Heads up, this is a long one. If you’ve been following any of the How to build a DIY tutorial I’ve been doing with Heath Burley, then you’ve probably seen this place before. We call it the dawg pound. We’ve worked on a few different DIY spots over the years, but this is “the one”. The one that we actually want to invest time and money into to build it out into something special.
The problem is, that building something sick is a little expensive. That’s why Heath had the idea to do a small event. A local game of “b.l.a.d.e,” to raise some funds for the next big ramps we want to install. So Heath made a flyer and it gained a little bit more traction than we expected. Soon our 15-20 person session had turned into a 75-100 person event. Which was great but… we also weren’t really prepared for that many people. How could we make it worth it for the people that wanted to visit from out of town? From out of state? Thankfully we were able to get a few local sponsors on board to help us out with the event.
Austin Beerworks was suuuuper cool to us and hooked us up with more beer than we could drink. That’s impressive to me. I can’t tell if I’m proud of my scene for drinking responsibly or if I’m disappointed that we don’t party as hard as we used to, haha. Juiceland was also a big help. Not everyone skating was 21 (surprisingly), so it was good to have some alternatives. It’s also probably just a good thing in general to have something that’s not beer. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I definitely don’t treat myself very well mid/post session. It was nice to mix it up a bit with some juice mid-day.
They also gave us some giftcards and we did side events for them. Shout out to both Sky Louviere and Mick Casals for winning the side events. It was fun though. I don’t know what everyone was expecting, but I heard “this is a lot harder than it looks” multiple times throughout the day. That was kind of funny to hear, because for several days prior to the event the boys had worked really hard at filling all the potholes and cutting out all the random metal sticking up from the ground. I’m happy most of them didn’t see how we’ve been skating it all this year, haha.
Overall, I’d say the event was a big success. We raised a ton of money for the build. It might have been an “event,” but it didn’t feel like a regular one. It didn’t feel like you were going to a normal “contest.” It just felt like a massive session. A session with purpose. I’m really proud of everyone going out of their way to come down to Austin and support rollerblading. Supporting one of the very few 100% rollerblader built DIY’s. Supporting jumbo. Thank you! Really. With all that being said, I tried my best to capture the event as well as I could, buuuttt…. It’s hard to have fun, be engaged with everyone AND film an edit all day out in the sun. Also… The edit is SO long. I did this one a little different than normal. Not a lot of text in this one, because it was just too many people. Some of the games didn’t get filmed, so if you were looking for you clips, I’m sorry if I missed them. I had to take a few breaks during the day. There’s a LOT of footage in this one, but I wanted to make sure that I tried my best to include EVERYONE that I could. I wanna show love to everyone, if I can. Love yall. - Cody Sanders.