On The Road: So Cal Skate Tripping
Words & photos: Jacob Arciniega
Every summer I head south to Los Angeles, stopping in San Francisco along the way. The crew changes every year, but it’s always a skate/film trip and a chance to see as much family as I can in Southern California. This year, it was me, Brendan Garcia, Wiley Hendrix, and Tameron Eaglehorse.
First up, we hit Shasta Skatepark, and then made our way to SF. We wanted to check out the Soma Park and go see Wallenberg in person. We ended up running into Mike Davis and a bunch of Portland friends there. Clint Walker and some other Birdhouse guys were there, too, which was pretty cool. Afterward Mike invited us to Double Rock—where we actually ended up spending the night on a bunch of couch cushions because our place to crash fell through.
The next day we hit Potrero and Soma and got a bunch of clips. While we were at Soma, there was a tweaker trying to fight some guys at the park, throwing his broken board at people and shit. We chased him across the street after he threw a board into someone’s window, and then like 10 police cars showed up and the place was a parade of cops for about a half hour. They were super nice and took down our stories, arrested the guy, and let us to get back to filming. We hit up Tadashi, who was cool enough to give us a place to stay the night. Big thanks to him!
Early the next morning we checked Clipper, already under construction just 2 weeks after the Bust or Bail 2 Contest. Tameron was trying to meet up with Ben from Smart Collective who was also in SF that weekend. We met him at the Deluxe Warehouse and ended up getting a tour of the place and hooked up with sets of Formula Fours. Thanks to Ben for getting us in there and Zig for the tour!
We skated a couple more spots in SF, and then headed south. I had planned to camp at this DIY spot near Santa Cruz called Davenport Ditch, so I wanted to head that way a few hours before dark to have time to find it and set up camp. We skated it for a bit before heading into Santa Cruz to get food. When we got back we parked the car out of view, set up our tents, and made a fire. The first camping night of the trip was definitely a success.
Headed into LA the next evening, checked out Ritchie Valens plaza and then headed over to the always crowded Venice Skatepark. They close the park at 8, and then I ended up finding a good camp spot on maps in the Hollywood Hills. It was up high overlooking most of the nearby houses, so it wasn’t too sketchy. We had to move a bunch of rocks and shit to set up our tents, but it worked out pretty nice.
Next morning we hit Stoner park, West LA Courthouse, and a DIY ditch in the Hollywood hills. A friend on IG told me of another sick urban camping spot in the hills, but we weren’t able to make it, so 2 of us slept in the car and 2 people in tents off the side of the road in some neighborhood nearby. The next morning we checked Griffith Observatory and the LA river before heading to Channel Street in Long Beach. We planned to stay at Mason Merlino’s house in Oceanside that night, so we headed that way after getting a bunch of clips at Channel Streetand stopping for a bit on the way to visit my aunt, uncle and grandmother.
Staying at Mason’s for the last 3 days of the trip was great—we were super stoked to finally shower and sleep in a house for a change. He lives super close to Prince Park, so we all got quite a few clips there. Brendan got some heavy stuff at Washington Street, as well. Over the weekend we were there, we went around Oceanside and Encinitas with Mason and a bunch of friends, skating spots and hitting restaurants and bars. We spent the entire Go Skate Day driving back to Oregon, but with all the awesome, unexpected stuff that happened this trip I didn’t care at all.