Words: Adam Longnecker
It was Friday night in Great Falls, Montana, and I was on my way to pick up Josh Evin and Ben Krahn at the airport. Josh and Ben had come to skate under the Big Sky at the new 25,000 square foot park designed by Grindline (fine tuning by Shaggy in below zero temperatures earlier this year) and Tim Altec. First order of business was a session. Ben and Josh were loving the park and drawing lines instantly. As the sun set Josh stomped an ollie air over the hole of the full pipe funnel tunnel. In the interest of keeping my friends entertained with a bit of Montana night life we headed down to the “Sip n’Dip to watch the girls in mermaid outfits swim behind glass and have a couple of drinks.
On Saturday, Great Falls celebrated their new skatepark with a Grand Opening festival featuring three demos with Ben Krahn, Josh Evin, Ryan Simonetti, and Whitefish, Montana native Aaron Robinson. The demo crew slogged through two demos in the heat of the day with temperatures soaring to 107 degrees. Approximately four hundred spectators lined the decks as Josh Evin nailed ollie gaps all over the park. Ben Krahn worked lines for miles with his usual casual style and smoothness. Ryan Simonetti originally from Great Falls blasted stale-fish nose bones, frigid airs, and tail grab nose grinds on the death box wall and threw down a couple stale-fish airs over the funnel tunnel gap. Krahn nailed the funnel tunnel gap with a big frontside ollie on his second attempt, and Josh worked the same gap over the opposite direction with method airs. Josh entertained the crowds at the flat end of the park with some classic freestylin’ like some Primo to Primo impossible flips, no-comply impossibles, and a variety of hand varial variations. Seventeen year old Aaron Robinson from Whitefish, Montana blasted backside ollies and backside airs over hips and transfers all over the park at 110mph, smiling the entire time.
On Sunday morning it was time to move on. For Josh Evin it was time to fly to Denver Colorado for a seven parks over seven days adventure travel camp with the Skatepark Sessions crew (skateparksessions.com). For Ben Krahn, Aaron Robinson, photographer Brendan Rohan, and myself it was time to head down the road a few hours to our friend Jeff’s house for a pool session at the Treasure Bowl with Steve Schneer. Montana’s Big Sky was filled with clouds keeping the heat at bay. A morning of drizzle had chased Steve and his crew away, but once the rain stopped we dropped in for a fun filled session. Krahn utilized the new tree quarter-pipe for a tree ride to fakie then back into the bowl switch with a switch hip air and on into a switch line. Good times at a surreal location.