Amidst an apocalyptic news cycle paired with a global pandemic, I started digging through the archives of my phone’s camera reel for memories of skate days past, in search of what I still regard as some of the best times I’ve had with friends on the board.
This nostalgia-driven escape got me thinking about some of the skaters, photographers, and filmers I’ve looked up to from an early age, and in these moments of reflection, I got to thinking….
What are their “perfect days?” Who were they with? Did some legendary shit go down?
Or was it completely ordinary and nothing went wrong, and that’s why they remembered it.
What was the after party like? Did they celebrate with a Michelin-star dinner, or some dollar slices instead?
After putting some thought into it, I figured I’d take a stab at finding this out through a somewhat-investigative interview series. At last, here we are.
“Perfect Days” will interview familiar faces in the Boston and Northeast scene, and pose them with the simple question: what was one of your favorite sessions ever?
We’ll unpack that a bit, hopefully bring back some great memories, and maybe inspire some future feel-good skate days in the process. Who knows?
To kick things off, I virtually linked up with veteran Boston skater, OG Orchard shop rider, and One In A Million Alum - the one, the only, Kevin Coakley.
Put your reading glasses on, pour yourself a cup of coffee - whatever it is you’ve gotta do to kill 10 minutes of your time, and enjoy.
Video by John Valenti.
Photos by Richard Hart & Gerard Riera
So let’s frame this session up a little bit - This was a big Traffic filming trip in Europe right before the pandemic popped off, right?
Yeah well it wasn’t specifically a traffic trip. It was basically a trip of a bunch of friends ranging from New York to Florida to Cali. Whoever wanted to go was pretty much invited. Everyone paid their own way and we ended up renting an Airbnb for 13 or 14 of us total. But yeah I was out there specifically filming for the traffic video.
Who was on the session that day? How’d the morning go?
I remember it was a bunch of us. Valenti on the VX, Richard hart on the photo, John Baragwanath, Taylor Nawrocki, Danny Renaud, Dustin Eggeling, James Sayres, Chris Jata, Luke Malaney, Soy Boy, and Cody Lucas.
This might be really asking a lot of the ol’ short term memory, but what was on the menu? I’m talking whatever you can remember from breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I can’t remember specifically but I had a routine pretty much everyday there and I would go to Flax and Kale for a juice and a bagel sandwich.
Was this the type of trick you had written down on a list of shit you wanted to film on this trip, or did this happen more spontaneously?
I actually wanted to Fakie Flip Krook it because previously on a trip I had already Fakie Krooked it. I figured it would be possible but I quickly came to realize that it was going to be a lot harder than I pictured it in my mind. That’s when I just started messing around with the nose grind. It seemed much more doable and so I stuck with trying that.
You’re a classically trained spot hunter and trick curator. Is there anything about this spot - architecturally, geographically, etc. that sticks out to you?
I just like how it’s a bit crustier than your average spot in Barcelona. It definitely has that east coast grittiness that was appealing to me. Plus the bomb into the tunnel is sick because that thing shoots you.
I noticed you had a healthy amount of double angles throughout your part, and it seemed like in some cases you were actually doing shit twice. Was that the case here, or was this a mission with multiple filmers?
This wasn’t the case in this one ha. I did this only once and fortunately my friend John filmed the lower angle down in the tunnel. It was good to have both because that’s the type of spot you need multiple angles to really show the whole thing.
Was this trick a battle that took a couple of trips? Or did things work out the first time around?
Fortunately it worked out the first time but it definitely was a battle.
I know you mentioned that you had been to this spot before and fakie crooked it as well. Obviously both tricks bring their own challenges to the table, so it’s not as simple as choosing one over the other. Was there anything in particular about the nosegrind pop out that was noticeably more difficult to figure out?
With the nosegrind I remember just having a hard time committing to coming into the bank. The fakie crook was hard as well to commit because I was going down switch but that trick I feel more comfortable popping out of. Nose grind is hard to pop out straight…...there were times where I would pop out and land at an angle on the bank which would cause me to shoot into the stairs. The one I landed you can tell I had to pop out exactly parallel to the ledge.
This is a big time “hauling ass once you ride away from your trick” type of spot. What was the foot traffic like in that tunnel? Did you have to constantly be on watch for pedestrians?
The foot traffic is surprisingly pretty mellow. A couple people walk through every once in a while but that wasn’t really too much of an obstacle for me especially having people there watching out.
We all know how Erik Ellington celebrated his bigspin over Carlsbad. Was this a similar situation later that night?
Haha no. I actually filmed that at the beginning of the trip in the first couple days so I think it was just a motivation for me to continue to get more tricks instead of celebrating.
Beyond the trick itself, what’s one thing you remember from this day that will stick out to you forever?
Well I was actually skating it with Danny Renaud that day and I remember he wanted to wait to film his trick after I had landed mine. The problem was that it was starting to get dark and so basically I remember Danny giving me a time limit on landing my trick so he could have enough time to film his. Haha fortunately it all worked out and we both were able to get it before it was too dark.