Skating, Swearing, and Sunburns in 32 Hours Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Skating, Swearing, and Sunburns in 32 Hours

Posted on Monday, May 8, 2006 by Ryan

Skating, Swearing, and Sunburns in 32 Hours
Words by Ryan Clements
Photos and captions by Rob Meronek

Ryan Dodge - switch frontside big spin
Synchronized skating - The Body carves while the Ryans back d
I'd rather do things frontside than backside most of the time, but I never learned frontside wall rides. Ryan Dodge ollies into his and was getting pretty high over the yellow strip on this mellow bank to wall
Ryan Dodge is small, both in real life and in this photo of a kickflip across this roof bank
There's a nice mini-ramp at Satellite Beach Skate Park
Ryan Clements' backside disaster is going to revert
It's a good looking frontside hurricane when you can see the entire bottom of someone's shoe, and that shoe is Ryan Dodge's
It's tough to ollie on these really low and rough ditch banks. Body's got it covered
I thought I got started skating a little old at 15, but Frosty here started when he was 20. I'm sure the shakka background helped out. This is a wall ride to fakie
Body almost ended up with the take a poop for this trip but pulled through on this nollie big on the sketchy quarter
Ryan Dodge was the only one who did anything on this beast of a hip other than Body's use of it as a recliner. This is a 360 flip
12 pack boxes, skateboard magazines, and a full bottle of lighter fluid were not enough to get our fire going for some reason. I never got to cook my pack of hot dogs
Kit battles - some random kid at the skate spot had the same get up as Body
Ryan Dodge - blunt fakie
Body's got some fancy socks in your face on this frontside nose stall
I’m a big fan of quick weekend trips that require very little prior planning. Actually, this time around Ryan Dodge did the majority of the planning anyway, so that was a nice break for me. We left Tampa at about 11am on Saturday and arrived on the east coast of Florida at about 2pm.

Paradise Funplex
It was hot at Paradise and you couldn’t skate the inside course because there was a contest going on in there. But it didn’t seem like there was a contest happening because there was no music playing or microphone for the MC. He was using a megaphone to announce kids’ runs. Needless to say, that sort of killed the vibe, so I went outside to get a sunburn and see what was going on.

In addition to the blazing rays, there was both a mini-ramp and vert contest planned. I took a few runs on the mini amidst a bunch of ripping kids. I’d better not go on and on with this part because I didn’t see Rob with the camera once at Paradise, so you’re not going to see any pictures anyway. Thanks to the staff for letting us skate for free.

The Spot I Found
So we’re driving away from Paradise (I love saying it like that.) and I see what appears to be an out-of-business car dealership. The ground was ultra-smooth along with a perfect, Daewon-esque style, manny pad. The mellow bank-to-wall and little stair gap ended up being the hit on this spot. We skated until the boys got some pics and we got slightly more sunburned.

The Gnarly Hip
The next stop was a Ryan Dodge special. Dodge was like, “I have this gnarly hip that we should skate.” He described it as “hard to skate,” but that was the understatement of the afternoon. To get to the top of this thing required a hefty, uphill push and there was a crack at the bottom on the way up. The way down, after avoiding the lip at the top, had a crack in the middle of it that sort-of gave you a little ‘bump’ before the curb that you had to roll off at the bottom of it. It was scary just to drop in on…and when Dodge did the kickflip over it we were all in shock. I would have to describe our reaction to his tre flip as ‘dumbfounded.’ No one else had a damn thing for that spot.

I would venture to say that (minus the skating) this was one of the highlights of our trip. We were the most amateur campers in the park, but I think the professionals next to us got quite a kick out of our lack of knowledge. Our sleeping arrangements were as follows:

- Rob on the picnic table
- Me (Clements) in the pick-up bed of the truck
- Scotty in the back seat of the truck
- Frosty in the passenger’s seat of the truck
- Dodge was smart enough to borrow a tent from one of his friends, so he truly camped

Scotty worked desperately to start a fire with freshly picked, live branches, logs from palm trees, magazines, and lighter fluid. It was hilarious as the campers next to us clowned us and got in on the “Scotty looks like a bear” jokes.

“Camping” was rad, especially since there was a bathroom equipped with showers about 100 yards from out site. We crashed out early and when I woke up with the sun on Sunday morning, the first thing that I saw were dolphins swimming in the little bay the truck backed up to. At the risk of sounding ‘emo’ like Durke, that was moving.

We packed up the site and headed to Fivebucks (Starbucks). After my caffeine fix we took a dip in the ocean. There were no waves, but it was nature’s wake-up call because the Atlantic was cold as hell.

After the swim (and I’m only mentioning this because of the title of the article because this idiot doesn’t deserve to be mentioned) Dodge was skating a ledge on the beach and this “hero” tried to come up and save the day by literally freaking out on he and Scotty for skating. We immediately started respectfully packing up and the goon wouldn’t let us leave without a fight. Kook was like, “You don’t know who I am,” as he was reading our license plate. I can’t write what we told him in return, but that’s where the swearing came in.

The Ditch
Dodge took us to yet another great, original spot. A trek through a ‘bum-camp’ and climbing over an inlet and through a fence brought us to the tiny structure. The ditch was as tall as a ledge, but really, really hard to skate. Melbourne local, Kenny, cemented a few cinderblocks to the lip, to add to the difficulty. This little gem of a spot was very sinister and everyone that stepped on board left with a little less skin than they showed up with.

Satellite Beach
I’ve skated Satellite Beach Skate Park many, many times over the years. It’s a fun, little cement structure with plenty of cruising room between the obstacles. I remember seeing Dodge there when he was REALLY little, if that makes any sense at all.

Swindle, the newest shop in town, was hosting a contest that east coast ripper Timmy Knuth deservingly won. Once again, his run was unbeatable, but that doesn’t mean that Scotty Conley’s fourth-place-finish doesn’t get the proper recognition. Out of about 20 skaters, Body put together a line that got the local crowd cheering for an out-of-towner.

The contest was fun and the announcing (courtesy of Durke Schmidt) was on point. From there it was back to the beach…

Scotty’s Friend’s Timeshare
The Body claimed that he had a great spot where we could swim in a pool and chill on a private beach. He didn’t let us down either because this place was perfect. We threw back a few cold ones and swam in the newly redone pool. Then the crew picked the perfect chill spot on a deck above the beach to view the lone girl out there tanning. She was wearing a t-back and had no insecurities about lying on her stomach. We were stoked. Did I mention earlier that the Atlantic is cold as hell?

Grand Opening of Swindle
The day was coming to an end as the sun was slowly escaping from our view. On the way out we made a pit-stop for the Grand Opening of Swindle, which is located right there on 192. I ate so much BBQ that I’m still full and now it’s the following morning as I write this. Thanks for the hospitality and if no one killed Twin-Hype for being a maniac then I’m going to be surprised.

We drove into the sunset as it was the end of yet another weekend journey. I was dehydrated, sunburned, and exhausted, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Arrival time back at Skatepark clocked in at 10pm…32 hours of proper fun times and skateboarding. Go do it yourself to see what I’m talking about.



Subscribe to the SPoT What's Up Blog

Enter your email: