Words by Mackenzie Eisenhour
Top 10 Carlsbad Hammers
After losing Hubba Hideout last year, another of skateboarding's most hallowed proving grounds—the legendary Carlsbad High School grass gap, built March 5, 1957—has now also tasted the bulldozer's blade. The following are our picks for its 10 biggest hammers ever. RIP.
01. Kris Markovich: Kickflip (’93)
After Jeremy Klein notched the first ollie on video in Birdhouse's Feasters ('92), and Markovich countered with a backside 180 in Union's Right to Skate ('92), Kris opened the floodgates with his landmark kickflip on our January '94 cover.
02. Danny Way: Nollie (’94)
I don't think kids realize how gnarly Danny Way was at skating street. Perhaps Waiting for Lightning will finally do him justice. No one anywhere had nollied anything even close to Carlsbad when Danny did it in Plan B's Virtual Reality.
03. Jeremy Wray: Frontside Flip (’95)
Few video parts gave more shine to Carlsbad than Jeremy Wray's part in Second Hand Smoke. The magical frontside flip is backed up with a frontside 360, a switch back 180, and a frontside half-Cab. Backside heelflip sold separately.
04. Tom Penny: Switch Frontside Flip (’95)
On the heels of Wray's exploits, few were prepared for the official launch of Penny's reign via his insultingly casual third try switch frontside flip in Flip's 411 Industry part. In the words of Sean Sheffey, "The dude had superpowers."
05. Brandon Turner: Switch Hardflip (’01)
Shorty's Guilty won't be winning any posthumous Academy Awards for its prison van/cop-killing spree skits any time soon. However, nothing could stop Brandon Turner's missed-push swerve to switch hards from making this list.
06. Erik Ellington: Backside Bigspin (’05)
"Gettin' f—ked up tonight!" Ellington's style and trick selection have been unmistakable since he blew up on Zero back in the mid-'90s. As one of the first to bring bigspins to rails in Misled Youth ('99), it's only fitting he was the first to take it down Carlsbad in Baker 3.
07. Antwuan Dixon: Nollie Heelflip (’05)
Sometimes it's not what you do, it's how you do it. The truth is, Dixon's nollie heel (also from Baker 3) could have been notched by a million others and never made it onto this 10. But in Antwuan's case, Carlsbad hadn't seen that brand of nonchalance since Penny
08. Cody McEntire: Nollie Bigspin Heelflip (’09)
While the ender from his Digital Smoke and Mirrors part might just have knocked one of your all-time favorite Carlsbad tricks off this list (Bledsoe? Layton? Dyrdek? Furby? Marks?), omitting Cody Mack's nollie biggie heel dagger would be downright criminal.
09. Chris Cole: Backside 360 Kickflip (’09)
Ryan Fabry did the first backside 360 kickflip caught on video down three stairs in Plan B's Questionable ('92). Since then, hardly anyone did it over anything. Cut to Strange World, and Chris Cole dusted it off, called it the blizzard flip, and took it to Carlsbad. Snap.
10. Andrew Reynolds: Frontside Half-Cab Flip (’10)
Along with J. Wray, Reynolds easily notched the most landmark tricks down the gap. Since his Cab in This is Skateboarding ('03), through the ads for Stay Gold of the frontside half-Cab flip, The Boss also rifled off nollie Cab, switch pop shuv, and switch back heel.