Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Todos Santos has something new brewing – a blossoming skateboard scene! In reality, it has been ramping up behind the scenes over the last decade thanks to a handful of people whose love for skating and surfing has brought together a community. They both have that special way of mobilizing people from all ages and backgrounds for shared fun, high fives & big smiles.

At the heart of this local movement is La Katrina Surf + Supply, opened by Aaron Balducci in 2012 as the first combined Surf & Skate shop in town. Originally from Connecticut, Aaron has called Todos Santos home since 2006 and saw an unmet need in the area. Local rippers Carlos Maidel, Alejandro Gonzalez and brothers, Jose & Sami Arce were among the first young guns to frequent the shop, stoked to have access to the international skate culture via the latest gear & magazines. Their skate skills have since evolved while they make up the de facto team representing La Katrina locally and beyond.  

In 2014 Aaron made his next move – pioneering and funding a secret skate bowl on a desert hill overlooking the sea for ultimate sunset skate sessions…dreamy! “Bowl Secreto” (aka Scorpion Bowl – you can guess the reasons why) was built by San Jose del Cabo based Rampa Skate (@rampa.skateparks), with inspiration stemming from classic 1970’s backyard pool designs. The beauty of it being a random bowl in the desert open to anyone who might chance upon it. Much akin to a legendary pool hidden in the CA desert, built in the 70’s for a nudist colony, but now an iconic spot for pool skaters.

Three years later, the time had come to make real moves when Aaron and friend, Jason Jacobs, were able to secure land from the town leaders to construct a community skatepark. Through their own funding and the design & labor help of Ricardo Arteaga and Erik Durazo, they were able to get a concrete mini halfpipe (and separately a small street section) built in the town center, currently located at Parque Los Pinos. The collaborative effort was a hit and extended to local kids excited to help by shoveling dirt in wheelbarrows for their new playground.

More recently, a necessary relocation of La Katrina from Centro Todos Santos due to a leasing change turned into a blessing after Aaron found a large warehouse space he could customize. And a surprise icing on the cake…a backyard area that was able to be transformed into the shop’s own personal DIY skate spot.

Enter Sam Duncan, a local skater, surfer and media enthusiast who Aaron credits as being the impetus for collaboration on the latest fun zone. What went from casual sparking of ideas with James Broderick (assisted Washington St. park build in San Diego), to teaming up with Aaron, to reaching out to one more person who reached out to another. “Sam called Bert, Bert called Cole, Cole called Richie”, all of them respectively seasoned concrete & skatepark builders with ties to the esteemed Evergreen Skateparks who have built over 20 parks in three countries. From there everything flowed organically in record speed and within a month the crew had cranked out the project: cutting forms, laying rebar and troweling out smooth crete lines and a pump bump. They were masters at constructing on demand DIY concrete tools in minutes (innovation!) and worked so fluidly together they often did not need words, one picking up a piece of wood and the other appearing out of nowhere with a screw and drill. It was quite magical to watch them work.

Aside from igniting the mini park idea, Sam works on various media & filming projects with local Baja Sur skaters. He recently created Los Libres De La Fuente (@loslibresdelafuente) as a platform to help represent Baja Sur skaters and shops, hoping to give exposure and aspiration to local kids. Sam’s secondary intention with the instagram page is to create an educational digital space to promote a balanced approach to healthy living. When asked how Sam feels about the completion of an idea he helped generate, “The more parks, the more kids can skate! That’s the goal.”

“This is a skatepark where everyone can feel included at all levels. If there are no waves, bring a picnic and drinks and get to know others. I see big potential! Props to La Katrina with all my heart.” – Elisa Leschek, local female skater.

Opening day festivities for the La Katrina DIY kicked off Saturday, January 29, 2023 with a large crowd ; young to old, beginners to pros, spectators & neighborhood locals. Beginners learned to balance & roll on flat ground with the help of others, intermediates learned turns and advanced riders whipped around the bowl demonstrating wall rides, airs and inverts. Add in bacon wrapped dogs, jamaica and music and everyone stayed to enjoy the show & setting sun.

The key themes emerging from all these developments are community, innovation and thinking outside the box, essentially the epitome of skateboarding. With the three builds Aaron has created, combined with a few private constructs and the Pescadero park nearby, Todos Santos is embracing this thriving new faction.

“Building the park is a part of how I see the shop helping the community and I want to be a part of that movement.” – Danny Lopez Amador, La Katrina employee.

La Katrina Surf + Supply is open 10-6 everyday and offers the loaning of shop boards, helmets and pads on-site. +52-612-135-5846 // @lakatrinabcs

Special thanks to the crew and assistants: Bert Spurr, Richie Conklin, Cole Karow, Mike Colacino, Danny Amador, Simon Isaksson, Charlie,Ted, Papa Brewer and all others who lent a hand in the build and opening.  CHINGON!

** Article published in English & Spanish in the Spring 2023 edition of Baja’s Journal del Pacifico magazine with words & photos by Autumn Rose

Crew by Sam Duncan

Artist, filmmaker, musician, muralist, ripping skateboarder, art director, ROCK STAR. April Jones is all of these things and more.

“Artist is a very vague term so it’s hard to describe what I do because I try to do everything. I’m an artist through filmmaking, skateboarding, painting, photography, animation and even the art of conversation (laughs). ” She decides “Producer” most aptly describes what she would call herself because she produces in all the above mediums in one form or another.  Even so she can’t help mentioning her favorite and most fantasized title of “Rock Star” a few more times throughout the interview (and rightly so).


new mexico was such a treat. desert landscapes and pueblo lands that transport you to an era of authentic cowboys & indians. one that you didn’t think could exist in this day and age. but it does. mountain vistas, rolling clouds, hot springs and a breeze that blows just a hint of sacred. simply quite magical.

Bali: island paradise, beach bliss, point breaks, crazy motorbike traffic, indosole , surf, bumping Kuta disco clubs, but epic bowl shredding?

Global shred seekers will be happy to know the answer is YES! After hours of driving up and down the dark, lush streets of a small Balinese town looking for a ‘fork’ in the trees, a guy on a motorbike appeared out of nowhere and like the workings of black magic pointed the way to our destination. And then around that last curve there it was, lit up in all its’ glory, Bali’s own jungle bowl. Complete with a shred sesh in full effect and hesh sounds blaring from the boom box.

sanur bowl, bali skateboarding, julien bergougnoux

overview of the sanur bowl…a.ka. jungle bowl.

Smiles instantly spread across our faces as we jumped out of the van and joined the action. A group of Balinese shred dogs were rooting each other on in the mini, while the local star slasher, Llong, was going through his barrage of lip tricks and melon 360 mute grabs on one side of the bowl. Bestest shred friend & indosole co-founder, Faye Middleton, dropped in with a fury, only stopping to catch her breath and play with the giant turd making it’s way around the pool. Peter Jones took a hiatus from his usual surf adventures & running Bali Alternative Media to get in on the fun and carved some wicked lines through the deep end.

“Can you play skateboard?” one of the kids asked me with wide eyes. Another told me there was a street spot in Sanur that they had used their own money to set up a box and rail. They also let me know about the local skate shop in Legian called In Motion, which sold decks for 350,000 rupiah ($35) and had a free Indo skate mag called Happen. Sick. There really was a spawning Bali skate scene hidden behind the bush.

keep it clean. sanur skate crew.

keep it clean. sanur skate crew.

True destroyer and owner of the pool, Julien Bergougnoux, was a gracious host and made silly runs throughout the night with a gleam in his eye. Wouldn’t you if you had your own shredtastic backyard bowl and a Balinese princess as a wife? Originally from France, Julien moved to Bali in 2000 and met his future wife at a dinner party. After courting her for almost two years, the village king allowed his daughter’s hand in marriage. Not so common in this traditional land. But after all was said and done, Julien was able to buy a nice plot of land and build up his family compound.

julien bergougnoux, bali skateboarding, sanur bowl, balinese princess

julien, his balinese princess & daughter.

Built in two phases, the bowl was first opened in 2005 with an extension added in 2008, making it the size of a small town skatepark for now. Built over a couple of months with really primitive tools; 2 foot shovels instead of excavators and wooden versus steel trowels, the newly finished concrete turned out super smooth to roll on. Shred sessions are open to anyone on Wednesday and Saturday nights and any impromptu scheduling Julien feels up to…of course don’t hold me to that schedule. Jungle rules apply.

Although Julien’s bowl may remain the true ‘secret shred’, a Globe bowl was constructed in Jimbaran by Jaya Brandall, long-time park and bowl builder who might be best known for the original Santa Rosa skatepark. Globe felt Bali was ready and in need of some more legitimate skate spots and opened July 2009. Jaya calls it the “Indo bedpan with a turd in the middle”. You can even see it from the plane if you watch for it to the right of the airstrip heading East.

**Article originally written for Fuel TV 2009 by Autumn Rose. Now resurrected from the dead.

not so long ago i procured my photos with more love and embellishment of internal context or adventurous tales. but the ways of the world soon set in and time has run thin. photography is now a mainstream art available to the masses on the go and we no longer have time to ponder the meaning much of anything. just a tiny manifesto that land of pop was resurrected before the days of the instagram phenomenon. and may one day return to it’s original luster of those founding BK days.


The evolution of women’s skateboarding…it is happening. And fun to watch, considering I grew up in a time and place where girls were not fostered to skate despite love at first sight. Lizzie Armanto, Justyce Tabor, Nicole Noller, Abby Zsarnay and soul shredder Colette Peterson were among the lady shreds who showed up to rule the northwest Oregon Trifecta event at Pier Park Skate Park for a mindboggling $100 top cash prize. With 3-4 foot airs out of the 11.5 foot concrete bowl, transfers over the doorway in the full pipe, switch carve lines and handplants most of the guys weren’t even attempting….only $100!? Yes. In this particular case it was mainly due to event development issues, but the stakes are rarely high for the skill and risk these ladies take. Larger purses do happen at events like the X-Games and this weeks Rocky Mountain Rampage will be offering up a $2,000 prize purse for the Women’s Bowl event (versus $4,000 for the men). Still, these are major feats we are talking about people!

As any evolution story goes, the more females actually skating will naturally compute to more females ripping shred lines and pushing bags of tricks. Even though the number of ladies out there has been on the rise for the last 20 or so years and is exponentially increasing with the times, there has been a wax and wane of recognition and compensation in this realm for quite awhile, as has been seen in any initially male dominated sport. Legendary women’s skateboarding pioneer, Cara-Beth Burnside, is a testament to the gender bias at play and regardless of deep respect garnered over the years, she still contends with baffling career roadblocks.

Either way, it’s really about the grind. Ladies unite.

nicole noller, frontside air, oregon trifecta 2012abby zsarnay, gap transfer, oregon trifecta 2012lizzie armanto, handplant, oregon trifecta 2012abby zsarnay, frontside air, oregon trifecta 2012justyce tabor, grind, oregon trifecta 2012lizzie armanto, backside air, oregon trifecta 2012

winners, oregon trifecta 2012
2012 marked the 10th anniversary of the Oregon Trifecta, originally founded by NW local Choppy Omega and sanctioned by the global governing organization, World Cup Skateboarding (WCS). Unfortunately, due to permit and insurance snagfu’s, the Trifecta has become a Unifecta the last few years with a one location event versus three. Nonetheless, it remains an honorable event as a stop on the WCS Bowl Series and features a ladies, am, pro and master division, in addition to strong support by Sector Nine, Skull Candy and legendary skaters.

Of course the men and up & comers were fun to watch too! See all photos here.

*all photos by autumn rose – ©landofpop

time lapse in more ways than one. hello land of pop! hello new york! it’s been awhile…

New York Night Skyline

hero since day one.

Posted: May 28, 2011 in inspiration, love, people

this past month marks the beginning of not having one of the most amazing humans here on planet earth. the world just feels different with you gone kip garre. nevermind that it had been a year since we got to hang out and have a heart to heart. whether or not you had climbed ten mountain tops in india, antarctica & alaska between the time we saw each other last, time stood still with you. just knowing that you’re not out there doing your thing somehow changes everything.

the fact you lived life to the fullest and realized so many of your biggest dreams is but a small consolation.. there are just too damn many of us that still want to see your infectious smile, feel your genuine warmth and be inspired by your presence. you went where eagles dare and achieved what millions of people would only dare to dream.

you = all heart & soul, half man, half amazing. a hero to me since day one. i remember gazing at the stars. love you kip. ♥♥♥


Posted: March 7, 2011 in inspiration
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missing NY…mad crazy flavor.

Back in the day my friend Jen and I haunted this place called The Turf…now framed in history as the mecca of early Midwestern skateboarding. All I knew then was that instead of being one of the girls gripping the chain link fence from the outside, I wanted to be on the inside where the boys were, ripping lines through the Cloverleaf bowl at a frenetic pace. My mind blown by loud grinds and high hip airs. At best I cheered them on while jukebox favorites like Iron Man blared through the speakers or I played pinball…Earthshaker! Afterward we’d all pile in the car 8 or 9 deep, head to The Cliffs and create chaos around the bonfire. Oh the days of youth.

Luckily I was able to realize the lasting inspiration from being exposed to this unbelievably talented crew, who shredded with fury, marched to the beat of their own drum and looked at the world differently than all other ho-dunks around us in that town. They just had this unique vision of how life could be. I was definitely on the same train. Ultimately I harnessed this inspiring energy and vision into snowboarding, where I was able to shred mountain ranges around the world, and in the process brought it full circle by learning to skate a few years later. Now if only I could skate that Cloverleaf once damnit…Save the Turf!

Deep love and respect for these roots and the Mil-town hesh crew: Sam Hitz (lil’ Sammy Slasher), Al Partanen, Jay Iding, Rob Owen, Pete Burnside (Robot), Shawn Keeling, Charlie Brown, Christian Brox and The Beaudoin Brothers (RIP Zill) among others. 20 years later and these boys are still making miracles happen.

Peep Al’s new Creature board and Nike SB signature shoe combo. So ill. BELIEVE IT!

each and every statue, rendering or religious image stands as a symbol…a specific moral, lesson, value or even something more profound. we are surrounded, reminded, taunted, inspired, hopefully forgiven and somewhat soothed.

*one of these things is not like the catching it?

funny that one of the most magical places in the world is where vito corleone was buried in the ‘the godfather’.  i never would have been the wiser if it hadn’t been for an aimless biking adventure to queens that ran me smack dab into the calvary cemetery. at a time when i could really use some angel love, i couldn’t help but revel in the serendipitous fortune of finding a whole sea of oversized perched angels surrounding me in every direction, as if they had been calling me to them. give me hope.

like all of the sacred souls who had met their fate, i couldn’t help but be captivated by the awe and beauty of the place. i ended up lollygagging in the endless field of late 1800’s tombstones and headstones, with the panoramic manhattan skyline as a backdrop and the tippy top of the empire state building jutting up in the sky, as if it was planted there in the ground.  such an overwhelming sense of history and peace, while the craziness of new york carries on just outside the gates…the hustle, hustle bustle in contrast to the dead calm.

mad crazy flavor

Posted: June 16, 2010 in inspiration, photography
Tags: ,

getting around on my new $80 whip. nothing feels so sweet. nothing quite screams freedom like summer. free to do what i want, when i want, where i want. warm breezy nights and ice cream treats. whizzing past countless bodegas and lots and lots of metal, concrete, old school lamp posts and nostalgic signs of days gone past. streets oozing with character, buzzing with energy, steaming with heat…mad crazy brooklyn flavor.

oh NYC.

Posted: June 5, 2010 in inspiration, life
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too much to see. too much to do. sleep is no longer an option.

LA is really full of beauty. Mainstream and underground.