One would think that I’d feel monotony here. Day in, day out. No clocks. No time. The deep ocean ruling all things. We follow the sea and its mandate. It tells us how we will spend our day. In this place and time, it is not difficult to feel puny.
the hard way
I feel so small and think of the problems of life. They cannot be escaped. Trying to escape from our problems really is no escape at all. It’s only window shopping. In this place, there is no monotony. I am forced to look at myself. I learn the hard way. My fears, longing and the wretched, petty creature that I sometimes am. I learn to live with the sea… and with me. Thank you to Lucia Griggi for the images. Skate… and surf. Ozzie
Sometimes, we are like the blind, looking for sunlight. We wouldn’t know it if we stumbled upon it. The search for meaning. Scorpion Bay. The days start overcast and damp. Not much moves faster than a stand still. Time doesn’t exist. In the moment. We live for one reason. To get in and become one with the ocean. The surf rolls in and spreads across the bay in long undulating lines… crystal perfection.
Lucia, Brian and Tony spent a fair amount of yesterday in the water. I think we were all in at least three times. Lucia rode some super long waves across the bay as did Brian. TA held third point most of the morning virtually alone and blasted some quick rides down the line.
This morning, I was first in the water followed shortly after by TA. For awhile, we had the point to ourselves. I paddled hard and caught a few, stood up and fell. I moved further outside. I saw TA way out… paddling. One big wave grew dark and rolled toward me. It spilled across nearby and broke. I turned and paddled, was picked up and stood on it. I officially rode my first wave.
TA blew past me, trimming down the line. We came into camp afterwards and spent a quiet breakfast in camp as the sunlight slowly warmed our backs. Thank you to Lucia for the images. Skate… and surf. Ozzie
Baja California Sur. The tiny villages spill over the hillsides in dirty clumps. Brightly colored walls starkly shadow the poverty seen in every direction. People have less than nothing. I see a man defecating in the grass of a vacant lot. A small brown dirty-faced boy smiles and waves from a blue cloud of bus exhaust fumes. I can’t hear his call for a peso in the confines of our air-conditioned, comfortably appointed American automobile. I don’t feel too good at the moment. I think of the leftover dinner I threw into the trash last night and the thirty dollars I wasted at a skateboard shop. That could’ve gone far on this day… in this town. I wince at the naked reality of the destitution and lawlessness spread out in front of us. Every town. Every night. Crime seems to ooze through the villages like a leprous thing. Hard-eyed men watch us hungrily. We push south in a caravan.
Tony Alva and Brian Logan lead on point, as Lucia Griggi and I follow. We pass broken homes, tiny hamlets and Catholicism. Churches seem ubiquitous yet to my thinking, God has left his post. I hope he is paying attention. Dry hillsides, bristling cactus and dirt clouds were a constant reminder that we were pushing further and further from our homes. Scorpion Bay waited for us.
On arrival, Tony Alva quickly led the fray into the lineup. Perfect rights peeled open like glass zippers. He stabbed deep into a pocket and blew through for a long, four minute ride halfway down the bay. Lucia stepped in and stepped up. Style and grace. We’ve been in the water several times already today and last night was cool and quiet. I woke just before sunup. The sea hissed a few feet from the tents. The ocean was purple and malevolent. An uncaring master. I stood on the cliff above it and closed my eyes… I felt like the last human on earth. Dawn slowly bled all over me… light and peace. Thanks to Lucia Griggi for the images. Skate… and surf. – Ozzie
Legacy. How does one leave such a thing? Perhaps it lies in the knowledge that they didn’t know in the first place. We take it to the end, where it begins. The dictionary defines a legacy as anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. A treasured thing.
Jeff Ho and C.R. Stecyk III
Jay Adams and Lance Mountain
Skateboarding. We have our legends and they leave us a legacy. Style, progression and influence are all examples of this gift. At its inception, skateboarding was something that surfers did to imitate surfing and have fun. It wasn’t really anything until it became the exact opposite. For some people, skateboarding was everything in the world.
Dennis Martinez and Jay Adams
These people went on to push the boundaries of technology and progression. They created a future for all of us. We saw what they did and wanted to be right there alongside them. The Skateboarding Hall of Fame inducted this years selection on Thursday evening. It was a fantastic gathering of skateboarding legends and key people. Laura Thornhill, Christian Hosoi, Rodney Mullen and Warren Bolster R.I.P were just a few inducted. Legacy. A brilliant evening of honoring our greats. Thank you to Lucia Griggi for the images. Skate- Ozzie
Christian Hosoi came to Woodward in 1992. He was larger than life. Style. Power. When he walked into the camp, the day just seemed brighter. Skaters wanted to be him and girls wanted to be with him. He flew so high on the blue steel vert ramp that it looked like he was being dropped by God out of the clouds. I stood on the deck and watched him doing back-to-back airs. I had to crane my neck to see him. It was absurd. Afterwards, we all sat around and talked. Christian was really funny and told us stories about different journeys he had been on and old contests he had competed in. History. Rivalries. Fun. Christian Hosoi has walked a road of sunshine, fame, wealth and pain. All roads don’t necessarily lead to Rome. With great heights, come greater risks. You topple far. Destruction and ruin. He has been there.
He has survived the two worlds of fame and its ever-present shadow: notoriety. Many don’t. He now carries himself with grace and charm. He is the Christian Hosoi of old. He no longer takes the hand of the things that hold him down. He is high-flying, charismatic and inspirational. His salvation lends him a peace and serenity that once never existed in his life. He inspires to this day. Congratulations to Christian Hosoi for his induction into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie
She pushed a tangle of hair back away from her eyes with one hand. It hung low over her neck. Her t-shirt slumped like a tattered flag off her peanut butter brown shoulders. The guys riding the skatepark looked at her and watched her every move. They were trying not to be obvious. Sideways glances. Longing. She was the epitome of the California girl. She ripped. She was one of them… only better. Laura Thornhill had her own signature board. Logan Earth Ski. She was a champion. Who really knew how that felt? She was one of the first of her gender. Could it really be any other way? If they wondered, they never asked. Maybe they were shy. Intimidated. This wouldn’t be the first time that a man was intimidated by a courageous woman. History is full of such examples.
Whatever the case may be, Laura stood in the waning California sun and pushed hard with her foot. The boys watched as the girl ruled. The concrete spilled away beneath her rolling red wheels. She carved hard. Her arms lifted just a bit, knees tucked tight. Style was of paramount importance. It wasn’t taught. It was something owned. The wall rose like a monolith. Time slowed and was on rewind. Gravity pulled. Laura turned and– for a moment– was silhouetted against the orange and red summer sky. Descending the bowl corner again, her hair spilled out behind her like gold sea foam… The boys looked on and Laura smiled. It would always be this way. Congratulations to Laura Thornhill on being inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you to Lucia Griggi for the image. Carlsbad image courtesy of the Warren Bolster archive. Skate- Ozzie
Rune Glifberg. The roving Dane hungers for conflict.
The sharp blade drinks
A pale morning light falls through the high, dusty windows and across the great empty room at the Vans skate park. The Combi pool sits abandoned and alone. Its surface lies cracked and scarred. Battles. Strife. I pace the silent deck where each step walked a ghost. The room echoes my footsteps back to me as if to say, “You are one of them. You belong.” I know it in my DNA. Skateboarder. Every molecule that makes up my body sings its genetic code. Since my earliest day skateboarding in 1973, I have been at war with everything around me, including myself. I don’t want to fit it. Conform to what? Why? Krishnamurti wrote, “It is no measure of mental health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” I concur. I am at odds with everything and everyone. Society wants us to follow the masses, toe the proverbial line and pay, pay, pay. I’d rather pay in pain. At least it’s mine. I sit on the Combi coping as soft light filters over me. Nothing else moves… I think of the warriors that march across this concrete battlefield each Spring season. Heroes traveling from far away places.
Josh Rodriguez moved from the desert plains just to fight.
Coastal warrior – Austin Poynter. How will he fare in his first major conflict?
Nicky Guerrero – Copenhagen’s seasoned veteran, fresh from a victory at Bondi
The black heart gladdens
The winners banner is unfurled every year before the contest. It announces last years victors. Silk banners. They hang still above me. It truly has become a battlefield. Ruin. Death. The slaying of the enemy and the killing of ego, reputation and self. I slide down into the round pool. The noise is startlingly loud in the quiet morning. My footsteps echo…
Bucky Lasek- East coast combat ready, multi-faceted, lethal weapon.
Grizzled veteran – Jeff Grosso – is this years spearpoint.
Jimmy Wilkins is young and brings some serious weaponry to the strife.
The rich red ruin
I am thinking of the wolves that come to the slaughter. The smell of fear and combat. The yelling of those injured and alone. In my mind, the wolves come fire-eyed across the world. They slink at the edge of the conflict. The wolves lay low in the thick grass. Haunches to the earth. Lips draw back to reveal yellow, angry teeth. A dark forest feast. Smoke rises in the distance. Bellies growl in hunger…. They are here. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie