El Gato Classic

Turning an idea into reality is where most people fall short. Eddie Elguera’s idea was tossed around for some time and when he felt enough support was going to be in place he went for it. Maybe most people wouldn’t have the guts to do it, there is no sure way to tell if people will come. They came! A whole lot of them came! It turned out to be one of the raddest weekends of skateboarding I’ve ever seen. On top of the great time, I was inspired by the commeraderie and the caring and the love that went into this event. Eddie Elguera, his wife, the Skatepark, and the city of Palm Springs CA. went the extra mile to make everyone welcome and get inspired.

Jami Godfrey

Jami Godfrey – smith grind

Once I set foot into the skatepark it was a fantastic madhouse of cool stuff going down. Every new soldier who walked through the gate was greatedwith big smiles and stories of old. I checked it out from a far a little bit and came across the artist doing custom charcoal portraits of many of the skaters. These are so cool to watch being created they sort of put you in a spell. Luckiily the grinding action at the bowl pulled me inbefore I spent the whole afternoon watching the art.

artist

Robert Vargas charcoal portraits – with Dennis Martinez

artist-4

with Kevin Staab

The Bowl action was the heart of the event. It kept on pumping and pumping all afternoon as new faces would take a few turns.

Dave Hackett

Dave Hackett’s slash attack was on full force!

Eddie Elguerra Frontside Rock

Eddie Elguerra Frontside Rock – trick that still inspires today

steve-olson

Steve Olson charging hard

kids

Kids trying to soak all the meaning up.

At 3pm the gates opened to let the crowd gather around for the vert demo by Tony Hawk and Crew. As soon as everyone was in it was ready to roll time. Eddie Elguera stepped up to the mic and began to lay down some serious history on everyone in attendance. Just how did things come about the way they are now has a lot to do with several of the skaters in attendance. Eddie Elguera, Steve Caballero, Tony Hawk, Neil Hendrix, Kevin Staab, Lincoln Ueda, Tom Schaar, & E-man put on the best vert demo I can remember. I think it was mainly because of the inpsirational narrative that accompanied the skating. The skaters would actually give some words out on the mic about what the crowd was witnessing which brought it to a whole new level. Tribute tricks to the trick inventors who were in attendance, call outs to each other to make their signature moves etc. The crowd was having as much fun as the skaters.

gal-gato2

Eddie Elguera dropping some history on us.

Tony Hawk Madonna

Tony Hawk dishing out some Madonna

After the vert demo it was time to clean up and go to dinner. The Skate posse went over to the Hacienda Cantina for a party. Diner, drinks, Cake , and the one and only Johnny Rad and the EggPlants (remember the Bones Brigade videos). By the time I arrived toward 10 o’clock the party was winding down. Bummer for me, but the aftermath indicated it was a good time. I finally got to see Johnny Rad in person for the first time so i was stoked.

 Yup, Johnny Rad and the EggPlants