Woodward West is a skate utopia. It’s beautiful, if not a bit far away. And it’s got tons to skate. And if that wasn’t enough of a draw, for the first weekend in April, and my birthday, most of the industry’s top decision makers got together to discuss all the topics concerning skateboarding in 2008. Here are some of the highlights:This isn’t even a third of what we had available to skate. Seriously, this place is enormous,Before we go on, these three are the team that made it all possible—IASC’s Molly Katzman, Laurie Bergthold, and John Bernards. Thanks, guys.The first discussion panel was “Putting The Government To Work For Skateboarding.” The panelists were Zumiez’ Tom Campion, skater/politician Michael Anadon, and the MPA’s Kori Bernards-Eisenhauer. The group was moderated by ABC’s Jim Gray.Tum Yeto’s Matt Barker hides from the paparazzi (me) while Dekline’s Kevin Furtado rats him out. Kevin and I had the same jacket on the whole time. He felt dumb, I felt cool.Skin Phillips, Michael Furukawa, Paul Schmitt, Jim Gray, John Bernards, and Bod Boyle pose with awards they were given for being founding IASC members who are still active today.Bod Boyle and his award for financing IASC’s rebirth in 2003.Don Brown with his award for the same. Also, the tequila he made me drink for my birthday.On the eve of the first night, Transworld Business hosted a bowling-and-drinks event. We bowled, and drank drinks. This photo is Fuel TV’s John Stouffer, Geoff Koboldt of BambooSK8, Yulin Wu, and Sk8ology’s Mark Schmid, Transworld Business’ Me, and Dekline’s Kevin “Nelly” Furtado.Don Brown opted for drinking and playing pool.This conference was kind of a sausage-fest. There were five chicks there. IASC’s Molly Katzman and Laurie Bergthold, and Fuel TV’s Yulin Wu.Apparently I got canoodled by three-fifths of the chicks there. Did I mention it was my birthday?This is a debate waiting to happen—Jeff Harbaugh, John Bernards, Paul Schmitt, and Jim Gray.Watch what you say around these guys—Surf Expo’s Sean O’Brien, Transworld Business’ Rob Campbell, and Fuel TV’s John Stouffer. In fact, if you see them coming, just run.Tod Swank fielding questions from Don Brown and Harley Davidson’s Andrew Smith.Mark Schmid and Pete “PT” Townend were stoked to be a part of the summit.Harley-Davidson’s Andrew Smith gave a speech on the history of Harley, its correlation to skateboarding, and open-minded business practices in general. Shitty photo, I know, but this guy was pretty damn inspirational.The third day began with a panel of influential retailers discussing ethics, business practices, and when to try out a fledgling brand. Calavera’s Bob Culberson, Modern Skate’s George Leichtweis, Skatepark of Tampa’s Ryan Clements, and ZJ Boarding House’s Todd Roberts.Per Welinder, Paul Schmitt, Don Brown, Board Trac’s Angelo Ponzi, Skateboarder’s Publisher Roger Harrell, and John Bernards discuss the use of market research and data in a progressive roundtable.One of the progressive round tables focused on amateur competitions. Here it looks like Neal Hendrix is talking to Tod Swank, Bob Denike, Jeff Kendall, Gary Ream, and Michael Furukawa. IASC is supporting the USAS contests.Trade Shows were a big part of the progressive roundtable. ASR’s Andy Tompkins hosted a discussion on the role of shows in skateboarding.Miki Vuckovich hosted a roundtable on the proliferation of skateparks.Dave Metty had some great ideas at the Youth Participation table.This is everyone in the progressive roundtables getting down to brass tacks.After the progressive roundtables we went outside for the Retailer Roundtable.The big event on the third day was the media panel—Skin from Transworld, Niall from Kingpin, Brad from Vital, CJ from Fuel TV, and Ben from Vice answered questions on responsibility, multi-media, and the future of skate media. I think everyone agreed that manufacturers should buy more ads. Especially in Transworld Business. Hint hint.The media panel audience.Don Brown and Michael Furukawa say farewell, and send me some bearings/shoes.Jeff Kendall and Ryan Clements say goodbye as well. Jeff was shredding into the foam pit.Niall and Alex from Kingpin. Niall was an important part of the media panel.