Monday, January 31, 2011


Every year around mid-winter I head to Arizona to visit my parents, and skate in the sun as much as possible. Flights are ridiculously cheap, and ditches abound once you set foot in the desert. Normally, I take a few friends along to share in the radness, but this year everyone was unable due to various circumstances. A sad notion, when compared to last year's super crew consisting of Jett Falconwing, Bunt Prestington, T-Nice, Frank the Tank..... and yours truly.

I was fortunate enough to have Tucson loc Mr. Aaron Suski hooking me up with sessions, not to mention hella hella healthy health drinks that probably saved my life or something. His homie Willy Akers came out from the east coast with some friends while I was there, we went to a million spots, I shot a lot of photos. Joe Hammeke was our generous host in Phoenix when we all ventured there for a few days..... lots got crammed into a short amount of time - including a broken arm from me - but it was a blast hanging in the sun with a big crew, skating new spots, and getting to spend time with my family as well. Below are some photo highlights from the trip, with captions to fill in the many blanks.....

I went to the Pima Air and Space Museum with my folks to check out some planes and helicopters from various eras that are on display in several hangars, while outside there are literally thousands more sitting in the desert that have been retired to the " Airplane Graveyard ". That's my mom standing next to some sort of bumble bee looking thing that actually flies.

Above: Willy backside jamming over a channel at the infamous Dildo Ditch.

Below: I thought I heard the Jersey guys calling Dan " Bag-a-D's " when I first met them, but they weren't and I ended up unintentionally giving him a nickname that kinda sucks. Sorry about that Dan. Ol' Bag-a-D's liked to have a lil' nappy time pretty much everywhere we went, but don't let that mislead you, he's hiding some crazy flatground tech under that " sleeping hessian " exterior.

Above: Mark is also from New Jersey... I think. He lives somewhere in Washington State now. They must have gnarly pools and parks there because Mark knows how to fly around a bowl like nobody's business. This back smith was absolutely amazing. It made me feel like a small, scared child.

Below: Willy is full of good energy at all times. I got a lot of great photos of him on the trip, it was hard to choose just a couple to showcase here. He killed this pool, starting each run with these stylish frontside bargers.

Above: Jesse's dogs constantly run around the bowl while people skate, often charging in and out mid-run, which is awesome but kinda really sketchy. 

Below: Suski's ghost tucks a lofty frontside at Jesse's private paradise.

Above and Below: I stopped by this long-since out of business hotel, The Picacho Hotel, after noticing it while driving from Tucson to Phoenix on previous trips. As I started shooting photos the current owner came out of the small building next door to tell me about it. He was quite friendly, and even gave me a vintage postcard of the Hotel from it's heyday. It's slated to be torn down soon for the expansion of the highway, so I'm glad I finally went there.

Above and Below: I went to the Zoo in Tucson with the folks and saw some amazing animals.You goin' to the Zoo ?

Above: While in Phoenix we met up with Nick Terrell ( hope I'm spelling it right ), a friend of the Jersey guys who's living in Tempe for a while. These banks he's skating are harder to skate than they look, but they're fun as hell. I broke my arm skating flatground minutes before he pulled this backside noseblunt revert.

Below: Birdhouse rip-ling Sean Gregoire was riding his Harley across the country from D.C. and decided to crash with Hammeke for a bit in Tempe, so he linked up with us for a couple days. This bluntslide was done in one end of a ditch that might as well have been a skatepark.

Above: Ditch art made from found objects. Artist/Suskibeatz.

Below: Mr.Hammeke packing up during a classic Arizona sunset. Cactus Banks, Phoenix.

Above: Tula Faye is more than enough reason to visit Tucson.

Below: The bulk of our crew. This was my last day skating in Arizona...really just hanging out taking photos due to the busted arm, which I did not know was busted yet. 

 A huge thanks goes out to my family, Suskibeatz, Hammeke, the Jersey guys, Nick terrell and everyone else who showed me a great time while I was in town. Stay tuned for video from the trip n the near future !!
- AC