Javier Mendizabal, pivot to fakie. Photo by Sem Rubio.

Concrete, bitumen, wood and metal are the normal materials of choice for skateboarding. However, thankfully over the ages we have had experimentalists who have taken to skating non-traditional surfaces and objects. The following list is a little high five to those who understand the vibe about skating rocks and other random bits and bobs.

 

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Salt flats have been getting used to break land speed records for many moons, so it makes perfect sense that they have also been skated. Couldn’t find any video footage of this example of salt skating but the combination of a classic trick such as the shifty ollie and some salt flats was definitely worthy of this Transworld cover from 1995.

Daewon is known for his experimenting with surfaces and he recently filmed almost a whole video part on rocks, but it was this tailslide across a man-made waterfall in DVS’ Skate More (2006) that short-circuited brains across the planet. If you need a reminder of the guy’s brilliance make sure you watch the rest of this video part.

Watch the rest of the part HERE.

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This is one of my favourite covers of all time. The classic shapes of Paul Shier with a styley crooks on top of an ice block! Look at that finger point would you? This was shot by the one and only Wig Worland, oh how we miss his skate photos. There is a rad story regarding this shot for a winter edition of Sidewalk Surfer over here.

Again grass is a time-tested alternative surface for skateboarding. Every skate-toddler has opted for grass as a safety net for a downhill gone bad, but few have popped out of a crooked grind into a steep grass slope like Glenn Wignall did in his epic section in the seminal New Zealand independent production: Forays (2006). Watch the whole video part and get wind of a lesser-known great.

Watch the rest of the part HERE.

We before he was seen crooked grinding rails in fluffy orange onesies, the street Steve Olson got buck for his part in the Shorty’s video Fulfil the Dream (1998). Aside from the wads of regular stairs and drops that he skated he somehow thought it was possible to visit a ghost town, drop in on a roof and hit a handrail. Good on you mate.

Watch the rest of the part HERE.

Natas helped revolutionise a bunch of un-shredded obstacles including handrails and walls. He along with Gonz and a select other few helped make these previously seldom-hit terrains become the norm. However aside from getting launched over on the regular basis the fire hydrant is still rarely ever skated on. All hail the hydrant spin. He should also get a special mention for incorporating the chain link fence into his surface selection (@ 1 min 32).

Watch the rest of the part HERE.

People have been riding windows for eons, but it is this moment where adrenaline junkie and climbing expert Omar Salazar carved across a glass rooftop that stuck in our minds. This was seen in Nike’s Nothing but the Truth (2007) and although it doesn’t quite stand up to his Mind Field section, it is still well worth a gander.

Watch the rest of the part HERE.

Trees get wallied every now and then but it was Rick who took to a whole forest for his skit in Girl’s Mouse (1996). Sure most of the line he takes is on not so secretly laid plywood, but the 50/50 on the entire length of the log is legit. Man I could watch Rick Howard skate all day such a classic style.

People have probably been skating rocks for longer than they have been skating concrete, so it is almost impossible to gauge who was the first. But it was this rock move from H-Street’s Next Generation (1992) that stuck in my mind. The eternal question is: was it a 180 nosegrind or a 180 nose wheelie? We’ll probably never know, unless of course you ask Eric. The rad thing is Koston was doing these on rocks before most could do them anywhere.

Watch the rest of Eric Koston's H-Street part HERE