The JV Ledge at Eggs. AQ. Acorns. The Copley Fountain. There are so many ledges in Boston that you'll walk past perfectly good blocks of granite that have never been waxed, simply because everyone was busy skating different ledges all day.
For the next installment of Pin Drop, our series talking to Orchard team riders and family about spots around town, Lee Berman breaks down the JFK Fountain, a rare bank spot in the land of ledges. If you missed the last Pin Drop, be sure to check out what Jerry Fowlerhad to say too.
What was the first time that you skated the JFK fountain?
The first time I saw the spot was definitely like either Charlie Wilkins in the Maple video or Vinnie Ponte inPeep This. It was out after that, and it was always known like, Charlie's clip is at night, you can't skate there. There's always water in it. It's like a super bust.
And I’m from west of the city, so I would always be coming in on the Mass Pike, or the Green Line, so I would like really never be over in Harvard Square that much. But Zander [Taketomo] and Tommy and John Wisdom, they would be coming from Concord and Arlington, and they would get off and go to Concepts. I remember, one day they randomly tried to skate it, and were like “we just skated the fountain. You'd be super stoked on it.” Shortly after that, maybe even like the same day, I went with Zander and got a frontside tailslide and lipslide, which Charlie already did. I did the tailslide really shitty. It’s inCity People II.
What's the worst thing about that spot?
I would say the worst thing about that spot is like there when you come down the fountain, there's a hole before you hit the landing where the water from the fountain drains into. You could do whatever you're doing perfectly, with 100% confidence, on the bolts, your weight totally set, and get locked up in the hole and lose it.
What's it like to skate there?
I think it's pretty dope to skate there, actually. It's really good to warm up, because the ground is perfect. There's another ledge there that's really fun to skate. I kind of like spots where you sort of feel like you're your own zone, and right there it sort of dips down, so you're sorta in the mix, but out of the mix. It's not like super trafficky, but there's things going on around you. It's like never really been that bad with being a bust. You know, you get kicked out but it was never too crazy.
The worst part of that spot is actually fucking parking. If you drove there, the second you start trying to trick you're worried about when your meter is gonna expire. Or you're already pissed off when you got there, because you just drove around for longer than you have to skate looking for a parking spot.
What's your favorite trick you've seen go down there?
I'll tell you what was dope that didn't happen, and I think Meatball might have done some version of it later: one of the first times I skated with Andy Henrie, you know the ledge that everybody skates there, that part of the bench you sit on? We're all just skating around warming up and Andy Henry like ollied from flat to the back part of the ledge and did like a massively long 5050 and then just ollied out and kicked it away. It wasn't even on the fountain but I was just like, holy shit. Just watching him get his trucks on that and grind it the way he did, in person, was crazy.
I mean, it's a really hard spot to skate, so everything that's ever been done there is sick. Kevin front boarding around the corner was sick. I remember he did that, and he didn't have a beard. Alex Pelletier sent the footage to [Dan] McGee, and his only response was to not ever send him beardless Coakely footage, and to grow his beard out and go refilm it.
I'm always about, like, what are you going to do differently if it's a spot that people have seen? Even if you're skating it the same way, what's different about what you're going to do? So having gone around the corner at that was definitely pretty dope. Oh, and then I was there when fucking Kaue Cossa front blunted it, and that that is definitely like the illest shit ever. That was really sick.
Interview by Ian Browning
Illustration by Ezra Brown
Photos by Dan Z & Bill Colburn
Compilation reedit by Lee Madden (low res warning - best watched on a phone)