Yes, I'm sure it appears we are mired in the maelstrom of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, but it helps to be the man behind the rainbow curtain with his finger on the pulse of the promotional schedule. That said, I feel safe in taking a pause to remember our roots: skateboarding! For without skateboarding it's tough to say any of us would be where we are now with people wondering exactly where we are now ... or something glib like that. But in ode to the board and the magazine that brought us up from the depths, a/k/a Big Brother, let's shed a concrete spotlight on an otherwise uncovered event.
Photos clockwise from upper left (but starting first with the big one up top): One of my favorite tricks of the day, a huge, clean, pad clearing kickflip by now two-time Shred Fest champ Tyler Dunn; Pop-up tents for the shady win; Cold War Ryan confers with MC Dustin; Mark Vicker provided the stencils and paint for the day; Ricky Nunn backside flipped the hip with familial and consistent authority.
This past weekend, in the relatively unremarkable city of Stevens Point, WI, a fundraising/jam event was held at what I feel is a fairly remarkable skate park. Sure, it's not the Fortress of Concrete Solitude some super skaters may seek out in the corners of this world, but it's a tight little rig situated right on the Wisconsin River with a positive community vibe—the kind that will rally together on a summer Sunday afternoon to fire up a grill and skate for the fucking fun of it all. But every year, longtime Stevens Point skate stalwart John Pearson and Cold War local Ryan Soroko throw together a homespun competition that has since become known as the "Shred Fest", this being the third such annual shindig.
Photos clockwise from upper left: Little guns with a big crooks; A crow couldn't have flown more straight than Cregg Glover between the catty-corner quarters; Seng sends a 50-50; resident trick-flipper Johnny Frederickson does just that with a heel up the step-up under casual scrutiny from the judges.
The competition aspect of "Shred Fest" is always loose, free form, and strictly backyard in nature, but that's exactly what it's supposed to be—especially when you have the X-Games and Street League leading the mainstream televised charge. So at the end of the day the winnings and placings are secondary to the overall vibe of the day, fostering the local skate community, and imparting the importance of supporting your local shops and parks. Speaking of charitable which, if you're feeling sinister, don't go and tell a minister, go here to donate now and make all of our expansion dreams come true! After all, every skateable ledge formation should not suffer the ignoble fate of warming asses and holding drinks, keys, phones, and every other pocket accessory item. Support Operation Ledge Liberation!
Photos clockwise from upper left: Ben Hess heads toward a disaster in the bowl jam; Cole Wayka tiptoes backside through the two hips; John Pearson cools off the hot sticker hoarding hordes; Open class contest winner Tyler Dunn gets iced the old fashioned way by Joshua Sturm.
(Photos by Sean Cliver; Stevens Point, Wisconsin 2013)