2020 - Ongoing
Being an older white guy and carrying a serious camera and lenses, I was at first accused of being with the police. I stayed on the periphery and took my time with small conversations about their equipment, injuries, and what they did for work. It took the better part of 2 months to get accepted and be able to get close to these athletes who scream along the cement curves and bowls defying gravity all while smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer. It helped that I brought back photographs and gave them away to different people so they got to know my talents and intentions with this documentary project.
As with most endeavors when a person tries to develop and hone skills, learning the hard way is often the only way because there are just no shortcuts. Trial and error, pain and injuries, disappointments, and failure occur while eventually for those who are dedicated, pick themselves off the ground and try again and again until there is the nailing a jump, perfecting a move while shredding the 15 foot deep walls in the bowls for an exhilarating and satisfying ride.
I admire the grittiness, culture, and the repeated attempts by these mostly young men and boys with a handful of young women using skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, and BMX bicycles to attain their goals, admiration, and respect from their fellow athletes while trying to accomplish awesome moves and tricks.