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Bolt Cutter Project.

AFTER UMPTEEN YEARS of contest promoters promising to offer venues which simulate "the real streets" (but usually ending up with seven-foot spines), the dudes at Deluxe decided that rather than take the streets to the arena, they'd try it the other way around. More precisely, they decided to find out what would happen if you threw a series of contests at real spots that kids are already skating. The Bolt Cutter Project was born.

This type of renegade comp is not without precedent. Secret bank jams and pool events have sprung up here and there through the years, but this may be the first true street-style inception--especially in today's atmosphere of Skate Stoppers and overkill security.

Deluxe contacted a handful of shops and sent out fliers with mysterious phone numbers where kids could call in and get the scoop. Local spots were sussed out. They didn't need to be bust-free, but at least the type of place you wouldn't get run off from in the first five minutes.


THE FIRST STOP that actually came together was in Fontana, CA where the locals tipped us off to a sweet rail behind a big chain grocery store. While the Union picketed out front, around 50 to 75 kids bellied up to the bar. Lights went on and a crew of 10 or so dudes started tossing the carcass. Johnny Layton, Billy Marks, Matt Bennett and a bunch of the Pharmacy locs traded stunts while Leo Romero kept racking 'em up. Jasin Phares brought a bunch of kids with him too, including Abdias Rivera, Darrell Stanton, Ernie Torres, JT Aultz, Peter Ramondetta and Damian Bravo.

The sesh ended with some light anarchy when the store manager poked his head out the back to see a mob of skate kids staring at him. Instead of just calling the cops, Joe Grocer decided to take charge and tried to block the rail with a big box. Mistake #1. As he waddled out with the box, a couple skaters shoved him back inside and held the door shut. It was like a scene out of Over the Edge! Pure teen anarchy. The crowd erupted in cheers, but everyone pretty much knew the cops would be coming for sure.


EVENT #2 was held at an abandoned warehouse near an air base in San Diego. Dueling hubba ledges hosted even more skaters than the night before, including a heavy contingency from the Ozone skateshop. Joey Poiriez showed local dominance while Powell pro Rodney Jones snatched first with a switch flip boardslide. Two hours passed, yet we still hadn't been kicked out, so the action moved to a nearby heinous eight-foot tall death-drop gap.

JT Aultz got bounced on a 'hana, Ramondetta dropped the frontside flip and Big Ernie went buck wild. Eventually people just got tired and went home. Score one for our team.


The famously over-skated Pala pool was the place the next night, with a large barbecue scene surrounding the well-worn walls. Hewitt was out of town so it was up to heavies Alex Horn, Matt Moffett, Steve Roche, Rhino, Navarrette and Texas Dan to get the party started. Navarrette plowed himself and a couple 5-0 fakies into the shallow while Roche pulled blunt fakies over the death box. Alex Horn snagged the trophy with a hare-brained roll-in on a board that looked like it was made out of a piece of driftwood.


Last stop was The Wedge in Phoenix, AZ. Though not really living up to the whole bolt-cutting theme, the hubba ledge at The Wedge is an actual skate spot that just happened to have a skatepark built up around it.

The kids from Cowtown skateshop flexed their local muscles and Jake and Mic-E drove in to pump up the fun (which mostly involved making a 10-year-old repeatedly eat shit trying to 180 the stairs). A local buddy finally scraped a mighty switch backside 5-0 to take the top slot.

Got a spot perfect for a renegade contest? Email those Deluxe dudes and tell 'em to bring the Bolt Cutter to your town.
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Author:Burnett, Michael
Date:Mar 1, 2004
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