ON THE ROAD WITH ADAM HOPKINS

Date: November 9, 2018 Author: Jeff Thorburn Categories: features
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We sat down with Adam Hopkins to discuss his trip down the west coast, specifically touching on the photos that came of it. Kanights photo

^ I was in Seattle and everybody I knew had left town. I went to a bar and just had a single beer, and kind of had a funny experience with someone that I had met. I just was like, "I'm over this town." I left Seattle about 11 p.m. and I got to Portland around 1:30 a.m. I parked at Burnside and passed out. I woke up in the morning to Kevin Kowalski and Cody Lockwood skating. Then we met up with Bryce Kanights, who shot this Boneless. This whole section in the photo is completely new from my understanding; to the right in the photo is a huge condo building that got built recently. So the whole punk rock parking lot that used to be there, where everyone would hang out and drink and just lurk, is gone, and they have a huge building filled with expensive condos right next to the most well-known DIY skatepark. In the background, there's kind of that half-bowl thing that used to be part of a speed line into the parking lot to some outside obstacles, but when they put the building in they cut everything out, so that pocket remained useless for a long time. Cody kind of designed the whole new section, and it's really fucking gnarly—it's fun, and it's smooth. You can't tell in the photo, but I'm going over a big hole and that vortex leads into another very similar setup to what's behind me there, another sort of like half-pipe bowl, but it's really gnarly. Kanights photo

Kanights photo

^ This was kind of crazy because I had been through Leon, Mexico, on the way heading south, skated spots and hung out. I remember mentioning a vert ramp and looking for transition stuff, and Renol, the photographer, didn't even think about this place. Then, on the way back, I was hanging out with this local skater named Caesar, and he's like, "Oh, I'm going to take you to this skatepark." We show up, and it looked like an X Games '95 course: all painted metal ramps with crazy transition, all kinds of transfers and launch boxes, and a foam pit. The foam pit was just a launcher into a huge box and it was filled with recycled shoe manufacturing materials that they just got from the factory. There were pieces of insoles, suede, and rubber. So it wasn’t that soft. Locals call it the "Scorpion Pit.” Then there was a steel vert ramp around 11-feet tall. It was pretty much perfect, just slippery. No one skates it, obviously, they just have these crazy metal ramps. I don't know where they got them from, concrete ground and lights and everything. It's a pretty monstrous skatepark. That park was insane; it was a nice treat. I wasn't expecting to find a vert ramp there, of all places. Renol photo

^ This is a Grindline skatepark in Westland, Oregon. Rest in peace, Mark Hubbard. The pool coping was really gnarly for years, and about a year ago they replaced a bunch of block, fixed all the coping, so the park's been seeing a lot of new life. I had that three-quarter sleeve shirt in my van, and I just saw the over vert cradle, and I wanted to Back Smith it. It just reminded me, especially the way this photo turned out, of like an early-2000s kind of like Pacific Northwest photo that you would see. With the wood fence in the background, it just looks like it could be your neighbour's house or it could be in a backyard, but it's a public park. Kanights photo

^ This is at 5th Floor in Tacoma, Washington. This guy Ryan that runs it, he's got a vert ramp, a mini-mega ramp and the craziest mini-ramp just in this warehouse space. I felt like I was in the Foot Clan lair in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This ramp was amazing. This Japan was shot on the last day of my trip. I spent a few days in Seattle at the end of my trip, we went to 5th Floor ramps, and then after this we went to Milton Park, and then that was it. I drove across the border and came home. Ballard photo

^ The bottom of this pool in Leon was just filled with the gnarliest water I've ever encountered in a pool. I think anyone who ever skates a pool, you get lucky sometimes and then eventually you're going to encounter a pool that you don't even want to touch, and this was kind of one of them. While cleaning it out, we lifted up a rock and there was a scorpion. Then we found a cat skull. Then there was a cow femur that we pulled out of the water, and the water stunk. I had my T-shirt tied around my mouth and my face, and we had these buckets and we didn't have gloves, so we were just taking buckets and just digging out sludge, picking up big blocks of concrete and throwing them over the edge. Then I went to the store and I got one of those big plastic jugs of water, and I brought that back just so we could clean up. The transitions were really good, but the coping stuck out around four inches, so you had to Ollie into anything, but it had some vert so I could pull out a Frontside Air and go around the corner. It was the only pool in Mexico that I had the chance of skating, and it fucking ruled. This pool is now done though; it got turned into a water reservoir underneath a mall that got built over it. Renol photo

Kanights photo