Decks, Dreams and Tony Hawk #THTH

Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009…early am.

Woke up and saw the snow on the ground with regret for the first time in so many years.   The dream of summer loves came to a crashing halt as I fingered open the blinds to find the leaves fallen and covered with a wet white reminder that all things summer must end, at least for now.   Like time and tide the seasons collide and our dreams slip into the forgotten forever and find us here.   It all ended too suddenly but not at all, just like the summer of ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’; 1986 I think it was,   Sting went solo and the Hip went big…what a summer.   Working my uncle’s boat dock knowing I should get rigging and get out on Lake Windermere while the wind was up (and windsurfing and neon were still cool) instead of hanging with my high school buddies and the weekend girls at Terra Vista.   Sometimes we’re just too busy living to live the dream, you know?  Another mountain town and another decade or two pass by and here I am wondering where it all went again but the wheels, the water and the waves will have to wait once again while the scramble to get my mountain pass was fueled by rumors of an early opening.   Taunted into winter by images of chair lifts with 6 feet of snow piled high, a two day storm with no end in sight and still no sign of WB budging on the opening date, I make the sudden shift to winter with mother nature as my guide but less than reluctantly find myself drifting back to those unrequited summer dreams.

Whistler Skate Winter

Our beautiful sun filled summer turned fall so slowly I wished secretly it would never end.   I know you’re not supposed to say that here…oops, sorry, but I did.   Hanging with my beautiful wife and the kids at Meadow Park, rolling the stroller again with our baby girl, scrounging enough parts and good will to help my five year old son build his first deck (thank you and good karma for the hand me down bearings and wheels from the Westbeach dudes and whoever left a perfectly good old deck at the Re-use-it shop in Function that we sanded down and painted ‘army’ as Jack would say), and waking up at 5:00am or worse for nearly a month to watch Lance Armstrong on Twitter and the Tour live online…it all took me back to the dream.   All of that, and a pretty violent mid July MTN bike crash that did enough damage to keep my broken fingers and ribs off the bike and get my Vans rolling the long board to the bus, to the village, to work following the dream of the concrete wave, which is about as close to the nearest surf as you can get in this mountain town (if you haven’t noticed it’s 7-8 hours down a few highways and a ferry ride away to the nearest break in Tofino and the CWC…and what is up with our never ending fascination to name the best surfer, no, that’s another story).   Meanwhile, I drift back to summer…maybe the snow would hold off until I really nailed a solid carve on the Pocket Rocket or the Arbor Slater on my way to work or maybe I would just get one more early morning bomb run in down the fresh asphalt of the Olympic parking wave or maybe, just maybe, I would swallow hard enough to finish that drop into the old bowl like Trevor Peterson did in ‘Burning Winter’ (re. RAP Films) before he left us all too soon…RIP buddy.  

Whistler Skate Art

Maybe it was that image of Trevor, or turning 40, having a second baby, or loosing Shane McConkey, I don’t know, but life somehow seemed shorter when I saw that snow fall this week knowing I hadn’t quite made it this summer.   It started in the third grade…blue Plexi see-through deck with big blue Cadillac wheels, you know the one…I tried to snap it so many times eventually I did…then the dog town articles soon after, skate boarding seemed so dark back then sitting on my small town steps that I didn’t know what I was getting into, and then, eventually, the move to the west coast and Whistler where I picked it up again at 39 after watching ‘Lords of Dog Town’ (one time too many my wife might say).   Even if you don’t skate, and you who you are, you know you want to.  Well, what are you waiting for?

Arbor Slater

I count 13 winters since the guy at Peaks Coffee asked me if I saw the snow on Wedge that morning.   It was the first time since childhood…1997 and 15 years had passed since I’d seen Whistler.   I woke up that morning with a chill in my sleeping bag in the driver’s seat of that rusty ’89 Blazer Warren took off my hands at 255,000km.   5:00am, somewhere on top of the Duffy, and the driver’s seat was the only corner left to sleep in not packed with gear.   I pulled up in the day lot by 6:00am after a quick stop at Green Lake and made my way to find a phonebook trying to be so cool after I locked my keys in the truck in the excitement of it all.  Fall was here and the rain lasted for 3 months while I found a home and skied and snowboarded nearly every day…at least for the first 8 years until I began the occasional drift south.   First it’s a bike, or two, then the park, then maybe a surf lesson with Raph, then the years pile on and maybe a paddle around the lake with your boy and his first fishing rod, his first skate board and wham! The next thing I know, it has all come full circle and I am hosting the #THTH (Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt).   After all, if Tony Hawk is still hitting the 900 (usually landing) and racking up 1.8 million followers on Twitter there is hope for us all.  

Rewind to a month ago this week…Thanksgiving in Canada and after a blind head first launch of the @streettopeak shop into Twitter mania mid Tour De France I somehow found myself hosting the world wide Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt in Whistler.   If you don’t know what that is…well, it might be too late.   Kidding! Basically he sends out cool gear from his sponsors and in our case a signed deck in the mix and volunteers hide it for a massive Twitter scavenger hunt.   Just Twitter, no strings, no wavers, no ‘must be the legal age…blah, blah, blah’, just good fun.   That said…stashing a box of goodies for one diehard fan to track down seemed a little too easy so I hid his gear and clues all over town with the help of a bunch of unsuspecting local volunteers (all wondering if Tony Hawk was going to walk in at any moment).   The turnout was fantastic, the hunt was hilarious from the Whistler Skate Park to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, everyone was a winner and the ender was a four person food race for the final clue which led back to my shop window where the signed deck was stashed poking out of a display pack in the window the whole time. How much fun was that?! Which brings us back to the dream…  

THTH Winners

The greatest part of the THTH was the people, the mix, a clear cut cross section of Whistler life…a mom and dad out skating with their kids at the Whistler Skate Park, a diehard aging (sorry dude had to say it!) Tony Hawk fan and deck collector with his Mrs. in tow (who we all later learned is/was then maybe? pregnant with their first – what a story for that kid), one of their buddies en route to a golf game, another mom and her son, and Jack and his wife and four kids in the car who only picked up on the hunt in the last round of giveaways.   How much fun was that Whistler?   How cool is life?   At whatever age, or place, or stage…we all want the fun to last just a little longer, one day at a time.    Thanks for adding one more day Tony.

Goodbye summer…sadly…the bikes are packed away, the skateboards are under the coffee table (no riding in the house is in full effect), the wetsuit and surf board orders are on hold, the summer collections for the shop in 2010 are picked and filed, the sandals have made way for snow boots, the puffy jackets are on, the family pass is ready to pick up, the Olympics are less than 100 days away and I still haven’t dropped into that bowl.   The dream of summer and the Blue Turtles has ended…again…until next year.

Skate Park Fall


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