Writeup - Jacob Delgado
Photos - Sam Galus
What do you get when you take 14 dudes, shove them into a bus and three cars, drive 3000 miles and never shower? You get Migrate To Skate in its truest form. This annual pilgrimage from rainy Bellingham Washington to anywhere warm and dry has become the pinnacle of many PNW skater’s season. Past trips took place in California and then Maui for two years. This year we migrated south to California in an effort to bring the trip back to its roots of living in vans and skating the greats such as Tuna, Gibraltar and Tepusquet.
The first leg of the trip was chalked full of days with 8+ hours of driving and a few skate parks peppered into the mix. The real goal was to get past the rain. That didn’t happen until we breached Northern California around the 3rd day. As the mud turned to dust and the trees to bushes, the stoke rose high and we began to skate.
Stop number one was the Bay area. As we rolled up the steep and patchy pavement of the Oakland hills in the Aeon bus with 3 cars in trail, we were gripped. Our plan was to meet a local who would show us the way. As the magnitude of the runs became clear, we started to question if 14 people should be skating these neighborhoods. Before we could decide, we were pushing into a game of follow the leader, 14 deep. These roads were steep, patchy, and full of cars. One neighbor revved a leaf blower at us while we session a corner. Others gave us the thumbs up or the “shaka brah”. The bay was one for the books, and it was time to head south.
The first downhill run we made it to was Tepusquet. A gem among the rocks that fed our hunger for going fast and gripping corners. Nothing like a road out in the boonies to sooth the soul. After a few hours of shredding and a handful of follow runs under our belts, we made our way the The Orchid, our home for the night.
Rolling through the gates and past the sprawling greenhouses, we settled into our camp site at the foot of a pastel patterned wooden skate ramp. With grins on our faces, we toured the facility. Private beach, sustainable crops and indoor/outdoor skatepark, this place was a haven. We made quick work of raising camp and got right to skating the impressive park that we would only have one night to skate. We filled our bellies with as much food and brew as we could take. Before long, the sun had risen and we were on our way to Malibu.
Before we reached our farthest south destination, Malibu California, we stopped at another legendary road. After a wrong turn and beers shared with a friendly biker, we showed up at Gibraltar. Perfectly re-paved, this road was more than we had remembered. Opting for a set of round lipped wheels smaller than most, I tightened my nuts and stepped on board besides the whole crew. We made quick work of the otherworldly road, skating top to bottom only a few times before we lost light and made haste to Malibu.
No strangers to the drill, we pulled in, grabbed gear, grabbed beer, and walked out to the camp sight for the night. We would wake up in the morning to a view of Los Angeles and a ribbon of road open to downhill traffic only; Tuna Canyon. We were not alone on the hill that day. We encountered a group of photographers, a crew skating from Utah, and a pack of locals. Bricks were caught, pictures taken, and runs dialed. We spend the whole day at Tuna and before we knew it, it was time to high tail to Washington. We made the final drive in 3 days and minimal stops.
Migrate To Skate this year wet our whistles with a few of the spots California has to offer. We learned to skate more and drive less. The general consensus was that we must return, and soon. It is easy to feel dreary with all the rain at home. These trips keep our stoke alive and pushing for more. We look forward to rain skating until next time we break our watery binds.
Landon Jackson, Blake Mclam, Connor Harkey, John Slugg, Sandor Voros, Steven Suhama, Trevor Nottingham, Austin Harrel, Andy Kennedy, Kai Griffin, Ben Bartlett, Jacob Delgado, Michael Rivera, Sam Galus