Florida Trip Report

Repost from yesterday’s return trip from Florida.

I’m at the airport, waiting to fly home to Texas.

I got to Jacksonville on Thursday afternoon, late, and Terry Synnott picked me up at the airport. Spent the evening with him and Jenna, at dinner and then watching some old freestyle videos.

Friday morning we hit starbucks a bit late, and went to a public skatepark in Jacksonville. Nice little park, with a flat area not too bad for FS. A bit of a slope, but manageable. We skated the park  bit, and did some FS too. It was hot, but there was a nice shade covering and benches. A dude with a “come to Jesus” sign showed up with a guitar to talk to kids.

Our plan was to go to Kona, but after wearing ourselves out in the heat skating, then eating some too-big vegetarian burritos, we were done. Went back to Terry’s and watched more videos. Then more eating for dinner with Jenna, and THEN we went to Kona. It is 100% mind-boggling sanity-rupturing 4 dimensional madness. Everything is HUGE. It’s on the side of a hill, so there are all these levels. Like stepping into a Lovecraftian city of cyclopean madness.

Saturday morning we got up, once again hit a Starbucks near the beach and went to Terry’s main freestyle spot. (the Synnotts do this together every Saturday and Sunday). It was warm, but not too bad, and so close to the ocean there was a nice breeze. We skated for a little over 2 hours. It was really fun to skate with another freestyler. Terry has become a really good friend over the years. He would tell you he’s not at the top of his game now, having sustained a horrible leg break a couple of years ago. Top of his game or not, he remains my favorite freestyle skater. It’s nice to be friends with your heroes.  We skated, talked about some new ideas for tricks and sequences, and worked on ’em. Jenna shot some video. We need to do this a lot more often. Like quarterly. I know it would help my skating a lot. We then went for a late lunch, and back to the house for more videos.

Oh – Terry has a huge collection of video footage of freestyle contests from the late 1980s. Stuff that was never published, of old NSA and CASL amateur contests. So few of those guys skate anymore. I think Terry is one of the only ones, and probably the only one who does freestyle regularly.

Time for one more meal. We went out for Thai food. Really good stuff. Then they took me down to see the ocean which is always nice for a pale Texan who lives a couple of hundred miles from the coast.

Overall a really great trip. I can’t thank Terry and Jenna enough for hosting me. Good people. As good as you’ll find. They are doing a lot for the freestyle skateboarding community. From producing great boards and wheels to supporting younger skaters, they are doing it right.

California Trip — episode 2.

Well, I got to Monterey the other day, rented a car, and drove up to Mill Valley (in Marin County) to visit my old skating buddy Dale. When I got there, Dale had grilled up some insanely good chicken, which was great as I was quite hungry. We ate, and then watched a documentary about 1980s vert skating ripper, Jason Jesse.

Saturday we both got up kind of late, had some breakfast at a local eatery, shopped for skate shoes for Dale, and then in the afternoon went for an excellent hike on one of the many trails around Dale’s neighborhood. Later in the evening we went to see the new film, “W”. The film was enjoyable, but strange. Too over the top to be serious, but not funny enough to be a comedy. But there were some really funny parts.

I know Dale would like to have gotten some skating in. I’m happy though that as old skate friends, our friendship isn’t just confined to skating. 

Got up this morning, had breakfast, and drove down to Mountain View for a freestyle session with Gary Holl and the guys from sk8kings.com. Lots of fun. I always enjoy skating with Gary, who is an amazing skater. He always gets some nice pics of me skating. Here is one below. 

Big thanks to Dale and Gary for their hospitality.

After the session I drove back down to Monterey and checked into my hotel, which is where I am right now. Looking forward to the Internet Librarian conference tomorrow.

Me, doing a 180 casper. Photo by Gary Holl.
Me, doing a 180 casper. Photo by Gary Holl.