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As you probably well know, this week some of the best bowl riders from around the world have descended upon Huntington Beach for the Vans Van Doren Invitational contest. As global as many of the contestants are, Huntington Beach and the surrounding area has not only become home to many of skateboarding’s most legendary bowl riders such as Christian Hosoi and Jeff Grosso but it has also bred many homegrown rippers itself, arguably none more pinnacle than Dylan Rieder. As far as I’m aware it was Jason Hernandez who brought a then relatively unknown Dylan into the ATime To Shine project; Dylan had put out some footage in a Quik promo, shared a part with Diego Bucchieri in an Osiris video and released a sprinkle of Rasa Libre footage, but aside from that very little was known about the chap who would become one of the most iconic skaters of his generation.
This photo is from a trip to Barcelona in 2005 that Jason took with Dylan, Chad Tim Tim, and Cooper Wilt. This spot sits at the back of a huge exhibition space in Barcelona called The Forum. Built in 2004 to host a 141 day international event called “The Universal Forum Of Cultures,” as well as hosting 40 conventions, 423 concerts and 57 street performances, the place was also constructed stuffed to the brim full of spots like the big 5 block that Mike Anderson frontside wallrides down in his NATV part, the ledge banks that Shiloh Greathouse 5-0 fakies in his First Love part, the metal shoot out ledges that Stefan Janoski switch nose grind shoves in Inhabitants and some giant concrete hubbas that you’ll see John Fitzgerald grinding in the new Vans video. Rolling up to this place for the first time and seeing all those spots under construction was insane, when I saw the waves for the first time I thought my brain was going melt, how this place was not designed by a skateboarder I’ll never know. These huge circle slab waves mark a wall on the perimeter of the Forum where it meets the sea, where Dylan is taking run up from is an outdoor swimming pool where you can conveniently take a swim once you’re done skating. As cool as the slabs look, they also make these waves far kinkier to skate than they look and the triangle gaps in the corners where the slabs join have been more than happy to grab many an unsuspecting wheel or digit which I’ve seen result in several doses of blood shed and one savagely bent finger. Dylan did this front blunt twice, once at dusk in the still that you see here and another time during the day for a grain free video clip and sequence for nine frames, both times with a level of calm that let you know he was headed for significance. Dylan would quietly tear up any spot you put him in front of so it was no surprise that “The Golden Boy,” as Chad nicknamed him, closed out A Time To Shine in a part that every time I go back to gives me the instantaneous urge to go skate, and there’s no greater accolade than that.
Photo & Words / BARTON