I was stoked to spend a few extra days in Portland, Oregon. It is a skateboarders paradise, I could have spent a month here and rolled a different park each day. This is largely to do with Dreamland Skateparks and their passionate approach to terrain. The owners roots are firmly planted in the building of Burnside, the most famous DIY skatepark in the world. Dreamland have built parks all through the state. They do it by sleeping on site and so forth, putting almost all the funds for the project into the park itself. The terrain is gnarly, fast and flowy. Eugene has shown how far this crew have come, with it being arguably the best park in Oregon. The street sections are on point now too.
Portland itself is rad, arty little cafe’s, bars and restaurants everywhere. It is like Fitzroy or Newtown in the 90’s, everyone embracing the fair trade tofu vibe. It’s apparent when driving. There will be four cars at a crossroad all stationary as they are too polite and passive to venture forth. I’m not exaggerating!
However it is not all man cardigans and crafternoons. Every summer there is a rising homeless rate. According to the numbers, almost a third of people on the streets have only been in Portland for two years or less and 60 percent of that group was homeless when they came to Portland. There is evidence that some cities are providing their homeless with one-way bus tickets to Portland. You can set up a tent in the main park of town or anywhere and not be moved on, it is more likely you will be given a smoothie and a blanket.
Ice is massive, sketched out tweakers are everywhere and they hussle aggressively. Behind Burnside I saw a group of fifteen or so twenty somethings that sleep there in a massive brawl. It was gnarly. I would hit up Burnside early to avoid the crowds and get a feel for the joint. Humbling is an understatement.
There is going to be a multi level carpark built next door. The locals have negotiated a flat concrete wall opposite this bit that they can crete up to.
These are the flowy bits you don’t see, that you get spat out into and have to deal with
I had to take a big long line into these to get the speed, it’s rough and haggard in parts. Photo by Jo. This is me ticking off my bucket list
Our former Melbourne based mates that we caught up with in LA put us in touch with Vicky, who was our awesome guide. We had a great time and checked out some cool art shows and bars. I hope she comes and visits us so we can return the hospitality. Nabbing Jo’s insta photos
She took us out to Astoria to show Jo the Goonies house. Stoke levels were high
There were smelly seals there. Jo photo
And rad micro breweries. I think Portland hipsters invented the jar glass resurgence.
The neighbourhoods are largely like this
No issue closing off the main street for ping pong
We hit the road and went to Hood River for some foresty sight seeing and a roll together. Found a rad little cafe for breakfast
These photos are about 20% of the whole joint. So fun
This thing was a beast! You had to hit both shallow pockets to get the speed for the pit
Rolling in. Both these photos by Jo
Got drunk, bowled badly
I met Charlie, he was out of action due to injury. He BBQ’d up a feast for us and is welcome to come stay in Melbourne anytime. Coincidently, the day before this my mate Sean hit up one of the skate nerd forums I lurk asking around to try and get his first board for the wall. He had only one, but flowed the deck on the right for Sean. What a champ, I think he was quite chuffed about the request.
Food trucks are everywhere
Got me some limited editions!
Bingen is super fun. So well planned, you can hit every obstacle and the bowl without one push. Rad jerseys and little hits on the bowl platform with well placed noping.
3ft transition to vert with chunky pool coping=heaven
Jo got some good speed happening, fangin’ it
Thanks Portland, keep being weird