Fate recently returned me to the Skatepark of Tampa. On this occasion I would be attending the 2013 Tampa Am contest.
The night before the trip I became filled with a desire to capture some of the action so I stood in the front room with my camera and tossed a wild thing up towards the ceiling. If the built in flash on the little Lumix could freeze the motion of this fierce stuffed beast then photographing a back nose blunt in a dimly lit Florida warehouse would be child’s play, or at least an approximation thereof.
Upon arriving at the Skatepark of Tampa I found Kevin Wilkins of The Skateboard Mag reflecting on the absurd injustice of it all.
And Colin Kennedy, Nike SB Europe’s dream manager, remaining stoic.
It didn’t take too long to track down a back nose blunt. Aha! See! The onboard flash can do it! On closer inspection you’ll find that if your ISO is maxed out it gives it that sand-sculpture look. Perfect for Instagram.
Then Jon lent me an external flash unit.
I sought out fresh meat. One of the most gifted technical street skaters of our time.
Kickflip light test looks okay.
Back lip skewered by a pillar? It’ll do.
I decided to head outside into the gentle late afternoon Tampa light and mingle. Much nicer.
Dare I say gorgeous?
I found Big News being discussed.
Brief, beautiful, sordid moments of clarity and oblivion swirled all around me like some strange visual poem.
A Floridian poem.
Full of strange characters and tall Englishmen.
Tyshawn remained in a New York state of mind.
And as the dice battle raged round the back…
Dice were rolled.
Eggs were hurled.
Fortunes were won and lost.
As a few brave souls charged for the finish line.
And to the victors go the spoils.
Skateboarding is safe and well.