NW Leg – NW Oregon : First Steps
17 parks, 179 slams, 300 hammers, 260 beers, 78 candy bars (Sky is not 21) and no skates broken. Lib Tech Exo-Skeletech carbon composite skateboards. LIGHTER STRONGER MORE POP.
Story by Ryan Davis, Photos by Tim Zimmerman
The Lib Tech NW Leg stop 1 started with penciled in times and locations and a cast that spanned over 3 decades.
We had our average man crew with the likes of well known lens man Tim Zimmerman, myself (NW Rep Ryan Davis), Tim Lawler (NW sub rep) and BRad Miller (Mgr of Revolution in Wenatchee and the hype man). In contrast, two up and comer NW skate ninja’s, Chad Fenlon, Mikey Swearingen and filmer Taylor came out ready for fresh scabs and an opportunity to travel the meca of skate parks in Oregon with the Lib crew and a few well traveled pros; Rion Linderman and Sky Siljeg. Sky ad Rion brought a polished bowl game and fed well off of the stoke the younger skaters had the whole trip. To round things out, snowboarder pipe specialist Kent Callister and NAS Master Lucas Wachs from Bend OR converged in Portland to embark on a trip that from start to finish was pure skating, comedy and created bonds for life… sounds a bit heavy on the nostalgia, but you can’t plan a highlight reel like the one that is burned in all our brains.
Starting off at Portland’s Pier Park, we pulled out fresh skates, grip and skate tools to put these hand crafted Lib skates to the test. Most of us had met over the years in passing, but no one really had spent much time together. So packing 11 dudes in 3 cars, all farting, nose toking and eating hot dogs is a perfect way to love or hate one another by the end of a trip.
Pier Park showed the talents of riding deep bowls and pool coping with Linderman working out McTwists, handplants and stylish carves. Sky was right at home airing the key hole and smith grinding like 8 bricks of coping without much effort. Chad made his first impression by skating in slip-on Vans and doing huge Madonna’s in the deep end. We followed the sesh up with a swim at a nearby park getting a well needed cool down before heading to Glenn Haven.
Glenn Haven was packed with High-school kids bb-qing and skating. Glenn Haven is one of Chad’s 2nd homes and it was evident in the slaying of the pool and highest air I’ve ever seen on an 8ft wall. Mikey and Chad fed off each other and really lit the place up. It was cool to see everyone getting along and pushing each other further and further. We had our first average man session as things winded down. Glenn Haven has a nice bowl that we carved up and a street section with brick banks.
Day one was wrapping up and it was off to Tim Lawler’s Portland hipster pad, complete with lawn camping a fire pit and his girlfriend conveniently working on her yoga routine as the boys showed up. Eat, story telling and off to sleep…
Wakeup call was semi early and the average man crew headed to visit Cal Skateshop in PDX and I needed a haircut… We skated downtown PDX, hooking some bumper rides and getting some pads and such for the rest of the trip.
Next up was Tigard in S. Portland. Chad lives right down the street from Tigard and it was where he really pulled out his trick bag. Mikey lit up the place with a Dino handplant and huge f/s airs. Sky was doing tail taps on the Dino and working every corner of the place. Rion put together a nice air to nose blunt… super tech and smooth. We also met Kyle Ward, twelve years young and ripping. Pretty cool to pass Kyle a Lib deck, watch him grip it up and stomp everything.
The kids were getting hungry for food and we stopped at Burger Master before setting our sites on Lincoln City. Lincoln City is a skaters paradise! Bowls, clams, pool coping, launch ramps, transfers, hips… Everyone shined here, and BRad advanced to “above average man”. Sky showed that he is one of the best bowl skaters around, Rion made every move look easy and the young bucks Kent and Lucas were showing they are much more than snow shredders. Mikey unleashed 3 days of built up baby batter by skate humping every inch of Lincoln City. We skated all day and then were off to camp where the value of BRad came into play. BRad is a story teller, a stand up comedian and a hype man that backs up his shit talking with experience. He’s a legend and a pleasure to have on any trip. Kind of a camp counselor meets skate rat meets talkshow host… uncensored and straight from his heart. As the campfire burned out, our stomach muscles hurt from laughing and we all wondered how the trip could possibly get any better. Morning would prove we were in for better times and stories we would all tell our kids by a fire some day.
Lincoln City was so good that we had to go back in the morning to get a few shots and thank the locals for opening their doors to some out of towner’s.
Barreling down the 101 south, Waldport is the next stop and where the mayhem starts to take shape. Everyone is feeling pretty comfortable with each other, nails have been hammered down and Waldport is a good spot to kick back and meet the locals. We pull up and this ginger blond kid is rocking a skate w/ serious razor tail, an Under Armor tee, MMA trunks and just the right attitude to hit it off with BRad and was deemed “Muscle Milk”, a nickname given to him by BRad that he wore proudly. Muscle Milk spent the day taking verbal jabs and giving them back, offering up his sisters to the crew and ripping local lines in hopes to update his ride with a new lib deck.
Mikey was the first to grind the clam, Lucas got high mark on a Freedom Dolly cruiser, Taylor got a haircut, Chad got a kiss, BRad found his lost son and the mood was set as we parted ways, handing MM a fresh skate and we were off to Florence.
We get to Florence where the wind blows strong and Sky shows us that he can tear apart any park at will. He one foots the bridge… BRad steps up to full shred status working b/s grinds on the bank to vert wall. Mikey shows us that you’re only a kook if you let people think you are. He rips a razor scooter harder than anyone there and backs that up with a few laps on a locs BMX bike. Mikey grew up at a skatepark and it shows. Lucas and Kent start upping their own limits and rip the bridge and the kicker section. Tim and I still remain very average. Rion stays pretty mellow, with bangers at every spot, but he didn’t really unload. What we didn’t know was that Rion was preparing his mental game for a full loop at Reedsport. When Rion was 15, he became the youngest to complete the loop. He went back years later and tried again, but that time, he fell hard and broke his leg.
Pulling into Reedsport, it looks like a subdued logging town, not the place you might find a world class skatepark. We did find some dicey locals, a man slapping his big belly on a bench and some fine ladies who showed us their utters and some fresh cold sores at the pizza parlor. The skating was quite a contrast to the surroundings. Rion padded up and went for it. On try 5, the Reedsport loop was in the books and Linderman was glowing with stoke. He then ripped the park a new one and with the hammer laid, Sky padded up and went for his first loop attempt. Sky hit it f/s and with a few sketchy moments on try 7(ish), Sky looped Reedsport. The energy from the crew grew to all-time. Rad shit has been going down the whole time and then Reedsport got looped twice. Time to hit the camp ground, find a proper stump for “NAIL” game, get some beers for the men and some Odoul’s for the kids and set-up camp. That night was kind of the last night to let loose. We laughed so hard!!! BRad was epic, Kent finally put on his helmet, Sky missed the nail on purpose, Lawler foraged the beer, Chad is a better skater than a NAIL player, Mikey was missing his girl like a teen aged gorilla, Rion was just stoked, Zimmerman took a N/T and I was happy to be a part of such a cool trip and call it “work”.
Off to Eugene to visit Tactics (great NW retailer and huge Mervin supporter). The sun was blazing hot, we were all pretty tired, but shredded with the locals. Sky aired the hotdog hump, Chad Madanna’d everything in sight, BRad slammed with a huge smile minus 1 tooth, Mikey beat his chest like a mate starved gorilla, Rion headed out, the Bend boys headed home, we high 5′ed and declared “best skate trip ever”, or at least until the next Leg.
Huge thanks to:
All the retailers that support Mervin Mfg and Lib Skates. On this Leg: Exit Real World, Cal’s Skateshop, Oregon Surf Shop, Tactics, Daddies…
All the customers who support those and other local retailers
The Lib Skate crew: Sky, Rion, Mikey, Chad, Kyle, Kent, Lucas, BRad and Tim
The factory workers at Mervin
Mike Olson and Pete Saari for making Mervin and employing all of us motivated dirt bags.
Until next Leg.