Call Me ATL
It was September and I hadn't left NYC in a minute, so when I got the invite to go to Atlanta with 917 I jumped at the opportunity. I was itching to be on the road again and Atlanta is one of the most photogenic cities around. Our crew was solid and I knew it would be a good time with all the New York homies, including Max Palmer, Cyrus Bennett, Hugo Boserup (from Denmark), Nolan Benfield, John Franco, Nik Stain, Logan Lara behind the lens, and of course, the one and only Alexander Olson. We met up with Atlanta's finest Justin Brock, Grayson Miller, up and comer Shane Farber, and several other locals who were gracious enough to show us around town. Days were filled with skating beautifully crusted East Coast spots, and nights with beers, bud, games of craps, tasteful movies chosen by Logan, lot's of BBQ grilling, and a raging backyard birthday party for Brock at his place. There we caught up with Grant, David Clark, and many other Atlanta legends. Another one for the books boys, can't wait to get back down South.
Words and Photos By Jonathan Mehring
When one of our tour guides mentioned an over-chain-to-bank spot we were all intrigued. We drove around for a while trying to locate it because the pin was off but finally found it on Google street view. A guy came out from his house next-door with a board and talked about how he was from California and that he'd been wanting to skate the spot. He didn't step to it though. After I blessed a large crack with two cans of Bondo the guys started hucking tricks. The run-up was rough and the bank was a damn roller coaster but Cyrus nailed a heelflip, ripped down the slide, and nearly crashed into a church on the opposite side of the street. A local kid who was watching jumped up and down with excitement. He couldn't believe his eyes so we left him a board on our way out.
One of the more rugged spots I've seen, this bank to pole jam seemed impossible at first just because of the approach. At least until Max broke out the cruiser and showed it what it's made for.
This was the first spot we skated when we got to town. It's been in videos before but seeing this thing in real life was a different story. You had to either bomb down an old sidewalk that was pure rugged crust or come from the street, quick ollie over a grass patch, land already set up, and then you were on the bank. Frontside 360 on this thing is no joke.
It's funny when you roll up to a spot and realize that you've been here before over a decade earlier and can't quite remember when or why or what went down. Must be getting senile. But I'm sure that I did not shoot anyone kickflip nosesliding this thing way back in 2004 or whenever it was. This spot is rough and difficult to skate, but it's a nice mellow hill into a bank-to-ledge, so it's screaming for tricks to get done, even if it's a high-to-get-on-low-to-come-off type of situation. It's a cool looking spot, especially at golden hour. Alex Olson demonstrates how it's done.
Right in the middle of government buildings downtown was this gem of a spot. We could see it had grind marks so Nolan Benfield opted for a slider with maximum sack factor. He nailed it and rolled through a sea of onlookers who were all stuck in their cars at a traffic light. No doubt they were all hoping he would eat it. Sorry suckers, not today.
This spot is usually skated as a bump to rail (out of frame) that is gnarly as hell and has also been pretty much destroyed trick wise. John Franco decided to take another route and just fly over the turtle even though he's "not a bump skater." Looks like he is to me!
It's not often the bridge beam to bank lines up so perfectly but it's always timeless when it does. Cyrus handled this bridge ride with grace and efficiency. It was even more impressive to watch him ollie over a trailer hitch in the street immediately after riding away at near terminal velocity.
There's nothing like a good parking lot hang. It happens on every skate tour. We always end up in some random zone, sitting on the ground, drinking beer, and generally bumming out the local clientele. This one was different though. No only did this parking lot have amazing brick planters with a slight tranny, but all the locals were stoked on us. There were families chilling in their cars watching us, and getting hyped when Hugo would get close to making this massive kickflip. There was also a near car accident (nothing to do with us… I don't think) and dudes ripping around doing burnouts. Spliffs and beers weren't anything out of the ordinary on that slab of asphalt.