Sean Burns asks if Pool riders almost have more right to be stricter than trail diggers
10 Apr 2015
Words By Sean Burns Photos by Leo Furmansky
Supposedly there is a saying "There isn't a hole in Texas without oil gushing out of it." Well those other holes sometimes tend to be empty pools.. and us Bone Deth weirdos like to spend a lot of time sniffing them out. It is actually a rarity to find pool's deeper than four to five feet in Central Texas and that's mostly due to the limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate. Most limestone is composed of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera (stick with us on this..). Texas was once an ocean so this all makes plenty sense. This limestone is super thick and hard to chisel an you'd actually need a handful dynamite sticks to blow through this stuff. Kablamo! Most apartment complex companies and home owners do not have the means for dynamite explosions, therefore leaving Texas with mostly shallow end dip and sniffs.
When we come across something deeper than five feet it become's hush hush because you never know when a crew of BMXers are going to come find it and bring ten people with dogs and barbecue equipment, leave a bunch of trash and disturb the neighbors... all of which will eventually result in the pool being filled in, or completely demolished. There is an etiquette that comes with pool sniffing. Kids don't want to dig and they sure as hell do not want to clean out wet goopy condoms and dead carcass's out of scum water. But there is one man who has no care for that stuff: the most white toothed member of Bone Deth, Dean Dickinson. Don't let his ultra bright smile fool you though. He has some of the best hygiene of any of my friends but he is also the dirtiest. It is really strange because surprisingly he also has really soft feet. Softer than most women. Yet he is slewing half naked through possibly the nastiest water, gutting out dead amphibians and disease. He most certainly has an immune system ten times stronger than the average human. I do not think I have ever seen him sick yet I have had several nasty infections in my life.. most of them due to crashing in pools. Dean never has had an infection but these type of places are completely disease ridden. Bizarro Land. Although small Mexican kids slide around in them on their knees, these pools are the last place you'd want your kids to play.
"Pool riders almost have more right to be more strict than trail diggers."
Part of the etiquette is played into the riding. You really do not want to crash in a pool and you have to be so alert because these aren't skatepark transition. BMX had a tight tranny pool craze in 2002 that started to fizzle out by the mid to late 2000's. As a result the new generation of BMXers are not quite familiar with weird and tight transitions. You have to pay attention one hundred and ten percent. Not only will this type of tranny toss you all twisted... it will infect your skin. Staphylococcus is group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases. Pools are covered in. It travels on your body until it gets inside of your bloodstream. So if you eat shit in a pool and get any type of abrasion, you're at a high risk of infection. The vermin crowded spots are possibly some of the funnest but severely dangerous. You also have to deal with squatters that smell worse than the pool scum. Angry property owners who have no remorse in pulling a gun on you or the near by neighborhood vigilante who is calling the police on you without notice. The factors are endless. In order to find these spots you absolutely have to have an adventure seeking mentality. You also have to almost act as a ninja - quietly getting in and out. Riding without eating it into the dirty rough pavement that could lead to a flesh eating bacteria. It takes etiquette and being stealth. You do not want to emulate the type of ninja Chris Farley played in the movie 'Beverly Hills Ninja.'
Pool riders almost have more right to be more strict than trail diggers. The trail nazi mentality makes sense. You spend a lot of hard effort and time into building jumps. The last thing that you want is some free for all assholes coming and casing the shit out of them and getting famous from your hard efforts. Case in point is that the trails will still be there. When it comes to renting a pump and cleaning out a pool… That pool might be gone tomorrow. You might have spent $100 renting a pump along with eight hours cleaning the damn thing. So there is a reason pool riders do not share their spots with the community. Dean is no pool nazi, he's just more of an introvert with his spots. If you really want to ride pool's, put in the effort. You have to always be sniffing them out. There probably is not a day that goes by where Dean is not checking nearly condemned property and such. One of the pools in this article had been scoped out for two years now and we had been patiently waiting for the place to shit the bed. As soon as that fence went up and the property was labeled vacant, Dean and his skater buddy wasted no time in draining it. There is a certain type of respect for this mentality. I have been called selfish for holding back on spots but hell, if I tell one friend, he tells three friends. Those three friends tell three other friend and so on and so on. It is a continuous cycle. I honestly don't blame them all, hence the fact that finding one of these things and cleaning it out is a royal pain to most people. In my mind it is plenty worth it.
"One of the biggest and most popular skateparks in the world can't even compare to a transition that was not meant to be ridden."
I could have more fun in just one of these shitty transitioned pools than I did at the SMP park in Shanghai, China. One of the biggest and most popular skateparks in the world can't even compare to a transition that was not meant to be ridden. It's not even so much the feeling of rewarding due to the effort put it but It's the adventure itself. Sneaking in and out makes it all worth the while. The teenage emotion of doing something wrong and being somewhere you are not supposed to, enhances the feeling of the spot. For instance, we recently broke into a water park that was shut down for the winter time. There were still security guards looking over the place and employee's there doing water park business jargon. We essentially broke-in and trespassed to ride the boogie board wave pool. We had to take runs and hide underneath a wooden bridge. A handful of times we even had to close our eyes and hold our breath in as security passed us above. It nearly felt like the scene from the movie 'The Goonies' when the Fratellis come back to their abandoned bar and the kids are standing still. There was no sloth's chained up to the boogie board wave but the sense of being a kid and wrongdoing but getting away with it was almost as fun as riding the damn thing. We really only took a few runs and booked it. These type of situations are a major gamble. Street riding is a crime whether you can admit it or not. From trespassing, breaking and entry, destruction of property and criminal mischief. For us we have lucked out on that type of situation mostly due to Dean being a master of this category. The guy has ridden well over two hundred pool's now. He knows the drill. He basically is the drill.
"The teenage emotion of doing something wrong and being somewhere you are not suppose to, enhances the feeling of the spot."
When all of the factors add up it's no surprise that not too many people are superb pool sniffers like Dean. People just want the spot right there in front of them. For us it is nonchalant. We already instigate crazy people, bums and weirdos. So when we roll up to an abandoned hotel that is most likely full of freakish thieves and junkies it is normal to us. During a session at one of the pool's featured here, a group of extremist jocks pulled up (maybe more like 'extreme sport Bro' types). They came in under the impression they could ride their longboards in the pool and chug energy drinks. You could tell that after only a few minutes they were a little wigged out. The pool was nasty and bumpy. Bum's were selling projectors and computer software videos games from 1997. Their shoe's were too clean to be hanging around hungry squatters and there was even a bum possibly jerking off from one of the rooms watching a photographer shoot photos of a half naked girl. This is not a place for ordinary people. BMX has changed so much in the last six years that now most BMXers are ordinary people. It has become a 'sport' as opposed to a wild and loose mystery. I am more than hyped that I moved to Texas the same time as Dean because it has been a breath of fresh air into the 'mentality of the loose mystery' style. I never know what to expect whereas If I go to the skatepark I can for surely expect the same experience nearly every time. When I go sniffing around town for pool's with Dean, each and every time will be a wild story of its own. - SB
Supposedly there is a saying "There isn't a hole in Texas without oil gushing out of it." Well those other holes sometimes tend to be empty pools..
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