This past weekend, the Valo Phillys guys took a trip from Philly up to NYC, specifically the Boogie Down Bronx, to film and session at the first annual Boschi Pope Skate off. Below is a written article with pictures and an edit as seen through the eyes of our Valo Philly support.
So peep game... In Philly, we love waking up early these days. Beating the miserable East Coast humidity during the summer is necessary out here, and also who likes dealing with all the hustle & bustle of traffic & crowds? Not us! Needless to say, we knew we wanted to arrive at the park before 8:00am to start session-ing and filming before the park filled up and the heat set in. This meant we needed to meet at Sean’s apartment and leave by 5:30am. The drive was quick, painless, with no traffic. Boom! We couldn’t have asked for an easier drive. Moving on, we instantly found parking right by the skate park and had our skates on by 7:45am.
Keep in mind this was our first time skating the Hamilton Bridge Skate Park and after we started getting warmed-up, we were feeling it. This park is dope once you get the vibes down. It offered a lot of raw street elements, which we have always personally enjoyed; from butter ledges, square down rails, to brick banks and more, this place had it going on.
James Perez and his brother Bryan, even caught up with us to session and chill on the early bird sesh, which was cool, because up until that point we had never officially met James. Dude skates smooth and is mad chill. Much love to the homie!
As the morning progressed Boschi and Ryan Loewy showed up to organize their product stands and other contest materials. It was awesome seeing those dudes, and even though it’s been a minute, its all love out here and we caught up right where we left off.
By 11:00am were checking our phones’, looking at the time, wondering, isn’t the contest supposed to start now? There were literally a handful of people at the park, and then it hit us and we started dying laughing. 11:00am in “NY time” is more like 2:00pm. No sweat though, we totally enjoyed having that amazing park to ourselves as long as we did.
As we continued to skate, more people started showing up. East Coast legend Joe Dedentro rolled in with the crispy Valo EU set-up, and honestly, watching that dude skate in person was unreal. We were super young when the video “No Limits” came out and got introduced to this triple OG. On top of being a lil star struck, it was our pleasure to realize how super humble and very approachable Joe is. All praises due Joe D, you the man!
A whole slew of other NY OG’s and East Coast greats showed up too. Ray Mendez, Victor Calendar, Jose Disla, Mike Murda, Billy Fish, Richie Corley, and more were all in full attendance to show love, skate, and support the scene.
One of the MC’s, Ra, started the contest off with a great speech to set the tone. If you were there you know you gotta give it up to the guy. He didn’t write any of this down, he just freestyle’d it off the top, from the heart, and spoke passionately about how dope this sport, culture, hobby, whatever you wanna call it is, and what it means to be apart of this scene. I wish we had Ra’s words recorded, but whether you were getting shine in the mags and vids, or just a person who skated for the love outside the cameras, it didn’t matter. In a nutshell, Ra encouraged everyone still skating and still representing on any level to give them self a round of applause. At this point, you could tell we all recognized what it is we all love to do, and as a family of skaters, we clapped our hands and cheered for ourselves. Maybe it was a “have to be there” thing, but real talk, that was something to witness. Props to Ra for the inspiring words that with no question only unified our skate fam further that day.
As the contest began, witnessing how hype all the skaters were made it fun to watch. Energy levels were definitely on some next, and you could see the hunger in people’s eyes as they skated hard to impress and represent their skills. We definitely saw some near death experiences where some nasty collisions were tactfully avoided. One instance was during the finals when one homie spun over the boob ramp, while another homie, who wasn’t looking, skated right out in front of it. Everyone in the crowd gasped as the dude in the air nearly kato’ed the other skaters dome. For those of you who don’t know what it means to “Kato” something, it means to bonk. Google “Kato Street Dwellas” and watch his section, you’ll understand. Kato is king of the bonk.
Anways, in-between watching the contest, we also had a chance to break away to other parts of the park to film some clips of Valo riders and supporters like, Matthias St. John, Victor Arias, Anthony Marchione, Sean Grossman, James Perez & Augusto Castillo.
Overall, the Boschi Pope Skate Off was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. All the skaters from past and present showed up to represent and prove the scene has always been strong in NYC. After being there for over 12 hours, we decided to head back to Philly, but we did so feeling grateful for the chance to experience such an incredible event with even more incredible people. Special thanks to Boschi Pope, Ryan Loewy, Butter TV, & The New York Skate Series for making this all possible! Can’t wait till next year.
Much love & respect,
Photography : Ryan Loewy
Be on the look out for more content from the Valo Philly crew and make note they have been working on a video project that will be released later this year. Keep visiting Themgoods.com to stay up to date with all related news and articles.