coastal british columbia  

Concrete Wave by Ricky Long  

Concrete Wave

Back in the early 80's I used to drive for hours to Long Beach Vancouver Island for some rainforest camping and wetsuit surfing action. The ocean is something powerful, and floating upon it is a feeling that can't be explained, almost spiritual. The experience was intensified when the wave curled and the board you were riding on moved faster and you took to your feet.... surfing. Over and over I would battle the forces of the ocean to get that one ride. It was fun until the wave from hell grabbed me and took me down. The string that was tied to my surfboard ripped from my leg. I remember waiting to surface…. waiting and waiting, being pummeled and thrown about. The salt water rushing into my lungs and blasting out my nose, I was coughing underwater for what seemed like eternity. GOD chose not to take me on that day and crapped me out onto the beach. It was raining and I sat there looking at the ocean…. I was cold and happy to be breathing air again. I chose to take the sign from GOD that my spiritual experiences of surfing the ocean were over. On that day I decided I wasn’t a surfer.

Skateboarding has taken off again and I find myself back on my skateboard testing out muscles that I don’t usually use as well as beating up those lungs that I used to fill with cigarette smoke. Skateboarding is great and parks are sprouting up everywhere. I’ve had the fortune of testing a few parks over the last few years and am happy to see bowls and pools and full pipes being constructed. Once you get the flow of the concrete in your blood, you might become addicted. I am. An afternoon flowing around a skateboard park is what I try to do on my days off, heck I’ll even take days off work to skate a new place. There is a fair bit of new concrete being poured these days and although some of it doesn’t cater to my taste alot of it does! I will find myself inside a concrete skateboard park with a towel drying out the puddles. Hoping that in time the park will be dry enough ride. One of my favorite parks is new and located in Burnaby just beside the Metro Town mall. The park is called Bonsor and it contains three sections. A healthy street coarse made up of ledges and rails, an old school wave area, and finally a full pipe pool/bowl combo slightly vert area with concrete coping. My friend Harri and I had traveled many miles and had taken a ferry to get to this park. We skated this pipe/pool/bowl section for hours; it is where the best waves are!

Check the weather report…. It’s dry today 0% of precipitation…. That’s all I need to go catch a few concrete waves! I have a group of friends who surf the ocean, and from time to time try to get me back into a wetsuit. I decline…. It’s too wet, too cold, and too much work for me to get that one ripping ride. Years ago I surfed with John B and he is a natural at catching all the good waves, I used to envy his ability to read the waves and know when and where to drop in. He’s a born Californian surf punk. I dragged that old surfer and his kids down to our local skate park this year. It was my turn to surf up to him and snake his ride!!! HA HA HA… he lays there all sore on the concrete and I immediately drop into another wave! No paddling out, no waiting, its just concrete wave after wave, ride after ride, flowing, pumping, SKATEBOARDING!!

In my heart the ocean has conquered me but this concrete has not. Today I decided I am a skateboarder!

-rickylong .

Concrete Wave Photos:trup, harri, & ricky
bert in vicwest bowl

Concrete Wave Photos:trup, harri, & ricky
dryin off the surf

Concrete Wave Photos:trup, harri, & ricky
harri workin bonsor

Concrete Wave Photos:trup, harri, & ricky
ricky goin in the pipe

Concrete Wave Photos:trup, harri, & ricky
tasty orcas island waves

Concrete Wave Photos:trup, harri, & ricky
too wet hastings bowl








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