Miami

Precisely one week before the annual Tampa blowout, several members of the Girl/Chocolate team hopped on their own bandwagon and headed south to the city Crockett and Tubbs put on the map. This trip was largely inspired not by the fact that Spring Break was looming in the heads of many in attendance, but more by the fact that Miami definitely has some of the best undisclosed skate spots in the U.S.

If some of what Miami has to offer rested in the West, it’s certain that these edifices would fall prey to the unsettling phenomena that has claimed so many of the Golden State’s greatest spots. Couple a thriving resident skate population with numerous skaters heading west in pursuit of turning dreams into reality, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for spot evaporation. Let’s diverge for a moment and take a look at the logistics involved in this process: Imagine the satisfaction of finding a spot that’s not only perfect, but miraculously has yet to appear in a single issue of TransWorld or 411. Excitedly, one would probably let a couple of friends in on their new find, all the while calmly calculating what they are going to do there and when. Finally it’s time. The new spot gets christened and goes on record in print and on video for all to marvel over–the seas have been chummed, now it’s time to watch for the sharks. The better the spot, the sooner they will come. Also, the popularity of the skater involved in the initial trick documentation plays a heavy role in this process. It is far more rewarding to be the first guy to switch flip frontside crooked-grind the ledge where Eric Koston could only do it regular. Once it’s been decided that the next guy has got what it takes, all he has to do is contact the media personnel/confidant who documented the prior trick at that spot and convince the photographer he’s worthy. This part can be tricky, but case history shows that photographers and videographers really have very little discretion in this process, because in reality their livelihood is based on being able to provide skaters with spots. Now this new spot is just another cheap whore in California’s skateboard street game. The outcome is inevitable. It either becomes overexposed, skate-proofed, or destroyed all together: EMB, Hubba Hideout, Los Feliz, Lockwood, L.A. High, etc.

So we were off to Miami to help build on the similar chain of events that has begun to surface out that way. Pretty much everybody on this trip made the same journey after last year’s Tampa contest, which seemed to help heighten the awareness (for those not familiar with South Florida) that there’s more down there than models and beaches.

Felix Arguelles, the don of South Florida skating, was the coordinator for last year’s trip, but since he was already on a similar mission to ours this year, we employed the help of a guy who’s currently holding Miami skating down, Joel Meinholz. He took us not only to spots that have become Miami’s most wanted (Synagogue Rail and their Hubba Hideout), but Joel also had personal gems he was more than willing to turn us loose on–extremely generous considering he had no intentions of self-promotion. Many a photo was shot, and we finally convinced the overly humble Joel to represent at some of his spots for the article.

During our brief five-day stay, we also managed to log some time on the beach and experience the nightlife South Beach is famous for. The spots in these photos may look familiar to you, hopefully some won’t, but the bottom line is that until the entire skate community decides that Miami is the place to get “discovered,” it’s safe to say these spots will have longevity, and Florida will remain famous for attracting senior citizens.