Sunday, January 04, 2009

Skaters ride the California foreclosure wave

It seems California skateboarders are once again taking advantage of a rare window of opportunity.

Thanks to the recent wave of house foreclosures, many California homes have been abandoned, leaving backyard pools neglected and open for (pool-riding) business.

Area skateboarders have been quick to scour their neighborhoods for empty backyard pools, just as their predecessors did during the mid-1970s drought. Only this time, they're locating pools with a little help from realty tracking websites like

Excerpt from, "Skaters jump in as foreclosures drain the pool":

"...On a recent morning, a 27-year-old skateboarder who goes by the name Josh Peacock peered into a swimming pool in Fresno, Calif., emptied by his own hands — and the foreclosure crisis — and flashed a smile as wide as a half-pipe.

“We have more pools than we know what to do with,” said Mr. Peacock, who lives in Fresno, the Central Valley city where thousands of homes, many with pools behind them, are in foreclosure. “I can’t even keep track of them all anymore.”
Across the nation, the ultimate symbol of suburban success has become one more reminder of the economic meltdown, with builders going under, pools going to seed and skaters finding a surplus of deserted pools in which to perfect their acrobatic aerials."

Cali-style pool-riding is back, and this time it's an international phenomenon. According to the New York Times article, skaters are dropping in from as far away as Germany and Australia to ride the empty pools.

Which makes sense, given the thrills of pool-riding and the legends that have since grown up around the style's early practioners. Maybe today's skaters hope to share in the excitement of a movement chronicled in old skateboarder magazines and in documentaries such as Dogtown and Z-Boys.

Plus, at least some skaters seem to have an understanding of the easy money policies that helped fuel the real estate bubble and its eventual collapse. You gotta love this line taken from the Times article: “God bless Greenspan, patron saint of pool skatin’.”

Related articles and posts:

1. Skateboard Kings (1978 documentary) - Finance Trends Matter.

2. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001 documentary) - DailyMotion.