Skatopia offers a "one of a kind" environment for the truly hardcore. No whiners are allowed. You either skate tough or get out of the way. Even the sign out front has pool coping on it. That should tell you something right there.

Friday I arrive at Skatopia around 2:30pm. A hefty session was going on in the Lula Bowl. Skaters getting that "cradle time" in. Saturday would be the highest frontside line in the cradle contest. There were other events also planned. "Longest frontside grind in the Epcot Bean", "Best trick over the Gap". Just so you know... we are talking a 16' wide gap between the King Dong ramp and the massive 3/4 pipe. "Bowl Troll" Matt was snaking everybody and killing every run. There were several rippers hitting high lines in the cradle. Dale ripped all over the place. "Pack" killed it. The Skatopia "jihad" was in FULL EFFECT. Lots of skaters doing what skaters do.


After an all day session in the Lula Bowl ... skaters moved over to the Barn facility for the evening session/party. Well.. not everyone. At some point someone setup a generator and lights to keep the Lula nice and lit up. Two sessions were going on. One in the Bean and one in the Dong bowl. Both were just going off! the flow in the bowl was fast carves and long grinds. The scene in the bean was much the same. Roots skating was the rule NOT the exception. There is a reason that they have INDEPENDENT banners and stickers all over the place.

A lot of people were drinking a lot of beer. Some skated ..but most folks just partied in the intense vibe. Some band played. No clue who they were. At this point in time when you have heard one hardcore band .. you've heard them all. Thats cool though. Live music is always a bonus. Met Dave Tuck and a bunch of the Colorado tribe there. Nice group of folks. Dave introduced me to his crew and it was as if they were "family" I didn't know I had. You know what I mean? A WAY positive vibe. Much RESPECT to the Arvada Army and the SBA (Shit Bag Army) for the hospitality. Pretty much the whole camp area was cool. No assholes or troublemakers. Just skaters blowing off steam in various ways.

One highlight of the evening was shooting off fireworks at the derby/grunge cars that drove by. Here is the deal. Someone would buy a super cheap, piece of shit car and get it towed or trailed in. The area at the top of the hill makes for a big square shaped dirt track. Cars would race around that. As the cars came by our campsite they were either going to get bombed with fireworks or Tuck would run out and beat on the car with a baseball bat.. or both. *laugh* One of the crew scored a "direct hit" with a pack of fire crackers sending a shower of sparks and explosions all over the windshield.

At one point one of the Dogs, or yea.. there are many dogs at Skatopia, ran out and did his own attack on a passing car. It was pure luck that dog wasn't killed. Oh yea.. there are several dogs here that LOVE to eat lit fireworks. So.... everytime you fired off a bottle rocket or something.. you would have dogs jumping at you trying to eat the sparks. I've never seen anything like that before in my life. Not just the skaters ...but also the animals are fucking nuts.


At some point in the night the rain came. Those without a tent were left to scramble for cover. I was pretty damn comfortable sleeping in my van. I brought my camping kit with me. Come morning I was able to brew up a pot of coffee and chill back. With laptop running .. I was able to write some of this story and do a proper "wake and bake".

Well.. that was rad. Its early saturday morning and I just witnessed "dog sex". Yup .. two amourous pups kickin' it. Doggiestyle of course. Nice.

Ok .. after a breakfast of Zingerman's "farm bread" and smoked salmon a few of the crew decided to try and get the SBA's derby car running. Damn thing wouldn't stay running. We all took turns wrenching and trying different things to get it started. Bah. To make things more interesting... sometime during the night those fuckers from North Carolina smeared dog shit ALL over the car! After several hours of messing with this car we gave up. Besides.. it was time to start they contest.

First event was the "highest frontside line" in the cradle. The format was a jam session. Each skater dropped in right after the previous one stepped off. This built up an intense energy amongest them that made each one go higher and higher in the cradle. The crowd showed much respect to the over vert heroes.

"Bowl Troll" skates very fast. This picture was taken a bit late. You can see that he was much higher in the arc.

Even the bails were gnarly. Stepping off your line could be your last move of the day.

Pack commands. He proved to be King that day.

Here are some video clips from the cradle session
Dale Busta's cradle run (4 Meg file size)
Cradle Session (13 Meg file size)WORTH IT!
Dale and Pack's cradle run(9.5 Meg file size)

After a 30 minute break there would be the "Highest sticker in the full pipe". The crowd took this time to grab beers, smoke phattys, eat some food and make their way down the hill to the big barn. After a pretty entertaining commentary by Brewce on the "State of Skate Manliness" the contest got underway. Skaters were each given several stickers a piece to try their best to post one higher than anyone else.

Tuckman gets it going with pasting a sticker at about 20" from the top. That got the crowd and the skaters all hyped. Next up was Dale Busta. He gets his flow on and slaps one a bit farther up the pipe. He was now in first and Dave was bumped to second. A couple of more skaters gave it a shot but it was Grant who showed whats up. Grant got a sticker about 7" from the top. On his second run he pasted one just under his first one. He was King of the Full Pipe.

The "Best Trick over the Gap" contest was cancelled. But once again .. Dale Busta shows whats up by flowing a BIG Stalefish over the 16' gap. The whole place fell apart when he landed. Beers exploded, people started eating dirt.

Now people were starting to get fired up and it was time to skate! The Punisher, dong bowl, 3/4 pipe and the big vert ramp were all seeing some session hungry skaters ripping the flow they know. I even laid down a couple of lines on the vert ramp that got me a couple of whoops and cheers. ;-) the dong bowl had a huge session going on. I wasn't able to get any good pictures but I did get some footage of skaters runs.

Here are some video clips (.AVI) of the evening action.

Michelle and Miller get their skate on (10 Meg file size)

Miller, Dana and some dude in the dong bowl.(10.5 Meg file size)

Bowl Run.(3.2 Meg file size)

LATE night action saw a hellish session in the Punisher. Bands played and skaters ground pool coping. The "Highest WALL Ride" was set up and Brewce proved who lived there. Grant took second and Matt "Bowl Troll" took third.

Other highlights of the evening were the HUGE bonfire built out of several cars and lots of wood. Hidden pockets of gas in the carnage made for very cool explosions as the fire grew hotter.

Sunday morning I was up early and packed all my shit up. Pretty much everyone else was still crashed out except for a small session going on in the Lula. I drove slowly around the cars, campsites and random bodies. The Skatopia complex was covered in fog. A beautiful "misty morning" you could write a song about. No wait.. someone already did. ;-) . The morning was very calm and it all felt kinda surreal considering what took place only hours before.