coastal british columbia  

on the path to Mt Baldy.  
A 12 park roadtrip by Wee Ming Wong  


on the path to Mt Baldy - Page 1 | Page 2.
A 12 park roadtrip by Wee Ming Wong

In one the worst fall/winters in recent memory I was lucky enough to escape for 10 days to Southern California as Mother Nature was really pissed and pounded the crap outta the Pacific Northwest with storm after storm. If it's not hurricane force like winds, it's non stop rain, to the boil water advisory. Then of course we get power outages, floods and a shitload of snow in sub zero temperatures, with no end in sight! Stanley Park got clobbered with thousands of trees snapping like match sticks as I am sure with many other areas.... but I am positive that life will still go on.

In refuge for a little warm sunshine and long awaited sessions, I looked to socalskateparks.com for some guidance on skateparks in Southern California. With my GPS on hand, I packed the whole gang, family and all to help navigate through the maze of freeways and roadways throughout the LA region. Hoping to hit their top 20 skate parks I only managed half of them due to other activities (I want to kick Mickey's ass!) and underestimating the size of the area, travel time and the distance between the parks.

It's also with great honor and stoke that I achieved the goal of skating the legendary Mt. Baldy. YES, MOUNT BALDY!! Having hooked up with badlander and pipemaster Eric Salazar on ignitionsk8.com, I was able to accomplish that with ease. Seeing so many classic photos from the 70's till now and stickers that span 30 plus years, Mt. Baldy was without a doubt the highlight. I saw the wheel marks of Bob Burnquist trying to loop the pipe upside down at 12 o'clock and envisioned Steve Olson, Tom Inouye and Tay Hunt in classic pics.... but what was more thrilling was that I rode this legend and slapped a few stickers up myself! It would of been all worth while even if I didn't step foot on another skatepark, and the trek through the desert like terrain to see the graffiti stricken area which is so old school, it's just too cool and an outright blast to the past.

As for the skate parks, Uplands, the Vans Combi and Pier Park in Portland had the most challenging terrain while the others such as Etnies, Montclair and Volcom were fun, smooth and great to ride. With that said, this is just a drop in the bucket as there are hundreds of parks in the region as you can visit concretedisciples.com to see for yourself. Hoping to skate with some of California's best, I sessioned with grand master Lonny Hiramoto, power skater Jimmy and of course pipemaster Eric Salazar. Then we get Mark Conahan antigravitypress.com and his bros in Portland who were just as awesome and inspiring as these guys are so good, they kindly remind me how old I am.

I also took the opportunity to venture into Dogtown in Santa Monica to visit the old Zepher shop at Bay and Main St. According to the Z Boys documentary it's "Where it all began". Now called the Horizons West Surf Shop, nostalgia took control which cost me a few hundred bucks as I was like a kid in a candy store. It was a blast indeed, not only did I drifted back in time, the phrase "Back in the day" has been forgotten as I am living it right now and heading straight into the future.

In conclusion, it won't be long before I return as they have the climate and the facilities to skate year round so be sure check out socalskateparks.com if you're heading that way. While you are at the website, check out the wide selection of new and old school products they offer and download some of the many videos at socalskateparks.com/parks/video that they have. If that doesn't get you pumped and ready to rip you better go check your pulse!

Keep Skating!
Wee

The locals call this the mouse hole
The locals call this the mouse hole. It's a steep drop into the pipe and it's the only way out which was quite the challenge and a workout to say the least.
Every picture tells a story
Every picture tells a story..... see the smile on my face! The tiles KICK ASS!!

Pier Park in Portland was the first and last stop of our trip. The first visit was wet so we were just riding around in the full pipe getting the feel of it vowing to return on our way home. And luckily we did. Our return visit was sunny yet a bit cold but at least the locals were out shredding away. Mark Conahan antigravitypress.com and bros were shredding the big 11ft. bowl like it was a mini ramp. With Portland being about a 6 hour drive away, it won't be long before I return there for sure.

Jay Smay carving away the big bowl, bet he's loving the tiles
Jay Smay carving away the big bowl, bet he's loving the tiles
Mark Conahan doing a perfect invert
Mark Conahan doing a perfect invert while I was taking an imperfect shot. The glare from the sun was deadly.
Shawn Reinert of Rebel Skates doing some nice airs
Shawn Reinert of Rebel Skates doing some nice airs, this dude was also launching through the mouse hole!
Tyler looking into a wet bowl
Tyler looking into a wet bowl. The square bowl at the end of the 20ft. full pipe is a killer 11ft. bowl that is smooth and fast with real tiles and pool coping!

That's me, full pipe riders never gets denied by RAIN
That's me, full pipe riders never gets denied by RAIN
Jay of Rebel Skates ripping the full pipe
Jay of Rebel Skates ripping the full pipe
Mark effortlessly carving the pipe
Mark effortlessly carving the pipe

Volcom Skatepark, Costa Mesa CA

Merry Christmas! Skated here Christmas Day before sunset after managing to escape Disneyland for a few hours. Sessioned here for about 2 hours as I hadn't skated much lately till this point which gave the old legs a good workout. This is the first park I skated in the LA area which is smooth and fast and it sure felt like home where just a couple of guys skating bowl while the street hoppers are filling the street section. The kids don't know what they're missing, anyhow this is where I saw Jimmy rip it up, a local bowl killer that I also skated with at the Vans Combi Bowl. Visited here twice and the second time meeting Russ and Dan who convinced me that I should hit Etnies.

Volcom Skatepark, Costa Mesa CA
Volcom Skatepark, Costa Mesa CA.
Just a WEE little air on the last visit here
Just a WEE little air on the last visit here

Tyler, Christ air or bailing, whichever you would like to choose
Tyler, Christ air or bailing, whichever you would like to choose
Local kid shredding
Local kid shredding

That's me carving around
That's me carving around.
I think his name is Dan, carving around
I think his name is Dan, carving around
Unknown older local dude.
Unknown older local dude.
Here is Russ who twisted my arm and kicked my ass to the Etnies Park
Here is Russ who twisted my arm and kicked my ass to the Etnies Park

End of the road and beginning of the several kilometer hike
End of the road and beginning of the several kilometer hike
Eric leading the way with Tyler behind while I was busy clicking photos
Eric leading the way with Tyler behind while I was busy clicking photos

Squeezing through this chained gate and having our jackets torn was part of the process
Squeezing through this chained gate and having our jackets torn was part of the process
This graffiti stricken spot is too cool and so old school, it really slides you back in time
This graffiti stricken spot is too cool and so old school, it really slides you back in time!

The legendary Mt. Baldy pipeline is a dam outlet regarded as the holy grail of skateboarding. Long before the creation of skate videos and magazines, young dudes trekked to Baldy through the wash and the overflow tunnels, risking arrest, broken limbs and rattlesnake bites to ride the pipe. The pipeline is a 14-15ft. dark echoing pipe that runs about 200 feet deep in length that is slightly sloped with an opening that has big flat walls that lead to a spillway of smooth concrete that run for miles. It is the first full pipe ever skated and one of the longest continually skated spots in the world. This is also the birthplace of the Badlanders that still exist today, rivaling the Z boys of yesterday and consisting of legends such as Salba, his brother Malba, Charlie Ransom and Curt Kimbal.

Mt. Baldy was indeed the highlight of this trip as I am stoked to have this opportunity to skate it after seeing classic pictures that span over 30 years. With no fixed address, it was with the help of Badlander Eric Salazar that I was able to find the spot. Enjoy the photos and hype yourself to visit the Badlands on your next skate trip.

This is the concrete spillway leads for miles and miles from the mouth of the pipe
This is the concrete spillway leads for miles and miles from the mouth of the pipe. Badlanders would ride this for hours till wherever it leads.
Good thing this plank of wood was there
Good thing this plank of wood was there to walk across this gap. It's about 15ft. across and drops down about another 15ft. or so. I guess it directs water to different directions. However, I've seen videos of guys jumping and ollieing across
In the pipe and in AWE
In the pipe and in AWE!
Unbelievable, these stickers go back 30 years
Unbelievable, these stickers go back 30 years!

Just some desert like terrain we must cross
Just some of the desert like terrain we must cross to reach our destiny. Apparently there are rattle snakes in the summer. Nice!
Eric busy sweeping up while we are absorbing and facing reality. We made it
Eric busy sweeping up while we are absorbing and facing reality. We made it!!
Pipe master Eric showing the line
Pipe master Eric showing the line
Tyler's turn finding the line
Tyler's turn finding the line

From about 50ft. in
From about 50ft. in.
From deep inside
From deep inside, this is near the end and you just ride it out from wall to wall. From time to time there are doors that open at this end and the whole pipe is lit.
My deck fell into this pit that Eric climbed down for My deck fell into this pit that Eric climbed down for. Luckily there was a rope there to help pull him out. Prior to this run, I chased my board for about 20ft. with a kicking knee slide to prevent it from falling in. It was too funny as I could not remember how fast I could run. Apparently this pit as been full of garbage and other crap over the years which the US Army had to clean out.

Just a way of life here as Eric finds unfinished paint cans and puts them to good use
Just a way of life here as Eric finds unfinished paint cans and puts them to good use.
I will not be denied, it's my turn slapping up a sticker
I will not be denied, it's my turn slapping up a sticker!
Tyler takes a slam
Tyler takes a slam
Gotta get a couple of stickers up there to claim a piece history
Gotta get a couple of stickers up there to claim a piece history

on the path to Mt Baldy - Page 1 | Page 2

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