Pools at Foreclosed Homes Transformed into Illegal Sk8 Ramps

Well, this is one effect of the housing meltdown I didn't see coming — a resurgence of hardcore sk8 culture. Skaters in Southern California are repurposing dried-out pools in the backyards of abandoned, foreclosed homes, cleaning them out and transforming them into illicit skate parks. Let a thousand reverse ollies bloom. Snip from New York Times article by Jesse McKinley and Malia Wollan:

In these boom times for skaters, [a 27-year old Fresno skateboarder whose alias is Josh] Peacock travels with a gas-powered pump, five-gallon buckets, shovels and a push broom, risking trespassing charges in the pursuit of emptying forlorn pools and turning them into de facto skate parks.

"We can just hit them back to back," said Mr. Peacock, who preferred to give his skateboarding name because of the illegality of his activities.

Skaters are coming to places like Fresno from as far as Germany and Australia. Mr. Peacock said his floor and couch were covered by sleeping bags of visiting skateboarders each weekend.

Some skateboarders use realty tracking sites like realquest.com and realtor.com to find foreclosed houses with pools, while others trawl through satellite images from Google Earth. On the Web site skateandannoy.com, where skaters trade tips about how to find and drain abandoned pools, one poster wrote about the current economic malaise. "God bless Greenspan," the post read, "patron saint of pool skatin'."

Skaters Jump In as Foreclosures Drain the Pool (NYT, Photo: Jim Wilson)