Ozzie Ausband

Field of Ruin

Rune Glifberg

Rune Glifberg. The roving Dane hungers for conflict.

The sharp blade drinks

A pale morning light falls through the high, dusty windows and across the great empty room at the Vans skate park. The Combi pool sits abandoned and alone. Its surface lies cracked and scarred. Battles. Strife. I pace the silent deck where each step walked a ghost. The room echoes my footsteps back to me as if to say, “You are one of them. You belong.” I know it in my DNA. Skateboarder. Every molecule that makes up my body sings its genetic code. Since my earliest day skateboarding in 1973, I have been at war with everything around me, including myself. I don’t want to fit it. Conform to what? Why? Krishnamurti wrote, “It is no measure of mental health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” I concur. I am at odds with everything and everyone. Society wants us to follow the masses, toe the proverbial line and pay, pay, pay. I’d rather pay in pain. At least it’s mine. I sit on the Combi coping as soft light filters over me. Nothing else moves… I think of the warriors that march across this concrete battlefield each Spring season. Heroes traveling from far away places.

Josh Rodriguez

Josh Rodriguez moved from the desert plains just to fight.

Austin Poynter

Coastal warrior - Austin Poynter. How will he fare in his first major conflict?

Nicky Guerrero

Nicky Guerrero - Copenhagen's seasoned veteran, fresh from a victory at Bondi

The black heart gladdens

The winners banner is unfurled every year before the contest. It announces last years victors. Silk banners. They hang still above me. It truly has become a battlefield. Ruin. Death. The slaying of the enemy and the killing of ego, reputation and self. I slide down into the round pool. The noise is startlingly loud in the quiet morning. My footsteps echo…

Bucky Lasek- East coast combat ready, multi-faceted, lethal weapon.

Bucky Lasek- East coast combat ready, multi-faceted, lethal weapon.

Jeff Grosso- This years spearpoint...

Grizzled veteran - Jeff Grosso - is this years spearpoint.

Jimmy Wilkins is young and brings some serious weaponry to the strife.

Jimmy Wilkins is young and brings some serious weaponry to the strife.

The rich red ruin

I am thinking of the wolves that come to the slaughter. The smell of fear and combat. The yelling of those injured and alone. In my mind, the wolves come fire-eyed across the world. They slink at the edge of the conflict. The wolves lay low in the thick grass. Haunches to the earth. Lips draw back to reveal yellow, angry teeth. A dark forest feast. Smoke rises in the distance. Bellies growl in hunger…. They are here. Thanks to MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie