Before the Cayucos ramp at the pier was built by local skaters Ethan and Joel and a handful of their buddies, the only place to skate in Cayucos with any contour was the Hardy Park ditch. This time lapse video of some of the old school skaters in Cayucos cleaning out the Hardy Park gutter was our attempt of a “How to clean a skate ditch” video back in 2005. Hopefully some of you grommies in town check this out to learn a thing or two, and continue to fulfill the legacy of skating hardy park.
Thanks to Mike Cochran (aka Mikey BB) for making the Vid!
How to Clean a Skate Ditch 101
After the surf season and hopefully a little rain, usually sometime around early April, the Hardy Park ditch is full of sludge and debris and other interesting things that have been caught in the creek and swept down towards the sea from inland. The most important factor when cleaning out the ditch is using proper tools and calling all your buddies to come down and help you out.
Here is a quick guide to cleaning out the skate ditch:
Time It Right:Pick a day to clean out the skate ditch late enough in the season when not much more rain is likely to flood the channel and put you back at square one. The best time to go for it is usually around late April or May, but pay attention to the weather patterns to make sure EL Nino is gonna piss all over your hard work!
Get Gardening Tools and Rally the Troops: After you pick the right weekend (assuming you’re not a total derelict and have a job or are going to school during the week) start calling all your helgie friends to pillage any and all nearby garages for rakes, shovels (both flat and angled), brooms, and something to relocate the dirt like a wheel barrel or a pick up truck.
Get Started Early and Bring Some Food n’ Drink: If you plan on skating that day, you’re gonna have to get started early because even after you clean out all the dirt and sludge, the surface of the ditch will still be wet and will need an hour or so to dry. This is the perfect time to grab lunch or dig into the snacks you brought. While you work make sure to sip on your beverage of choice to stay hydrated for the post-completion skate session.
Pay Your Dues (and make everyone whose gonna skate pay theirs): This is a group effort. Everyone knows that. Make sure you put your time and don’t let any flakey whiners sit on the sidelines while you work and point out the “spots your missing”. We all know who these little shits are and they’re almost impossible to motivate. Also, make sure to bring speakers for your iphone to keep everyone pumped on getting the job done. (If you have trouble with someone playing peanut gallery, hand them a shovel when they start bullshitting you. Or, when they try to skate after its clean, just tell ’em to fuck off!)
Compile a Strategy (before busting out the ditch clean) : Depending on the number of workers you have, and the tools in your arsenal, you’re gonna have to chalk up a plan. Generally, if we have enough people and tools, I like to work both ends and clean toward the middle. That way were not stepping on each others toes and it’s easier to move around. If it’s only you and your buddy, eat it like an elephant, one bite at time. Start from one side and it will give the wet surface a time to dry while your work your way down.
Don’t Forget to Sweep: After you’ve shoveled out all the gunk and tossed into the wheelbarrow and moved it down the street or wherever, one of the most critical areas and easiest to skip is the final sweep. Although the soft wheels on your cruiser skate may be able to ride over small boulders when you’re mobbing the hill, it’s still best practice to follow through with your ditch duties and sweep it perfectly clean. This also helps spread out the remaining moisture on the surface so it dries faster.
Get some Clips and Stick your Tricks: Alas, the ditch is clean and dry and the music is still pumping you’re probably gonna be pretty damn exhausted -that is if you did help out like you should. But, don’t be discouraged, grab some brews and loosen up – the session is on! Make sure you packed your camera ’cause everyone’s gonna be ready to shred the hell outta that thing the very second its ready, and with all that energy flowing, someone’s bound to do something sick and you don’t want to miss the clip brah!
Well, all said and done, its still just cleaning out a skate ditch. I’m sure you could figure out how to clean a skate ditch without this little tutorial. But in any case, hopefully this article gave you a little insight as to how we used to clean out the Hardy Park ditch in Cayucos back when we were groms.
Now go Blow it up!!