The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

Photo Essay: Taking a closer look at skate culture around SBCC

December 9, 2019

Dylan Osgood plays AC/DC in his earphones, takes three running strides for speed and jumps on his board to ollie the seven-stair connecting the second floor of the Administration Building to the sidewalk below. Four hard plastic wheels strike the concrete and Osgood rolls-off stoked. For him, City College isn’t just a learning institution, but a concrete playground, and he’s not the only one.

 Economics Major and skater Dylan Osgood ollies seven stairs on Wednesday, Nov. 17, outside of the Administration Building’s east side face at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Osgood has been skating for 13 years.

Nate Stephenson
Economics Major and skater Dylan Osgood ollies seven stairs on Wednesday, Nov. 17, outside of the Administration Building’s east side face at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Osgood has been skating for 13 years.

Skateboarding is not allowed on campus, but the hills and uneven landscape City College sits on makes the layout of campus desirable to skaters of all skill levels. 

On a school day, the buzz of skateboard wheels over a textured fiberglass bridge-way connecting East to West Campus is a familiar sound, and boards placed desk-side in classrooms are a common sight. 

But beyond the students who skate for transportation is an entire culture existing around street-style skateboarding at City College or “The CC” as local skaters call it. 

“The CC is pretty much the most popular place to skate besides Skater’s Point,” said Dylan Osgood. “It’s only an eight-minute skate from the park and it gets you away from the little kids on scooters.” 

Skater’s Point is the only free skate park in Santa Barbara and often gets crowded, enticing skaters to seek solitude and more creative, street-style skating on campus.

Thomas Moore speeds down the campus bridge-way on Saturday, Nov. 23, from East to West Campus. “I absolutely love bombing hills,” said Moore “it’s like my favorite thing to do when I skate.”

Nate Stephenson
Thomas Moore speeds down the campus bridge-way on Saturday, Nov. 23, from East to West Campus. “I absolutely love bombing hills,” said Moore “it’s like my favorite thing to do when I skate.”

Santa Barbara Junior High School student Jack Charrette stands on a five stair cheek-wall cap before attempting to ollie off it on Thursday, Nov. 17, in front of the Business Communications Center. Charrette, 12-years-old, likes to skate the CC with his friends after school.

Nate Stephenson
Santa Barbara Junior High School student Jack Charrette stands on a five stair cheek-wall cap before attempting to ollie off it on Thursday, Nov. 17, in front of the Business Communications Center. Charrette, 12-years-old, likes to skate the CC with his friends after school.

Several popular obstacles exist here, the seven-stair at the Administration Building, the ledges on east campus by the Humanities Building and the planter boxes in front of the Campus Bookstore. With that, comes more extreme spots like the three kink L-rail in front of Physical Science Building Room 113 that pro-skater Chase Webb used to film a 50/50-front board-slide grind combo that placed him in the top five for Street League Skateboarding’s Trick of the Year in 2017, nearly earning Webb a first-place prize of $10,000. 

“Definitely one of the gnarliest things that’s been done on rails and kink-rails in general,” said pro-skater and global icon Nyjah Huston in a video where Webb breaks down the trick. 

On Saturday, Nov. 23, History Major Jeff Hill attempted the daunting three-flat-three long gap stair set near the Occupational Education and Administration Building.  

After a few test lines, Hill started high on the steep lead-in and ollied the gap. He cleared it but had to bail mid-air from wonky footing and landed on his front foot, rolling his right ankle and grounding him for the day.  

“I’m pissed, I should’ve lined it up more,” said Hill “The only reason I came here today was to nail that gap and I fucked my ankle on the first try.”

Jeff Hill ollies the three-flat-three long gap on Saturday, Nov. 23, near the Administration and Occupational Education Buildings.

Nate Stephenson
Jeff Hill ollies the three-flat-three long gap on Saturday, Nov. 23, near the Administration and Occupational Education Buildings.

On average, one-to-two skateboarding related injuries are reported to security each semester and tend to be minor.

“Every weekend our officers are telling the skateboarders that come down here to do their tricks to leave, and they typically listen,” said Head of Security Erik Fricke. “We’re not going to chase after skaters or grab onto skaters. We won’t be yelling at skaters, those don’t prove to be effective.”

While rare, serious incidents do happen. 

Three years ago a student skating down the hill in front of the Humanities building tried to power-slide to slow down and lost control, throwing him from the board and slamming his head into the concrete causing convulsions, seizing and an induced coma to result in permanent brain damage. 

Dozens of “no skateboarding” signs are hung, set up daily, and etched into walkways around campus and Fricke says adding more isn’t going to work. 

Emmett Wallop ollies a five stair on Tuesday, Nov. 19 outside the Luria Libary. Campus security arrived shortly to remove wallop and friends from the premises.

Nate Stephenson
Emmett Wallop ollies a five stair on Tuesday, Nov. 19 outside the Luria Library. Campus security arrived shortly to remove wallop and friends from the premises.

Thomas Moore backside boardslides a ledge on Saturday, Nov. 23, in front of the Bici Centro Bike Shop on East Campus. Moore has been skating for eight years.

Nate Stephenson
Thomas Moore backside boardslides a ledge on Saturday, Nov. 23, in front of the Bici Centro Bike Shop on East Campus. Moore has been skating for eight years.

Junior High students Dash Hamilton (right) and Emmett Wallop watch as Rowan Rapp builds a rail-jam by wedging a barrier pole into a water drain on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in front of the Campus Bookstore. Before the rail-jam could be tested Rapp and friends were yelled at to leave by a man leaving the Bookstore.

Nate Stephenson
Junior High students Dash Hamilton (right) and Emmett Wallop watch as Rowan Rapp builds a rail-jam by wedging a barrier pole into a water drain on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in front of the Campus Bookstore. Before the rail-jam could be tested Rapp and friends were yelled at to leave by a man leaving the Bookstore.

For Criminal Justice Major Wyatt Rhoades skateboarding is not a crime. 

“Sometimes in-between classes I’ll come skate the ledges to clear my mind,” said Rhoades “It gets my blood pumping and all I have to think about is landing it.” 

Rhoades and his friend Franco Gavaldon live in Isla Vista but often travel to City College to skate the unique features. 

“He [Rhoades] just sort of got me into skating and I’m into it,” said Gavaldon “I live in IV and nobody really skates there for real, so we come here sometimes.” 

Wyatt Rhoades lays outside the Physical Science Building laughing after landing a backside 180 off a ledge with one foot on board resulting in the splits and banging his knee on the concrete on Saturday, Nov. 23, on East Campus. Rhoades stayed down for 2-3 minutes recovering before nailing it his next try.

Nate Stephenson
Wyatt Rhoades lays outside the Physical Science Building laughing after landing a backside 180 off a ledge with one foot on board resulting in the splits and banging his knee on the concrete on Saturday, Nov. 23, on East Campus. Rhoades stayed down for 2-3 minutes recovering before nailing it his next try.

Wyatt Rhodes clears debris from the landing way of the mulch pit retaining wall for a smooth 50/50 ledge grind roll-away on Saturday, Nov. 23, behind the Event Tent on East Campus.

Nate Stephenson
Wyatt Rhodes clears debris from the landing way of the mulch pit retaining wall for a smooth 50/50 ledge grind roll-away on Saturday, Nov. 23, behind the Event Tent on East Campus.

UC Santa Barbara allows skaters to ride on sidewalks and walkways because the campus is relatively flat, reducing the risk of higher speed impacts or collisions with others on foot. 

By numbers, more students skate to class at UCSB with 24,346 students, compared to the 17,500 at City College, but the University’s weekend and holiday skate traffic doesn’t compare.

“There’s way more trick skaters at The CC, every weekend they’re down-there getting it,” said Rhoades “Everything is really gritty and crusty here, not really any good ledges and everyone just cruises around.”

Franco Gavaldon tightens his trucks with a skate tool before a game of S.K.A.T.E. with friends on Saturday, Nov. 23, in front of the Physical Science Building 101 on East Campus. S.K.A.T.E. is similar to P.I.G. or H.O.R.S.E. in basketball but uses varying skate tricks instead of baskets to gain letters.

Nate Stephenson
Franco Gavaldon tightens his trucks with a skate tool before a game of S.K.A.T.E. with friends on Saturday, Nov. 23, in front of the Physical Science Building 101 on East Campus. S.K.A.T.E. is similar to P.I.G. or H.O.R.S.E. in basketball but uses varying skate tricks instead of baskets to gain letters.

For Dylan Osgood, his tricks are about self-expression and style which gives him a perspective to turn utilitarian stairs, hand-rails, and benches into a canvas for blending creativity with physical activity.

“I can’t draw or paint or anything, but I kinda think of my skating as its own type of art,” said Osgood “it’s like a flow, you know? Not to sound like an artsy guy or anything.” 

Osgood has been focusing on the style of his tricks instead of learning new ones and has no plans of stopping.

Dylan Osgood manuals through the Memorial Plaza on Wednesday, Nov. 17, on East Campus.

Nate Stephenson
Dylan Osgood manuals through the Memorial Plaza on Wednesday, Nov. 17, on East Campus.

While the students who use the college solely for academics will be on break for the holidays Osgood, among other local skaters, will shred the empty central coast skate hub that is Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels • Copyright 2020 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in