SPoT Check #1
SPoT Check #1
Words and Photos: Josh Bowser
It’s ten after 9am and I’m back in bed, sucking down water straight out of the gallon and chasing it with short sips of black coffee. I’m up a little earlier than most of the guys, but only because I came home from Reservoir– “the finest hole-in-the-wall in town”–much earlier than them. I drag my ass out of bed again and start hitting people up to skate.
It doesn’t matter how early I wake up, because inevitably the SPoT crew will end up stuffed in the car, waiting for me, parked in front of my house. Eventually I’ll come fumbling out of the door, flash stands falling everywhere and definitely not ready to skate. Fuck it though; can’t just sit around all day.
We spend most of the day cutting a familiar path through the city’s humid streets, one car deep, talking shit and trying to make the old spots feel new again. Inside the air-conditioned car foggy memories from the night before start to condense in our minds. “Who was climbing on the cages at Castle?” “How many beers did I drink last night anyway?” The stories and the sessions intertwine, and as we navigate the city on our clandestine path we spend another day connecting the past to the future in a blitz of urethane, metal, and wood. This is pretty much what it’s like to be a skateboarder in Tampa. It’s a day-to-day routine packed with the scrapes, makes, and battles that every skater knows, but that’s not to say that Tampa is not unique.
Tampa is a well known name in skateboarding for good reason. It holds a singular place for its influence on the evolution of skateboarding starting in the early 90s, and that rich history has been continuously reinvented in subsequent eras. The Am and Pro contests are a staple in the world of contest skating & Tampa native Josh Stewart has been around long enough now for you to have seen a few of our best spots on video. You probably know a handful of really talented younger skateboarders from Tampa: Dustin Eggeling, Jereme Knibbs & Yonnie Cruz to name a few. But Tampa is still just the name of a skatepark to most skateboarders. Few visiting skaters see more than the Pro Course and the “Office” at Res. And even if you do come to skate street, how do you plan on finding the spots?
This ongoing article will highlight our little skate scene. While everyone knows Tampa is here, the local skate scene has never had much light shed on it. Even with the explosion of popular skateboarders from Florida, Tampa sits in the shadow. And that’s alright with us, for now.