Six Feet Under

It’s that time again - frigid temperatures, frosted windshields, frozen locks, short days and cold hard ground. Winter is like being locked in an insane asylum for five months. Most people fatten up on calories and hibernate behind locked doors, but not skateboarders. We’re too fucking ADD for it. We try and settle our nerves with early afternoon sessions, but by the time the ground thaws, the sun has set and it’s back to the whisky bottle. Occasionally we brave the city at night, but those sessions always end early once that deep lung burn sets in and cold sweat starts freezing your body inside and out. If we weren’t all such a massive disaster, we would have acquired girlfriends over the summer to keep us warm, but being a dirty shit-bag and having a girlfriend doesn’t go hand in hand. The only escape we have is to go underground where the lights stay on and the ground stays dry.

For the most part, underground sessions are compiled of flat ground and little manual pads scattered about the parking lot. Every now and again when someone comes up on a truck we pack in some boxes and flat bars. My favorite car park hidden amongst hills of knowledge is heated and lit all night. The bust factor is close to nothing. You’ve either been there for three hours and some half assed security guard that couldn’t get a job at the cop shop rolls up to kick you out or some random hero civilian makes the call to the real cops. They will most likely be assholes to you because you’ve just pulled them away from stuffing their faces with free doughnuts at 7-11. The worst part is they can actually write you tickets for criminal trespassing. If you come up on one of these don’t just tuck it under the bed with all those dirty tube socks. It will come back to grope you, steal your money and land you a night in jail. This actually happened to a friend of mine that forgot about his trespassing ticket until it turned into a warrant. The boys in blue pulled him over for expired plates, looked up the warrant, impounded his car and shipped him off for a few hours behind bars. Luckily County was so over-crowded they had to let him out. Here is the best part -- he checked in with eight dollars cash and checked out with a three-dollar check. Those dirty rats actually stole five bucks from him. I guess free doughnut hour was over at 7-11.

Another favorite spot of mine starts eight stories up and spirals all the way to ground level. Conveniently an elevator is there to take my lazy ass all the way to the top. I’m not real keen on walking up heaps of stairs. At the top there’s a little stair set to crack ollies down before you bomb the garage. The thunderous roar from a train of skateboards speeding down the garage echoes through every level. At the bottom there is a little gap to pop over before ducking the parking boom and shooting into the street - scaring the hell out of a sleepy parking attendant dribbling on his fresh uniform. Since the elevator is around the corner from the exit you can usually get a good jolt out of the parking attendant three or four times before another one of those rough and tuff security guards comes at you with his finger on the trigger of a mace can.

The only shit thing about skating car parks are all the cars parked in them. You have to wait for late at night when all the cars clear out before you can shred. This wouldn’t be a problem if there was something better to do than go to the bar at seven. Half the time we’re drunk by nine and still have another hour and change before we can skate. At least whisky keeps you warm.

The most recent crem-de-la-crem to skate resides in an obvious spot in the city, but has hardly been skated. Unfortunately for you, I’m not going reveal its location because it’s bust factor is rising. I will, however, tell you how awesome it is. Two levels of fun packed with plenty of parking blocks to slappy, enough free space to build a skate park, a long manual pad, wall rides, enough material to ghetto-rig a launch, a loading dock bump to pop off or flick into, a little three-stair ledge and a couple of little hill bombs from level to level. With all those goodies I rounded up some shredders for a late night winter session. We rendezvoused at X-Wives to warm our bones and wait for all the cars to clear out. It was Poppa T (a.k.a. Bottles), Mr. Hadley, Caleb Orton, the Illustrious Cheese, Adorable Dorobiala and myself gearing up for this mission. Once the clock struck sk8- thirty we skulled the rest of our beers and pushed into the darkness.

It’s a good time underground. With nobody around it feels like you have your very own TF. Everyone had their balance right and those quick flicks dialed on the manual pad. We packed in a mini quarter pipe that Hadley was blasting off, doing wall rides to flat from a good five feet up. Some creativity and precise timing came into play when Hadley set the quarter pipe about three feet from a wall for a gap out to wall ride, while Poppa T crossed his path with an ollie over the quarter just as Dirty came off the wall. We left the bottom floor to see what else we could get ourselves into. Caleb, Cheese and Hads immediately started flying off the loading dock bump. Hadley rolled away with a solid switch flip, but later got broke off trying to put down a back three. Doctor reports say he cracked his foot from the pinky toe back. Hads said there isn’t any ligament damage so there won’t be any harsh physical therapy. He’ll be back skating once the bone heals. To make Hadley feel better, Caleb stomped a nollie back heel and Cheese backed him up with a nollie big spin just before security walked out of a door waving his flashlight around. Fucking security always harshing on our sessions, and of course there is always more than one. Ripping up from the bottom floor with a surprise flank came another security guard. This one was special - not only did he get mace, but a car and a gun (can someone please tell me what the hell parking security needs a gun for?). He stormed out of his car chalked full of attitude, yapping like a little chihuahua claiming he needed to see all of our IDs. His request was noted and dually ignored. There was no point in heckling with security. They can’t do shit and we got what we came for. The car was loaded and it was time to roll home. Let security get back to reminiscing about how they almost became real cops. If only they could have run that 12 minute mile and made it over that six foot fence.