I had been filming all week, so despite the various ride opportunities to venture north to the Mosquito outlaw taking place that same weekend, I opted to kick it court side. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon. Nic Escamilla had made the trek out from LA the day before to hit up a mellow event with me at So What Surf Shop, and had ended up crashing on the sofa. Peter Eubank had texted me at around ten that morning and had made plans to meet up with us after the mid day heat had burned off. Following a healthy amount of chillin’, brews on the back patio, and numerous conversations spanning the topics from guns to girls, Nic and I finally concluded it was time to skate. So after gathering my camera gear and a quick rendezvous with Pete, we were on our way out to the hills, set on riding some gravity and enjoying one of the last days of summer.
Maybe I had just been caught up in the thrill of it all. Summer has always had a way of elevating the mood to such a degree that you often don’t even realize it’s coming to an end. Every year there is always some thing, some event that captures the moment of the summer months and then keeps it hovering there, like a thrown frisbee that refuses to come down. For me, it was this weekend. Maybe it was just the simplicity of it all. An afternoon with friends out in the canyons. No time constraints, no where to go or be. Just the warmth of a late afternoon sun, and the breath of a cool ocean breeze. To me, days like these represent the quintessential longboarding experience. It’s these moments which make you reflect on what it is that you have and get to experience. Like a little reminder from mother nature of the importance of the present moment, the only place you’ll ever really be. It’s incredible to think that a piece of wood has brought me to this place of understanding, that it has connected me with this reality to such a degree. Imbued me with some sixth sense of clarity that many people live their whole lives and never get to experience or understand. A deep comprehension of what it is that I do, and why I do it. It goes far beyond a mere addiction to adrenaline, or something as simple as a thrill. I have come to believe that our obsession with this sport stems from something much deeper. Our fixation emanates from an in-the-moment connection with ourselves. When we’re bombing down hills, sticking lines, pre-drifting corners, we’re not thinking of anything apart from what it is that we’re currently involved in. It’s an all natural hyper sense of focus that I believe we, as downhillers, as skateboarders, devote every ounce of ourselves too. This is a feeling no drug can provide, no pharmaceutical entity can synthesize. Downhill skateboarding is a fight or flight inspired reality of the present, for better, or for worse.
It may have been a lazy August afternoon, but the moment of summer had finally come. Out there amongst those sweeping bends of Malibu, highlighted amongst the shifting tides of the Pacific Ocean. Summer’s final hurrah had come for me with a golden sunset on the California coast, and an afternoon spent with good vibes and good friends. So while the heat of Southern California may last the rest of the year, my Summer of 2012 has come to a wonderful and tremendous close.
A special thanks to Peter Eubank and Nic Escamilla for being my subjects in this article.
Now go skate.