By TC Kirkham
Sorry I’ve been away longer than I planned on…so much going on in the Xone that I can’t keep up with all of it…
It was 11 months ago this weekend that a dream came true for me.
I’ve been a HUGE fan of skateboarding – and many other action sports – since I was in Junior high. It was at that time that the sport was being reinvented by a team of guys from the Venice, California area known as Dogtown. Led by Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva, and Jay Adams, these guys REVOLUTIONIZED skateboarding. And I was in on the ground floor.
Well, ok, as a SPECTATOR…my mother would never let me get a skateboard…which was probably a good thing, given what a klutz I could be from time to time.
I stayed a fan over the years, and stuck with it during the up and down times. I’ve been there watching most of past 35 years…(GULP!)
So anyway, back to the summer of 2009. It really WAS a dream come true to me, because in all my years as a rabid skateboard fan, I had never been to a live contest or exhibition. I either didn’t have the time off work, or I couldn’t get to where they were happening. I came close to getting to one of the Gravity Games held in Providence, but ultimately something happened and we couldn’t go.
Last year, when Alli Sports announced that the Dew Tour would be coming to Boston, I was OVER THE MOON. I had my tickets the day they went on sale, and waited the nearly three months before the day came. I was disappointed that it was skate only – I wanted to see the BMX guys too – but I was more than willing to take what I could get…
My wife and I had fun on Friday, watching the preliminary skate street comp, but ultimately it was Saturday that really made my day. For Saturday meant one thing…ACTION ZONE!
We had Action Zone passes, and the tour started promptly at noon, I believe, and we were there in plenty of time. As the guide took us up to the top of the TD Garden floors and as we walked down the corridor about halfway around the building, I could feel it building up inside of me. There was this incredible feeling of finally having something really special happen. And as the tour guide opened the curtain in front of one of the staircases, and we started filing through, I thought I was going to explode…and I could feel the emotion building inside of me. And as I passed through the curtained entrance and the vert halfpipe came into view right below us, with Bucky Lasek, Bob Burnquist, Rob Lorifice, and several other vert skate superstars taking practice runs, my wife took my hand and asked me “Are you all right?” I had stopped dead in my tracks, and others behind us worked their way around us. I had this huge smile on my face, one of great satisfaction and elation. And I nodded to my wife, and moved on, because I knew if I said something, I would have burst into tears…I’m an emotional guy, so sue me…
The next hour was a blur as we were treated to a meet and greet session as the pros practiced, and Kim and I got to briefly meet and get autographs from some of the coolest athletes on the planet – Chris Cole, Rob Lorifice, Fabrizio Santos, and about a dozen others who came through as the practice and qualifiers went on.
We had great seats for everything, and I don’t think I’ve ever spent a day in my life where the vibe never left me…I was so happy all damn day that I don’t think the smile ever left my face. Between the sessions, we hit the Village, played some video games, had a free lunch from Wendy’s, and picked up some swag. The only down part of the Village was that it was 90+ degrees that day, and way too hot to stay out for very long.
Watching Ryan Sheckler take the skate street title was a blast, but as much as I love street, I live for the vert, and both sessions – mens and ladies – were AWESOME! The only down side to the whole weekend was the absence of Shaun White, who took the season off to prep for the Winter Olympics, but I barely noticed he was missing as the day went along.
When the day came to an end with Bucky Lasek on top of the Vert finals, I was elated – Bucky is such a cool guy, and getting to see him and say “hi” to him briefly was just so cool.
So now I sit here, impatiently counting down to this coming weekend’s stop in Boston again. This year, I’m on my own, as my wife has a previous commitment, but I promise it won’t stop me from having a blast. And since I’m blogging for the Alli Sports Expression Session, I’m gonna be posting my reactions on the weekend, and I’ll also be Twittering from the Boston stop on Friday and Saturday on my twitter, @popcornnroses – I hope you’ll come check it out. And there might be more…I don’t know for sure yet…
And if you see me – my pic should be up sometime this week in the bio area – don’t hesitate to say hi and let me know you read my blog!
See you next weekend with my impressions of this year’s tour stop! And in the meantime, here’s a slideshow from last year…hope you enjoy it!
TC Kirkham is proud to be the oldest Expression Session blogger. He’s a lifelong fan of extreme sports and idolized the original Dogtown crew as a teenager. When not blogging about action sports, he’s blogging about movies, music, and more on his website, Popcorn N Roses.