If you are a skater you understand the reality of “off-days” – when things just aren’t working no matter how hard you try. Sometimes these days pile up, and in 2015 my life decided to have an entire off-year. The first clips in this video are older and from the home I started skating at 15 years ago, but shockingly due to absurd circumstances my parents were forced to leave. Because of this and multiple problems including medical issues and surgery, certain areas of my life weren’t properly taken care of, including this website and skateboarding in general. But whenever I was able to get on my skateboard, it felt on even if I was off.
This “on/off” feeling in the last year produced some skateboarding clips I am actually happy with. I have always wanted to film, but a part of me has always been critical of how worthy my skateboarding is for the camera. I’m still not fully satisfied with the quality of my skateboarding, but lately I have been more and more comfortable with the way I feel and look on a skateboard. If things go the way I would like I will be updating this website more often and filming clips of myself and all the other awesome skaters in Prescott, but you know how things go, I might be feeling off.
Skateboarding’s influence has the ability to inhabit almost any other art form. In this era video is the king, and it has been used in countless different ways to convey the experience of skateboarding. The spectrum of material produced by skaters now ranges from an endless stream of crappy phone-clips to full blown Hollywood productions. There are so many skate videos out now it would be impossible for a human to watch them all. Among all that madness, “Journey to Skate Boulder” is something genuinely unique on many levels.
This project by Clay Shank and Samuel Coodley (Big Toe Productions) bridges the gap between skateboarding and short film. Often skate videos are hard for regular people to grasp, but anyone can appreciate this piece of work. Skater’s will be highly satisfied as well by how gnarly the skating is, and I can tell you from seeing these spots first hand that they are even crazier than they look.
Over the next week I will be releasing interviews from the creators as well as a story about my experience helping with this project, so stay tuned and keep rolling!
This video showcases many illegal activities. Since making it public, law enforcement officers have tracked me down and confirmed that I broke many laws during its creation, including the use of an off-road vehicle on protected lands. Skateboarding is illegal on the rocks shown in this film and punishable with severe fines. Some of these locations are sacred historic sites, and all are pristine locations of otherworldly beauty. Skateboarding can be damaging to these areas and offensive to both lovers of wilderness and certain religious groups. When considering skateboarding off-road please take the time to consider the laws of the area, the sentimental value of the location, and the damage you may be doing. As always, when traveling in wilderness areas, please practice Leave No Trace principles and remember to respect both those who came before you and those who will come after. -Clay Shank
Having a non-bust spot to skate that isn’t a “skatepark” is a great thing to have as a skateboarder. I grew up skating in a storage yard that my Dad manages, we call it The Yard. I learned how to ollie there almost 12 years ago and I am still learning new things there today. We used to have big sessions there with all sorts of different skaters, but for the past seven or so years it has been mostly me alone.
Now the big sessions have begun again. I have set the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month as official days to meet up at The Yard. On the first Sunday it was raining, but 10-15 people still showed up and many of us skated despite the rain. It was a harsh yet awesome start, proving our devotion to skating.
With the stoke set high, the second session did not disappoint. This time the weather was perfect and The Yard was dominated by the younger generation of skaters in our scene. It is rad to skate with another batch of little dudes just like i used to with all of my friends when I was their age.
One of the best things I see about skating now is that it brings people of all ages together to do the same thing. I love how in the footage and photos it switches back and forth between the young faces and my big beard. Everyone is equal, size or age difference doesn’t really matter, and no one is in a coach like position. We even all played hide and go seek tag together, and I can’t remember the last time I did that! Skateboarding keeps you young.
Photo Credit to April Adams and Video Credit to Ryan Cedro