Skateboarders have always been labeled as anarchic and verminous outcasts, although in actuality they are genius artists of the urban landscape. Writing lines of poetry – vivid, winding, and wonderful in the concrete jungle – sadly many fail to comprehend the language. 

The actualized dreams of the young (and old), surrounded by asphalt, steel and waste. The act of skateboarding, to those not devoted to the path, is more often than not misunderstood. It is frowned upon as a public annoyance at best, while treated as a punishable “crime” by authorities at worst. For those who ride skateboards, it can prove to be a saving grace from a world that seems hollow, empty and cruel.

I believe there is no wrong in the act of skateboarding. In fact, I see an overflow of raw beauty and creativity. The problem is that the general public is largely uninformed on the positive impact skating can have on a person’s life.

_MG_6885Ramps built from the rubble. Photo by Chris Spiegel

Life lessons are awarded to those who choose to ride a skateboard from within – every session. The wisdom that comes from what many consider to be a frivolous activity, you cannot learn in any classroom. I’m talking about the real shit! The stuff you learn from experience. These are the things that bring knowledge and eventually true wisdom.  Persistence, perseverance, patience, timing, and self discipline are but a few fruits that can be picked from the tree of skateboard awareness.

I think the most important lesson is to get out there and do it yourself. Make shit happen.

Donny-Binaco--Handplant--By-Kurt-ApfelbaumDonny Binaco. Handplant. Photo by Kurt Apfelbaum

Along the waterfront, on the south end of Asbury Park, NJ, a group of local skaters did exactly that. They got some wood, concrete, coupled with the debris of Hurricane Sandy and constructed their own skatepark on the concrete slab that was once the Casino. The structure was torn down a few years back and has sat vacant ever since. Over the past few weeks as many as 40 people at a time were skating, with photographers shooting, families watching and even people giving them money to further their creation.

This Monday morning, March 4, 2013, upon arrival to their self made canvas, local skaters were devastated to see their hard work lay in ruins.

Since the closing of Casino Skatepark in 1998 and the destruction of the Deal Lake pool a few years after, the skateboard community has been crying out for a skatepark in Asbury Park. This has been an ongoing issue for years, one that the powers that be seem to be brushing under the rug. Asbury Park has been very instrumental in preserving their musical heritage and history. I think that is a great thing, but what about the skateboard history and heritage? Skateboarding is no less an art then music.

_MG_6990Skatepark being demolished. Photo by Chris Spiegel

_MG_7060Skatepark being demolished. Photo by Chris Spiegel

A skatepark would be an amazing venture for the community. Many of the local Asbury youth have taken to skateboarding as an outlet of expression, possibly keeping them free from many of the trappings of the streets. Many places throughout the country have allocated land for self made parks by skateboarders. The first that come to mind are Burnside in Portland, Oregon and FDR in Philadelphia.

I envision, as I have for years, that south end of the waterfront in Asbury Park being a Mecca of skateboarding, surfing and creativity. Why not donate that slab to the skateboard community and let them build a DIY park? Asbury Park has done a great job of bringing back the boardwalk. Now is a perfect opportunity to take it to the next level and be a leader for shore communities.

I say allocate that small section of land to the skaters and why you’re at it, make that southern most beach the surf area for the summer of 2013. Asbury Park would be the sickest town in all of New Jersey and a huge destination for tourists.

BankrampPhoto by Chris Spiegel

DannyHorbatiuk-Ollie2Danny Horbatiuk. Ollie. Photo by Chris Spiegel

DannyHorbatuik-OllieDanny Horbatiuk. Ollie. Photo by Chris Spiegel

GeoffGlandtTailOllieGeoff Glandt. Tail Ollie. Photo by Chris Spiegel

JasonCarroll-CrookPopOverJason Carroll. Crook Pop Over. Photo by Chris Spiegel

JasonCarrollFeeble2Jason Carroll. Feeble. Photo by Chris Spiegel

JasonCarrollFeeble180sequencecolorcorrectJason Carroll. Feeble 180 Sequence. Photo by Chris Spiegel

JeffMansfield-BackDisasterPhoto by Chris Spiegel

JeffMansfield-BackDisaster2Jeff Mansfield. Back Disaster. Photo by Chris Spiegel

JeffMansfield-CrailJeff Mansfield. Crail. Photo by Chris Spiegel

JeffMansfield-OllieNorthJeff Mansfield. Ollie North. Photo by Chris Spiegel

WesMasco-Front180Wes Masco. Front 180. Photo by Chris Spiegel

_MG_6890Photo by Chris Spiegel

_MG_6904Photo by Chris Spiegel

Photo at top of Donny Binaco. Photo by Kurt Apfelbaum



  1. Bill says:


  2. Given that life is but a continuous series of experiences, every thing ultimately aids me towards my
    final enlightenment.

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