Usurper Takes Seattle
Words and photos by Kyle Kim
I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Seattle with Usurper Skateboards and shoot some photos of the madness. I had a fucking blast. The crew was heavy—Jamie Weller was behind the wheel, Matt Shoebottom behind the VX, Cam Barrett, Chris McFarland, Eric Denier, Binger, Ryan Casado, Ed Kennedy, Darren Starkey, Joe Ko Ko Mo, and some other homies that met up along the way.
The van was steady cruising up the I-5 with spliff smoke billowing out every time we stopped at a McDonalds. Seriously, we ate McDonalds more than five times in one weekend. I think Binger took a break from the Arches once to get some fried chicken at Ezell’s Famous Chicken, though.
First stop was Marginal Way. Everyone had a pretty bad case of car’thritis, so the session was relatively mellow there. Then we went to Alex’s ramp and skated for a while before it was party time. Brice Niebuhr slayed the shit out of that ramp.
After a cold night sleeping on a ramp soaked in beer, we woke up, ate McDonalds, and went to a very Street-League-inspired skatepark. On the drive to the park, I could feel an epileptic attack coming on and gave a heads up to Chris—though he probably knew what was going on. I woke up some time later and everyone was like, “You alright man? You just had a seizure!” Which is always a bummer for me. I feel like it must scare the shit out of everyone around me during those episodes. All I needed was a spliff and some Advil to kill my headache and all was cool. I ended up having one of the best days of skating in a long time after that. We drove around to a few spots in the area before settling downtown.
By the second evening I’d say half the crew was ready to hit the bars and half was itching to skate downtown. Our tour guides Brick, Mike, Taj, and Jimmy Jihad took us around the streets. We bombed so many hills—it was sketchy with a backpack full of camera gear, not to mention Shoebottom’s knee isn’t quite 100% yet (dude just had surgery, so he was taking it slow). I felt like it was some kind of nighttime All City Showdown or something. Security was kinda high downtown, so cruising with about 15 dudes was tough, but we had a good time.
After hanging out at Captain Black’s for a few sodas, we marched back up the hill and went back to the ramp to party some more. Not much skating happened that night. Just a lot of beer got spilled on that poor ramp. (I opted to sleep in the van to avoid another seizure the next day.)
In the morning, you guessed it, we went to McDonalds before warming up at Garfield (or whatever high school it was that Hendrix went to). I’d say the highlight of that session was probably Ezell’s Famous Chicken across the street. Goddamn that was good fried chicken. Sadly, it seemed like most of the crew broke their boards that day, so we bid our friends farewell and hit the road.
I’d like to thank Jamie Weller for letting me hop in the van, and thanks to the crew for helping me out so much. Thanks to Alex for letting us crash on his ramp, and thanks for the board Jimmy! Thanks Taj and Mike for taking us to spots! Thanks to Jake Culver for meeting up for old time’s sake and making everyone laugh! And thanks to the whole Usurper crew for showing me a great time!