Respect the Sand Gaps

sand gaps

Following up their Santa Monica Courthouse stage compilation — a superhuman skate spot if there ever was one — Muckmouth put together a historic rundown of Santa Monica’s other iconic spot, one that’s skateable by normal humans. We’ve waxed about the respect we have for the Sand Gaps before, namely because it might have been the biggest departure from typical eastern conceptions of a southern California skate spot (perfect asphalt ground, low ledges coated in wax and picnic tables.) Sand Gaps was two holes in the ground. It could’ve been anywhere, but it was in a place that we perceived as having the best spots on earth.

Given the existence of this video, is a hole in the ground in Santa Monica the most mundane object we, as skate nerds, have a qualified list of tricks done over? Like, knowing what has gone down the nearby triple set, or a Carlsbad or Love Gap is perfectly reasonable, but being able to name the things done over a square cut out of the ground is something you shouldn’t readily admit to non-skater friends.

And also, whereas Huf and many others skated the two gaps consecutively, always thought Chris Franzen’s line where he circumvents the gaps entirely, opting for the two consecutive pillars instead, was the one of the pinnacles of Sand Gaps’ history.

A Sad Day For Southern California

The Santa Monica Sand Gaps were one of the few Los Angeles area institutions shitty enough to be embraced by the east coast. Despite the beachside setting (and perfect ground), the Sand Gaps garnered worldwide recognition based off a few holes in the floor, a not-so-great rounded-off ledge and zillions of small specks that would eat their way into your bearings. The Sand Gaps made those jealous of Los Angeles’ 70-degree winters and schoolyard pavement respect its existence. It is Los Angeles’ version of a famous skate spot that should have never been a famous skate spot, i.e. Astor, Tompkins, etc. It was also the subject of many jokes said at Gigliotti’s expense (the only Los Angeles native to ever be on QS payroll) throughout his time living in New York (“Where are you guys going skating today?” “Just meet us at Sand Gaps.”) Let us not forget it was a favorite among visiting New Yorkers.

The gaps are now filled in with trees. Though the ledge remains, the spot is still called “Sand Gaps.” So, much like the big banks remaining after the city ruined the small ones and took out the ledge section, the soul of the spot is unfortunately no more. We send our sympathies to Joey Brezinski, Robbie McKinley, Chris Roberts, and Giglotti.

Sand Gaps, if you were from New York, we would have loved you so much more than we already did. Give a good home to those trees.