Photographic Memory: Rick Howard

This photo of Rick Howard from 2004 was shot on the first of many Spanish filming trips the Lakai team took for Fully Flared. This particular mission started in Mallorca, one of the Balearic islands in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain, a magic little place which has traces of human habitation stretching back as far as 6000 BCE, became a long term hide out to Howard Marks and remains home to Plaza Sa Faxine, one of the best plaza skate spots you can ever have the fortune of skating. A good local friend Tolo Carbonell took us to this quarter pipe spot which is part of the fountains that used to welcome theatre goers to the Es Foguero Palace, a grand location in the north of the island which hosted cabaret shows with acrobatics, flamenco and horse displays. Unfortunately, the theatre didn't last long and closed it's doors in 1993, it's history turning further towards the dark side with rumors of people falling to their deaths when sections of flooring gave way, and ultimately becoming the scene of a notorious murder in 2010 of "El Gallego," a German homeless man who had made the theatre his abode.

There are some manny pads inside the theatre itself, but the best things to skate are the fountains in the front. The section of transition that you can see in this photo is pretty clean but the run in can be pretty hectic depending on what time of year you're there. If the fountains have been dried out over the summer, a simple sweeping session to clear the flat bottom dust should do the trick but since we were there in March after an especially wet winter, a resolute layer of scum and slime had taken up residence in the flat bottom. Enter Ty Evans and his incandescent thirst for spot remedies and before long various bits of fountain detritus that had been enlisted and refashioned for slime busting had rendered the spot more or less skateable. If you look in the bottom left of the frame, you can see that the cement darkens where it's still damp, every time Rick blasted across the flat of the fountain, I was waiting for the ruthless slam that follows the swift reorientation and decking that a greasy concrete slip out will invoke, but growing up in those wet Canadian winters blessed Rick with Gandulph-level hydroplaning skills and he was blasting out of that quarter like it was the old vert ramp at Girl. There are few other teams in skateboarding with a line up as legendary as Lakai's and arguably none who will focus on a full length video featuring the entire team; it's already been six years since Fully Flared dropped but it could probably drop in a couple of years and still be ahead of its time. Word on the street is that work is underway on a new full length Lakai video project which promises to be just as pinnacle as it's predecessor. All hail the Flare!

More Photographic Memories:
Pete Eldridge
Marcus McBride

Photo & words / BARTON