Labor Day weekend. The phone rang several times. “C’mon Lance. Pick up!” “Hi Ozzie. What’s up?” I asked him what he was doing the next day and he informed me that he had to drive up to Lake Havasu, as California Skateparks were pouring the pool that next night. Lance wanted to be on site to make sure that things were rolling smoothly and be there if he were needed. He had drawn up the pool design. Lance had originally heard Jeff Grosso talk about a pool that he envisioned. “A liver-heart shaped pool.” Lance took the idea and brought it to reality. The crew had been working from dark until dawn as the thermometer was topping one hundred degrees daily. I told him that I had nothing going on and wanted to skate but I’d be happy to ride along. I figured that it would be a pretty cool thing to watch and perhaps I’d manage a blog post out of it. I love learning anyway… Lance and I left the next afternoon and drove up to Lake Havasu. I had mapped the road up and found a few possible spots to look for pools on the way. Modus Operandi.
We found several pools but were denied by the owners. We continued on into Lake Havasu. Driving over to the site, we saw that the California Skateparks crew, which was run by the capable Brian Pino, had poured some of the pool, tarped it and were running sprinklers to keep things damp. It was late afternoon and it felt like a few degrees above boiling. Lance stated that we should get the hotel room, eat and return at eleven pm.
On arrival that night, it was still muggy and warm. Construction lights glittered on the hillside and generators growled in the darkness. We side-stepped puddles, mud and debris. Lance spotted Brian Pino, introduced us and proceeded to talk about the pour that night. The California Skateparks crew were already at it and rebar was being cut and wired. A concrete mixer spun lazily beside the pool and dirt-crusted workers poured all over the inside and top edges of the pool. Everyone was sweating and working feverishly. Deadlines loom. Dawn was hours away…
It was a long process. To my untrained eye, it seemed that things were a bit chaotic, but they moved forward rapidly. All of the crew were efficient, talented and knew exactly what they had to do at any given time. The bowl slowly took shape. Finishers troweled, laborers labored and dawn bled over the site in no time.
In the morning, the crew wrapped things up. Lance and I drove the long, lonely road home. In the next few weeks, tiles and coping would be set. Opening day was around the corner. The California Skateparks crew and Brian Pino would be onto the next project and I could almost hear the sound of skateboard wheels rolling already.
Thank you to Lance Mountain for taking me along. Thank you to Brian Pino and California Skateparks for the stellar skate parks they continue making. Thank you to MRZ and Michael Burnett for the images. Skate- Ozzie