The Heckler Crew is on the road this summer to travel the West Coast, visit as many skateparks & skateshops as they can to create the first POV Video Skatepark Directory. Tons of skating, tons of debauchery, and tons of fun. Make sure to follow the tour at Heckler.com!
What started out as a promotional trip to spread word of the rebirth of Heckler Magazine and all things shred was really just an excuse to pile all our friends into a truck and travel trailer, hit the road and take in all it had to offer. A dream vacation skatepark tour cloaked under the veil of work lay ahead of us for the next six weeks, and for the most part, work was quite a stretch of the imagination.
Our first and most daunting initial task would be to clean, disinfect and fix the decrepit, Burning Man approved and abused pop up travel trailer that would be our home and office for our six weeks on the road. Countless hours, buckets of bleach, cans of black spray paint and a few too many fried brain cells later, we had a trailer that resembled a pirate ship that was somewhat clean, somewhat street legal and somewhat working. True Heckler style, keep it ghetto and keep it fucking real.
Our daily duties for the trip would include filming for an online video shop directory as well as getting video of each skatepark we stopped at with our Go-Pro cameras to lay the groundwork for our POV online video skatepark directory.
So the agenda was simple: Talk to and hang out with kids at shops, then head down to the park, skate and spread the word of Heckler to the locals and anyone else lucky enough to be there that day. At night, we party with the people, camp out, pass out, wake up and do it all over again. At the start of our mission the crew was solid: JP Lagos, Jason Privett, Jon Foy and the intern, Danny Conroy. The plan was to pick up some friends on the way and keep them for as long as they could handle. Surely there would be some casualties as not all can handle life on the road, but we were all sure as hell going to try.
The Capri children would be the wakeup call on Day 8 of the trip. They were no stranger to the idea and came armed with turkey calls as they rousted everyone in the vicinity with the loud, but hilarious, gobble, gobble, gobble!!!
Our sleep was disturbed by trucks flying by our trailer, probably to go fishing, pretty damn early in the morning. Still, that wasn't enough to keep us from getting our full rest and after a while we just totally ignored it. After the long day before we all needed full shuteye, trucks ripping up the dirt road we slept next to or not. Once the sun reached a high point and temperatures in the trailer peaked, we all groggily got up, tore down camp and headed to Medford to check out their park and Jacks Boardshop. This would be the most rushed day of the trip. We had to make it from Medford, Or to Ukiah, Ca in order to meet up with good buddy Justin Capri of Freedom Skateshop. He had us lined up to meet up at a party going on at a secret bowl in the hills of the famed Emerald Triangle. With a few too many stops in between our start and our destination, we hit the road ready to destroy everything in our path.
The morning of the sixth day started on a low note, as any morning that begins in a Wal-Mart parking lot should. With forklifts beeping, screeching and buzzing around our camp treating us like we camped out on the infield of a NASCAR race as they unloaded semi after semi, we reluctantly woke up in the least scenic of locations. On the plus side, we had clean shitters a few feet away and some of the worst coffee the northwest could offer freshly brewed for pennies on the dollar. We gathered our empty cans and wounded soldiers as we packed up our limping, decrepit trailer and were gone before our coffee even thought about getting cold.
Day 4 started as they all seem to have; foggy and sore. The weather in Portland was still uncharacteristically perfect and the crew met up from places unknown at Brooklyn Street, a DIY skatespot in a small empty lot on the SE side of town.
The third day started out slowly as we all grumbled out of our sleeping zones, some lucky enough to score beds while the rest flopped out on the available couch space. Once the nessesary coffee and breakfast was found and devoured we made our way to Exit Real World Skateshop in the heart of northwest Portland. A super clean shop with all the right stuff and cool people, Exit had it dialed. Exit also linked us up with one of their team riders, Elliot Murphy, who would meet up with us at the Beaverton Park, his local stomping grounds.
With the hot sun beating down on our lackluster campsite we all reluctantly started to get up and pack up our sprawling mess. An hour later with our broken trailer in tow we pulled into Government Camp in the shadow of Mt.Hood to meet up with friends Nicky “Nickman” Grieves and Brandon Cocard. Two classic friends and Portlandites whose hospitality and local knowledge would be indispensable to us during our stay.
With a typical late start, the crew rolled out of our Lake Tahoe home base in the dark hours of the morning. With just enough time to get out of the mountains before sunrise, we found ourselves barreling up the 395 North headed to Klamath Falls and our first park of the tour.