Some of the biggest challenges of holding a street skating contest are: the uncertainty of whether or not your spots will be a bust, the transportation required for everyone to get from spot to spot, and the tardiness of most bladers. In order to resolve most of those issues by way of emulating the success of the NYC Invitational last year, and to avoid the desert summer heat, a small group of us got together to organize the Guerilla Blade Jam.
Salt Lake City does not have a very large metropolitan area and because of this (and the fact that every rail is capped due to the large presence of skiers and snowboarders and the damage they do to rails in the winter) we often times have to improvise and build our own spots. As we thought of locations that would be suitable for a contest, we all agreed that the “Lion’s Den” would be the place to have it.
Located in a mostly industrial area of town populated with bums and pigeons, and next door to a ReStore construction supply thrift store, it turned out to be the ideal spot. Last fall I poured concrete to make small kickers up to ledges that, with the addition of some grind boxes, would serve as a great first obstacle. We managed to gather a stack of pallets, some scrap plywood and some PVC utility piping from ReStore’s dumpsters, and then “borrowed” a barricade railing from a near-by conference center the night before. Just as was indicated in the contest’s title — “guerilla” — Kaycee (Landsaw) and I stocked the site, swept off months of bird waste, and then hammer drilled to set a pair of anchor bolts the night prior to the contest. The following morning Manuel (Rodriguez) joined us to assemble the obstacles and did some final rub-bricking, waxing and sweeping.