We had taken cover and a much-needed food break at a nearby taco stand and planned our strategy for the following day. Ozzie, Rick, Andy, and I knew our only chance to avoid the rain on Saturday would be to head east into the desert. There was a chance it may storm out there as well as it seemed rain was inevitable for many parts of the Los Angeles area. Although, we didn’t really have any other real options since riding an indoor skatepark never seems like a good idea. In fact, it would be a bummer to fly to California to ride in a cage with a bunch of jocks working on their stunts, we could most certainly do that on the east coast. But that’s not skateboarding…or at least the kind of skateboarding I’m interested in doing. So with that, it was decided pool mission in the desert and we were going to go for it!
Saturday morning at first light our crew assembled to head east. Marlon had to bail on the pool mission since his wife had made plans to attend an all day rock concert (or something like that) leaving him on dad duty for the day. Corey and Ray rounded out our solid six man crew.
The skate gods smiled upon us that day as we didn’t see any threat of rain until dusk. We moved quickly and swiftly from pool to pool. We looked at some and passed, we drained and cleaned others, and of course we skated as many as we could. Who did what, who ruled the pool, which pool was better, etc. These details are unimportant…what matters is that we all had a blast, skating, laughing, and sharing the stoke. It was beyond a rad day! It was perfect!
Pool riding is all about finding perfection in the imperfection. Backyard pool skating was and will continue to be 100% pure skateboarding. All day, everyone was stoked. We were with friends riding backyard swimming pools that had never been intended to be ridden. How rad is that?
The feeling of riding a backyard pool is hard to describe (or at least for me it is difficult to put into words) but what I can say is that it is a feeling that I have never experienced riding in a skatepark and for that reason alone I will always be a pool skater. – Bulldog
Skateboarding is fun. The first time I stepped on the wooden toy was in 1984 and I was ten years old. The feeling that I got from skating was pure joy and happiness. Not much gives me this feeling other than my family, my daughter, and some of my friendships. In 1984, my terrain was the streets of Poolesville, MD and my grandmother’s long asphalt driveway. Eventually, the terrain progressed to ramps built by me and my skateboard family of that time. I would look at my idols in Thrasher and Transworld and read every word in every issue. I was always drawn to the images of skaters riding in backyard pools and all I wanted to do was ride them. A few years later I rode my first pool in Poolesville. Fast forward to 2016.
Skateboarding is still fun. I can’t stop. At 41, I still feel like that ten year old smiling from ear to ear from that pure joy and happiness that riding provides. I go to California once or twice a year now to search for the plaster and to hang with the owner of this blog who has become one of my dearest friends and my personal SoCal meteorologist. Pretty easy job, it hasn’t rained in LA since 1935 and it’s always 78 degrees, right? Wrong! “And then the rains came.” But, we outsmarted old man Nino by heading into the desert to ride some sun parched plaster. At first entry, not a word was spoken; every part was perfectly played out by those in the crew, who just, knew what to do. A well-oiled machine.
We handled the situation in ten minutes. Pure Fun… Repeat. Wheels rolled, stories were told, and the tacos were bold. I am grateful for skateboarding and my pool pals, both old and new. The day, put simply, was perfection. If there is one thing that skateboarding has taught me, it is not to take things too seriously and just have fun. – Andy Neal
Bucket brigade the first pool like a tribe! The chief, Ozzie, synchronized a great crew to beat the rain in the valley and head to Palm Springs. I never met two of the guys (Bulldog and Andy) before, but after the first pool it felt like I’ve known them forever. 10:00 am double trucker slash grinds from hell, almost blew the quest by the main man Bulldog. Rick decides to back him up with a slasher and Andy gets super close on the second run on a frontal slasher in the shallow end, but we had to dip out as quickly as possible because of the gnar. We went to skate another pool close by and Ozzie does a one wheeler on some heavy tranny. The coping stuck the fuck out and Mrz got the epic shot!
By this time it’s only 11:00 am. We had two pools skated and had scouted several so we celebrated with — what turned out to be– the most expensive tacos in Palm Springs. We then drove further east and end up running into a very heavy crew. Me and Rick cracked open a couple of cold ones and watched. The crew was crushing things. We dipped out and got to this last barge that was super sick. Rick got the grind so we headed out as soon as possible. It was a wonderful day and I left with new friends and great memories. – Corey Philips
This particular day was nostalgic in some ways. After Ozzie was arrested in 2011, he began trying to get more permission pools going. We’d still go out and barge from time to time, but it sure was easier on the nerves when we had permission to be there. It also made it better for shooting the skateboarding. I could set up lights, set up shots and the skaters could basically dial in the pool. On this day, the heavy rains had forced us east into the desert. Ozzie hooked up with some local friends and did his homework. He had several barges on the menu for that day. It was in and out. The fifteen minute rule was in full effect. We drove in, cleaned out several pools, then headed back to the first one after it had dried and checked them off one by one. It was exciting and fresh… it felt like the old days. – MRZ