1. Hola Miami y gracias por la hospitalidad

    "Hello Miami and thank you for the hospitality". Brandon Knowles, Frank Branca and I descended upon Miami for a two day getaway from the tropical environments of Tampa and Orlando for the, well, tropical environment of Miami. It had been about 3 years since my last Miami adventure and I’d forgotten how much of a lush tropical paradise it is. It’s a major metropolitan city unlike any other with warm, humid weather and a sea breeze on South Beach. It’s incredibly nice. And you’re gonna pay for it. Miami can definitely be a pricey location to spend time but you get what you pay for.

    South Beach is fancy. No better word for it. You have Chanel ads on bus stops and flagship stores for every designer brand you can think of on either Collins Ave or Ocean Drive. The more wifed up readers of this will probably think “I can come down here and skate all over the beach while my girl shops til her face melts!” I’m definitely gonna try that plan.

    The first stop was this hip on Key Biscayne. Rough, rugged and raw. Frank came through with this frontside ollie.

    I didn’t know where this bridge went but I wanted to go over it. I love Miami.

    But then I decided I’d rather go over here. It’s insane, you can do some fishing in the shadow of a major metropolis.

    Brandon slid this back tail at this grimy bank spot.

    The next spot was the famous rooftop spot. The MIA guys have built lots of sick DIY ramps at the entrance.

    The graffiti adds a lot of flavor to this place. Frank got psyched and snapped this ollie.

    Later on South Beach, Brandon found a local to tell us some nearby spots.

    Panoramic. Miami’s water is still crystal clear and azure blue. I love it.

    So much development right on the ocean. Ever seen Cocaine Cowboys? I guess we have to thank those guys for pumping so much money into the city and building all these spots.

    The next day at this ledge spot. Find the Frank and win.

    Made a new friend in the hood.

    We chilled hard.

    Then he was out.

    The rest of the trip was kind of a bummer because I severely rolled my ankle trying to drop in on the triangle. I know… But still, Miami is a beautiful city I want to spend more time in.

     

  2. Skate Then Destoy.

    We did some skating around Lakeland and discovered some garbage that we did some shredding on. One man’s treasure is another man’s trash.

    Frank got his licks in on this abandoned TV.

    Over and done with.

    This thing didn’t stand a chance.

    Donzo. 

    If I were still in photo school this would make an awesome artistic statement photo.

     

  3. Into The Wild.

    After a fun night in Orlando with our old friends and Girlfriends, where we ate, drank and were more merry than usual, Frank, Brandon and I kept heading east to visit my old friend Frosty. He’s no stranger to this blog, but he recently left his 10-year position at the Skatepark for a new opportunity in Daytona Beach; He’s now working in air conditioning. We were already in Orlando so why not drive another hour or so and check in on the Snowman?

    We skated The Property, a DIY spot out in the wilderness of Eastern Florida. It’s really sketchy and hard to skate, but in the best way possible. It’s kind of private but since Frosty’s girlfriend and her parents own about 100 acres (maybe more) next to The Property we have a hall pass to skate it. Thanks Leighann!

    Expansive wilderness.

    There’s a gigantic pool out there. It’s massive, but Brandon Knowles was able to skate it. Back smith.

    Peanut Gallery. Leighann, Frosty, Devin Bagnoli and Jesse Alderman.

    Brandon Knowles, frontside feeble.

    Devin Bagnoli skating the other section of The Property. It’s a mini Burnside style course. Way mellower and way more fun. Backside Crail.

    Frank had been wanting to skate this thing for years. Frontside grind.

    This thing is Devin’s home turf. Frontside lipslide.

    Devin had the frontside crail down too.

    Jesse Alderman front smithed this. The coping sticks out a few inches too long.

    Frosty wanted to get in on the action too. Feeble while Leighann watches on.

    Frontside ollie trasfer from the weird mini spine to the quarterpipe.

    Brandon slid this back lip over the channel.

    Frank definitely made his time out on The Property count. Front tailslide.

    Brandon shut it down at dusk with this back smith.

    Thanks for the good times Frosty and Leighann!

     

  4. Give Thanks Every Day.

    You don’t need a reason to be thankful for everything you have but the Thanksgiving season definitely helps. Frank and Alyssa threw a Thanksgiving party for everyone to get together and be thankful at. You should give thanks and celebrate all you have all the time but, like I said, what better time than this time of year?

    I’m thankful for my girlfriend always making me a plate without me even asking at any get together that has food.

    Thanks for throwing the Party Alyssa! (Frank shot this one)

    If the Dukes of Hazzard were girls they’d be Amanda and Violet.

    That turkey didn’t stand a chance.

    Luis and Noel are thankful to not be living in Sebring anymore.

    Just fixing a slight wardrobe malfunction.(Frank took this one)

    Toby came up on tons of leftovers.

    Sister Sister.

    I’m thankful for Megan keeping me really busy at the plumbing company we work at.

    Amanda is definitely thankful for Megan’s Christmas gift hints.

    I’m thankful I won $20 off Sam in Cee Lo.

    Then Kurt is happy he won $5 or so of that 20 from me.

    Goodnight, and thanks!

     

  5. Working Hard?

    One really cool, rare thing about my job is that my supervisor is one of my best friends and the person I skate with the most. Another rare and cool thing is that we may be able to take a few hours to do some skating in the middle of a workday, like we did today. We had all our shit in order, all the money from our jobs in, and no new business to attend to, so why not go cruise around and snap some photos while we have a rare mellow work day? Those don’t come too often so we take full advantage when we can.

    Thread the needle, extra grime.

    Nosegrind bonk out in the wilds of Plant City.

     

  6. Stepped out to The Bricks for the “SanctSHOEary Sneaker Soiree” thrown by the usual suspects at SPoT and The Bricks and hosted by premiere Tampa sneaker gambino Wit-E Beats. A shoe-focused party is a little out of the norm for me but it’s actually pretty similar to any get together for music, art or skating even (if not a little more sedentary).

    Tons of limited and older Dunks like the Diamond Dunks here as well as some Supreme Dunks in the back.

    The Freddy Kruger Dunks that never got produced due to some sort of copyright hissy fit from Hollywood.

    This display was mainly focused on the promo stuff that comes with limited shoes. Like an insulted cooler and foam lobster claw for some Blue Lobster Dunks.

    These tweaker Krusty The Clown Sk8-His were pretty sick.

    If you’re feelin’ fancy Eli had these Marc Jacobs Sk8-His.

    This asshole was at the door.

    Clements and Wit-E were the MCs.

    Brian’s brother Glen came out and hung for a while. His limited sneakers of choice were some Wolverine work boots. If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Glen definitely introduce yourself if you ever see him.

    Tom McKessy was running things in the shop as usual.

    Wit-E’s girlfriend was housing things at this

    I sat down with Wit a couple days after the event to discuss the outcome and the sneaker culture in general, as well as what to expect from the next sneaker soiree.

    "My Uncle got me the first Jordan’s and that was the first time that… It sparked it." Wit explains about the beginning of his shoe fascination. "I just liked the attention that they got." "What we had was more like an exhibit." Wit-E announced concerning the difference between SanctSHOEary and other sneaker events."We didn’t charge shit, and it was more to give back to the community." The amount of rare, almost impossible to find shoes at the Soiree, like the Air Mags, which were created to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Wit deadpanned, "Resell market (on those) is easily three to four grand."

    I dove into a subject near and dear to Wit-E in the form of what major sneaker brands could do to tighten their game up and improve their production. “Certain companies (are) puttin’ out second rate product.” The consumer isn’t absolved from guilt either. “People need to stop supportin’ that bullshit… Waiting in line to buy it up when it’s not worth the money they’re spending.”

    When I asked what to expect from the next SanctSHOEary event?

    "A good time" was the reply.

     

  7. Mellow Sunday.

    Mellow Sunday session at Clements’ driveway skatepark on the river.

    Clem started off the session with a hurricane rock.

    Donahue ran off with my camera and shot this photo of Rob’s back disaster.

    He’s figuring out how to skate tranny.

    Rob pulled out this melon to fakie. Nice background props, Alex.

    Later, Alex at his beloved pink ledges in Ybor.

    This is as good of a closing to this post as any.

     

  8. Skated around Downtown Tampa with Tom McKessy breaking in a Canon 5D I just got.

     

  9. Halfoween.

    Pat Stiener and Alex Donahue recently moved in together in Lakeland, and had their first get-together for Halloween last weekend, the “half-assed Halloween party.”

    Aaron Austin shot most of these photos as well as filmed some stuff on VHS.

     

  10. Escaping.

    Knowles and me have been working way too much lately so we decided to take a couple days and go down to the land of milk and honey, Sebring. It’s really relaxed and everyone is down to earth. It’s only an hour away, oh and my girlfriend lives down there too so that’s definitely an added bonus. We did some skating during the day and went out to my new favorite bar ever, The Wild Turkey.

    We tangled with this thing and came up on something I need to sit on so that’s an extra perk.

    Frank Branca stomped this hardflip.

    You think Frank can’t get up on some slants?

    And after that, sweetheart time at the Turkey.

    Frank is right at home. He got the ball rolling on photos in the bar.

    Amazing.

    Alyssa pumped up the jams.

    I want a Wild Turkey built in Ybor immediately if not sooner.

    Sister sister.

    Alyssa was having enough fun to try and get on the table before getting told not to.

    Pool shark.

    Frank and Alyssa coupled up.

    Then the next day we went to the dilapidated Wauchula Skatepark.

    Frank set up this ski jump contraption but Noel had the right idea taking it on from the opposite angle.

    Sebring local Crazy Mike had this rope board setup that was pretty entertaining to watch. This was an alley oop into the mini ramp.

    Frank took a more classic approach with this frontside ollie though.

    Noel got up on them bars with this nosegrind.

    Got to catch up with my dawg Tall Tee. He’s explaining why he prefers XXXXXXL tees. “The 4 and 5 XLs shrink too much.”

    Then he blasted this fakie flip and we had to haul ass back to Tampa for another week of laying pipe.

    See you soon Sebring!