I want to thank you for stopping by. This blog will be an outlet to show my day to day work, alongside anything else that comes up along the way. My mind is constantly thinking of all things photography. It is extremely hard for me to simply step back and take in the moment. I feel a constant need to capture each instant so that I have something to look back on. It's kind of like having a visual history of my life through the images I create. Now that i have this outlet maybe I can, finally, get some sleep at night and let my mind rest.
The last stop of the Ride with Us Tour was a little while back. After a long summer of travels and sk8ing tons of parks all over, this RWUS was here in Boulder. That made it nice and easy to come out and hang and capture the team having fun. Everyone met up at Satellite for a BBQ and then headed over to Boulder sk8 park which is just down the street from the shop. Here is what I got from the day of hanging. Big thanks to Satellite, Redbull, Vans and the whole crew for a summer of fun.
The Ride with Us Tour rolled into Silverthorne and Edwards skate parks a few weeks ago. With several car loads of skaters and camping equipment in tow, this event was going to be fun. The game plan was like usual, no game plan! Our mission was to just have fun with friends and skate as much as possible. On the way to Edwards we made a quick stop at the Silverthorne park to get warmed up and to get out of the car for a few hours. After 2-3 hours, we packed up the cars and the crew and headed further west to Edwards. Upon arriving, we found an empty park, but decided it was a little hot, so we headed to the creek to cool off a bit. After a dip, it was game on at the park. By this time, several more people had shown up and things were starting to go down. A number of hours later, everyone was tired from a great day of riding and we headed to our camp site for the night. The camp site happened to be on a private 5 acre property equipped with mini ramp/bowl, trampoline and a giant groove of Aspens. Oakley was also kind enough to throw a BBQ for everyone up at the spot, so we were styled (to say the least). Here are some frames I was able to capture from the weekend trip. Big thanks to Satellite, RedBull and Oakley for the fun times. I also want to thank EW and family for letting us enjoy your private retreat in the mountains.
The Satellite sk8 team recently hit several New Mexico sk8 parks. I was lucky enough to get asked to cover the crazy antics. The whole crew met up in Denver to start the journey from Colorado to New Mexico, with no real plan other than to hit as many sk8 parks as possible. There was a wish list of parks to hit, but really we just let things unfold minute by minute. The guys wanted to hit a spot on the way, so our first stop was Trinidad sk8 park. When we got to the park there was no one there, but with 2 full cars and one crammed van o’ dudes, the park filled up quick. After a few hours it started to rain so we got back in the cars and headed to Santa Fe. We stopped and checked out a few spots, but ended up at the old Santa Fe sk8 park. It’s amazing to see how far park design and building has come from the old days. This park was definitely from another era.
After a day of travel and riding with the team, we walked to The Cow Girl Hall of Fame for a Santa Fe dinner. We were going to be camping on most of the trip, so we headed up the mountain to find a spot for the night. It was interesting to watch a group of guys make their way in the dark through a densely wooded area to find a camp site. When we woke up the next morning, we packed up the vehicles and headed to Albuquerque. Our first stop was for breakfast at a restaurant called Frontier. I was told it was the best place in town for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We ate there 3 times in 2 days. Food is yum yum yummy. After some food we headed to Indian School Ditch. Man… this place was the perfect spot to skate. It was a long ditch with smooth concrete and perfect transition for miles and miles. These ditches are used for flood control, but when it’s not raining they are used for free summertime recreation for skate boarders. While there, we met a few locals who told us about another spot called 3 Mile Ditch just a few miles away. This was another nice ditch with several diy features built up. So we packed up the cars and the crew and headed to 3 Mile Ditch.
After 3 Mile, everyone was tired and beat down. One unexpected bonus was, Charlie hooked up a 3 room suit at a local hotel so everyone could take a nice shower and rest up. After some grub and a little soccer, everyone was ready to hit the North Bomingo Baca Park. It was just down the way from the hotel. The time was 9:30pm and we were just gearing up for another session and the 4th spot of the day. There were lights at this park, but they were set to turn off at 11pm. Everyone took it easy and had a nice mellow session with several locals that were killing it. The next morning we woke up and had Frontier for breakfast (again) then headed to Los Altos Park for most of the day. That session was filled with tons of crazy tricks and several slams. It seemed like people were pushing the limits and their bodies were taking a beating. In the end, everyone walked away tired, but happy to have checked out all the parks and ditches in the area. Here is a list of all the guys that made the trip, cody hodge, nial fredrickson, seth bruce, dan downing, jg mazzotta, raul pinto, anders pigorsh, adam mahar, charlie masque, james mammele, jon hill, debow, bob guerrero and jeffery garland. Big thanks to Satellite and the crew.
Satellite, Vans and RedBull continue with their annual Ride with Us Tour. This is when the Satellite crew picks random skate parks to just show up at and throw impromptu BBQs where they give tons of stuff away. Not only do they bring free food and free stuff, they also bring their skate team to rip up the park with the locals. The most recent event was at the Broomfield Sk8 Park. The day started at 1pm and upon arriving, I noticed that it was already 95 degrees. It was sunny and way too hot to be doing much of anything. At one point the deck was so hot it was burning me through my clothes. All I wanted was a cold beverage and a nice big tree for a bit of shade. Don’t get me wrong, I was having fun, but the sun was way too intense for me on that day. Being that it was so hot, I chose to shoot at 400mm all day long, exhausting every ounce of shade I could find. Most of the riders were skating in short stints, often taking breaks for water and shade. All in all, it was another fun day with the Ride with Us crew. Big thanks to everyone that made it out and thanks to RedBull, Vans and Satellite for giving back to the youth.
This was the second year in a row that I was invited to hang with Vans, Redbull, and the Satellite crew for GO SK8 Board Day. The day started out at the Denver Park with a BBQ and a kick flip contest. After several hours of riding at D Park we gathered up the crew and headed to the Sheridan Park in hopes of avoiding the crowds. All day long, kids were out to have fun and enjoy go sk8 day. Vans, Redbull, Skullcandy and Satellite were handing out tons of free stuff at both of our stops. Vans also provided all the food and a grill master to cook up some dogs and brats for the sk8ters. Skullcandy brought a DJ to pump music throughout the park all day long. The one thing that I really liked was in order to get free stuff you had to help clean up the skate park. It was crazy to see 100 people all stop skating and help with the clean up. The skate park was a wreck when the day started and by the end, there was no trash in sight. There were several generations of skaters taking part in the celebration. This is one national holiday that seems to be gaining more and more supporters year after year. Loads of fun was had by everyone in attendance. Thanks to all the sponsors that made this happen. Big thanks to Vans, Redbull, and Satellite for your dedication to giving back to the sk8 community. We need more companies to take your lead and help support the youth of today and tomorrow.
A month back I was invited to cover the first annual Love Games. Growing up I remember coming to this area, so I knew a few of the jumps these guys wanted to build, but there were several others that I didn’t know about. The good thing is we have several riders that span generations, so this was one occasion in which the older generation could pass down these spots to the younger crowd. Several of us agreed that we would meet up on Friday early and do most of the building of the jumps. We had an idea of what we wanted to build, but really had no idea of what the conditions were going to be like. Either way, we were going to Loveland Pass and were going to build something somewhere. By doing so, we could arrive the following day to nicely built jumps and some fresh pow pow to go with them.
Upon arriving to the pass, the weather went from good to terrible real quick. Visibility was about 20 feet and the snow was coming down fierce. If you looked into the sky you would see blue bird skies all over, then you see this giant dark cloud hovering over the Pass. When we finally got up there it was blowing and nasty. Being that we had work to do, we gathered up the gear and all the crew to do a 35 minute hike up the mountain to get to our first of four builds that we wanted to do. I don’t mind hiking or even the weather, what I really hate is carrying all my gear up the hill on my back. I looked around and saw everyone geared up and ready to go with nice day packs and such. Then here I am with all the same gear as everyone else plus 50 lbs of camera gear in tow. I love what I do and once I got to the top, I quickly forgot the amount of gear on my back and enjoyed the powder on the way down.
At the end of the day we built the legendary quarter pipe. I have seen this jump several times in my life, but this time it was way bigger than I had remembered. I would easily say it was 18-20 from top to bottom. All day long we had battled the weather, so when we finished we were all excited for the following day. I kept thinking… “If things keep going as they are going, it is going to be a good amount of snow for the event tomorrow”.
Flash forward to Saturday… the morning started early. Everyone was meeting up at the base of Loveland Pass. Heading up there everything looked good to go, but once we got to the pass we noticed it was closed due to avalanches that had broken loose and covered large sections of the road. We waited for several hours then regrouped and headed to the opposite side of the pass via A-Basin. Everyone posted up on the side of the road and we made our own parking lot while waiting for the pass to be reopened. We knew that this was going to take a while so we just got out the BBQ’s and the coolers of “sodas” (PBR’s) and started the day off with food and fun. Just up the road there’s an avalanche chute that everyone climbed up and built a jump right on the side of the road. The sun wanted to come out all day, so with the pockets of clouds came blue bird skies. Knowing that the pass was closed meant fresh tracks once it opened up. This was a motivating factor for many powder hounds. As the hours slipped by, one by one, less and less people were down for the wait, so several of them bailed. Most of the Love Games’ Crew were there either way, so with that being said we started to party at 9am and were not going to stop until the pass opened or when we ran out of sodas.
With only a few hours of daylight left, around 50 people met at Loveland Pass for an open session in the first annual Satellite + Installation Love Games. The Pass was cleared and we were first in line to head up. It was a race to get to the top first in order to enjoy all that snow. I arrived first and quickly got my pack on and started to hike. Most of the crew opted out of the hike in order to get more fresh turns in so they just dropped in. I wanted to get this hike out of the way and get set up to start shooting, so I went off on my own up the mountain. After a little while everyone showed back up and started to slay the Ironing Board and Pocahontas.
There were no real judges on this day. It was an open-style jam format focused on having fun more than anything else. The Love Games 2011 was not only a day of friends, party, powder, and blue skies, but also a specific response to the current scenario in which fewer kids coming into snowboarding have an adequate connection to it’s roots. In order to be able to appreciate it’s full breadth and impact, knowing where it all stems from is essential. Co-owners of Satellite Boardshop and Installation in Boulder, Raul Pinto and JG Mazzotta, say that they feel it’s their position as long-time shop owners to lend the opportunity and try and facilitate that connection. “So much of snowboarding is about the lifestyle; take that away and it’s just another weekend leisure sport,” says Pinto. In addition, he and others who make up a strong Colorado shred history have started to feel weirdly estranged from the ‘sport’ they helped build.
Recently I was reading an interview on Terry Adams blog about pro flatland rider Justin Miller. It got me to thinking that in life we all strive for things that make us happy. In the end, however, those same things might not make us happy anymore. The things that stay consistent are the memories and friendships that we have built along the way. The images in this post contain a very small glimpse into the world of flatland. I started shooting flatland back in the mid 90′s. It was fate that led me to flatland because my cousin married pro flatland rider, Steve Mulder. Steve took me under his wing and began to introduce me to other flatland riders around the country. This was right around the time my photography really started taking on a new life. I had this goal of becoming the top photographer in the world of BMX flatland. I began to submit my images to all of the BMX publications here in the States and also overseas. The turning point came when I moved to LA. Mulder put me in contact with Chad Johnston fellow pro rider and owner of Intrikat. Intrikat just happened to be one of the top video producers of flatland. Chad and I hit it off from the beginning and the next thing I knew, I was traveling all over, shooting the top riders from around the world. All of this came about because of hard work and dedication and because of friendships and the love for flatland. Sure, I might not have become the top BMX shooter out there, but I think I made a mark on the scene. Thanks to all the riders that I have met and had the pleasure of working with along the way. I don’t cover flatland that much anymore, but the friendships that were made are WORLDWIDE.