Ich habe Dan Hughes 2002 in Morro Bay bei den World Slalom Championships getroffen. Wir unterhielten uns etwas und er erzählte mir Samstag Nachmittags dass er noch am Abend zu der Eröffnung des neuen Pipeline Skateparks nach LA zurückfahren wird, aber am nächsten Morgen wieder in Morro sein würde, Das sind immerhin 350 KM (eine Strecke). Das beeindruckte mich schon damals. Nun hat Dan seit einiger Zeit eine Website auf der er immer wieder Photos von unzähligen Skateparks zeigt, die er besucht hat. Dan stammt aus dem Nordwesten der USA, lebt aber mittlerweile in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I met Dan Hughes 2002 during the World Slalom Championships in Morro Bay. We talked and he told me that he visited the opening of the new Pipeline Skatepark in LA. Dan now has a website where he shows great photos of various skateparks he visits all over the place. Dan is from the nothwestern US but now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dan´s Frau skated auch.
Ich habe Dan einige Fragen gestellt die er ausführlich beantwortet hat. Ihr seht sie unten jedoch nur in englisch. Alles zu übersetzen hätte den Rahmen des Blogs gesprengt. Falls jemand eine Übersetzung eiens Teils braucht lasst es mich wissen.
Dan´s wife skates too.
I have sent Dan some questions which he answered in the text below. Translating it all would have been too much, so just in english for now.
Das sind Dan´s Lieblingsparks
These are Dan´s favorite parks
I am 47 years old.
I am a custodian at an Elementary School, I’ve been a custodian for over 25 years.
When did you start:
I started skateboarding when my uncle gave me a skateboard when I was about 11 years old (1974). It was a wood board with wood roller rink wheels which wore down very quickly on the concrete. I skated pretty much every day possible until shortly after I got married in 1983, when I took my vert ramp down (’84). I skated off and on, but mostly was busy with school, and work and kids… and didn’t really start skating again until 2001, when they opened a skatepark in my hometown of Renton, Washington.
I was coaching my son’s little league game, and before the game got started, I had to check out the new skatepark that was nearby the ball field. And I couldn’t believe my eyes. I said to myself, "I used to pay money to do this…" So, I told my son that “Saturday I’m going to get up at 6 AM and skate at the skatepark”.
So, at 6 AM we all went down to the skatepark, and after just a couple of minutes I realized that I had just found my "treadmill" (which I was ready to buy one just a week earlier).We skated for 3 hours and I was so tired and out of shape, but I had so much fun I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I also figured out the key to staying healthy, is to find some physical activity you love to do, and do it! I haven’t stopped or looked back since. I used to work on cars and many other things as hobbies and I just don’t have the time anymore, I’d rather be skating.
Travelling to skateparks?
I started traveling to skateparks when Newberg, Oregon was just finished. It was one of Dreamland's first skateparks, and it was a dream. It was Newberg that gave me the thirst for more. That park was so smooth, and I honestly didn’t know that concrete could be so smooth. The more I learned about other parks, the more I wanted to go and skate them. That was in 2001 and now I want to skate them all, but as I say there are so many parks, but so little time...
I started my web page shortly after I started going to different skateparks. I would get email requests for pictures of a skatepark I went to, and after a while I decided it would be easier to just put them all on the web and direct people to that, instead of sending out individual emails. The website evolved into taking pictures of the every park I visited, and including an address or map. My goal was, and still is, to have a simple page that doesn’t take forever to load, but has all the information one would want or need about a particular skatepark and a way to share photos with friends.
Why the full face helmet?
In 2003 I hit my face doing a slide at the old Ballard Bowl. I bent my two front teeth back so that they were almost touching the roof of my mouth. I remember thinking as I got up from that slam, that my teeth weren't in the right place. So, after having the ER Doc pull on my teeth to bend them back into place, and the Dentist tell me that I might lose them (which I didn't), I wondered if my full face helmet, that I used for slalom, would protect my teeth and could I skate bowls with it? And sure enough, it worked fine, and has worked very well at protecting my teeth ever since (yes, I have tested it).
What is your motivation:
to keep skating?
The core of my being says to skate, I can't "not" skate. When I watched the movie "Chariots of Fire" the main character (Eric Liddell), a missionary to China, was being criticized by his sister for running in so many races. He told her that God made him fast for a purpose, and when he runs he feels God's pleasure. I can relate to Eric’s statement. It is reflective of how I feel when I skate, I feel God’s pleasure, I feel energy that seems to come from the concrete up through my feet. I may not be really "fast" so to speak, but I feel it in my soul, when I skate. I couldn't "not" skate.
to keep up the site?
The site has snowballed into a resource page. One of my main motivations is selfish. I do it because I forget which parks I've been to, where they were, and what they looked like. I know that sounds lame, but it's true. I reference my site often, simply because I can't recall when/where/ or what it looked like. But, not just that, as a guy who loves to travel and skate, I find that sometimes some of the most basic information about skateparks is hard to find, especially if the park is new. So I appreciate having good information out there about skateparks.
It's also a way to share my photos as I said before. I started it before there was a “myspace”, or a “facebook”, so it sort of is my way to share where I've been and what I've been up to. Sometimes I'll get emails from friends from long ago, or even complete strangers (friends I've not met yet), and I really do enjoy that. Sometimes they come through my town and I have the privilege of skating with them, which to me is a real highlight, because for a skater, to skate with someone else is a connection unlike anything else.
to travel to new parks?
You know, it's very similar to a mountain climber's passion to climb a new mountain. Every park is different, and experiencing the difference is one of the things that drives me. Some parks are so smooth, that it’s amazing to experience the smoothness. Some parks have unique shapes and sizes, and some are in locations that just are amazing. This may sound funny, but skateboarding is like reading a book, and every park tells a different story. I read each park with my wheels, and how the concrete is formed tells me where to go, what the best lines are. Some parks are good and some aren't. But ultimately I don't know until I roll around and read it with my wheels. Exploring the world of skateparks and skateboarding with my wheels is what motivates me to travel and skate new terrain. When I see a new skatepark on the web, or even an old one that I haven't been to, it is like seeing a trailer for a movie, and wanting to see that movie really bad. I'll start thinking and planning a trip to get there.
Who do you skate with and what is your favorite park?
In the last two years, my life has changed quite a bit after my divorce, I moved from the Seattle area to Salt Lake City, and got remarried. So, I used to skate with a bunch of guys in the Seattle area, which I do miss and try to get back as much as possible. But, I haven’t really found a crew here in Salt Lake to skate with.
However, my wife skates, and that’s a real bonus for me, and to be honest a dream come true. So usually I skate with her, and since we both love to travel it's been really good.
As for my favorite skatepark, that’s a hard question. For me, I love big, fast, deep bowls, but there are so many good parks now. However, Hailey, Idaho and Orcas Island, Washington are still my favorite parks. I try to get to each of them at least once a year.
What is interesting to me also is seeing parks through my wife's eyes. She sees them differently than I do, and for her the fun parks are ones like we used to ride in the '70's, with snake runs and things, so I'm always on the look out for a good park for her.