News Archive 2003-2004 Part 5

Soul Bowl
Arab and a few others will be covering the Huntington Beach World Cup Of Skateboarding Soul Bowl event taking place starting tomorrow 7/30. Be sure to visit Arab’s Photo Gallery for updates and photos from the event.

Posted on 29 Jul 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Free Shipping SoCalSkateShop now offers Free shipping on all orders $75 and up.

August Deck Sale All Black Label, Consolidated, Gringo, Shorty’s, Think, Traffic, and Zoo York decks have been dropped to $43.99 and many more decks have been reduced for the sale.

Complete Decks If you are interested in a quote on a complete deck just send me and email with the specs for the complete.

Pat Ngoho is putting on The Most Fabulous Ripper this coming Sunday. If you are in the area then check in for the party. Check the Fab Ripper website for more details.

Posted on 10 Aug 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Tony Hawk Interview
We recently had a chance to sit down with Tony Hawk and interview him about his early skatepark days. It was killer to rehash some old stories with him and to get his thoughts on the state of skateparks today. His interview will appear in our film The Rebirth of Skateparks. It was very cool to see my son Christian so stoked to hang around with one of his skateboard idols. You can check out what Tony is doing for the world of skateparks by visiting the Tony Hawk Foundation.

Posted on 12 Aug 2004 by Mike Hirsch
I have still been in catch-up mode lately but I did have a chance to:
– Update the Pomona Skatepark page with new photos and an overview gallery
– Update the Jurupa Skatepark page with an overview gallery. Anyone have any news about when they are finally going to open this skatepark?I have been told that the El Segundo skatepark is opening this Wednesday? If anyone has any details regarding the skatepark in El Segundo feel free to send them in so that I can get the word out.
Posted on 17 Aug 2004 by Mike Hirsch



Now Available

Rebirth of Skateparks Promo DVD

Only $5 includes shipping! Get one while they last!

The Rebirth of Skateparks promotional DVD includes footage from the 2004 Huntington Beach Basic Bowl competition, the Encinitas Skatepark Grand Opening, and of course The Rebirth of Skateparks trailer. Video is great on the web but better on the big screen. Enjoy!!

Over the past 5 years skateparks in Southern California have been opening on almost a monthly basis giving the swell of new skateboarders a new place to call home. The Rebirth of Skateparks has inspired veteran skateboarders who were part of the first wave of skateparks from the 1970’s to start skating again.

Today when you go to a skatepark you will see skaters of all ages ripping it up just like those of us who were involved with the first wave of skateparks. On any given day, at any given skatepark, you are bound to see something special going on whether it be a new kid learning the basics of skateboarding or a seasoned veteran busting out tricks that are blowing away the current generation of skateboarders.

Our film, The Rebirth of Skateparks looks back at the skateparks of the 1970’s including the Concrete Wave, Skatopia, Big O, Colton Skate Ranch, Del Mar Skate Ranch, Upland Pipeline, Oasis, and many others. The film will then capture the flavor of the current generation of skateparks that are available to us today in Southern California.

In reality, skateparks are but a small slice of skateboarding and skateboarding culture. However, skateparks always have and always will play a huge part in the world of skateboarding, Skateparks have given us some of the greatest skateboarders of all time including Tony Hawk, Stevie Caballero, Bob Burnquist, Ryan Sheckler, and many others.

Posted on 17 Aug 2004 by Mike Hirsch
– The Jurupa Skatepark is finally opening this coming Saturday. The Grand Opening will take place starting at 10AM
– Added some new events in the Events Calendar including an upcoming contest that is going to take place at the San Clemente Skatepark.
– A ton of new photos have been added to the Photo Gallery including a new gallery looking at the history of skateboarding in Brazil.
Posted on 23 Aug 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Some good new from the City of Rancho Santa Margarita in that their new skatepark is now out to bid. Construction should start in November or December and the park should be opened in early 2005.
Posted on 25 Aug 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Harada Skatepark
Corona – Harada Skatepark
Just when things seemed to be slowing down here we go with another batch of new skateparks. Things are starting to happen out in Riverside County. The new Jurupa skatepark is now open and 2 other new skateparks are under construction including Harada Skatepark and Huber Skatepark. Check out that 8′ keyhole and the Skatercross style bank in the background. Looking good – we will see! The word is that the County of Riverside has future plans for at least 3 other new skateparks in the coming years.

Posted on 31 Aug 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Long Beach - Houghton Skatepark

The new Long Beach – Houghton skatepark opens on Saturday 9/11!

Be sure to check out our Event Calendar for all the happenings going on this weekend. I have added 3 new skateparks to the site including the Long Beach – Houghton, Corona – Huber, and Corona – Haradaskateparks. Huber and Harada are still under construction but word has it that both skateparks are nearly completed and will be opening in the next month or so.The City of Costa Mesa will be breaking ground soon. In a recent city council meeting, Channel Islands Paving was awarded the build contract. Channel Islands has worked on such skateparks as Oxnard and Chino. They typically do all of the re-bar and flat work and sub-contract all of the shot-crete work out to California Skateparks which is a good thing.
Posted on 09 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch
The City of Laguna Niguel is hiking their skatepark non-resident fees from $30 a year to $60 a year starting on October 1st. If you need to renew your’s I would do it prior to October 1st. Kind of a pisser for those who only hit the park from time to time. It is my local skatepark so I guess I will have to deal with it. You could always revolt and contact the city to see what is up with jacking up the price so high. With so many skateparks opening these days I would think raising the price for their membership is only going to hurt them in the long run.
Posted on 09 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Check out some new updates posted by Arab in the Photo Gallery. Some killer shots of Chris Miller, Grisham and others. Thanks Eric!
Posted on 13 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch

To pull the plug or not to pull the plug on that is the question running recklessly in my head. I tend to do get overly dedicated to projects that I work on and this site happens to be one of those projects.I totally dig doing this site but it is starting to become overwhelming to handle on my own. I feel like I have built a monster. I do appreciate all the support that I have received since the site has been online from both my sponsors and those who have contributed to the site. Furthermore, I am stoked that thousands of people visit the site on a daily basis.

I have a wife and kids to think about and my dedication to this site is wearing thin with my family so I need to start contemplating the future of this site. I am very proud that I have been able to put together what I consider a great site that is potentially a killer site with the right amount of time, money, and people involved. As with many others who run online sites, this is just a side project for me so between my family and day job I do my best to bring you SoCal SkatePark info.

What does all this mean? I don’t know. Sometime it is good to vent. We all have our situations that we have to deal with. My life is good but maybe I am just simply biting off more than I can chew for this point in my life.

Posted on 15 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch

The Ramones will live on forever.
Posted on 16 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Wicked Wahine Bowl Series
Don’t miss out. Should be a killer event.
Related Links:
Wahine Skate
Glendale Skatepark

Posted on 17 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Wicked Wahine
Wicked Wahine All Girl Bowl Contest
On Saturday, Wahine Skate put on the all girl Wicked Wahine Bowl Jam at the Glendale Verdugo skatepark. I did not make it out to the event but from what I have heard the event was a huge success. You can check out some killer photos of the event that were contributed by Bill Hensley of Skatepark Guides.It is very cool to see all of the new girls getting into skateboarding and killing it better than any previous generation of female skateboarders.I have not been skating as much as I would like to lately so instead of attending the Wicked Wahine contest and watching people skate I decided to skate with my son and document the new skateparks in the Inland Empire.

We first went to the Jurupa Skatepark. The bowls at Jurupa are fairly good but the rest of the skatepark is too spread out and slow.

Next we went to the Harada Skatepark in Corona. 90% of the tranny sections are done and skateable (poachable) and the rest of the skatepark should be completed in a month or so. I really liked Harada especially the keyhole and the snakerun.

Harada Keyhole
Huber Skatepark
Lastly we hit Huber Skatepark. The Huber skatepark is finished but it has not officially opened. While skating the park the locals told me that the cops have not been coming down on people skating the park.

There is a construction fence around both Harada and Huber skateparks but getting beyond them was not a problem. However, I am sure there could be some issues attempting to skate Harada while the construction crew is there during the week.

I will post a full review of both the Huber and Harada skateparks in the coming days. Bottom line Harada rocks and Huber was not that great.

Posted on 19 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch


Save the Carlsbad Skatepark and Raceway

Michael Bream from Gravity Skateboardscontacted me today informing about the their and others current effort to save the historic Carlsbad Skatepark. Here is what he had to say:”It’s not often that I get up on my political soap box, but I feel that
this is such an important issue facing our local community. This has to
do with saving the oldest skatepark in the United States (and probably
the world) and providing a safe location for Skateboarders,
Motorcyclists, and Drag Racers in North San Diego County. According to
USA Today, skateboarding is the number one youth activity in the US, so
to me, this is as important as Wrigley Field, or any other historically
significant landmark. Please, please (yes, I’m begging) visit the
website below for the full story, then PLEASE take the time to go to
the “e-campaign” button on the left and WRITE LETTERS…. even donate
if you can (Gravity has) Time is of the essence on this one, so please
act now. If you’d like more info, or would like to talk to me about the
significance of this, please email me.”

It would be truly amazing if the skatepark could be escavated and re-opened.

To find about more Go Here Now and do what you can do to get involved.

Posted on 20 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch

The Costa Mesa Skatepark is finally a reality!


Jim Gray of the Costa Mesa Skatepark Coalition sent out the following email announcing the formal groundbreaking ceremony that is going to take place on Wednesday September 29th.

Jim’s Email

Yes, I actually did say Groundbreaking Ceremony!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After years of fighting, battling, begging, pleading, and spending countless hours at meetings, writing emails, and so on and so forth, we finally have gotten all the way down to the wire, and it’s time to start digging.

All of the emails you sent and meetings you attended helped make this happen, so give yourself a pat on the back, and thank you all for all that you have done to help push this thing over the top. It wouldn’t have happened without your help!

So, while the groundbreaking is mostly a ceremonial thing, I figured some of you may want to come out there and watch the first shovel hit the ground. I will give you an update of other things that have and are going on in the background below the info on the ceremony itself:

The Groundbreaking will take place at 5:00PM on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 at the Skate Park site location at 970 Arlington–Corner of Arlington and Junipero–directly behind the Orange County Fairgrounds.

They ask that you RSVP to Ken Sipes at (714)754-5302, or via email at They just want to know how many to expect so they can provide enough beverages to keep the crowd happy, so if you think you’ll show up, drop em a line so you aren’t stealing my cup of orange juice!! I am attaching a press release prepared by the city if you’d like to check it out.

That’s it on the groundbreaking, but if you want details on the park in general, the design issues, and the ongoing BS of the political process, you can keep reading below.

The park will be a fun all around park given the small space that was allocated for it, and will hopefully lead the city to begin planning a second park when they see just how crowded this park is going to be. The shotcrete (skating surface) will be done by California Skateparks, and they have done the best quality concrete work as far as I am concerned in Southern California and have done the concrete work at some notable parks like Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Fontana, and Chino amongst others. It is who I would have picked if there were no bidding process, so that is looking good for the skaters of Costa Mesa, and is a big sigh of relief for myself.

The park itself will contain a large combined multi level bowl area, a small bowl area, a small street plaza area, and a street course with stairs, rails, quarterpipe launch ramp, a long functional step up area, eurogaps, and other little functional tweaks thrown in. It will have a little something for everyone. I am attaching a small drawing of the park at the bottom of this email.

The design process did not go without some stress and disappointment. Some items were removed from the plans as budgets started to get tight, and we are still hoping to get them snuck back in before full blown construction begins, and we even know how to get them the money to do it, if they’d just take it!

On that note, we first brought the city a local major manufacturer within the skateboard community as a potential major sponsor for the skatepark about nine months ago offering enough money to build the park to it’s fullest potential. The city sort of dropped the ball at following through on researching what could be done there, and though we were offering a deal to get the city the funds needed to build the skatepark 100% to it’s potential, they just couldn’t seem to get it together and submitted the scaled back plans for bid, so as of now that is what will be built, and it will still be good, but just not maximized to it’s fullest potential. There is still a possibility that they may figure something out and be able to adjust the plans on site, but based on the speed of what I’ve seen up to this point, I’ll believe that when I see it, and I won’t be holding my breath.

The city instead chose to hire a consultant to write them a proposal on sponsorship opportunities to raise money for the skatepark instead of negotiating what was already right in front of them. They had a six figure offer from this local brand, a company that is based in Costa Mesa, and known and respected throughout the world, especially the skateboard world. What better sponsor could a city want for it’s skatepark?

Sadly, we may end up with a skatepark that is not only scaled back from it’s potential, but named after some company that has nothing to do with, or does not support skateboarding in any other way. I’ve learned a lot about politics through this process, and the main thing I’ve learned is that it is very illogical and inherently backwards. No business would survive if it had to operate like a city, and spend it’s money on consultants the way cities do instead of focusing on getting the job done themselves. I hope in the end they find some money for soda machine sponsorships, plaques, or whatever from whomever they can get it from, but lets just pray we don’t have to go skating in the “Pampers Skatepark of Costa Mesa”, or something equally as embarrasing to skaters. Lets hope that the city will wipe the fog off their cloudy glasses and decide to add back some skate obstacles, seating areas, etc… to make the park to it’s fullest extent. I am relentless about this because I never forget that they are going to spend more than twice as much just redoing their softball fields ($2 million) that will never be used by as many people, and they will probably have plenty of seating, drinking water, etc… and not have to fight for it.

I tried to keep quiet about this for as long as possible, but now that contracts are awarded and the city can’t easily make an excuse to can the project, I just couldn’t in good conscience hide the ridiculous stuff that’s gone on in the background.

I look forward to seeing you at the groundbreaking ceremony or skating with you on finished concrete in a few months, and hopefully in a properly finished park.

So, get your pens and keyboards ready, because soon we are going to have to do battle with Newport Beach cause they badly need a skatepark too, and we won’t stop until they have one too.

Have a great day, and we’ll keep you posted on construction and progress as it comes together.

Jim Gray

Posted on 23 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Costa Mesa Skatepark Groundbreaking Ceremony
Posted on 23 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch



I just added 3 new features to the site which include:1) The ability for user’s of the site to submit photos directly to our Photo Gallery. Just select add photo or add photos under the admin options list that is at the top of the page.
2) The ability to add comments to skatepark pages. You will notice a new section below the Map Quest section where you can view and enter comments about a skatepark.
3) I have also integrated the contribution form into the skatepark pages.

Since pulling my discussion board about 9 months ago I have been wanting to bring some user interaction back into the site. Hopefully these subtle changes will be appreciated and used by the visitors of the site. Enjoy!

The above image was sent to me from Bill from Skatepark Guides. Very cool of him to sport a killer die-cut sticker on the Skatepark Guides luxury liner.

We are working hard on editing the Rebirth of Skateparks film and things are going killer. We have so much footage to choose from now I just can’t wait till it is finished. So many ripping skaters including: Chris Strople, Eddie Elguera, Chris Miller, Wrex Cook, Jake Piasecki, Brad Edwards, Benji Galloway, Lance Mountain, Jay Adams, Bobby Valdez, Shogo Kubo, Bob Serafin, Steve Alba, Buddy Carr, and a many other pros and ams.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the film thus far. We will do our best to bring it all together and make the end result something special.

Posted on 24 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Here is a link to the Vans Triple Crown Results Vans Triple Crown Results. Bucky Lasek continues to reign supreme on the vert and Lyn Z Adams Hawkins takes the women’s vert.
Posted on 27 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Lance Mountain - Skatecity
Ray Zimmeran Photo Gallery
I am stoked to have another great photographer on board to help bring us some killer current and classic skatepark photos. Ray Zimmerman was there in the late 70’s and early 80’s capturing the skate scene of the day. The above picture of Lance Mountain at the Skatecity Skatepark in Whittier is just an example of what he captured back in the day. He is now capturing the current skatepark scene and has been delivering some killer photos. Be sure to check out what he has added to his gallery so far.

Posted on 29 Sep 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Etnies is putting on the Goofy vs. Regular contest this coming weekend. The Bowl Masters competition will be on Friday.
For more information about this event taking place at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest, visit the Official Site
Posted on 05 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Montclair Skate Park Grand Opening Saturday, November 6, 2004 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 5111 Benito St. call (909) 625-9460 for further information and directions “Street and bowl elements, free admission, food and music” All participants must wear protective equipment.

Posted on 05 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Lance Moutain
Lance Mountain – Etnies SkateparkBe sure to stop by and check out Lance and others compete in the WCS Bowl Masters Competition that is taking place today at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest.

For more information check out the Official Website.

Posted on 08 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Jeff Grosso
Jeff Grosso – WCS Etnies 10/08/2004Here are the top 3 results from the World Cup of Skateboarding Bowl Contest that went down today at the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest.

Grand Masters
1st – Lance Mountain
2nd – Mad Dog
3rd – Pat Ngoho

1st – Benji Galloway
2nd – Omar Hassan
3rd – Brian Patch

I have posted a bunch of photos that I took at the event here.

Overall, the event was a success and everyone seemed to have had a killer time. I just got back from a party Etnies was throwing at a club in Lake Forest and I am sure it is in full swing as I am wrting this.

If you can make it, get out to the Etnies Skatepark this weekend to witness the Goofy vs. Regular contest it should be an event that will go down as one of the most unique skate contests to date.

Posted on 08 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Regular Defeats Goofy
Press Contact:
Ryan Snyder
SnL Communications
310.996.0239 or
www.snlc.netRegular Defeats Goofy at the First-Ever etnies GvR of Skateboarding- Bastien Salabanzi Helps Lift the Regular Team to Victory With a
First-Place Finish and MVP Award -October 10, 2004 (Lake Forest, CA) – Since the dawn of time, man has, by
natural individual instinct, been left-handed or right-handed, left-brained
or right-brained, and goofy or regular. That’s right, Goofy (right foot
forward) or Regular (left foot forward). Though all skateboarders are
created equal, an age-old question has finally been answered: which stance
is better?

At the first-ever $55,000 etnies GvR (Goofy vs. Regular) of Skateboarding,
Skateboarder Magazine’s Regular Team defeated The Skateboard Mag’s Goofy
Team after a heated battle at the etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest. The
Regular Team collected over $30,000 as skaters such as Bastien Salabanzi,
Leo Romero and Chris Senn helped lift the Regular Team to a resounding

In round one, etnies team rider Bastien Salabanzi earned the highest score
of the round for the Regular Team. Salabanzi worked the entire course with
tricks such as a big backside flip over the barricade, kickflip nose manual
180 out on the ledge and a stylish 360 flip. Paul Rodriguez earned an 89.25
to get the highest score for the Goofy Team with a backside lipslide down
the rail, kickflip nose manual on the ledge and a switch kickflip to flat
over the double set of stairs. At the end of the round, the Regular Team
came out ahead with 1161 points while the Goofy Team secured 1119 points.

During round two’s jam session, the energy level soared as Salabanzi
continued to stick trick after trick. Salabanzi pulled a high-speed Cab
kickflip, Paul Rodriguez stuck a huge switch heelflip over the double set
and Leo Romero rode away from a kickflip frontside 50-50 on the down rail.
The Goofy Team came back with heavy-hitters like Colt Cannon, who landed a
frontside half-cab kickflip over the 12-stair and a nose manual shove-it,
while Austin Seaholm pulled a frontside tailslide heelflip and a noseslide
to backside tailslide on the same ledge, but it just wasn’t enough in the
end. The Regular Team secured 2020.5 points while the Goofy Team secured
1916.5 points.

“I’m using the money for my house payment,” said France’s Bastien Salabanzi
after collecting his $12,000 in winnings. “Everyone helped out so much on
the team, not just me, but all the skaters.” Salabanzi continued, “I liked
the format of the event as there was no pressure with the jam sessions. I
just gave it my best, as I didn’t feel the pressure of only a one-minute
run. You can really tell who has what tricks out there with this format.”

It was all about good times and good friends as skaters of all ages came out
for the Friday night’s Bowl Contest. Christian Hosoi and the rest of the
panel of judges awarded Benji Galloway the first-place prize in the Pros
division while Omar Hassan and Brian Patch placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Galloway pulled out tricks such as an eggplant revert, 360 over the hip, and
a tailslide revert to lock in the $1,000 prize. In the Grand Masters
Division, former Bones Brigade member Lance Mountain’s smooth style and
tricks such as a backside slider, body jar and fastplant grabbed him
first-place honors and $500. Nick ‘Mad Dog’ Henderson and Pat Ngoho placed
2nd and 3rd respectively in the Grand Masters division.

“Being in skateboarding events for over 25 years, the etnies GvR contest is
one of the most exciting and fun events ever in skateboarding,” said Pierre
André Senizergues, CEO/Owner of etnies and former world champion
“regular-footed” skateboarder. “It was incredibly exciting watching two
teams going head to head, working as a team instead of against each other. I
can’t wait until next year’s event to see if the Regular Team can defend
their title for yet another year.”

In addition to all the skateboarding action, a solid line-up of bands took
the Epitaph stage throughout the weekend. On Saturday, punk band
Contribution, the five-piece rock band Waking Ashland, and alternative
rockers Aphasia performed and on Sunday, alt-rockers Aphasia hit to the
stage with South Bay rockers 1208 and rock trio High Speed Scene.

In the Festival Village, event sponsors such as SoBe hosted its famous
Lizard Lounge, complete with video games and beverages welcoming spectators
to hang out. At the Fender Guitars tent, fans picked-up custom “Kill Goofy”
or “Death to Regular” guitar picks, and the etnies booth spectators won a
chance to go head-to-head in oversized sumo wrestling costumes and win
prizes such as etnies gear, portable skate ramps from Freshpark, complete
skateboards, magazine subscriptions and much more.

“It was a phenomenal weekend,” said Mayor Peter Herzog from the City of Lake
Forest. “The etnies Skatepark is a great place for a first-ever contest
like the etnies GvR of Skateboarding and the City of Lake Forest looks
forward to having it again next year.”

Skateboarder Magazine and The Skateboard Mag co-presented GvR with etnies.
etnies also thanks its generous partners SoBe, Fuel TV, the City of Lake
Forest, Epitaph, Fender Guitars, Freshpark, Hometown Heroes, Indie 103.1FM,
KIOZ 105.3FM and World Cup Skateboarding.

Be sure to catch all of the action from the etnies GvR of Skateboarding in a
one-hour special to air on the FUEL TV network November 25th. Check local
listings for airtimes.

For additional details, please log on to


GvR – $50,500 Total
Regular Team-$31,000
1. Bastien Salabanzi $10,000
2. Kurtis Colamonica $5,000
3. Leo Romero $2,500
4. Johnny Layton $2,000
5. Chris Senn $1,500
6-15th $1000 each

Goofy Team-$7,500 ($500 for each team member)

MVP Regular Team-Bastien Salabanzi $1000

MVP Goofy Team-Colt Cannon $1000

Bowl Contest – $4,500 Total
1. Benji Galloway $1000
2. Omar Hassan $600
3. Brian Patch $500
4. Jimmy ‘the Greek’ $400
5. Bruno Passos $300
6. Chris Senn $200

Grand Masters
1. Lance Mountain $500
2. Nick ‘Mad Dog’ Henderson $400
3. Pat Ngoho $250
4. Chris ‘Cookie’ Cook $150
5. Jeff Grosso $100
6. Jim Gray $100

About etnies:
Established in 1986, etnies designs the best skateboarding shoes available.
>From the creation of the Natas, the very first pro model skate shoe ever, to
expanding quality design to include other action sports like snowboarding,
surfing, moto-x and BMX, etnies has a true commitment to crafting the
quality, function and style that has changed the face of the action sports
footwear industry forever

Posted on 11 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Adding Your Skate Photos to SoCalSkateParks.comAdd your Photos to Is A Fairly Painless Process!! 


There is a menu on the top right hand corner of the User Support Photo Gallerythat you can use to add your skate photos. The process is fairly painless and your involvement with the site will definitely be appreciated and will most likely encourage others to get involved.Please note, when adding photos de-select the option to use the name of the file for the caption of the photo and enter a caption giving credit to the skater and photographer. Also, the add photo window opens in a new window so if you have a popup blocker running in your browser you will need to turn it off to add photos.If you have any questions or are a photographer that is interested in having me set you up with your own personal photo gallery, then feel free to send me an email. I am stoked to already have several photographers contributing to the site. The more the better!

Thanks For The Support


Posted on 13 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch

TALK I have been working the last few days on a new Discussion Forum for and and have just added a link to the forum on the main menu of the site.When I first started this site about 18 months ago I had a discussion forum but had some issues with it so I pulled it from the site. I thought it would be a good time to bring it back so feel free to sign up as a member of the forum and start talking. Please let me know if you run into any issues in the forums and I will look into the problem. The last thing I am working on is trying to get the menu to display like it does throughout the rest of the site and a few minor layout issues. Kind of a pain in the ass but I will figure it out!!

Pat Flaherty was at all 3 days of the Etnies GVR event and just handed me a video for the site. Stream or download the video in our video section.

Etnies GVR Video

Posted on 17 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Here in SoCal the rain has been blowing alot of chances to skate lately. The weather forecast for this weekend is looking good so I would say go and get some skating in before we start getting more rain. This is a good time of year to hit the skateparks in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The Upland, Palm Springs, and Fontana skateparks would be good choices if you have not hit those skateparks yet.I am stoked that the New Forum I put together for the site is taking off. If you have not checked it out please be sure to do so. Registering for the forum is easy and once you are a member of the forum you can really see all of the cool features available to members.

Posted on 28 Oct 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Montclair Skatepark
Montclair Skatepark Grand Opening Saturday Nov 6th Join the SoCalSkateParks Forum

The Montclair Skatepark grand opening is on this Saturday Nov 6th from 10AM – 2PM. The demo should be rockn with Steve Alba, Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi, Omar Hassan, and others who will be skating.

Like most grand openings there will most likely be a limited number of skaters allowed to skate the skatepark during the grand opening hours of 10 to 2 so I would plan on skating the park after the grand opening is over. Also, the Montclair Skatepark is close to the Upland Skatepark so you may consider hitting Upland after skating Montclair.

Another event going on this coming Saturday is the Etnies Skatepark Fall Classic Skateboard Contest. This is an 18 and under competition so if you fall in that age group or have kids of that age I would suggest heading down to the Etnies Skatepark for the contest. I will be there with my son Christian to watch and cheer him on in his first contest. If you ever skate Etnies you know there a bunch of young shredders who rip the skatepark so the contest should be good from the spectator point of view. For more details about the contest go here.

If you have not joined the forum that I recently added to the site please do so that you can help to bring this site alive even more with more information about Southern California Skateboarding. I have already met and skated with some skaters that I have met through the forum and currently we are planing a Palm Springs skatepark trip for Saturday November 13th.

Posted on 04 Nov 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Montclair Skatepark Grand Opening


Montclair Skatepark Grand Opening

Lance Mountain Breaking in the Montclair Skatepark

Lance Mountain Breaking in the new Skatepark

Words and Photos by Ray Zimmerman – MRZPHOTO

On Saturday 11/06/04 the Montclair Skatepark had its official grand opening and as expected there was a large turn out for this event. Sure, skaters were excited about the new park but the buzz was also around the legendary skaters that were going to be there . The list was impressive but in order to get to the skating first the formalities had to go down. Darleen Hartman the Chairperson of the skatepark Committee gave a speech thanking everyone who made the park possible and then some awards were handed out.

View Photo Gallery
Montclair Advocates Prince Gilchrist
and Sean Morgan
Two local skaters Prince Gilchrist and Sean Morgan received plaques for their efforts in making the Montclair skatepark a reality. These guys attended every meeting, and helped raise money for the park and are great examples of SoCal skatepark advocates. Miki Vukovich the Executive Director of the Tony Hawk Foundation received an award for the foundations $10,000 sponsorship of the skatepark. Montclair Kiwanis, Warehouse Shoe Sale, the Montclair Chamber of commerce, Montclair Firefighters Association, and so many others were recognized for there donations.

Mayor Paul M. Eaton spoke and said a prayer of thanks and then acknowledged many key figures. Then ceremoniously, he opened the gates to the skatepark and the skaters that were there rushed inside to hit the new terrain. Once the skating started there were smiles all around and I heard nothing but positive comments from the skaters.

After some of the locals broke in the new skatepark the demo crew finally showed up. Steve Alba, Micke Alba, Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi, Pat Ngoho, Eddie Rategui and a long list of others proceeded to rip the new bowls. I have to say it was really something looking toward the shallow end and seeing all these guys together . It reminded me of the old contest days in the early 80’s . Well, its 20 years later and these guys are still doing it BIG.

View Photo Gallery
Micke Alba getting inverted
Looking 16 again
I have to share one other moment before pressing on into the day. Micke Alba’s son was standing at the edge of the bowl. He’s a little guy. I’m guessing 4 or 5 years old. Next thing I know the little guy sets his tail and is ready to drop in . You could see the hesitation in his eyes . We’ve all been there. Dad gives him some words of encouragement and he drops. The shallow end erupts with tail tapping and shout-outs. He skated to the other side with the biggest smile ever. I’m not sure who’s smile was bigger his or Micke’s I did mention who was in the shallow end didn’t I? What a great moment.

This set the tone for the day. The pros took a break from skating and signed posters and videos for the crowd . I’m sure everyone who attended this event enjoyed the day. Purkiss Rose did a great job with the design of this park. I over heard that Steve Alba had a hand in the final design. Good job guys, this park will no doubt be a must skate on everyone’s list. A big thank you to all the people involved with making this park a reality . A special thanks to Mike Hirsch @ for giving me the golden ticket.

I would like to thank Ray for helping me out and covering the Montclair Grand Opening. You the man Ray – MH

Related Links
Montclair Skatepark Grand Opening Photo Gallery
Montclair Skatepark Details
The Firm

Posted on 08 Nov 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Etnies Fall Classic
Etnies Fall Classic
Two great events went on this past weekend including the Etnies Fall Classicand the Montclair Skatepark Grand Opening.I was at Etnies watching my son skate in the Etnies Skatepark Fall Classic 18 and under AM contest and judging the event while Ray Zimmerman covered the Montclair Skatepark Grand Opening. Man if there were a way to be in two places at once those would have been the events to be at. I apologize for not posting all of the results from the Etnies contest but I blew out of there too fast and did not grab the final tabulated results as I was leaving. As soon as I get them from the Etnies Skatepark staff I will pass on the information.
Posted on 09 Nov 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Not much going on over the past 2 weeks but the weather has been great so I hope you have been getting some skating in.Just a quick note about our current giveaway to tell you that there are only 11 days left for our Skaterbuilt/Skull Candy giveaway. To win this prize package you will need to join the forum. You are probably thinking what a rat bastard forcing me to join a forum just to try and win some stuff. Well maybe true but really I am stoked on how things are going in the forum so far so check it out and join up when you get a chance.

Oh yeah Fontana is planning to build a new skatepark in the coming year. From what I hear it is going to be killer with lotsa vert. We will see. More details when I find out more.

Posted on 19 Nov 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Had a killer session at the Montclair Skatepark. If you have not checked out Montclair yet you should because the park turned out great. Killer bowls and a bitchen flow section. Be sure to get familiar with where the spine is located between the two bowls as I saw several “experienced” guys almost completely wreck themselves thinking that they were popping out of one of the bowls to the platform but instead freefall into the other bowl.Sk8Session.comAlso, be sure to check out Garret “Naka” Shigenaka’s website Naka has been out there shooting photos of sessions at SoCal Skateparks for quite a while now and has put up a site for us all to check out some killer sessions that have been going down over the past year. On top of photographing the sessions Garrett is usually skating between taking photos and ripping it up with the best of them Thanks for doing what you do.
Posted on 21 Nov 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Tony Hawk - Photo: Brittain
Tony Hawk – Needles Skatepark

Thanks to John Santos for sending in information and pictures of the Needles Skatepark.
Posted on 30 Nov 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Just got some new pictures of the Santa Monica Skatepark. Looks like it is coming along and could potentially be opening on Feb 05, 2005. You can see the photos in the Discussion Forum.Thanks to Ray Allen for the update!This Saturday Steve Steadham is putting on the Skate 4 All contest at the Encinitas Skatepark. I talked to Steve today and it sounds like it is going to be a great event for the AMS with plenty of prizes to go around. Below is Chase Webb a 9yr old AM that will most likely be at the contest. Click HERE to view the contest flyer.

Chase Webb
Chase Webb – Encinitas Skatepark
Posted on 08 Dec 2004 by Mike Hirsch
Win a complete Blockhead Deck
Tis the Season to be giving! Thanks to Dave Bergthold of Blockhead Skateboards, Bones Wheels, and Tracker Trucks for helping me put together another killer promo. A simple $25 order gives you the opportunity to win a killer complete deck. Send some Rocket Bearings to a friend for christmas or just get some for yourself. Your chances will be quite good on this one. Good luck.

The weather has been great in SoCal so I am sure most of the locals here have been hitting the parks hard over the past week. We recently went by to check out the progress of the Santa Monica Skatepark and the park is looking to be one of the best in SoCal. The only real major disappointment is that it looks like there is not going to be a Dogbowl replica. There are several deep bowls and a nice combination bowl with an over vert pocket but no pool with tile and coping :<(. What is up with that? I am sure many of the SM locals will be bumming there will be no pool coping to hit. You can check out some photos of the construction here.

Posted on 19 Dec 2004 by Mike Hirsch

Hope everyone had a great holiday. I have been extremely busy over the past several weeks so I have been kind of lagging on updating the site with new content lately. Sorry but I promise that there will be loads of new content in 2005.Be sure to check out the Forum as there are new posts daily about some cool shit going on in SoCal. Santa Monica is looking mean and I ran into Jim Gray yesterday and he told me they will probably be pouring some concrete sometime next week.

Cheers – MH

Posted on 28 Dec 2004 by Mike Hirsch Press Release:: 01/11/2005

For Immediate Release and MCS Productions are pleased to announce that Concrete Wave Magazine will be the Media Sponsor for their upcoming film The Rebirth of Skateparks”. For the past several years, Concrete Wave Magazine has been documenting skateboarding history as well as supporting the rebirth of a number of different areas of skateboarding. We are stoked that Concrete Wave will have an active role in supporting and bringing our film to the masses.

The The Rebirth of Skateparks” will take you on a visual ride looking back at the premiere skateparks that we had in Southern California in the mid 1970’s to the early 1980’s. It will then grind you through the Rebirth of Skateparks that has been taking place in Southern California over the past several years. This will be the first film to document the history of and the rebirth of skateparks in Southern California.

Witness, first hand, skateboarders including Benji Galloway, Chris Miller, Steve Alba, Jake Piasecki, Brad Edwards, Wrex Cook, Kevin Staab, Lance Mountain and many others terrorize the latest wave of skateparks including Glendale, Upland, Encinitas, Palm Springs, Clairemont, Fontana, the Etnies Skatepark of Lake forest and many others.

You will also witness skateboarders including Eddie Elguera, Dave Andrecht, Tony Hawk, Steve Hirsch, Eric Grisham, Neil Blender, Jay Adams, Shogo Kubo, Bob Serafin, and many others shredding the skateparks of the past which include the legendary Carlsbad Skatepark, Concrete Wave, Big O, Marina Del Rey, Whittier Skatecity, the Colton Skate Ranch, the Del Mar Skate Ranch, Oasis, and many others.

To view the trailer for the Rebirth of Skateparks please follow this link

The Rebirth of Skateparks DVD is scheduled for release on February 21st, 2005. Look for the DVD at your local skateshop or at SoCalSkateShop

Since 2001, has been documenting online the skateparks in Southern California and has been used locally and worldwide by thousands of skateboarders to plan their skatepark trips. was developed by and is maintained by Mike Hirsch a Southern California native that has been skateboarding since 1973.

About MCS Productions
MCS Productions is Mike Salinger. Mike is a Southern California native and is an avid skateboarder, videographer/video editor and photographer.

For further information about or the film Rebirth of Skateparks you can send an email to Mike Hirsch at

Posted on 11 Jan 2005 by Mike Hirsch
Another skatepark bites the dust. The Hollywood Sports Skatepark in Bellflower is closed down for good. Rumor has it that they are giving away their ramps. If interested then check out their official site and give them a call.
MH, Shogo Kubo and son
Me, Shogo Kubo and Shogo’s son Shota.
Me and my wife Linda drove down to the San Diego ASR trade show today and the joint was rockin. Powell has a killer museum setup that documents the history of Powell Peralta. The museum is insane and covers the days of Ray Bones Rodriguez to Ray Underhill and beyond. Black Label also premiered the Duane Peter’s story “Who Care’s” which is John Lucero’s latest film. The show is going on tomorrow and Sunday so if you are in the area you should check it out. Check out the official site for more details.I will be posting more skatepark related information in the coming weeks. Things are a bit slow right now but the next few months will be packed with skatepark activity including the Santa Monica Skatepark grand opening, the Irwindale Skatepark grand opening, the Harada Skatepark grand opening, as well as some contests.The Costa Mesa Skatepark, Solvang Skatepark, and the Rancho Santa Margarita Skatepark are all currently under construction. Fontana is also getting new skatepark as well. More details to follow. All I can say for now is – Pools. Pools, Pools.

Posted on 14 Jan 2005 by Mike Hirsch
Costa Mesa Skatepark
Jim Gray just sent in some photos showing the progress of the Costa Mesa Skatepark. Thanks to Jim’s hard work along with some other locals in the area the Costa Mesa Skateboard Park will be a bit gnarlier than was originally designed.

You can also check out the progress of the Rancho Penasquitos Skatepark here. Thanks to Aric “The Colonel” Sanders for sending in an update on the Rancho Penasquitos Skateboard Park.

Posted on 22 Jan 2005 by Mike Hirsch

After spending about 30 minutes trying to cleanup the comments that people have been adding to the skatepark pages I decided to pull that functionality from the site. I thought it would be cool to let skaters make useful comments about there local skateparks. In the end most of the comments were turning into flame wars – pathetic. My goal is to try to keep the site as clean as possible so that anyone would feel comfortable using my site. Hopefully I will be able to come up with an alternative in the coming months where users can register to make comments. There are already plenty of sites out there where you can go off anonymously and say what you want and my site is not one of those sites. Oh Well!Sorry to those that looked for further information about the skateparks in the comments area but I had to do what I had to do. My daughter is starting to read and the last thing I want her to be reading at 6 years old is a flame war between a roller blader and a BMXer in my skatepark directory!!

Posted on 23 Jan 2005 by Mike Hirsch
Santa Monica Skateboard Park
Spent yesterday in and around Santa Monica. Had another opportunity to stop by and check out the progress of the Santa Monica Skatepark under construction and the park is looking sick. The bad news is that the skatepark will not have lights and the city is going to be charging $30 dollar quarterly fees for residents and $3 session fees. Not sure what it will be for non-residents but the resident fee is a joke!!!

Posted on 24 Jan 2005 by Mike Hirsch
ASR Trade Show Winter 2005


ASR Trade Show Winter 2005

ASR Powell Museum

ASR has come and gone. This year proved to be a quite a show. The events that took place were nothing short of stellar. There were book signings for The Independent book that drew huge crowds and was attended by a large group of skate legends. The “DISPOSABLE” book also had a signing. The artists were autographing copies at break neck speed. These two events were huge crowd drawers. But, the must see item on my list was the Powell Peralta exhibit.

Duane Peters, Freddie DeSota, and Dan Colburn - Indy Party

View Gallery

At the entrance of the show just under the glowing neon Powell Peralta sign, stands Animal Chin holding his Caballero deck. Upon entering you quickly realize the depth of the exhibit. You could wander from wall to wall taking in the art and the decks or move thru the exhibit following the time line. I chose to follow the time line. Starting with the first Quicksilver prototypes the exhibit takes you all the way to their current models. Mixed in with the decks were photos, ads, and original artwork. The entire back wall of the exhibit was one huge collage.

I went through the show a few times. It was that good. There is no denying the historical impact this company made in skateboarding and this retrospective is great display.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to see this exhibit and I hope someday it’s open to the public. Meanwhile here are a few photos.

Ray Zimmerman

Posted on 26 Jan 2005 by Mike Hirsch Press Release:: 01/11/2005

For Immediate Release and MCS Productions are pleased to announce that Concrete Wave Magazine will be the Media Sponsor for their upcoming film The Rebirth of Skateparks”. For the past several years, Concrete Wave Magazine has been documenting skateboarding history as well as supporting the rebirth of a number of different areas of skateboarding. We are stoked that Concrete Wave will have an active role in supporting and bringing our film to the masses.

The The Rebirth of Skateparks” will take you on a visual ride looking back at the premiere skateparks that we had in Southern California in the mid 1970’s to the early 1980’s. It will then grind you through the Rebirth of Skateparks that has been taking place in Southern California over the past several years. This will be the first film to document the history of and the rebirth of skateparks in Southern California.

Witness, first hand, skateboarders including Benji Galloway, Chris Miller, Steve Alba, Jake Piasecki, Brad Edwards, Wrex Cook, Kevin Staab, Lance Mountain and many others terrorize the latest wave of skateparks including Glendale, Upland, Encinitas, Palm Springs, Clairemont, Fontana, the Etnies Skatepark of Lake forest and many others.

You will also witness skateboarders including Eddie Elguera, Dave Andrecht, Tony Hawk, Steve Hirsch, Eric Grisham, Neil Blender, Jay Adams, Shogo Kubo, Bob Serafin, and many others shredding the skateparks of the past which include the legendary Carlsbad Skatepark, Concrete Wave, Big O, Marina Del Rey, Whittier Skatecity, the Colton Skate Ranch, the Del Mar Skate Ranch, Oasis, and many others.

To view the trailer for the Rebirth of Skateparks please follow this link

The Rebirth of Skateparks DVD is scheduled for release on February 21st, 2005. Look for the DVD at your local skateshop or at SoCalSkateShop

Since 2001, has been documenting online the skateparks in Southern California and has been used locally and worldwide by thousands of skateboarders to plan their skatepark trips. was developed by and is maintained by Mike Hirsch a Southern California native that has been skateboarding since 1973.

About MCS Productions
MCS Productions is Mike Salinger. Mike is a Southern California native and is an avid skateboarder, videographer/video editor and photographer.

For further information about or the film Rebirth of Skateparks you can send an email to Mike Hirsch at

Posted on 27 Jan 2005 by Mike Hirsch
New Fontana Skatepark Plans
Colby Carter from the Site Design Group just sent over the plans for the new Fontana Skatepark. All I can say is that the park is going to be SICK!!. More crete for the Inland Empire which I am sure once completed will become the premiere skatepark in the Inland Empire.

Yesterday Jim Gray walked me through the Costa Mesa Skatepark and due to the recent rains it is slowly coming along. The bowls are pretty much poured but the rest of the skatepark is still just dirt. They are starting to trench for the lights so another skatepark with lights in Orange Couny is always a good thing.

I have just updated the Future Skatepark Section so that there are now links over to the Photo Gallery Progress Reports that I add to the user submitted photo gallery. I also added the future Venice and San Clemente Skateparks so that we can start tracking their progress. The Rancho Santa Margarita Skatepark is currently under construction and some new photos of the construction (not much) have been posted as well.

A lot of new items have been added to SoCalSkateShop including a new Bulldog Longboard and Powell Peralta Re-Issue Decks. Get them while you can!!

Posted on 03 Feb 2005 by Mike Hirsch

Over a month without an update – man I am a slacker. Well not really. I have been looking for a job and we have been finishing up the last minute details for our film. Be sure to make it out to the premiere for “The Rebirth of Skateparks” at the Etnies Skateparkof Lake Forest on Saturday March 19th.The Irwindale Skatepark has been posted in the skatepark directory. The city of Irwindale will have there grand opening the same day of our premeire Saturday March 19th. More details to follow.

On Monday March 14th, the fences will be taken down that surround the Harada Skatepark and the Huber Skatepark. Finally, it looks like these skateparks will be officially opened!

Posted on 09 Mar 2005 by Mike Hirsch

The Premiere  for our film is coming up this Saturday and I am keeping my eye on the weather report and so far it looks good.At this point, it looks like the session may get blown out but at this point according to AccuWeather the premiere is still on.

I am working on a backup plan just in case. If anyone has a location that might work as an alternate, please send me an email. I have been to a premiere at Oakley and they have a killer theatre. Maybe someone has a connection.

Posted on 16 Mar 2005 by Mike Hirsch
Rebirth of Skateparks Premiere Plan B in case of a rain.
Posted on 18 Mar 2005 by Mike Hirsch
Encinitas Skatepark - Tsunami Relief
Dave Swift – 100% Skateboarder!!First off, sorry for being such a lagger and posting so few updates over the past few months. With the loss of my job in January and the starting of my new job in San Diego a few weeks ago my time has been a bit limited on tracking skatepark activity. I am working on getting a few other’s to start helping out with the site. Hopefully, things will start to get back into full swing in April.

Secondly, I would like to thank everyone who came out to our premiere for The Rebirth of Skateparks on March 19th. Even though due to the looming rain we could not make it happen at the Etnies Skatepark, the event did take place at the Gypsy Lounge. I would estimate there were about 150 people there and it was great to get so much positive feedback about the film. We are planning on having the post-poned premiere at the Etnies Skatepark on Saturday April 9th. We still need to firm up the details with the city and I will have more information this week.

We are currently taking pre-orders for the Rebirth of Skateparks DVD and should have them in hand for the April 9th event.

George from Bowl Rider posted up some photos from the Tsunami Relief event that took place at the Encinitas Skatepark on March 20th. Ray Zimmerman also posted some photos from the event in the bulletin boards. Jim Gray from ABC Boards posted some more photos of the Costa Mesa Skatepark progress and DNP posted some photos of the beginnings of the construction of the new Rancho Santa Margarita Skatepark.

There has been a ton of stuff going on lately including the opening of the Irwindale Skatepark and the Concrete Disciples Palm Springs Skatepark bomb drop. Hope everyone has been getting a lot of skating in (I WISH I WAS). Summer is just around the corner and with all the new skateparks opening we certainly will have an epic skateboarding summer in SoCal. Go out and get some.

Posted on 27 Mar 2005 by Mike Hirsch


Rebirth Of Skateparks Premiere – Rain Check

The Rebirth is coming

Click on Jake For More Details

Posted on 02 Apr 2005 by Mike Hirsch
Rebirth Of SkateParks Premiere
Thanks to everyone who came out to our Premiere last Saturday at the Etnies Skatepark! The DVDs are currently being produced and will be available next week. We are currently taking Pre-Orders at SoCalSkateShop.

Naka over at has put up an article on the event and a review of the film. We had a blast at the event and I would like to give a special thanks to Naka for reviewing the event and documenting the session that was going down in the skull bowl. Good times for sure!

Posted on 12 Apr 2005 by Mike Hirsch

Congratulations Benji Galloway
Congratulations to Benji Galloway for getting 1st place at the Basic Bowl Contest this last weekend. Also, congratulatons to Jack Piasecki who came in 2nd and Jimmy The Greek who came in 3rd and the rest who barged the contest. Looks like Benji is once again going for skater of year. We had plenty of coverage from last years contest in the Photo Gallery.I did not make it as I was hanging at the Coronado Skatepark with my family and some friends. Coronado rules in regards to skatepark vibe!
Posted on 01 May 2005 by Mike Hirsch

I received this fine feedback from a cry baby skater a couple of days ago and thought I would share it with you.

hey you f***s, skateboarding is more than f***ing slashing a bowl and carving around pools. stop showing kids these parks with nothing but pool shots, nobody gives a f**ck.. i have never once seen any1 but a biker skate that extension at long beach park, but all your pics are of the pool. same goes for a lot of the parks, you guys f***ing discriminate so hard. its ridiculous. i can skate tranny better than 90% of the guys out there, but show some diversity, honestly. you suck for this sh**

This site is about contribution period! If you have issues with the coverage on this site than do something about it, send in something that you feel would make it better. This kind of stuff just cracks me up!

Posted on 06 May 2005 by Mike Hirsch


Santa Monica Skatepark

Santa Monica Skateboard Park

Went by the new Santa Monica Skatepark on my way to Skater Trader that was happening at Skatelab. The skatepark looks sick and is finished but will not be opening until later this month or in June. Skater Trader rocked with tons of cool stuff on display and for sale. Thanks to Todd over at Skatelab for once again putting on another great event. I found some relics including some lappers and copers that I just posted in the skateshop. We have been swamped with orders so it looks like skaters are starting to realize we have a skateshop they can depend on and shop for a great mix of skateboarding products. Thanks for the business and showing me what it is like to own a full-blown skateshop!!!

The Forums have been buzzing with activity so stop by and check out some of the latest posts and join in.

Posted on 07 May 2005 by Mike Hirsch


Jimmy Freight Train Virgilio
Jimmy “Freight Train” Vans Skatepark – Block of Orange

Full name: James Vincenzo Virgilio
Hometown: Costa Mesa, CA
Age: 38

Some of you know this guy, and you know why we call him “The Freight-train”.

Jimmy is by far one of the most interesting riders we’ve known and skated with because of his aggressive style and his attitude toward skateboarding. There are no gimmicks with Jimmy, just raw skateboarding aggression. Whether he’s bowl riding or playing in the flow course, Jimmy is going to be riding fast and deliberate, killing every piece of coping he can find and obliterating everything in his path.

Jimmy is known for doing long, nasty grinds, both from inside the bowl and from a 3 pump start up top. He’s also known for being a super nice guy with many years and many friends in the So Cal skate scene. Chances are pretty good that most of you have seen Jimmy riding at one park or another and we at are excited about getting to know him better.

We sat down with Jimmy recently and tried to get inside his head. This is how it went: What’s your favorite SoCal skate park?

J.V.: That’s like asking a mother which child she loves the most. I love the combi(VANS) for its huge, open tranny and the slippery challenge. I love Chino for the flow. I love Etnies, Encinitas, Glendale, and Fontana. My favorite park is usually relative to how long it’s been since I last skated there and whether or not my friends are there. What do you consider the best thing to happen to skateboarding in the last 15 years?

J.V.: The rebirth of skate parks without a doubt. That’s what got me riding again. Skateboarding is accepted now. Sure, there’s still a little “us against them” going on, but to one degree or another, that’s the way it will always be. I figure that conflict is true to the spirit of most skaters anyway. The fact that we have a place to go and live “out of bounds” without getting busted or hassled for it is just plain good stuff. What do you consider to be the worst thing to happen to skateboarding in the last 15 years?

J.V.: Yo Yo, bling bling, “Are you sponsored?”, kick-flip crash(repeat 20 times), no skate parks, the cops, my broken shoulder, my tweaked knees, the broken wrist, the time I hit my head……………and hippies. What do you consider the single biggest threat to the skate park environment as we now know it?

J.V.: It would seem that we are collectively too big and organized as adults to be run out of town again, but things have had a way of cycling in the skateboard world. The people who skate are the biggest threat to our skate park environment. Everybody stay cool and keep things positive. If you fall and get hurt, own it. No fighting. Keep your eye on the guy in a tie. The more civic minded skaters there are out there, the better. What would you like to see changed and what effect would that change have on “this thing of ours”?

J.V.: More free skate parks. The kids need a place to ride that’s close to their house. If they don’t have a ride to the skate park and they don’t have money to get in, they’re going to do it on your curb. It’ll free up space at the parks we have now and it’ll keep the kids out of trouble. Who was the most influential skateboarder to you personally?

J.V.: Grosso and Ngoho. Speed, style, grace, and power. Lot’s of guys do bigger tricks, are more technical, and commit, but those guys have stuff you can’t teach.

Jimmy Freight Train Virgilio
Jimmy “Freight Train” Charging Hard – Palm Springs Skatepark Who would you say has made the biggest contribution to skateboarding and why?

J.V.: I guess the obvious answer would be Tony hawk. The guy has somehow been the ambassador or figure-head for making skateboarding more acceptable. Kids love him and their moms think that’s ok. Lot’s of moms go to city council meetings and maybe that’s how we got skate parks back on the map. Jim Gray did a lot of work here in Costa Mesa to get us a park with a killer bowl. Thanks Jim!!!! What does skateboarding represent to you and what is the most significant benefit you can attribute to skateboarding as you look back on your life?

J.V.: It’s all about the freedom of the dance. It’s the middle finger and a kiss on the lips. Boxing and ballet, best friend/worst enemy. It’s like being alone in your room and making funny faces in the mirror. No logic. Skateboarding lets me unravel. If there’s pressure or stress in my life, it disappears when I ride my skateboard. Skateboarding has kept me healthy in spirit as well as physically at times. Skateboarding is a drug that I have to stay clean to enjoy. It’s helped me stay away from making bad choices and it’s given me the opportunity to meet great people. What advice would you have for the kid who’s trying to figure out what skateboarding means to him or her?

J.V.: Be yourself, it’s all about expression. Don’t worry about what it means to you, that’ll all get figured out on your way there. What, if anything, would you like people to know or understand about you?

J.V.: Na, that kind of feels self-important. My friends know me

Posted on 09 May 2005 by Mike Hirsch


Chris Miller - King of Combi - Click to view Photo Gallery

If you were at the Protec Pool Party event on Saturday you witnessed one of the best pool contests in at least 20 years. In fact you witnessed probably the first event of it’s kind that put some of the X-Games premiere skateboarders up against the top pool skaters in the world. It was a private event and only a limited number seats were available to the general public which left out hundreds of spectators that would have wanted to be at this contest.Personally I have been waiting for years to see an event of this kind and I would like to thank Vans and Protec for putting on the event and am hoping this will turn into an annual event.
Top Three Results
Protec Pool Party Results
View Photo Gallery
View Photo Gallery

With each division the intensity level continued to rise and by the time the Pro Finals went down it seemed like the place was going to explode. I have witnessed some amazing skateboarding competitions in my time and not since the contests that were held at the Upland Pipeline skateparks original combi-bowl have I witnessed skateboarding at such a high level. Of course, those contests were over 20 years ago and since then skateboarding has progressed tremendously so the intensity + the skill level of the skateboarders who competed at this event was mind blowing.

The womens/girls divsion rocked with Carabeth Burnside taking top honors and April Woodcock taking a respectable 4th place. Scott Taylor tore it up in the Industry Challenge with Swift and Buddy Carr raising there skating to a high level. Chris Miller was king of the day taking the masters comp and Rune Glifberg, Omar Hassan, and Brian Patch put on a clinic in pool skateboarding that was sure to go down as the most epic skatepark pool skating to date!!

The combi bowl is at the heart of skatepark pools and is one of the most challenging pools to skateboard in. Those who competed in this event made the combi look like child’s play. Hearing the chant of “Grosso, Grosso, Grosso” coming from the crowd as he accepted his 2nd place trophy was incredible. There was so much to soak in at the event I am still buzzing from the entire experience.

Look for a full article about the event written by Eric Seaberg in the coming days. We will also be posting a video from the event shortly. For now enjoy the photo gallery that I have put together from the event with photos shot by Lance Smith during the Friday the 13th practice session and by me the day of the event. I could go on and on and on about this event (Ben Schroeder, Mike Smith, Lance Mountain……… epic) but I need sleep.



Posted on 13 May 2005 by Mike Hirsch
Protec Pool Party 2005


Protec Pool Party Article

By Eric Seaberg

Jeff Grosso – Man On Fire – Protec Pool Party

Jeff Grosso – Man On Fire – Protec Pool Party

Ok, so I may have been a bit late to the event. My brother was having a barbeque to celebrate the birthdays of both my niece and my daughter and I couldn’t get out of there until about 4:30. I showed up at VANS and was inside by 5:00. To my horror, I had missed the media challenge and all of the women’s heats.

As I walked in, I was surprised to see that the Vans I know and frequent had been transformed into some kind of miniature festival scene. There were barbeques raging and tables lined from one end to the other with product which, under normal circumstances wouldn’t surprise me but wait a minute……..this stuff was all free! Hats and key-chains and t-shirts and socks and pain relievers. Incredible! Pro-tec was actually making UPLAND PIPELINE ID cards for anyone who wanted one. Did I mention everything was free? Upstairs in what would usually be the spectator area at Vans, I found they were even serving fish tacos and beans in any quantity you wanted. Oh, yeah, free!

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Anyways, I made my way to the grand-stand and secured myself an amazing spot in a corner which, apparently due to some netting, nobody else found appealing. It was easily the best spot in the house. I could see both the round and the square, with the only draw back being that I would have to stand as there were no seats in this spot. Happily, I stood, for hours. But back to my story. As I took my place in this little corner, I was happy to see that the masters qualifiers were getting underway and I hadn’t missed much. Grosso, T-Mag, Mountain, Salba, Reategui, Shroeder, Staab, Mike Smith, Pat Ngoho, and others……you’ve got to be kidding me! Even Eric Dressen was charging the combi but clearly the headliner was Chris Miller. The energy in the building was starting to rise. Keep in mind that while some promotional tickets were issued, most of the people on hand for this event were invited guests. Most were industry insiders who know their skateboarding history and were well aware of the significance of this contest. To say that the air was electric would be severely understating it.

As time passed, and the masters qualifiers became the masters finals, I found myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable and anxious. It was like the excitement was beginning to overwhelm me and for good reason. I was about to witness not only a historic event with unimaginable importance to the sport of skateboarding, but in addition to that, I would find myself in attendance for the single greatest comeback our sport has ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Grosso. Now, don’t get me wrong, Chris Miller and Lance Mountain are two of the greatest to ever step on a wood plank, but the day would belong to Grosso. As the masters battled it out in what would be a heated and emotional combi session, the tall guy with the tattoos would prove that he had what it took to make it from the depths of hell, to the 2nd place podium position at the biggest bowl contest skateboarding has ever seen. Landing board slides, inverts, airs (all of which I personally watched him attempt unsuccessfully at least 2 days a week for close to a month leading into this competition). It was like the man was possessed. It was a personal triumph I will never forget for as long as I live and one that will inspire me for an equal duration. Don’t discount however, the incredible performance put on by Chris Miller, as he proved once and for all after many years of doubt, that he is the undisputed king of the combi. Miller, in what looked like the best shape he has ever been in, showed the crowd and the world that he truly owns that big hole in the ground, and every single soul in that arena was out of their seats when he did it!

Top 3 Masters Results
Chris Miller – 1st place $10,000.00
Jeff Grosso – 2nd place $6000.00
Lance Mountain – 3rd place $4000.00

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Now, having barely recovered from the insanity of the masters division finals, and having a great deal of difficulty digesting what I had just witnessed, I looked down to see the pro division riders beginning their practice session, and from the first run, I knew this would become the single, greatest event in my life to this point and for years after, not including the birth of my children……..but close!

Bucky, Burnquist, Rune, Omar, Patchy, Benji, Greek, Lincoln, Bruno Passos, Tony Trujillo, Jake Piaseki, Darren Navarette, and others……where are my heart pills? These guys began the battling from the moment the first board touched coping and it never, never, never stopped. Bucky, who had not spent much time in the combi in the weeks prior and had nowhere near the practice under his belt as most of the others rode that thing like he had one in his back yard. Every corner, every surface, and he rode it like a pool. My hat goes off to BL for blowing my mind. Lincoln Ueda with his huge airs, Benji Galloway with about every skateboarding trick known to man on lock, Tony Trujillo and Jimmy the Greek riding the combi bowl like it was a back-yard bowl and without pads by the way, and Jake Piaseki proving there’s nothing he can’t pull, the roof was getting ready to blow off of the building and the crowd was nearly paralyzed from what was occurring but it would soon get much worse.

As the qualifiers wrapped up, and I realized the pro finals were upon me, I found myself in what I can only describe as a state of near dementia, with difficulty comprehending what was going on around me and wondering to myself “is this for real?”. Well, it was for real and what would happen next would be about as unbelievable an event as anyone, skateboard fan or not could ever imagine witnessing. The battle that ensued between Rune Glifberg, Omar Hassan, Benji Galloway,Brian Patch, and Bucky Lasek will be responsible for re-writing the book on skateboarding forever. These guys battled as hard as I’ve ever seen anyone battle and pushed themselves as hard as I’ve ever seen anyone push themselves in any sport.

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It was indescribable and I think it’s important that I point out that in the weeks and months leading into this competition, I had the privilege and pleasure of skating with and watching these guys prepare. I can honestly say that Rune Glifberg is the finest example of skateboarding talent this sport has ever seen and Brian Patch is probably the most aggressive, consistent, balls out-anything goes rider since Danny Way. But the performance that got under my skin more than any other was that of one Omar Hassan. I’ve spent a lot of time watching and skating with Omar, and I think I know pretty much what’s in his bag. I know what he’s capable of and what his limitations are and I have got to tell all of you that on a Saturday night in May of 2005, this guy left his body. Omar went so far outside himself and dug so deep that his performance seriously left me wondering “what in the hell just happened?”

I was absolutely shell shocked and still am 3 days after witnessing the heart and hunger demonstrated by Omar Hassan.

Top 5 Pro Results
Rune Glifberg – $25,000.00
Omar Hassan – $15,000.00
Brian Patch – $8,000.00
Benji Galloway – $4000.00
Bucky Lasek – $2000.00

I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth to have been able to attend this historic and important event. I would like to thank Vans, Pro-Tec, Mike Hirsch, and all of the people who made this thing happen for me.

I would also like to congratulate all of the riders in every division, and apologize sincerely for those who went without mention. You are all world class skateboarders and you were all a part of skateboarding history on Saturday and you have all made an old guy with bad knees remember why he loves this sport so damn much.

Eric Seaberg

Posted on 18 May 2005 by Mike Hirsch


Santa Monica Skatepark Grand Opening

Friday June 17th 5PM


Posted on 18 May 2005 by Mike Hirsch

Duane Peters Santa Monica Skatepark Grand Opening. Photo Jay Dubz!
There is so much skatepark activity going on lately it is hard to keep up with it all. I spent this last weekend at the Santa Monica Skatepark Opening on Friday night, in Ojai for the Rebirth of Skateparks showing, and then spent Father’s day skating the new Solvang skatepark with my son Christian. What a blast we had over the past 3 days. Quick synopsis: Santa Monica and Solvang both killer tranny skateparks and worth checking out!We will be posting more photos from the Santa Monica Grand Opening in the coming days as well as a video. We will also be posting pictures from the Ojai event as well as images of the Solvang Skatepark. For now check out the photos JayDubz shot at the Santa Monica skatepark Grand Opening by clicking on DP.Also, believe it or not but we received an email from the city of Rancho Santa Margarita and their skatepark will be opening this coming friday June 24th at 4PM. Here is a shot of the crew working on the Amoeba pool last Thursday.

Rancho Santa Margarita Skatepark
Posted on 20 Jun 2005 by Mike Hirsch

Rancho Santa Margarita Skatepark Grand Opening!
Posted on 23 Jun 2005 by Mike Hirsch