Photos: Ryan Young
Words: Travis Schirmer
Florida’s New Smyrna Beach was roofed in by an ashy sky that fractured with root-like shapes of blue lightening as our van pulled in to the Shluzas’ driveway. The heat waited patiently behind the clouds, allowing us to skate chunky brick banks and well-constructed skateparks by 4 p.m. on the heels of hurricane Irene. We stared at thrashing palms from behind glass panes in the elegant home of Joel’s in-laws for most of a day. The following afternoon Florida powerhouses Joel Meinholz and Ed Selego gave us an interview at M.I.A. skateshop before leading us to a recognizable concaved structure in front of an unused building for a fun session. By the time we made it to South Beach Miami to interview Danny Fuenzalida it was a black Sunday night. The beautiful worldly tourists in high heels pretended not to notice Ratface flying over gaps in the sidewalk as they walked down the strip. Again, a spot appeared like a flash of light to Ratface while the rest of us slept in the van and a spontaneous session was on. A three-foot wide full-pipe set two stories above cement was enough room for him to perform a number of impressive tricks. Down below on Earth, Daniel kickflipped a lengthy set of stairs. We made it back to our beds just before sunrise. Our last guide in Florida was enthusiastic 14-year old Matt Stokes (username “filmsallday” on Youtube) who brought us to his local skateshop, Flipside, for an interview and a session on a mini-ramp.