Day Shift

Saw a new video on 48 Blocks (embedded at the bottom of this post) and got hyped enough to go looking for some lifestyle-y SF photos from the nineties.

Somehow wound up on Flickr and spotted this Ramondetta photo (yes, obviously, it’s not from the nineties) from Travis Jensen’s Flickr page, with this write-up below:

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“My office is located on the 6th Floor of one of the Embarcadero Center Towers in downtown San Francisco. The view overlooks world renowned skate spot “Hubba Hideout.”

Located in Ferry Park, in the heart of The City’s Financial District, Hubba Hideout consists of two waist-high ledges that align the stairs of the elevated walkway connecting Ferry Park and One Maritime Plaza. Hubba, if you don’t know, is slang for crack. The spot, which sits on a slight hill surrounded by large trees, earned its nickname in the early ‘90s, as it was a popular incognito place for individuals to congregate and smoke crack, high-level execs in tailor-made suits included.

Now a popular afternoon drinking and weed smoking spot, throughout the 90s and into the early millennium, Hubba Hideout to street skateboarding was like Maverick’s or Pipeline is to surfing, meaning you didn’t skate there unless you knew what the hell you were doing. Many a skaters have gotten their asses handed to them on a platter messing around at Hubba.

In the early millennium, the city and many businesses were able to curb skateboarding with the induction of skate-stoppers (steel knobs affixed to ledges, handrails and other surfaces to prevent skateboarding). Hubba was one of the first spots to go. The spot has since been de-knobbed by local vigilante skateboarders at least ten times.

Although there are currently no skate stoppers on the ledges, the city has removed a good chunk of the landing area and replaced it with gravel, making the spot virtually unskateable without lying down a sheet of plywood, masonite or metal.

Occasionally, from the 6th floor of my office, I’ll see skaters — tourists mostly, sizing up the ledges. Very few actually skate them. They mostly go there to pay homage. However, on the day this particular photo was taken, I heard the clickety-clack of skateboards and looked down to see professional skateboarders Peter Ramondetta and Brian Anderson, photographer Gabe Morford, and a couple other cats that I couldn’t make out. Peter and Brian were gearing up to get down on the ledges. I took this as a que to get my camera.

By the time I got back, Ramondetta was trying backside 50-50s to front º180 out over the gravel gap. I was able to fire off a handful of shots with a 70-300mm zoom lens. There was a large branch in the way, which made it a difficult shot. I was also getting some reflection off the glass. The photo above is the best from the series. I didn’t see Ramondetta land the trick — I had to get back to work, but I heard he did, as the sequence Gabe shot later appeared in the September or October issue of the “The Skateboard Mag.”

Now I’m not into poaching photos, but the birds eye view of someone skating Hubba was too good not to shoot. I later emailed Jim Thiebaud, V.P. of Deluxe Distribution (Deluxe houses Real Skateboards, the board company that sponsors Ramondetta), and he wrote back a short time later giving me the thumbs up to use the image.

Although this is far from the best skate photo I’ve taken, considering the circumstances and story behind it, it’s definitely one of my favorites. I’m also quite certain that I’m the only person that’s ever fired off an aerial shot of someone skating Hubba, which is kind of cool, especially considering the amount of coverage the spot has gotten over the last 20 years.”

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That Real video needs to come out. For obvious reasons, and because Ishod Wair is the best skater on planet earth right now without an official video part out.

3 Comments

  1. when i started reading that shit i thought it was going to be some business kook. guess hes only some skateboarding kook that’s way to wordy.

  2. this shit is tight. imagine working a shitty job and copping that flick one day. i was late for a session reading it (and waiting for danny weiss to commit to participating, still uncertain), but did stop halfway through to leave for the session. i will finish it later


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