Ditches are f’n amazing. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from smooth to gritty, from mellow and easy fun to steep and scary as hell. Central Arizona is blessed to have such a wide variety of concrete forms floating around. As a skater, I’ve been making it my mission to go and explore as many of them as I possibly can. This is the photo-journal of my recent conquests, and the quick-hit stories behind them.
Stop Number One
I meant to get photos of this one when I was working on Mission Number One, but I was so excited to skate it that I plum forgot to get the photos while I was there. Oh, well; it’s not like you had to twist my arm all that hard to go back for another round. This one is really interesting and unusual: it’s under an overpass, generously shaded, and features a double-kink embankment that is really challenging (but really fun) to skate. Even basic tricks on this beasty are a real handful; anyone that might have the skills to bust out some technical street trickery on it should do so, photograph and film the hell out of it, and prove to the world what super-studs they are.
Stop Number Two
I couldn’t resist; I just had to hit this bad boy up all over again. Trust me on this one: it was even better the second time around than it was the first time. I think I’m in love…
Stop Number Three
This is f’n depressing, man. So much potential, but so much rough, shitty concrete poured all over the flatbottom. Whoever authorized this takedown is a real dick and a half. Rest in peace, good friend. Wish I could have had the opportuity to get to know you a little bit better.
Stop Number Four
This one might not look too terribly fun, but looks can be decieving. The flatbottom is a bit smoother than it looks (if your wheels are big softies, like mine are), and the ditch was remarkably clean and debris-free. Dropping in off the high (right) side of this ditch allowed for exactly one hit on the other (left) side, before you got to the grass and the rocks. If you made that one hit count, it was well worth it. The fact that it was completely accessible… no walls, no fences, and totally bust-free… made it a mission to remember.
Stop Number Five
I went to this spot with the intention of skating that giant light blue wave off to the right, but the broken concrete at the base of the transition made that absolutely impossible. However, that smaller, more mellow bank that spans the entire width of this spillway was all sorts of easy-ridin’ fun times. A little bit of sweeping, and my ever-trusty “big softies” meant that this spot was a solid couple hours of fun. The nearby parking lot (with lots of shaded spots) was an added bonus.
Stop Number Six
This ditch was so, so close to being the perfect ditch-skating situation. Long, clean, easily accessible, and almost entirely bust-free, only the overly steep walls made it less than ideal. However, just one short block down the street, I found…
Stop Number Seven
… this example of emergency water-drainage awesomeness! Much more mellow than it’s counterpart up the street, this fella was even cleaner, even easier access, just as bust-free… and even featured rollout decks on both sides that were just big enough to accommodate a wide bowl board, and the king-sized assery that was riding it. This ditch was definitely one for the memory books, and well worth keeping under wraps for future bust-free ditch expeditions.
Stop Number Eight
Ahhhhhhhhh! Just look at this smooth-walled monstrosity right here, my frenemies. This might have been my best-ever ditch-skating day all year; this humongous, easy-access speed-monster was a major brownie-point contributor to the fun times. The entrance gate to this one was just a little over crotch-height, allowing me to simply step over it, and walk straight into the vortex. The fact that it had ample shade for my between-run breathers, and hardly a pebble to be found, only added to my immense good fortune.
Stop Number Nine
You’ve never seen so many ditches in your life, have you…? All you jealous people. This one might have been short on flatbottom, but it was (obviously) long on fun. Again, note how clean it is, overall; my good fortune is damn near infallible. Also note the lack of anything keeping you out of this one; this ditch is wide open, freely available, and ready for anybody that might want to come along and take full advantage of the good ride. Kinda like the slut of ditches, but without the STDs.
Stop Number Ten
Awww, hell yeah. This is exactly what The Doctor ordered, right here. I knew this spot was gonna be good when I explored it on GoogleMaps, and saw skaters in the ditch on the street view. I was really surprised, however, to find ample-shaded (yet stealthily hidden) parking for the Econobubble practically on top of the ditch, and that it had recently been swept almost completely clean and clear. In addition, many of the edges have been thoroughly lathered in skate wax, and there were hips, dips, extensions, and escalators everywhere. So much fun, so little daylight… but there’s always a next time. With a spot like this so close at hand, that “next time” is virtually guaranteed.
Stop Number Eleven
This one may seem like a bit of a letdown to you, after seeing all the awesome epicness that I skated earlier in the day… but in reality, I thrive on the challenge of skating something that really isn’t conducive to skating at all. The easy-access of this spot meant that I almost had to skate it; it’s rare as hens teeth that you find a spot without even as much as a fence around it. In this case, the only thing standing between me and my quarry were a few puny-sized, easily ignored “keep the heck out” signs. The best part about this spot were the pint-sized mini-banks on the far side that allowed for all kinds of lip trickery that might not be possible in other mega-sized, lipless ditches, and the fact that it provided just-as-easy access to the far bigger ditch just behind it.
I’d tell you all about the cool tricks I busted out in this one, but some things are best left to the imagination for y’all to figure out for yourselves.