool (1.8mb Windows Media file)
Ryan Clements frontside wallrides from the deep end to the super steep shallow end
Chris Lehman never made this lein to tail, so he gets the take a poop photo for this session
Hard trick, crappy pic. Jimmy Marcus frontside ollies in the deep end
Chris Lehman backside grinding the built in step ladder
Since they're not facing you, you can't see the crew's jaw dropping while Jimmy Marcus frontside grinds across enough tiles to make it sound like fireworks
Barak Wiser carves backside over the light


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