Florida is flat

by
February 5, 2018
photos by Jon Spitzer

Duck, nosepick

Florida is fuckin’ flat, to put it simply. This results in a major deficit of stairs, hills, and as a result, any sort of naturally occurring transition. There’s a few spots dotted sparsely across the state, such as Orlando’s Maitland Banks, the defunct Fashion Mall in Orlando, West Palm Beach’s Tamarind Banks… But for the average Florida skater trying to skate some curved walls, you have to get creative and hone your eye for spots. Tyler Coffman, Florida born and bred, tranny ripper and a boat builder, has developed a very unique eye for unearthing or creating transition spots in this setting of pancake-flat streets and forced terrain selection.

 

Pools:

It’s very common for South Florida homes to have pools due to the unbelievably hot summers, springs, and nearly non-existent falls and winters. As a skateboarder you would assume that means plenty of pools to skate, but in a land of pools on almost every corner, a rounded pool with good transition is pretty hard to come by. Tyler and a few dedicated others have begun turning to Google Earth to find the transition they seek, pinpointing pools at hotels or in neighborhoods before it became the norm for pool builders to square off the walls.

Tyler, texas plant

Pedro, eggplant

DIY:

The more northern areas of South Florida are home to many decrepit building foundations tucked behind old railroad crossing and overrun with tropical jungle growth. One such foundation, Bum Park as it’s called, has been Fort Lauderdale’s DIY mecca since the mid-2000’s and probably earlier. It used to be featured heavily in local videos. Boasting a marble hubba, handrails, and butter benches, in a time when foundation spot footage was the norm. A bustling homeless camp shared the space and through beer and weed the skaters and so- called bums had reached an accord. Finally, a verbal dispute with some passing local boat bros resulted in the late night sledge-hammering of the obstacles, not to mention rampant homeless harassment. No one ever really rebuilt due to the airport planning to expand onto the spot. The airport finally expanded to the east and away from the spot, resulting in a new renaissance for Bum Park. The local crew, including Tyler, began by building a quarterpipe to test the spots durability, and after a few months it was a go. Pool coping quarters, marble ledges, a new hubba, pole jams, grimy euro gaps, and a signature box launcher with a functional BBQ grill death gap have sprung up ever since, and it seems that’s only the beginning.

Sepe, fastplant

Boats:

One thing Florida does have in abundance is boats. When a boat builder shapes the hull of a craft they use a mold thats is of course the inversion of a boats hull. From far away these look like flawless bowled off mini ramps. Close up one notices they are insanely quick, steep, and full of holes. The bottoms of each tranny have a one inch crack. The entire surface is hot, usually rusty metal. But this is Florida remember? Ramp party!

Tyler, hurricane

Tyler, back smith