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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Commotion Down The Ocean 2011, Ocean City, MD

The Ocean City skatepark with the asphalt surface, back
in the 70’s. The ramp was built by Dorsey Truitt, the owner
of Atlantic Skates. Dorsey has been selling skateboards for
more than 35 years, that's his son on the ramp...
Picture Dorsey Truitt. Used by permission only.
Between 1985 and 1992 I had a skateboard distribution company in Europe. At that time, it was very difficult to buy products from the big guys on the west coast. They would not even take your call, let alone send you stuff. So I found a skateboard distributor on the East coast, at Ocean City MD: Atlantic Distribution. Dorsey Truitt, the owner, opened his heart and his doors for me. He had a big warehouse not far from the beach and the local skatepark. They had tons of products that no-one else had. We started distributing some amazing stuff not available in Europe, including Toxic, Skull, Barfoot and World Industries… Once every 4 months, I was flying from France to shop the latest products and send them in Europe. Of course, since all skateparks in France had been razed at the end of the 70’s, I would never go to see my vendor without skating the skate-park, at least a couple of hour each visit. Since the skate park was made of black asphalt and not white concrete, it was not so nice (asphalt is mellow in the summer…), but hey, that was the only skate park with trannies I used for 10 years and it was pure bliss… Those days have long gone, but Atlantic Skates Distribution and the skate park are still there…

And actually, The Ocean Bowl Skate Park at Ocean City, MD is the oldest operating municipal skate park in the United States. Following the rise in popularity of skateboarding in the 1970s, the Ocean City Council banned skateboarding on the streets within City limits. This prompted many skaters and their parents to attend the next Council meeting to ask that a space be provided for them to pursue their sport.

By the first week of June, 1976, the park opened. At that time, the facility consisted of a four foot deep asphalt bowl which proved so successful that a larger bowl was quickly added. In 1984 this “big bowl” was structurally weakened by successive tropical storms and was removed the following year.

It was succeeded by an eleven foot high, twenty eight foot wide metal-surfaced halfpipe which served not only to replace the lost bowl, but also to respond to the changing demands of skateboarding and the huge popularity of vertical ramps at the time.

The ramp and the small bowl stood for another ten years when finally, in 1997, due to time, wear and the current needs of skaters, the park was again in need of renovations. After long hours of planning and many meetings, the City Council together with a Skate Park Committee composed of local skaters, business people, politicians and parents, came up with the resources to build the park that exists today. The old bowl and ramp were torn down in the Fall of 1997 and the new park opened in July of 1998.

And guess what, the Ocean Park at Ocean City MD is organizing next July 20th a contest called Commontion Down The Ocean.
Pedro Barros during the 2010 Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas.
The event will come to Ocean City on July 21-24. Photo Alli Sports
The Commotion Down the Ocean is a kind of skateboard demo designed to raise awareness and garner assistance for people with cancer through the Grind for Life organization. The event is also paired with the launch of the Dew Tour. The one day bowl event will consist of a local contest, skateboarding demos, a vendor’s village offering food, music and amenities and finally autograph sessions with the Dew Tour pros; including Bucky Lasek, Adam Taylor, Pierre Luc-Gagnon and Andy MacDonald, who also sits on the Grind for Life's Board of Directors.

There is a $20 entry fee to participate in the skate competition and those who sign up will be divided into classes. As of press time there are seven classes, including ones for women and long boarders. Those interested in participating may register for their division of choice at the Ocean Bowl starting at 10 a.m. on the day of the event. The competition is expected to get underway by 2 p.m. and continue until 5:30 p.m.

An awards ceremony will follow.

This year, the Dew Tour is adding concrete to its routine. It's about time bowl riding is recognized.
For More info on the Ocean Bowl go to: http://www.oceanbowl.com/

The list of participants:
Skate Vert......Skate Bowl
Pedro Barros....Pedro Barros
Marcelo Bastos..Chad Bartie
Bob Burnquist...Bob Burnquist
Sandro Dias.....Rune Glifberg
PL Gagnon.......Zach Miller
Bucky Lasek.....Mike Owen
Rob Lorifice....Alex Perelson
Andy Macdonald..Josh Rodriguez
Adam Taylor.....Andy Macdonald
Shaun White.....Sky Siljeg

The whole Ocean City stuff is a big chunk of my skateboarding life. I’m so glad Atlantic Skates and Ocean Bowl Skate Park are still there. There are truly “not only a cornerstone in skateboarding history but a nostalgic icon” for those who have been skateboarding 20, 30 or 30+ years… Thanks so much for all that confidence, and thanks for the nice email Dorsey…

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Wednesday, July 13, 2011 




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