Behind the Scenes at the Vertical Smile Training Compound

Feeble Grind Kickflip to Fakie Square



To understand the madness and mayhem that is Vertical Smile, you have to go to the home of the has been and the never was.  That home is located in the East Bay otherwise known as Casa Rodzilla.  Bruce Rodela, aka Rodzilla has been looking out for at least one fledgeling photog for the past several months.  Like a guardian angel, or maybe devil, Rodzilla always has the hookup.  From wood, to skaters, teams to trophies,  it's all on lock.  A Thursday night sesh at his backyard miniramp prompts another trip to the East Bay to find out if you need to walk a mile to get down on a Vertical Smile.  All I know is, there are two spots nearby for late night beer runs and Bruce's dog will literally eat wood.


Action was hot and heavy by the time I rolled up.  VS treats this like a proving grounds with Bruce yelling encouragement from the sidelines with a beer in hand.  He skated earlier before I could make it out of work and around the bay.
The trick of the night, without a doubt, was a radical line thrown down by Sean Meeker.  The heart of the trick was a front feeble to kickflip fakie out.  Throw a few badass 5-0 grinds around that and you have some idea of the difficulty of this throwdown.  He landed at least 4 of them that I saw and rolled away clean at least a few of those.  Check it out.

Back-50 to Fake to start
Tale Stall on the extension to get some speed.

Here's the banger!  He made it.

For more of the fast and furious action on this backyard mini, check out the ramp jam from earlier this month And You Don't Stop. You can see full size versions of these photos on my flickr page.

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