Munson and Wilson Mess with the US!
Firstly if you ever go on a trip like this remember not to get so fucked up the night before you fly you leave someone like Carl in charge!
Carl has trouble working out how to wipe his arse and unbelievably even though we got to the airport 2 hours before the flight, we still managed to miss it!! At least I had the excuse of being super hung over and I didn’t really know where I was? Anyway we were fucked, the plane was sitting in front of us when we got to the desk but we were duly informed our luggage was not and we had no chance of getting another flight or any money back!! A good start to any trip? We looked at each other and I said “I don’t give a fuck how much it costs I am going to Oregon!“. Carl agreed and I got straight on the blower and got us on a flight to Vancouver! We didn’t miss that one and finally we were on our way even though we were 600 quid lighter each! But fuck it! It all adds to the story!
We flew into Seattle and chilled for a couple of days to get over the journey, until we were ready to skate! We checked out the sights of Seattle and managed to find a gay bar and got called beautiful! But our new friends were a bit keen so we got out of there pretty sharp!! The next day we took the short ferry ride to Orcas Island. The scenery was amazing and by the time we got to the park we knew that the 1200 quid on the extra flights was worth it! The park is amazing it has a fun snake run type thing running all around the place which goes from small flat banks to over vert berms! In the middle of the snake is a beast of a bowl complex. Hips galore a vert wall with a love seat, tombstones and the biggest death box in the world to grind over! It goes from 5ft to about 12 ft and is perfectly smooth with concrete coping all-round!
The place is endless fun, the island itself is a great setting its absolutely beautiful, super chilled. We hit the jackpot and managed to rent a condo at smugglers resort an amazing place right on the beach. The place is surrounded by wildlife we saw, sea otter’s, dolphins, seal’s and even vultures during our stay! Mike the guy who runs the Smugglers resort was super cool and couldn’t help out enough, we borrowed his boat to check out the other islands in the area and had a great time there! What a perfect start to the trip!
After 4 days on Orcas We came back to the mainland and hit a small park at Bonney lake (WA), this one was on a much smaller scale and had a street feel, plenty of fun things to do there but nothing in comparison to the masterpiece we had just skated! Still if that park was in the UK you would drive hours to skate it! We moved on later that night to another of Grindlines parks Milton. Another small park, but this one was super fast and really well laid out, from 5 ft to vert it has linked bowls, an over vert clamshell, a doorway to get over and a small street area with blocks, rails and banks. For a small park this one is a lot of fun. Milton has some sick lines and most of the bigger bowls go to vert so airs and inverts are possible everywhere and the concrete coping grinds super good!
Next our plan was to head out to the Oregon coast and travel south hitting as many parks in the process as possible. We headed over the bridge in to Oregon and went over to
Astoria in the North of Oregon, the place is a small seaside town, which is home to a huge seal population, which live at the main dock’s area, although you will probably hear them from wherever you are in the town! The park itself is pretty good, quite basic compared to many of the newer parks, its basically one bowl going from 5 ft to about 13ft with hips an over vert corner and some weird pump bump tombstones. It also has a square corner in the vert end of the bowl, which is fun. It’s pretty easy to get on with and fun for a few hours.
It’s really easy to overlook just how good these parks are as you are so spoilt being in Oregon as you know there is probably another amazing park within half an hours drive!
There are loads of parks all down the coast and some days we would hit 3 others we would get to and know we wanted to stay for a couple of days! Its perfect. After Astoria we headed further south to Lincoln City, there are two parks here, both are really good. The top park is the older of the 2 and is one of dreamlands 1st parks, there are loads of lines and has been described as “Marseille on steroids“. Most of the park is less than 5ft although the transitions are pretty tight. It also has a cinderblock wall in the deep end, which has a good few feet of vert. Once you get used to the lines it just gets better and better. Realistically you could spend days there and never get bored!
The new park there is below and undercover; it has a cradle and is mostly around 6ft, with a vert extension and a small street area to one side. It’s perfectly smooth and fast as hell, I preferred the top park for the lines but to have both there is a real bonus!
Newport was next and this one was super fun, really well laid out and small but a great one for cruising. Carl took a best of a slam on the vert wall and was all over the place for a while and that sort of stopped him doing anything but cruising for a few days! All of Newport Park is around 5 ft and pretty mellow, apart from the cinderblock wall which is a bit lumpy and about 8 or 9ft but pretty fun and the locals were really cool!
While we were there we heard about a brand new park at Toledo only 7 miles away and decided to check it out. The place was only a month old and super smooth with some fun lines and quirky obstacles, its well worth a visit! Then on to another tiny town called “Waldport” this is home to I think the worlds only Parrabalar over vert bowl, it’s a crazy contraption, a bit like a cradle, but where it should keep going over vert it turns into an upside down curved flat bank!If it sounds strange, it’s even weirder to ride it! It felt like a wall of death while you were carving the thing, you felt pinned to the wall! Mental! I got spat off the back the first time over; it felt like you were fully pinned to the wall!
Another Park that is new is Florence again less than 30 miles down the coast; this one is off the hook! Built by Airspeed the finish is not quite as good as the Dreamland and Grindline parks, but this one is worth a visit just to try and imagine what was going through their minds when the built this beast! It has everything from curved 8 stair rails down stairs, hubba’s over vert bowls, a 13 ft deep bowl with a full pipe type thing you can carve over! Hips and transfers all over the place, this place has to be seen to be believed!! We were still both a bit hurt when we got there and decided to cruise but I cant wait to go back there as its eating away at me still now. The place had some crazy lines!
Next stop was another of the Airspeed parks “Reedsport“. This place is home to a decreasing full pipe, that Mark “Red” Scott did the 1st skatepark loop in. Since Red dropped the bomb, plenty of other heads have looped the beast but it is still unbelievable it ever got done at all! The thing is gnarly. Along with the vert bowl including the full pipe there is a smaller bowl with a 4 way pyramid in the centre and a few hips, the transitions are a bit all over the place but it gets better the more you skate the thing, there are also a couple of wallie poles and weird and wonderful streety obstacles around the outside. One of the best things is a wallie pole right next to a 10ft deep pool section! When you wallie you can see into the bottom of the bowl!! It’s a pretty fun park overall!
We took a fleeting visit to one of the older parks in the area at “Port Orford” this is a really basic but functional design with a cradle in the deep end, which hips on to a square 6 ft or so shallow end! If you a fan of vert and want a good cruiser this one should be on you list!
Finally we reached the south of Oregon and paid a visit to “Brookings” where you can transfer over the whole bowl in the middle of the park! This thing is loads scarier than it looks, but think Danny way and anything is possible! Once you jump the gap once you know you can clear it, but the speed when you land is also pretty hairy! It got done though and we moved inland! We then headed down through the Redwood forest, which was awesome in a truly un American sense!
After making our way north through the redwoods we hit Grants Pass, another small town with an amazing park, this one has something for everyone, from banks to vert and back again its super fun and you could stay there days and not get bored, the town itself was cool and really chilled we managed to get pissed with the whole town it seemed as the next day nursing hangovers we bumped into everyone we met in the club the night before! Even a 71 yr old guy called Jim who was fresh back on the dating scene after his wife died!! Go on Son!!
Just down the road is another huge Park at Medford, this one is really good it has a vert combi bowl, a huge street course type set up with loads of lines even a Burnside pillar, loads of transfer lines and no pushing at all! Although we hit the place on a weekend so it was full of Kids, one thing to note is that if you visit the NW is to avoid the parks in the bigger towns at the weekends, as it gets hectic sometimes!Next stop was Ashland another really small but fun park although the main bowl here has been killed by the local Bmxer’s the park is still worth a visit if you are passing through., their was crazy jailbait there and I got chatted up by a nice Milf and had to do some hand plants for her kids!
Next to Klamath Falls home to one of the largest parks in Oregon, this place is major, it has everything and is perfectly smooth, a mixture of concrete and metal coping and from flat banks to 13ft deep vert bowls, you can cruise here or get as gnarly as you want and it all fun, while we were there it was super hot, so the sessions were later in the evening. Plus while you are in Klamath you can stay at the rivers inn motel, one of the only motels in the states that actually let you skate their pool!! Its pretty gnarly though, at about 9ft deep in the deep end and with about 4ft of vert the thing is no joke! But how many times do you get to skate a pool coming from the UK?!
After that we headed north again up to Portland, home of so many good skateparks and skaters it’s not funny. We hit Donald, which is rad as hell. Donald itself is a tiny town with only 750 inhabitants! How the hell they got a skatepark with a pool I don’t know? But they did and its really good although the coping needs a bit of work, it also has a mini ramp with a pump bump in the flat which is pretty good fun! I would love to have Donald in my garden! Just to carve over the stairs every morning!
The next day we visited Newberg, what a park! This place is huge it is so much fun its hard to describe. You can cruise here all day, it goes from 2ft to 13ft and has everything you could ever want in a park, the lines are endless and you can cruise or get as gnarly as you want! We met up with Local ripper Ben Krahn and Ultimate Phil at the park and they hooked us up! We stayed with Phil and skated Burnside the next day with them, I loved Burnside, and the place is loads smaller that it looks in the videos but super fun.
The whole attitude there is rad, it’s a real proving ground there are so many lines in the place and its cool that everything in there is all over the place. I think if I lived in Portalnd even with all the other parks I would still skate Burnside more than any other purely because a session goes off there all the time!! Burnside is everything its cracked up to be.
After Burnside we went down to West Linn only 20 min’s away this place is really good too! It has a street course round the outside of the main bowls and you can cruise all day. Then the main bowls go from 5ft to about 11ft and all of it has concrete coping, there is also an over vert clam shell a few good hips and some serious speed lines too. After West Linn we hit the city, Portland is home to more strip clubs than any other in the US so obviously we had to check some of them out for research purposes alone!
We got Carl a private dance, which was funny!He said he didn’t look but he was so close to the money he could have smelt it! The strip clubs in Portland are perfect Free to get in, they serve good cheap food and you drop $1 and girls take their clothes off and shake their arses in your face! Result!
In 2 days and we only saw a fraction of what Portland has to offer, Its probably a good idea to hit Portland on the way back as other wise you will never leave!! I can see why there are so many good skaters living there, its incredible!
Overall the trip was amazing, not only for the skating but the whole deal in the NW is really relaxed, everyone we met was super friendly and helpful, the scenery is out of this world and with the £ being so strong everything seems pretty cheap Really we didn’t have to much of an idea what to expect, but it worked out really well! For sure the best parks I have ever skated and our skating has got better because of going there! I just can’t wait to get back over there!!
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