Last weekend was absolutely one for “the ages” in wonderful Palm Springs, CA. Eddy “El Gato” Guerro held the now to be annual Legends Classic Weekend festivities.
Friday kicked off in the Hard Rock Hotel with an art show and a fundraiser. Fans of skateboarding had the option of having dinner with some truly legendary people in the sport.
Saturday morning the crew headed over to the Palm Springs Skatepark for an epic jam session in the smooth as butter concrete bowls. It was a real treat seeing guys as old as 61 years dropping in the bowls and shredding the pool tile and coping.
It was the weekend of my 40th birthday and I had extended a trip from LA for a basketball game to wind down and relax a few days in the desert. It was my first time visiting Palm Springs and I will certainly return as soon as possible. What a wonderful little town full of life and sunshine.
I was back home in Kentucky a few months ago googling skate parks in and near Palm Springs. That’s when I ran across the headline of the El Gato Classic. My stoke level about turning 40 instantly increased as I knew I’d at some point be surrounding by others who refused to grow up and ditch the skateboard.
Yes at 40 years old I still hit the local skate park as much as life allows. Having an 8 year son, a career, car payment and a mortgage has definitely interfered with my skateboarding skillset. Ironically I find myself skateboarding for different reasons now than before.
It’s great exercise! Yeah, beats the hell out of the treadmill and what a PUMP! My legs, my heart, my adrenaline!! I just absolutely love skateboarding probably now more than I ever did before.
It’s therapeutic in so many way. That aggressive, primal, athletic release that it gives me is something only few things can fulfill. I also love the comradery with old and young skaters alike.
But back to the Legends Classic…. The pool action on Saturday was epic and truly awe-inspiring. I now feel like I can keep the stoke up for another 20 years despite being 4 decades old already.
The action didn’t stop there though. Sunday featured Tony Hawk’s mobile vert ramp and several legends in their own time. Christian Hosio, Tony Magnusson and Tony Hawk himself put on an air show Sunday for the fans.
Agent Orange rocked out old school skate style to wrap up the day. Several vendors such as Vans, Tracker, local food trucks and the local skate shop had a nice little booth for picking up some old school swag.
From a guy that turned 40 over this epic three day weekend, I can say that I was inspired by the guys some 20 years my senior dropping into the big bowls. Carving big turns and transferring over the steps was something to see. It inspired me to pad up and keep at it. I don’t have to claim to be too old.
Granted I can’t still do nor try all of the things I once did. That’d be silly considering I have to get up tomorrow morning and earn a living. I need my fingers and arms and hands and feet to generate an income my son and i can live on. An untimely injury in the pool could be detrimental. So I take it easy in there. Still pushing and challenging myself to go bigger and to get better but also trying to remain conservative and sane.
I know that next year I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next announcement of the Legends Classic. This year I waited to purchase tickets simply because I wasn’t sure what my vacation schedule would be once i arrived in Palm Springs. I know that next year I will for sure purchase the whole entire weekend package.
I wasn’t able to get into the skatepark and pool area on Saturday morning. I figured I could have purchased tickets at the gate that morning and gotten in. I thought it would be a little more pricey but I was willing to pay that given the super star lineup.
Unfortunately, tickets had to be purchased in advance and were completely sold out to this and other events throughout the weekend. You live and learn I guess. Quite a bummer for someone who was hoping to ring in his 40th birthday celebration with a bunch of legends from my skateboarding past.
So until the next classic rolls around I’ll be brushing up on my pool riding skills. I’ll be working on my fitness and endurance now that I’m more inspired to get out and ride. Even if it means riding with kids more than half my age. I’m ok with that as long as I’m rolling in the deep.