Sheckler Foundation - Skate For A Cause
May 6th, 2017 Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest, CA
You have to give credit to Ryan Sheckler. At 27 years old he is an active and positive influence in and out of the skate community. His non-profit Sheckler Foundation has been around since 2008, not bad at his age and more than I can say I have ever done. Just one of the foundations events is Skate For A Cause, a skateboard contest built around a carnival-like setting with games, raffles, food and various booths of fun things to do for the entire family. There is prize money for the most winning skaters, but it’s pretty common that they give the dollars right back to Be The Change (a part of the Sheckler Foundation).
One thing that makes (made) this event a good time was the breadth of the “entertainment”. There were pro skaters, people in wheel chairs, others wearing prosthetics and more. It was so cool to watch and be a part of the whole thing. It’s not everyday that I get to see someone skating only to realize they have a prosthetic leg. It was a humbling and energizing experience, any “woe-is-me” flew right out the window. Good stuff.
morning was looking a little gloomy, but we headed on out to the Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest, normally about an hour and 45 minute drive. Then it started sprinkling, a little here and there for a bit, enough to freak people out and generate more than a few auto accidents, it’s California and bound to happen. The Masters practice was scheduled to begin at but the rain pushed that back. To be honest I started losing track of time and can’t tell you when things got going. But they did. The rain let up, the bowl was mopped and Eddie Hadvina was ready to go. The remaining Masters emerged and some padded up. Others in the game were Andy McDonald, Dave Duncan, Aaron Astorga, Christian Hosoi and Jim Gray.
This much rain didn't stip the show
As you can imagine there were plenty of grinds - slasher, stand up, smith, layback, double-truck, and on; each laid down with years of work and style points earned. With Andy McDonald in the bowl there was no shortage of tech. I’m not a big fan of his style, but I can’t judge cuz I got none. I admit that he knows how to work a bowl with a flow you don’t get to see on a vert ramp, I guess that’s a backhanded compliment, but a compliment nonetheless. He presented us with shit nobody else was doing - front blunt smith bashes, lipsides, boneless and ollies and air variations for days with deathbox lines not for the meek. Hosoi was in true form as well - airs, ollies, grinds and blocks and blocks of boardslides all the way through the shallow over the stairs. At one point Andy and Christian even worked together - big backside air over frontside grind in a tight space. Fun to watch. I can’t say for certain, but Duncan probably hit ever brick with some sort of front or backside grindage. Jim got creative and was having plenty of fun and somehow made it contagious. Eddie is a machine, I think he’s hit his head too many times because all he does is smile, maybe he’s always just laughing at me. Airs and grinds were his deal and made more that one invert…which I didn’t get on my sweet digi camera (cough, cough…phone)…and got deserved cheers for. Since I have no style I am always in awe of people like Aaron Astorga, just lines and lines of smooth and fluid skating - grinds, ollies, airs, blah, blah…it’s his style that makes the ladies swoon.
During the jam portion Hosoi mic’d up and gave praise and honors to the Sheckler Foundation, sponsors and all of those in attendance. Oh, he also won first place and happily gave the money right back to the foundation.
I ate Chronic Tacos while it rained. It didn’t stop raining so I ate another taco. It kept raining but I was stuffed so I went back into the park and watched the brave ones roll through the street and flow portions of the park. Slips and slams is the summary here. Some cats made use of the slippery surface - So and So (I honestly did get his name but can’t find where I wrote it down) was darksliding one of the pyramid ledges and 180 flipping down the other side; it took some bails but he pulled it off. Another So and So (see above note) was tossing out backside 90 flips and power/rain-sliding the rest of the way around. It was cool, he was having fun, we got it and smiled. Other people were cruising, flipping, spinning, slipping, etc. in the rain.
On other occasions, when the rain let up, Sheckler and friends were skating most of the park. I had forgotten the “old days” when Ryan was skating tranny at the X-Games about 14 years ago and those years of experience proved fun to watch - still has skills.
I have to admit that the wheelchair folks seemed to be having the most fun. They were running trains through the park and carnival crowds…I learned to get out of the way. I’ve been in wheelchairs and was happy to get from point A (beer) to point B (bathroom), so I felt a little lame and weak, but I’m old enough to get it and be stoked.
The announcer, Mark Waters, kept telling us the rain was going to stop…as in “stop”. We didn’t believe him. We said our goodbyes, thanks, grabbed road tacos and were out.
Right now I’m waiting on the final results and varied details that go along with this type of thing. But I don’t think anyone there cared, well at least those that were there for the fun on wheels with friends and family. I am happy to report that a good chunk of money was donated to a good cause - big hoorays to those who came and gave.
There was one thing that kept taking my tingly good feelings away and made me a little sour - the guy with stacks of boards running around collecting signatures as though it was the only thing that mattered. I kept trying to tell myself it somehow benefitted the foundation; that he was going to sell them online and donate all of the proceeds to some kind of good cause. But I have a feeling that Ryan or someone in his crew could have and had already made that happen by donating them to the raffle. I put my name in the Fellers and Pudwill boxes…waiting for the phone to ring or an email to drop.
Post note: The darkslide flip was courtesy of David Reyes while the flip-n-slide was executed by Alex Midler. And I saw Bill Weiss under an umbrella with his clothes on, it was so strange.