As a skateboarder, you're probably going to run into the problem of security guards and police on a semi-regular basis and see varying reactions to the four-wheeled plank under your feet. Stephen Cox recently contacted a number of professional skateboarders to ask them what the best or funniest story they had regarding being kicked out of a spot was and, with tales from such seasoned travellers as Nick Boserio, Walker Ryan, Mark Baines, Evan Smith, Sebo Walker, Arto Saari and Jimmy Carlin you can be assured of an entertaining read...
Ph: Oliver Barton
Oscar Meza skating that rail in Downtown LA. It was 6:30 in the morning; I think it was the first light of summer. We went there super early. I’ve never had that before; the security comes to kick you out, “What are you doing here? You can’t skate here". Oscar’s going up to the rail and the security guard says, “What are you going up to that rail for? You’re not going to skate it. Get out of here". He was just kind of chillin’ there beside it [laughs]. We were like, “Ok they’re not being agro, so just go for it?" They were just standing there laughing at him, “Whatever kid, no one’s going to be able to do that". Next thing you know he’s down the rail skating it [laughs]. He did it under the security’s watchful eye. After they saw him go down it they were like, “Holy shit, you guys are out. Get out of here". It was funny seeing them realise, “This kid is a nut bag, he’s serious." We got kicked out after that but it was funny because they didn’t believe that it was skateable. I think he got it in four or five attempts. On one of the attempts he stuck but managed to get out of it, it was a weird one. Usually you’re straight out but they were just kind of puzzled that he was maybe going to skate the rail. On one hand they wanted to see him do it but they knew they had to kick him out. That was just more fuel to the fire for Oscar, he said, “They think I’m not going to do it? Let’s handle business" [laughs]. They were kind of stoked too because they saw it go down but, “Get out of here. Cool. But no". [Laughs]. It was a nice positive one for once!
Ph: Oliver Barton
This one is my all-time favourites, but I wasn’t there. This was about ten years ago when I was in high school. My friends went out to LA to skate the butter bench spots that Paul Rodriguez skates; Moose skates them a lot in The Deathwish Video, plastic ledges everywhere. The school is really hard to get into. The fence kind of matches up with the roof of the building so you have to get up on the fence, then the roof and then jump down. So they were all skating there for the day or whatever and an hour or so goes by. Then out of nowhere this kid that was there with another group of skaters says, “The cops are here". They didn’t know what to do because they couldn’t hop over the fence and run off because there were two cop cars and stuff. So they said, “Let’s get up on top of the roof". My friend Zach who was filming said there were thirty kids up there. Everyone had the same idea. One of my friends jumped over the fence and kind of ran off. He was like, “Damn it, what are we going to do? We’re going to be stuck in LA. What are the cops going to do? They’re not going to leave until everyone is back". So the cops are yelling at everyone to get off the roof and everyone kind of gave up. There was a woman who was training to be a cop who was kind of on a ride along. The cop was getting all tough, trying to show off; “This is how you get over the fence". So he starts climbing it, gets to the top, slips and sacked it [laughs]. He was proper, “ughhh". He just slowly retreated and went back down. Everyone wanted to laugh but they were so nervous. Zack told me that my other friend just went, “Daaaaamn. You sacked it!" The image of the cop just trying to show off in front of the new girl and sacking it [laughs]. I wish I had of been there!
Ph: Graham Tait
About six months ago we’d been on a filming and photo mission. We’d been over to the Little Chef roof amongst other places and decided to hit up Worksop on the way back to Sheffield. There’s a school in Worksop with a sick yellow rail in there, so we decided to go there. The area it’s in is where a lot of the older Worksop skaters grew up. The Shipmans grew up around the corner from the school and skated there regularly as kids as we all did. Nowadays you have to hop a fence to get into the school but it’s easily done. We were skating and trying to shoot a photo when a guy with a walking stick opens the gate up and starts hurling abuse at us. One thing I have always hated as a skater is this kind of thing. Yes, we shouldn’t be in there but I won’t accept that skating is wrong. Because of this I laid into the guy telling him to chill out calling us names and treat us with respect. In hindsight he was probably pretty scared coming into the school, which probably dictated his attitude towards us. After a while he chilled out and was actually in to what we were doing. He also knew the Shipmans - he wasn’t old despite the walking stick - so he let us have a few more goes, which we did and then left. We thought he was alright in the end after initially being a dick. We thought nothing more of it and drove back to Sheffield. We’d got a photo but I needed to go back and make the trick so I thought I’d leave it a couple weeks then go back. About a week later I was at home and there’s a knock on the door. I answered and it was a police officer. He asked me if I had a Volkswagen Golf and I told him I did. He asked if I had kids and I said no. Then he asked if I had been at the school in Worksop the previous week and I said yes. Then he gave me a number and said I needed to call this officer in relation to a fence being damaged. I couldn’t believe it. I was wondering if we’d bust the fence climbing over it but was sure we hadn’t. Nightmare. I called the officer and when I spoke with her she explained I needed to come into the station in Worksop and pay £30 for some paint to repaint the rail. It made sense now but then I remembered the caretaker saying we could have a few more goes and that was it. I told the officer this and that I wasn’t going to pay £30 to repaint a rail which already had half the paint missing. Not from skating but general wear and tear. She said I had to pay it otherwise I would be arrested and questioned. I couldn’t believe it. I still insisted £30 was too much and that it wasn’t fair I was paying for the whole rail to be repainted when I had done a small fraction of the paint removal. The officer could see my side I think and said if I brought £15 in she would sort it with the school. So I did. I drove over to Worksop dropped the £15 off and that was it. About a month later we were thinking of somewhere to skate when I thought about the rail. I wanted to go back and make the trick so without really thinking we drove to Worksop and to the school. Pulling up I realised that it was probably stupid because it would be repainted and if I got caught again I would be in trouble. We hopped the fence anyway and surprise-surprise the rail hadn’t been painted, I’d been shaken down. We skated it, got the trick and left. I probably won’t go back for a while now though. Skateboarding is not a crime.
Ph: Jason Morey
Seckypresh is short for security pressure. It can be a good thing or a bad thing; bad getting kicked out obviously but once we started saying it a lot, I've seen so many people land tricks in Melbourne under seckypresh. It's also the name of an awesome skate video made by Geoff Campbell. You can see in Dane's gnarly boardslide on the double set kinked hubba there's a secky standing right there. In Melbourne, Australia security guards have less power or something - and no guns - so we just roll deep and keep skating when they show up. We just tell them to call the cops and fuck off. It helps for sure, all your crew yelling, "seckypresh!" when they're rolling up. You know the celebrations are going to be that much better if you take what you're trying like that. I've had all types of seckys; angry, cool confused, every kind. A friend of ours has done the full, "Get out of the way or I'm going through you" routine and just barged the shit out of the secky who thought that was big boy hot shit. The funniest shit about seckypresh is when you do come through when they show up and you're all so happy to leave anyway because the trick is done; yelling and hyped, not caring at all that they've even showed up. It's so awesome.
Ph: Oliver Barton
Are you getting kicked out of skate spots too? That makes all of us. Sometime soon this has got to change! One time I was arrested in Hong Kong. Wes [Kremer] was trying to darkslide a carbon fibre handrail outside The Bank of China. The guards struggled to kick us out, but we left in a hurry only to find out that as soon as we loaded up our passenger van with humanoids, camera equipment, and one Chinese driver that they don't play in Asia. Guards surrounded our large vehicle with cones, we had no idea what to do. I was in on this decision. We ditched the driver and the van and skated away as fast as possible. Our day went on as planned, hitting skate spots around Hong Kong. We met back up with the driver, he takes us to this large open area plaza. We’re skating around, lurking. Wes heads to the store to get some beers, I'm checking out this rail, and little did we know we were being followed. Twenty to thirty cops surrounded us. No lie. The boys in blue won't leave without taking four of us with them. We are getting searched and put up along a wall. At this point I look up and Wes gets back with a case of beer and takes a seat off in the distance observing the crimson from afar. A couple of hours go by, me and three others were taken into custody of the Chinese government. Luckily DC saved our lives and bails us out of jail and good thing Wes missed the jail wagon because he eventually went on darksliding his way onto the cover of Transworld. I wasn't mad that I went to jail that day. Sometimes you gotta pay to play. Right Wes?
Photo courtesy of Krooked Skateboards
The one that comes to mind was when I went to India on a trip and we were looking for a certain spot. It was at nighttime, we jumped a spiked fence and all of a sudden some Indian guards started yelling at us, we didn’t understand them. They were mad and they had machine guns so we were like, “Shit! We’ve got to run". Then the dogs started barking and chasing us as well as the guards with the guns. This was me, Mark Suciu, Nestor Judkins, Sean Malto, Patrik Wallner and Jonathan Mehring. We had to jump back over the crazy spiked fence under pressure with guns and dogs behind us [laughs]. So we were sprinting and ended up getting away and we were fine but it was pretty scary because we were in their turf! Of course the next morning we found the spot and it wasn’t even in that park! We skated it and got away with it.
Ph: Oliver Barton
One of my favorites was down here in San Diego. It was this spot that was a sidewalk entrance to a weed dispensary that was a gap to a street. It was a weed dispensary on a Saturday so we figured it should be chill. I’m skating the gap and the owner screeched up in his Porsche, got out and starts on me. The thing was, he wasn’t mad about me skating on his property, he was mad that I wasn’t wearing a helmet [laughs]. So we’re like, “….Oh. Well if that’s your only concern I can assure you the helmet isn’t an issue. If it’s the noise or whatever we’ll be happy to leave but if it’s really just the helmet you’re worried about then don't worry, we do this for a living". He just wasn’t budging. He was just so passionate about me wearing a helmet. So we left and came back the next weekend - with a helmet. He pulled up once again and started losing it especially because he recognized us. So I said, “Hey, hey, hey. Look, I’ve got the helmet". Then I started skating around in front of him with the helmet on and dude, he was so stoked. He just felt like he’d won and proved his point. It was a weird one because then while I was skating I was worried he would come back out again and see me without the helmet on. He would have just thought I was doing it out of spite [laughs]. Every so often he would come back out and I’d put the helmet on quickly. He would stand and watch for a while smiling. Eventually I got the trick without the helmet [laughs] but it was the gnarliest switch backside flip I've ever done and I sometimes wish I'd done it with the helmet on, just for kicks.