One surely can learn a lot about skateboarding by attending two of NorCal’s biggest skate events in back to back weekends.
Though the events featured a lot of the same skaters, they were about as different from one another as you can imagine.
Here is a list of a few things that I learned:
1. A very well organized event might have some of the best skating, but not necessarily the most excitement. The scene at Lake Cunningham was tame compared to the Chili Bowl event.
2. Free Chili goes quickly - if you make it, they will come. If you want to get Chili at the Chili Bowl, you have to time it right. Make sure that you get in line right after the judges have gone through each station.
3. You might break and ankle, leg, or your face. No major injuries at Cunningham (pads & helmets required) turned quickly into several people being brought out on stretchers at the Chili Bowl.
4. Skating with 5 other people in a bowl causes some serious problems…and tons of excitement. This event is a true skater’s event. The amount of board slapping and hollering by the participants around the competition bowl was deafening.
5. I would rather watch the Chili Bowl event than the Nike Street League Series any day. I happened to watch the stream of the SLS online the night before Chili, I found it incredibly bland. Chili Bowl on the other hand captures the “vibe” of skateboarding better than any event I have attended so far (full disclaimer - i haven’t been to a lot).
6. Skater’s might not buy $22 socks, but they will definitely accept free cookies and stickers. I didn’t try to sell Chivaz at the event, instead I just gave out free water bottles and cookies. I think that was probably a smart idea.
7. You never know who might turn up at the skatepark. The women’s field was stacked: Julz Lynn, Allysha Bergado, Lizzie Armanto, Amelia Brodka, Hunter Long were just a few of the participants. For a relatively “local” event, that is a really competitive group of skaters.
8. Smoking weed is very common among skaters. Now I am all for people chilling out, smoking a bowl and having fun together, but if Skateboarding and competing can create such a high themselves, why not wait until after the competition to blaze? Am I missing something? Do people actually skate better stoned? If so, maybe I need to try it, but I doubt it. I would really like to see what some of these younger guys could do if they had a clear head.