Ripping in Plazas. That’s what r.i.p. meant to me this past Sunday. There has been a good thing going on in L.A. for some recent time now that makes me reminiscent of the ’90s. No, I am not regarding the fashion comebacks from the last decade of the 20th century. I am referring to a plaza referred to as Jkwon that has become home to skaters of this fair city and visitors from all over on Sundays. Apparently that is the only day of the week you can successfully hang out and skate this place all day long with out being kicked out by security. I decided to head down there and hang out for most of the day to witness this first hand.
This is a part of skating I grew up with, in S.F. they had EMB, in N.Y. they had the Brooklyn Banks,Philly had (has depending on who you ask) Love Park and for L.A. we had the Santa Monica Courthouse. For the most part, all have vanished into the fond memories of what once was the hot spots in skateboarding but these landmarks all showed a unique common bond with skateboarders all over the country. Taking these plazas that were built with no relation to skateboarding and having a minority group seeing its potential for what it could be and making it our own. Having a interest in something most people could give two shits about and turning it into our own social club of sorts. Not only serving as a place for skateboarders to congregate these populated plazas also provided a boost in local businesses by said skaters (namely any place serving food or drinks). And spots like these also establish a point in time where one can watch this footage 20 years from now and know that area. And if there is anything history has taught me over the years it is to pay attention when you are witnessing something. When something is happening that will leave its footprint,make sure you are aware of it and don’t be afraid to document it.
With the invention of skate stoppers, security, and heavy fines from local police skating in public plazas has turned into more trouble than it could be worth for most people. Instead we have opted for public city built parks, d.i.y. skate spots, and etc. as our go-to places. Taking our creative accumulated knowledge of all the vast terrain, skateboarders have learned to adapt to over the years and simply rebuilding it for common use is understandable. Maybe it is just the evolution of skating. For me though, I find pride in seeing something like what I saw Sunday. Skaters making something that was there, that no one realized its potential and making it their own. Which I have heard this spot was made possible by the creativity of Felix Arguelles turning his vision into a reality. If that is the case, then all the skaters who find themselves heading to Wilshire and Western every sunday owe that man a big thank you for showing and reminding you guys to never lose sight of seeing the potential in anything or anyone.
The calm before the storm.
This guy has no idea how much joy that block brings to skaters once de-knobbed and that planter is removed.
Proof right here but this lady was oblivious to it.
Josh Kalis is probably one of the most recognizable plaza skaters ever. He drives up every sunday from San Diego to skate this place.
Josh and Vern talk shop.
You know it’s official when everyone kicks it on a wall.
Danny Montoya showed up
As did Shmatty
And Cody Mac
Wouldn’t be a plaza with out someone like this just strolling through.
Matt Miller with the nose blunt.
This dude was dark sliding all over the place.
Token tourist stopping in to poach.
Danny Montoya with the s/s f/s b/s
Kalis checking the footage after getting his line.
This is skateboarding.