In the spring of 2008, I spent two months working on a feature story for Sports Northwest on Northwest skateboarding. It was about the DIY culture of the scene, beginning with Burnside and coming all the way up to the Skatepark Master Plans that Seattle and Portland had, at the time, recently implemented. I spoke to characters like Mark Hubbard, a Burnside original and now owner of Grindline skateparks; Ryan Barth, of Seattle Parks, who’s trying to get the city to realize the value of skateparks; Tom Miller, who’s doing the same in Portland; and many other local folks who’s voices are strong in the push for more skateparks.
Problem was, the more I stuck my nose in the lives of this story, deeper–and more emotionally heated–it became. Turns out, I had happened upon an extremely timely chapter in the Northwest skateboard scene as Portland and Seattle were both growing into their newly-approved Skatepark Master Plans (which designated so many skateparks be publicly built within the city).
Well, the story never saw the light of day. The editor was “going to run it,” but never had the room between the football and basketball stories. Anyway, I found it buried on my computer yesterday and decided to let it breathe. The info embedded in it is original content of which I haven’t seen similar discovery offered from any other outlets.
“America is about individualism, and we’re taking back our country with skateparks. Long after we’re gone, they’ll know we were here because it’s carved in stone from the concrete ground to the heavens.”
Jake Phelps, editor-in-chief of Thrasher
All right, read the story already!