When we are young all we have is to look forward to the future and hope one day that we make it out alive and happy into that big world. The funny thing is, once we get there all we wanna do is look back and think about when we were younger, how easy it was and how fast time has flown.
Growing up in the small town of Eagle Point, Oregon I spent many a day skating alone in the parking lot next to my house never knowing any kind of skate scene until I was in my late teens and ready to leave. Searching for new things in the central and northern parts of my home state I was introduced to a whole new world of skateboarding! Over the last two years we’ve all watched and taken part in the growth of this epic community. I’m happy to see so many new people and events popping out of nowhere, but while all of this has been happening I’ve lost touch of my roots and where it all started.
After a long and blissful trip throughout California, my lady and I decided to stay at my parents for a few days to skate and maybe film but we were more excited about a slide jam that was being held in Ashland by a rad dude named Anthony Clark.
Where exactly in Ashland? Well its a marvelous hill called Strawberry Lane that I had never skated. I mentioned earlier I had moved a couple years ago so I never got the chance to go exploring and find these gems with the locals.
There were two major things that made this cold, misty day special. One, that it was a hometown slide jam. To my surprise, more people had shown up than I would have guessed. That in itself made me happy and sad. Happy because of the stoke I was feeling to meet new people and see all the different styles. I’m horrible at remembering names but great at remembering faces and their skateboards. This community was something that had been growing while I had been gone over the last two years and that’s what made me sad. I wasn’t apart of the happenings down here and it almost made me wish I had never moved. This was my home, my neck of the woods and I left it without looking back. Seeing the large group of people tugged at my heart strings. Taking a deep breath I remembered all the magical adventures and connections I’ve made along the way since I left, and that reminded me that I wouldn’t take any of that back for the world.
The second and most important factor that boosted my spirits was my dad and sister had come to cheer me on! My dad has always accepted my love for outdoor activities and has encouraged my passion for skating since I was a little girl. He’s the coolest guy ever and bought me my very own skateboard when I was 8. He took me to the skate park for my first time and came to my side when I fell and taught me the lesson of getting back up and trying it again. Since then he hasn’t watched me skate and I was gonna make him proud.
Having my little sister Palma there gave me a boost of confidence. She looks at me like I’m some sort of super hero and when I look back at her I can see the excitement and wonder in her eyes. I’m the coolest most happiest sister in the world when I get to bring that sassy little lady along. She just started skating and as an older sister I’m responsible for showing her how to get gnarly.
Fall time in the Northwest is so gorgeous! If you haven’t experienced this time of year up here you are missing out. You gotta skate to keep warm in these woods! With every run down I was warm but the walk back up the cold would start to set in again. Perhaps I’m just a pansy but the cold kept me fueled to keep skating.
While walking up the hill I saw a group of guys challenging each other to try some early grab 180s off the kicker. I joined in and offered a fresh set of wheels to whoever landed it first.
As much as it is to skate it’s just as fun to watch others skate. Medford local Brandon Tissen and my girlfriend Alicia Fillback are two of my favorite people to creep on.
After a few hours of flat spotting wheels, some good bails, and all around shredding, Anthony declared it was time for biggest jump. I have never tried to get biggest air but that day I figured why not? Ha! Yeah right. I watched as a couple guys hit the rickety old ramp and decided to give it a go. I landed but didn’t come close to the line! With my old lady knee I decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to try again. The impact was a little too much!
You know that feeling you get when you’ve been skating all day and you sit down for like ten minutes? Then somehow get suckered back into skating? Yeah my legs were feeling too much like some strawberry jello when Anthony said it was time for longest slide.
Anyone who knows me or has watched me at a slope style knows I’m a better spectator for longest slide then a competitor. Something was different that day. Not sure what it was that suddenly made me want to try it… perhaps it was the fact that my father was there and I wanted to really push myself to make him proud… or maybe my ovaries got bigger and I suddenly had some crazy burst of courage. Either way I decided to go for it.
Got to the top, took a breather and pushed off. Something I must confess is that I’m too chicken to stand all the way up when throwing a super fast long “standie”. So I drop my back knee and do it that way. When I’m closer to the ground the thought of falling isn’t as scary.
The first attempt wasn’t so bad. I ended up turning my slide into a 180 instead of a check but it’s all good. As tired as I was I kept going at it. Alicia, Brandon and I kept saying “One more!” Each time one of us sliding farther than the other. On our last attempt I went first and broke the record by an inch or two. Suddenly Alicia comes haulin down the hill and doesn’t quite make it. My heart was pounding with excitement thinking that I still had the chance of keeping the longest slide! Brandon Tissen immediately crushed my dreams. He beat me by a foot or more!
After sliding around for most of the day and jumping off stuff we finally gathered at the top of the hill and announced podiums.
Looking at the pictures you can see we had a proper and well placed podium to stand on. Very sturdy in case you were wondering.
Skate events are like weddings. There is a starting and ending time but everyone knows its gonna start late and you’re gonna get outta there a few hours past the time you thought! But all that time at the end is well spent giving high fives, hugs, and lots of lurking. I could spend days chatting it up but my stomach was not agreeing with me. I needed food!
The drive home I realized something. At the start of the day I was just being a big old sissy. Profound eh? On the real, I shouldn’t have been putting myself down for leaving. Instead I should have been completely and totally stoked that even though I wasn’t around to be apart of it, the community still grew and everyone still made it happen! That just goes to show that the universe will always have it’s way and work out the things that were meant to be. Well, the universe and Jacks Board House that is. Southern Oregon’s skate scene would not be where it is today without the help of Rita and Tom Allred. I myself would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for them and that amazing shop they run. If you happen to be in that area, look em up and give them a visit!
Check out this video my friend Andrew Jimenez filmed and put together!