sts chester aw-4
12 Sep 2014

SCRATCH THE SURFACE

Chester Blacksmith designs his dream trip

wePeople

Words and photos by Andrew White

Forgive me, but the launching point of BMX is a transition. Usually consisting of a curb-cut, dirt lip, plank and brink, whatever it may be, the origin of our collective addiction traces here. From there the paths diverge, even more so today with the extreme fragmentation of the sport. The focus of our attention today is on entirely angular setups. No need for an imaginary compass to trace arcs while evaluating a new spot. 90 degree stair sets and flat ledges with 45 degree rails are plentiful and seem to compromise the consideration of most.

https://e-fisewolves.com/

This is not to say it’s to the demise of the well rounded rider. On the last couple trips with Chester Blacksmith, he repeatedly daydreamed out loud for a trip with a shifted focus from driving a van in LA from deadman setup to bust spot to flat ledge, and instead riding spots of his choosing. It may come as a surprise to some, but pros don’t usually do roof to rails while at home, it’s normally a couple hours at the park after a warmup pedal to the coffee shop. Taking him up on this, I organized a trip to meet his wishes: a week in Southern California with the sole mission to ride all the incredible pools and ditches that Jason Enns continually wets us via instagram without any pressure to fire out ‘the banger.’

sts danfoley aw-3

Filmer/Lipslider

Andrew roasting the rock

doubles on the immaculate ditch

Chet’s motorcycle, outfitted with his bike attached to a welded Park Tools clamp, pulled in my East Hollywood apartment the day after Dan Foley’s plane. My friend and next door neighbor was in Canada for the week, and he offered Dan and Chet his place to crash. Chet famously hates LA, understandably, since his history in the area usually consisted of TM-ing a bus through congested traffic for WeThePeople or crushing bones for Jeff Z. Maybe the pace up in small-town Oregon he’s used to is a bit slower? I’m not certain. Regardless, with the organizing duties passed on to me, a free furnished apartment, and riding distance to Sunset Boulevard, I’d hoped to quell any anxiety Chet may have had. Dan had only been to California briefly, and only in the southern beach cities. This trip would be all new for him essentially.


The plan was to be out of the house before noon. We didn’t get wild at night, all had a bed to sleep in, and were close to coffee and food. If only LA were that easy. We met up with Andrew Jackson, who brought out his regular riding mates Brian Terada and AK. Being locals and active pool and ditch searchers, they helped us know where to go. The six of us would brainstorm for the following day, usually picking two or three spots to try to hit. Despite all this, we didn’t touch grips till at least five without fail. 

sts danfoley aw-2

Dan in Malibu

a week in Southern California with the sole mission to ride all the incredible pools and ditches that Jason Enns continually wets us via instagram without any pressure to fire out ‘the banger.’

sts chestertooth aw-1

Manson toothpick killed Chet's tire first go around. Borrowed wheel and good to go.

It was truly baffling witnessing the paradox of amount of planning and hour at which bikes were pulled. I can’t even really give a good explanation looking back, besides the combination of San Fernando valley sprawl and roundabout routes. Lots of the wasted driving time was accountable to human misjudgement, but the real culprit was the nature of Los Angeles. Yes, we constantly witness the riders living there ride incredible spots of all kinds. But it really is work finding and getting to them. We outsiders weren’t used to this. On one of the days, we met up with Fish in Long Beach. His housemate Juaquin Silva had told Chet that we should come down and that he has spots for us. Great! So we meet at the house, and all caravaned to the first pool- it was an hour and a half away. Then the next pool we went to was ‘down the road’ further away from town. Once done riding for the day, we had a two and a half hour drive back to our apartment in Hollywood. And that was with no traffic or stops. But the thing is, those two pools we spent all day driving to get to, and only rode for a short time, were incredible. Drained, cleaned, hassle-free, and scenic. They were awesome, and we all had a good session. It was well worth the effort.

It’s all smiles at a pool session and we were fortunate to hit four of them plus two ditches with a wide crew. They all had character no doubt, but the two that stand out were the underwater soundstage from old Hollywood which was situated by one of the Manson Family ranches, and the old dairy farm pool. The only time we got kicked out was bizarrely by someone sleeping in a shitty car. The pool we were trying to hit was a quarter mile off a small mountain-top road. He wasn’t guarding the place officially even, and never got a good answer as to what he was doing. Your guess is as good as ours why he belonged there.

It’s an effort to ride pools and standout ditches. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done finding them as opposed to spotting the next rail while driving by. Transition spots may not be for everyone, but for those interested it’s hard to beat the American Southwest. Whether or not this trip changed Chester’s view of LA is uncertain, but at least he got to enjoy a bangout week catering to his dream concrete.

sts danfoley aw-6

Making it look easy

sts chester aw-7

Chester in the old dairy farm pool

It was truly baffling witnessing the paradox of amount of planning and hour at which bikes were pulled.
  • sts lifestyle aw-2
  • sts lifestyle aw-10
  • sts lifestyle aw-12
  • sts lifestyle aw-1
  • sts lifestyle aw-11
  • sts lifestyle aw-13
  • sts lifestyle aw-15
  • sts lifestyle aw-3
  • sts lifestyle aw-5
  • sts lifestyle aw-7
  • sts lifestyle aw-8
  • sts lifestyle aw-9
  • sts chester aw-4
  • sts lifestyle aw-6

of 14

Related Video

DIG Presents... So Cal - Scratch The Surface Video

What lies beneath... - More Info

Previous

David Grant - All Who Wander Are Not Lost

How a few choice words from a High school teacher in Muncie, Indiana, lead to him picking up a bike and traveling the world

Next

What The Fuck Is A Chocolate Truck?

Rollin' deep in Philly with the CT crew

Related Content

dan foley wtp cadence grab 2
Play Button

Dan Foley - WTP #Cadence Promo

​Holy Moly Dan Foley

19 Jan 2015
Dan-Foley-Wethepeople-4-Clip-Friday
Play Button

Wethepeople - Dan Foley 4 Clip Friday

Dan Foley ushers in the weekend...

30 Jan 2015
Nearly-bts
Play Button

In The Cut: Nearly Behind-The-Scenes

Kriss Kyle, Alex Donnachie, David Grant and more in Majorca...

28 Jan 2015
sts chester-blurry aw
Play Button

DIG Presents... So Cal - Scratch The Surface Video

What lies beneath...

12 Sep 2014
https://shop.sundaybikes.com/collections/sunday-frames?utm_medium=banner&utm_source=dig

Latest Content

0 Gi Ir FWUSY0hqdefault
Play Button
E0 M0f Co9l T Ihqdefault
Play Button
2024 CABLE SETUPS thumb
Play Button

JACOB CABLE BIKE CHECK - DIG BMX SETUPS 2024

The Kinetic rundown

18 Jul 2024
Z Ru P4cabw Hghqdefault
Play Button

UP!

An Edinburgh Scene Video

17 Jul 2024
Im sorry thumbnail
Play Button

"SUMIMASEN" - A BMX TRIP IN TOKYO

(I'm Sorry!)

15 Jul 2024
Ixjt4 Iyhy Z Ihqdefault
Play Button

Clint Millar 50th Birthday

NOT BAD FOR AN OLD BOY

13 Jul 2024
Kink 2025 bikes
Play Button

KINK 2025 BIKES

That New New!

13 Jul 2024
BB Oky e Zlw Yhqdefault
Play Button

Source BMX: Kevin Peraza Bike Check

The X Games Street Gold machine

12 Jul 2024
Ecm kv K2r C Qhqdefault
Play Button

MASON RITTER - CAN YOU FILM THIS - GT BMX

next level jump combos

12 Jul 2024
2 Z7 A2413 copy

E-FISE WOLVERHAMPTON - EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

E-FISE IS BACK AND EVEN BETTER!

12 Jul 2024
Guptzo K Ff Gshqdefault
Play Button
Zai3j Z6 Wa Ychqdefault
Play Button

REA's "Other" Bike - S&M Black Magic Build

You could eat you dinner off that sprocket

12 Jul 2024

DIG Partner stores

More Features

Jamie Pipe Tribe

A Brave New World - The history of KHE Bikes, Part 2

Taiwan, a pornstar, and innovation in a can

18 Apr 2024
Dragon Higa gap to manual copy

PROJECT X

This is Project X - This is BMX

9 Apr 2024
WILL JACKSON SOUTHPORT OLDHAM SESSION SHOT BY KANO KANE 2

WILL JACKSON - THE 'MUSCLE MEMORY' INTERVIEW

"I got my first WTP frame at the back end of 2001. Half a lifetime ago."

21 Dec 2023
Simple session 2023 boyd hilder 9

Simple Session 2023 Photo Journal

23 years and counting...

27 Sep 2023
BOH RAIL JAM 2023 47

Battle of Hastings - Photo Journal 2023

From the beach to the basement of Source Park

12 Sep 2023
Trey Jones Pocket Air1 Aguilar 2023
20230804 DIG GLASGOW 0028

30 YEARS OF DIG EXHIBITION & BSD Jam - In Photos

Jammin' and premierin'

11 Aug 2023
20230421 OHIO 0218

Postcards from Ohio - Photo Journal

3 cities, hundreds of spots

9 Jul 2023
45 dig 93 by dolecki LYNN 250 POSH

Trails Closed - The End of Posh Woods

Why the legacy of Posh will absolutely endure

14 Jun 2023
2nd angle Zack Scott DIGBMX 4

The "Full Coverage" Interview

Never underestimate the camera guy!

8 Jun 2023
Robin in Split Croatia Photo Kieran Cooper 7

Robin Bourhis “From Engineering to Riding”

The story behind his WTP 2023 Video Part

26 May 2023
Darty burnslow digbmx 12

Darty in the Ditch 2 - Catching up with Brett Silva

Austin comes together to ride and remember...

23 May 2023