Burnside 4 Life: 30 Years Under The Bridge Article

Burnside Title v2A young Cards puts a Dogtown snap on the spider bowl, 1991     Photo: Fawcett

Burnside pullquote 1 Burnside subhead 1 v2We dug too deep and opened up an underground tunnel. In the old days of Portland people would get Shanghai’d—robbed, drugged up or knocked out and find themselves fallen through trap doors into underground tunnels. They’d wake up and be put on a ship, bound for Shanghai. So there are all these old tunnels that go out to the river. The big bowl was gonna be bigger, but we went through the bottom and hit one of those tunnels. And the bridge people were like, 'Hey, you might be undermining the bridge, let’s cover that back up.' —David McBride

From the first pours to the present-day punishment, watch the hectic highlights that put Burnside on the map

Burnside photo 3 Burnside photo collage 1 Burnside photo 3Photos: Brannon, Brunkhart and Scott

Burnside photo 4Mark Scott draws first scratch with a motorcycle tow-in and some Road Riders. Spring, ’91     Photo: Brunkhart

Burnside pullquote 2
I was 16 and some dude I was buying acid from started telling us about something under the bridge, so we went and checked it out. This was 1990 I’m pretty sure and what we found was a bunch of rippers who had cemented a bank to the back wall and had dug out and concreted some berms around the pillars and shit, full cone-carver style. From that day on my life changed. —Neil Heddings

Neil Heddings, Mikey Chin, Pigpen, Little John—this scene was so sick, so raw, so new. Street kickflips were so fresh off the press and these kids were doing it on tranny! —Christian Hosoi

Burnside photo collage 2Left: Neil Heddings, lien oop     Photo: Martineau
Right: Little John, ollie to fakie     Photo: Lundry

Mark Scott BOOTH DZ 2000 Burnside photocollage 13 updateTop: Mark Scott rips off some coping he placed      Photo: Booth
Bottom Left: Then he sets the lip with a firm Andrecht      Photo: Booth
Bottom Right: Travis Willis, parking-block backside crail      Photo: Bohna

Halloween night, either ’89 or ’90, we were at this punk-rock party. We had eaten this pentagram acid. We made it all satanic so the punks would buy that shit. So we were partying really late that night and I was so high on acid I was kinda bugging out and I went into the garage sort of looking for something to make a jump ramp or something. I was trying to look for materials and I couldn’t find any, but I did find six bags of concrete. So I told the guys in the house, ‘We’re gonna go out and build a bank somewhere. It’s raining so we’ll go find somewhere dry and go build it there.’ I already kinda had an idea of that spot, you know? When it was raining, under the bridge was our pit stop. —Osage Buffalo

PigpenOverHeddings Martineau DZ 2000 Burnside 30th Burnside photo collage 6 v3Top: Young and reckless, Pigpen hops over Heddings     Photo: Martineau
Bottom Left: Sage Bolyard plants a boneless on a sturdy Satan      Photo: Lundry
Bottom Right: Curtis Hsiang (RIP) teases the roof ride      Photo: Lundry

The morning after the first bank was poured, me and Osage went down to see what was built. It was a shitty little bank that looked exactly like a first attempt at DIY concrete work. It was terrible. Of course they quickly got better with every new addition. —Travis Willis

Shorty pyramid DZ 2000 Burnside photo collage 3Top: Shorty brightens up the black space with a lofty melon grab      Photo: Bohna
Left: Choppy Omega, method     Photo: Lundry
Right: The Germ Drop™     Photo: Yelland

Burnside photo 48Mark Scott, Jason Schwartz and Tim Brauch bless the mag. November, 1991

MAR 1992 SCOTT STARR DZ 2000Mark Scott, fingerless backside fling from March, 1992

In the early days we had to clean up the neighborhood. There were like bums, hookers, junkies, drunks, all of the above. It was scary. You had to definitely be on your toes ’cause it was gnarly. Then you’re obviously intimidated by the people who are skating ’cause they’re so good and you’re not that good. You’re a little intimidated but still held your ground and go there. —Little John

Burnside 30th Burnside photocollage 8 v3Left: Tim Upson barrels a back Smith through the elbow      Photo: Yelland
Right: No one can do it like Hewitt. Backside air      Photo: Morford

After my first trip it lived in my imagination so intensely. I would just daydream about it and shit I wanted to do there constantly. —Julien Stranger

Julien Stranger 1991 burnside yelland RAW DZStranger gets the clip, early punk wall FSA     Photo: Yelland

Burnside pullquote 3I was nine years old when I first started going to Burnside. I was basically born and raised there. I kind of had a rough upbringing and I used to run away from home and go to Burnside. That’s like the only place I wanted to be. —Mikey Chin

Noseslide transfer LundrySage Bolyard, spine-skippin’ transfer to noseslide      Photo: Lundry

Heddings FSA DZ 2000Heddings, quarterpipe-to-bank FSA     Photo: Martineau

I was 15 and on a Deluxe trip. We pulled into Portland at the crack of dawn and went straight to the bridge. And every day after that, dawn patrol at Burnside. No better way to start the day, grinding through pigeon dust. —Tony Trujillo

Morf031 DZTony Trujillo, 20 years ago    Photo: Morford
Burnside photo 8Pig, out     Photo: Martineau

The very first time I slept under the bridge because we had to was me, Neil and Pigpen and it was colder than shit so we all cuddled together. I learned real early that you definitely don’t wanna sleep on concrete because concrete will suck the life right out of you. —Sage Bolyard

Burnside photo 6Footplants as big as Texas. Mark Hubbard, RIP     Photo: Martineau

Burnside 30th Burnside photocollage 7 v3Left: Few others can work the corner like Choppy. Tail-boned slob 
Right: Mike Crespino, blasted melon to fakie
Photos: Bohna

Cardiel Indy Fakie MorfordCards catches some steep wall. Indy to fakie      Photo: Morford

Burnside fun facts 1

Burnside subhead 2 Jaymeer Burnside 2 750pxGerm and another dude were hocking loogies at each other. The other guy would catch it and then he would build it up in his mouth then spit it up. I’m about to gag right now! I was gagging watching it. They did this three-to-four times ’til the other guy couldn’t do it. That was probably the gnarliest thing I saw. —Christian Hosoi

I let Little John borrow my Datsun B210 to go up the big wall. No brakes, no windows, the door was welded shut. He gassed it hard and went so high that the car kind of fakie ollied, caught a little air and slammed going forward. —Mark Scott

Burnside photo 10Burnside Wheatberry? Tossin’ tires on Halloween     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside photo 7Unlocking lines in changing times. Hosoi, 1993.     Photo: Kanights

Burnside 30th Burnside photocollage 9 v2Left: Wade Speyer, dive-bomb method      Photo: Ogden
Right: Roger Seliner, front rock on the primitive punk wall      Photo: Martineau

Brant Kake Burnside PH Bohna 2Brant Kaake, hurricane around the bend      Photo: Bohna

QUIM 11 CRAILSLIDE DZ 2000Quim time, crailslide     Photo: Ogden

Frontside Flip MorfordBig shoes, big wheels and fat frontside flips, Upson handles the back wall    Photo: Morford

We used to wake up at Burnside. Me and Julien would be sleeping in the big bowl. We’d be drinking all night, skating all day and we’d do this thing called the, ‘Good Morning, Vietnam.’ We’d fuckin’ go up on the top of the punk wall and put our boards down hang-up style, you know? Then we’d look at each other and just be like—get on the board and you have to drop in. It was just like the first thing we did in the morning. We’d just challenge ourselves like that. Like that’s what started your day. It was a really cool thing and sometimes you would take some gnarly slams, dude. —John Cardiel

Burnside 30th Burnside photo collage 11 Mikey Chin v2Top Left: Mikey Chin, prodiginal pivot      Photo: Martineau
Top Right: Shorty snaps a three flip on the skinny side     Photo: Lundry 
Bottom: Karl Hubble nosegrinds the '90s building blocks      Photo: Lundry

I am reminded of Burnside every time I look in the mirror. I lost one of my front teeth from a brutal face slam while trying to film a switch tailblock on the punk wall. I literally kissed the concrete and had to have my tooth extracted as a result. No, I am not a tweaker, was just trying to get radical. The good news is that after the slam, I got back up and landed it the next try. —Ben Krahn

Seeing Choppy Omega ride a Ducati in there was a pretty cool thing. He was really laying down some sick lines, but then he bashes his chin on the handlebars. He was ripping. —Willis Kimbel

Burnside fun facts continued Burnside fun facts 2 v2
Burnside photo 43Bumped to the hump, Little John, lien air    Photo: Hupp

Burnside subhead 3
Jaymeer Burnside 3 750pxBurnside is a skatepark. It’s not a scooter daycare or backdrop to your ‘edgy’ fashion shoot. —Ben Krahn

Don’t ride through the crow’s nest pocket without checking it for bum piss. That one happens a lot. That’ll contaminate your whole rig. —Willis Kimbel

Skateboarders want shit that’s gonna hype up skateboarding and look good for the park. It’s about the art, not your name. There’s something special about skateboard art, skatepark art and art by skateboarders for skateboarders. —Jaymeer

neil heddings burnside skatepark kanights DZ 2000Neil Heddings, monster frontside flip on the baby spine. No bikes, motherfuckers!      Photo: Kanights

Burnside pullquote 5 Burnside photo 11Big time spaghetti. Johnzo off the trailer, mid ‘90s     Photo: Yelland

Only rule I know at Burnside is that we don’t call the cops, period, ever. —Chloe

Tony Trujillo Burnside Transfer Hammeke 750 5
TNT takes the Choppy line and reverses it, upstream to the spine     Photo: Hammeke

maddie lean to tail brook 2000
Definitely do lien to tails like Maddie Collins    Photo: Brook

jesbside 1Jessica watches over    Photo: Martineau

Do show up with beer and share it. Don’t just pull out a camera and try to film people who are skating without asking permission. No bikes after 10 AM and no fruit boots or scooters ever! If people are hammered, tread lightly. Shit can go sideways real quick and if you get asked to leave, just leave. Trust me, it’s not worth it. —Jessica Starkweather
Burnside pullquote 6A lot of the people who hang out there today probably wouldn’t have been able to skate there. They’d get heckled the fuck out. It was pretty harsh back in the day. —Mikey Chin

Burnside photo 9Mikey Chin grew up under that bridge. Melon to fakie, 1996     Photo: Stratton

Nobody likes a kook but one way or another we all gotta exist together. We’re all kooks in our own way. We’re all gonna be a kook and kook it in our own time and our own turn, but save it for somewhere else. Don’t bring it to the park. —Sage Bolyard

Burnside photo 13OG ripper Sage Bolyard goofs a high-beam over the hip     Photo: Martineau

Just be safe, look out for each other, don’t kook it, you know? Don’t try to act like you own the place just ‘cause your balls are dropping or whatever. You have to clean up after yourself. Burnside is our temple. That’s our church, so you pretty much treat it better than your house. —Little John
Burnside photo 14 v2Cans go to Q! Got it?!     Photo: Hammeke

Don’t tell Pigpen no if you got beer and he asks you for one. Don’t fuck with Osage ‘cause he’s always kept it gangster. Never show up right after you’ve taken a shower. That pretty-boy shit ain’t goin’ down. If you wanna survive there then treat it like it is your home. Respect it like your best woman. —Neil Heddings

Burnside photo 15Count the blocks. Peter Hewitt slashes a lipslide     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside fun facts continued
Burnside fun facts 3
Burnside subhead 4I noticed a fellow across the way gleaming in the sun. He had yellow latex paint dried onto his head and I was thinking, This is fucking crazy and I love it. Turns out it was Pigpen, one of my most favorite people to watch skate Burnside. —Josh Falk

Burnside photo 20Pigpen, pivot to fakie     Photo: Martineau

Seaside John is his own species. He’s a wet noodle with turbo. —Willis Kimbel
Burnside pullquote 7I get a kick out of watching dudes who are just fuckin’ sketchy, hanging on for dear life and are making it. You know, just that wild style. Shiggity Sean or Recycled Rick for example. Those dudes are fun to watch because you get kind of captivated. You’re like, Oh my God! They draw you in. —Brent Atchley

Burnside photo 16Ben Raybourn takes Dog Boy’s line frontside, 2013     Photo: Hammeke

Heavy hitters? There’s so many. Red, whenever he’s there you’re just like, Wow! He’s barnstorming the whole place. When Osage drops in the whole park stops. I gotta say Ben Krahn, too. I tripped out when I first saw him skating there. —John Cardiel
Burnside photo 17Paul Johnson says turn up the stoke     Photo: Hammeke

Hands down, ruler of the wasteland, one of my best friends is Cody Lockwood. Not just a great rider but a very positive soul. I like to watch everybody skate down there and just hype it up. Just seeing people go for it and throw caution to the wind, that’s what I like watching. —Mark Scott

Burnside photo 18When Dorfus dropped in, everyone took another step back. Gone too soon, RIP     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside photo 19Bless this mess—Scroggins, Hewitt, Scizo and Germ     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside subhead 5 Burnside pullquote 8Burnside’s always been a happy place, safe and comfortable. I’d get under the bridge and I’d just get this feeling of peace, so to speak. You know, surrounded by the world of concrete chaos. —Sage Bolyard

Burnside means family —one big totally-dysfunctional family which I am honored to be a part of and love with all my heart. —Jessica Starkweather

Burnside photo 21Mike Barnes, thumbs up in the big bowl     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside photo 22Josh Falk, ollie to the pillar, 2019     Photo: Brook

JS1 72dpi2000px 2xThe picture that birthed 1,000 angry emails, Jessica Starkweather, 2006     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside subhead 6

Burnside photo 26Photo: Hammeke

Halloween is the birthday of Burnside and their parties never disappoint. On one particular Halloween, Navs, LJ and I had taken some hallucinogenics and crept down to the bridge late night. We crept up behind the bank wall and peered over to see a raging fire burning in the hole next to the punk wall. There didn’t seem to be anyone around but the urchins can hide pretty good. The fire had us hypnotized at the top of the bank wall. We didn’t even notice that a fire truck had pulled up. It wasn’t until they shot water into the hole that we snapped out of our trance. It sounded like a bomb went off! We all jumped back and took cover! We peered back over the wall and it looked like they were shooting water into a dragon’s mouth, the flame would not go out and seemed be getting angrier. After what seemed like a hour the flame finally went out and the park was full of water. We always wondered what the fuck was in that hole to make such a violent hell fire. —Peter Hewitt
Burnside photo 25Photo: Hammeke

Burnside photo 23Hulk smash! Mark Scott, Halloween, 2019     Photo: Morris

Little John’s Halloween-night ninja-suit jump from the upper parking lot into the park! He never even rolled away, but he killed himself for over a solid hour, just flying 20-30 feet through the air into the pit over and over and over. That was incredible! —Julien Stranger

Burnside photo 57Lizzie pays homage to Monk with a Texas plant from high to low      Photo: Kanights

DONOVAN RICE BURNSIDE HALLOWEEN 16 ELIAS PARISE DZ 2000Donovan Rice, heela monster on the makeshift extension. Halloween, 2016      Photo: Parise

Burnside photo 24Open-air butthole shows are relegated to the parking lot     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside subhead 7People are just attracted to the feeling, the love, the integrity, the genuine harmony and tranquility that it has to offer. And Burnside does bite back; it’s alive. It’s important to have a camaraderie, to feel that you’re not the only one. I can go somewhere and I will find the people that I get along with. They get along with me and everybody else in the world can fuck off. —Osage Buffalo

Burnside photo 28Style king Brent Atchley, lien in the crow’s nest, 2007     Photo: Burnett

sage bolyard burnside skatepark kanights DZ 2000Sage's invert is the only ID he needs      Photo: Kanights

Burnside’s important because it’s like a historical art piece or something and many still love and care for it today. It opened people’s minds up about building on undesirable land and making something out of nothing. —Mark Scott
Burnside pullquote 9It paved the way for the second wave of skateparks, for sure, but it also fundamentally changed our perception of what is possible on all kinds of levels. —Julien Stranger

Burnside photo collage 5Left: Mackenzie Moss hits the OG block     Photo: Brook
Right: Boomin’ kickflip from Willis Kimbel, 2009     Photo: Kanights

Burnside is the original Temple of Skateboarding. It was built out of the love and reverence for skateboarding. It is one of the important places in skateboarding and all dedicated skateboarders need to make a pilgrimage there. The current world of skateboarding would look a lot different if Burnside had never existed. —Ben Krahn

Burnside photo 35
Ben Krahn is Burnside’s resident wizard. Switch float over the hip     Photo: Brook

Joshb Falk fs 270 splatHAMMEKE DZ 2000Josh Falk, channel-crossing frontside 270 splat     Photo: Hammeke

Burnside photo 30Hubbard enters the Portal, 2017     Photo: Brook

mark scott burnside skatepark kanights DZ 2000Mark might look mean, but he’s pretty laid back      Photo: Kanights

Burnside photo 59Down for life     Photo: Hupp

RaybornBurnsideBurnett DZ 2000Raybourn risks life and limb for the front. Covers, baby!     Photo: Burnett

Getting to help build the loop for Burnside, something I created in my brain, has been the coolest honor. It’s fun to watch people figure it out and do stuff I never thought possible. These freaks are going every which way on that thing! —Cody Lockwood

Burnside photo 34Monk and Lockwood, 2017     Photo: Brook

pedro barros89266 DZ 2000Pedro Barros sails into that golden-hour glow      Photo: Hammeke

Burnside photo 31Da Boyz, 2007     Photo: Hupp

Burnside photo 32Son of SOTY, Anakin Senn feebles the Portal     Photo: Brook

Burnside photo 33Big upstream oop by Grant Taylor     Photo: Brook

Burnside pullquote 10
Burnside photo 38
Any given day….     Photo: Brook

Burnside photo 39Build a wall, Kowalski will kick it      Photo: Brook

Burnside photo 37Q-Man and Osage, 4 life     Photo: Brook

red 360 flip brook DZ copyThirty years later, Mark Scott still enjoys the fruits of his labor with a 360 flip      Photo: Brook

I’m one of 100 people who built this thing. Sure, I helped mega on it, especially in the ’90s, but what was really crucial for its longevity back then and still today wasn’t all the concrete work, it was the not-so-glorious work of picking up garbage, cleaning, promoting skating rather than lurking and blowing it, keeping things chill with the neighbors and city. Also, I’d like to send a big shout out to all the folks who just rip the hell out of the place. Big thanks to everyone like Sage Bolyard, Burke Morris, Chuck Willis, Jaymeer, Tony and all the people on the committee keeping things smooth with the city and the neighbors. Just basically thank you to all the people who give a crap. The park would never be close to 30 years old without all you guys. Much love. My name is Mark Scott. —Mark Scott

Burnside photo 36The hair, the hat, the high-flying insanity, Cody Lockwood is one of the heaviest of Burnside’s new breed. Happy birthday, Burnside!    Photo: Brook