Words and Photos: Aaron Smith
Here’s another post with more Kansas City photos. Hope you all aren’t getting sick of my KC homies because…I’m not.
Ryan Pearce is one of the lucky ones that can skate anything. Here he is backside crailsliding over 10 feet deep.
He did it frontside before. I think he did this easier and with less fear than I have dropping in on this thing.
Speaking of being able to skate anything, Mr. Sean Malto is one of the lucky ones too. Although, you kind of have to be able to skate a wide variety of things if you’re pro. Here’s Sean doing a backside over crook in a bowl in wintery Kansas City.
This might be one of Kansas City’s most well known spots. Well, at least I think so. I’ve been skating here for years. I love those spots that you skate all the time and new tricks somehow keep going down. This fakie 5-0 Sean is doing is insane! Just think about it. Popping fakie up to this high ledge and being able to grind all the way to the end. Pretty insane! This is one of the few things I’ve seen Sean battle for.
Speaking of this ledge, here’s Dag (Dillon Aguilar) doing a front crook. I really like this photo mostly because of the memory of him doing it. Dag had just learned front crooks and wanted to do it on this just to do it. It was one of those no stress sessions where you’re just hanging out with friends and somehow you shoot a photo too.
This nosepick Dag is doing is insane! The ground up to this spot is the worst! Also, factor in this was in the middle of winter in Kansas City which means it’s coooold! I really don’t like shooting in the cold but I do admire people willing enough to try to get a trick when it’s freezing out.
More Dag! This is another insane trick. I wouldn’t touch this dumpster with a 10 foot pole. There are way too many possible deadly outcomes when you try to skate something like this. This is one of those times where I honestly have no idea how he did this nosegrind.
I really like this spot. What photographer wouldn’t like a stair set that’s background is a bunch of over sized books? I really love the way Rod Harper skates because he always does something a little different. He did this wall plant with no problem at all.
I remember this night like it was yesterday. I shot this photo on November 8, 2008. Who remembers what happened on that night? Yep, Obama won the Presidential Election. Now, I’m not going to go into my political views but when that happened America went nuts. I was 20 years old when this happened and the first time I has ever participated in an election so I don’t have a frame of reference but it was crazy. I wouldn’t say any of my friends are especially politically active but we all were around the TV or radio that night because we knew a major event was about to happen. When the news came in Tyshaun Johnson was hyped! He said lets go to River Market rail. We drove across town and lots of people were out partying and honking their horns. We joined in and were yelling “Obama” out the window. It was rad. Tyshaun did this kickflip noseslide that night and every time he would go back and try it again he would say he’s doing it right here for Obama. He was hyped!
Here’s another photo of Tyshaun. This time he’s doing a front feeble pop out. I really like all the colors in this photo. Sorry no cool election story for this picture.
Josh White is a monster. I’ve seen and been through a lot with this kid. He did this 50-50 down this 20 stair second try. First try he got into some weird smith grind and pretty much flew down the whole rail and slammed on his face. He was no excited to try it again. I offered him $20 (1 buck for every stair) and that got him hyped enough to give it one more try. Pretty crazy.
This was a very weird day. One of those slow days where you’re sure nothing cool is going to happen. Somehow Ernie and I and a few other people ended up at this ditch and were just messing around for awhile. Ernie saw this drain that led into the ditch and thought you could ollie from it and into the bank. The only problem was the fence was in the way. So, while hopefully no one was looking, we broke down the fence and made it possible to skate. Ernie did this ollie first try.
Here’s one of Garrett Olinger doing a kickfip over a wall and into a bank. This was one of those “getting kicked out and you have one more try” tricks. He nailed it. I always like those. Last week I wrote that Garrett was a Graphic Designer in New York and link to a website which was wrong. So this week is redemption. Here is the link to his website.
I’m pretty sure this was the first switch heelflip Sean has ever done over a gap. This would not be my first choice of spots to try a new trick down. I ollied this thing years ago and the was hard as hell. Going super fast switch toward this is not my idea of fun. Sean pulled through like he always does. He did this switch heel unbelievably good!
Now we’re getting to the my two favorite photos in this post. This one is of Ryan Pearce doing a boardslide popover in downtown Kansas City. I know I don’t need to explain how gnarly this is. Just look at it. Fun fact about this photo is the Malto actually took it. I shot a sequence of this trick and I handed Sean another camera and told him where and when to shoot it and he did.
Malto was messing around warming up one day and switch flipped 5 board on flat. Needless to say, I knew he had to do something with that switch flip. This hydrant spot was one of Kansas City’s favorite warm up spots. I told Malto that he should switch flip this hydrant. He had never thought about it, which is weird because it’s the first thing that came to my mind when I saw he could switch flip that high. He didn’t think he could do it but within about 10 minutes he was rolling away from one of the best switch flips I’ve ever seen! This day was unbelievably cold! My equipment was acting weird because of the freezing temperature.
Check back next friend for even more Kansas City photos.