Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Park Profiles: Salem MA (with Skatepark Tours video)

The Ryan Brennan Memorial Skatepark in Salem, dedicated to my cousin who passed away after a rollerblading accident, is my home park. This wasn’t the first skate park I rolled, but is definitely the one that I roll most often.

During my teens, and into my early twenties, I would spend up to eight hours a day here; this is where all the local booters session. It was great to know that if I went to Salem there would always be someone skating there. This park became the starting point for all of our sessions, no matter where we were going to skate that day.

The park, which is concrete with round copings, isn’t as large as most of the other concrete parks in the area, like Gloucester or Manchester, but it has possibly the best flow.

At the far right of the park there are two concrete benches, that you always see at parks, which have been generously waxed for grinding. Moving to the left, there is a banked-kicker followed by two mini-bumps.

Next to these things is a flat-kicker that rolls right into the low-round rail. In the far right corner of the park is a mini-mini-ramp, which is about 1 ½’- 2’ high with a flat roll-in on the park side.

Down the middle of the park is a 4’ spine with 4’ bookend-quarter-pipes. These are perfectly spaced, allowing you to keep your speed and put together nice long runs.

On the far left of the park, from the back corner, there is a 4’ mini-ramp that has a flat-roll-in on the park side. This roll-in leads right into the fun box, which has three flat sides, one of which rolls right into the 7’ quarter-pipe in the front left corner of the park. This is the perfect line for grinds and airs, and since the park in small you can easily keep speed between tricks.

I’d recommend this park to any skaters out there who can get to the North Shore. It has a lot to choose from, and the round copings make it very booter friendly.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Recon Missions: Rockport

One fine Saturday, while I was working at the Gloucester Market Basket, I decided that it was time for another Recon Mission. On my lunch break, which has recently been designated ‘skate time,’ I took a drive into neighboring Rockport in search of some new spots. Since I don’t actually know my way around Rockport, or Gloucester for that matter, I just kept on driving until I came to the ocean.

The pier I had found happened to have a brick building (the one straight ahead on the GoogleMap) that serves as the Harbormasters office and the public restrooms. The handicap ramp to this building has the prefect two-tier green rail that is a great session spot.

The lower portion of the rail juts out just enough to do frame and soul grind variations. The high tier, which is slightly higher than the average handicap rail, isn’t for beginners but is perfect for any confident booter with a solid vertical leap.

The only downfalls to this great spot are that it can only be skated when the harbormaster isn’t around (I usually go on Saturdays), and there are always lots of people getting in the way (since it is the public restrooms of a tourist town).

If you are patient, though, and you have the right ability, this spot is a great one on the North Shore. The view and breeze of the ocean create a perfect atmosphere; and skating for the crowds can be fun too.

I hope you get a chance to check this one out and be sure to come back soon for more of my Recon Missions here at Skate Sessions.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Taking Pictures Of Myself…

As I mentioned in my first post here at Skate Sessions, I usually have to skate alone due to the lack of booters left around here.

This had made it extremely difficult for me to document my sessions with photographs. That was until I had an epiphany; I could use my camera’s self-timer to take photos of myself!

Now I have to admit that this isn’t the easiest task, since the only viable timer is a 10-second delay. So, to achieve a successful photo I have to first find a place where I can stand the camera and have the rail/gap in the frame. Once I set and activate the 10-sec countdown, I have to skate into position and throw my trick hoping that 1) I land the trick and 2) I end up in frame when the camera takes the shot.

The first session I tried this at was in Gloucester on one of my lunch sessions. Most of my attempts were unsuccessful because I was new to this task and felt very rushed. I had a hard time even sticking a simple pornstar or soul grind. I did end up getting a couple good shots though, on both the low rail and the pyramid rail.

The next time I decided to try this was much more successful. During my session at the Old YMCA rails in Marblehead I was able to land a variety of tricks, on my first try, and have the pictures come out great. My only serious miss was a session ending shinner-soul that still turned out to be a good photo.

I’d recommend that any of you out there that find yourself skating by yourself, with a camera that has a timer, try this out. It is a great way to get some pics of you rolling and sometimes it’s the only way.




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