Another busy year for me sounds like as good an excuse as any. Seriously, it has been a busy year. I promise. Like each year, I had all
intentions of putting together AoS-fest earlier and better planning it out and pulling together more sponsors and blah blah blah. I know...I am beginning to sound
like a broken record (haha). But trust me...pulling these off on my own is no easy task. However, I managed to do it again, and I think this year's AoS-fest was the
best yet. I have been working (my *real* job) on a project in Phoenix, Arizona for the past year and a half. I have been telling friends for a while how great AZ is for skating...
how there are parks everywhere...how, aside from summer, the weather is great...and on and on and on. When the end of the year was drawing near, the weather in most
places was turning cold, and I still wanted to put together AoS-fest some where, Phoenix just seemed like the perfect choice. What better way to let my friends at
home (and from here) experience what I had been trying to tell them about than to bring them all to Arizona and hit as many skateparks as possible over a weekend.
Yes, I know, we could hit even more skateparks in the Northwest, but the weather in Arizona is much nicer this time of year (haha). The next step was deciding on a
good weekend to have it. Since it was around September before I had even gotten a chance to plan this year's AoS-fest, there was not a lot of time left in the year.
October was busy with work, November is holiday travel time for folks, so we really just had a small window of weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
I figured the earliest free weekend in December would be best as the weather in Arizona would be perfect. With the decision made, it was then just a matter of pulling
it all together...setting a date, getting friends set with travel plans, planning a weekend stay in my schedule for work, etc. Easy, right? Thankfully, I had the help
of AZ local Rob Locker (of AZPX.com) to help with planning a good tour of the best parks around Phoenix. The original plan was to tour the east Phoenix parks friday
and then hit west Phoenix on Saturday with the pinnacle of the trip being a visit to the new crown jewel of skate parks, Goodyear. However, the opening of Goodyear
got delayed to January 2007, so we had to adjust plans at the last minute. Again, Rob Locker came to the rescue with a new plan. I think it was pretty easy though.
Skipping the Goodyear park simply meant just hitting another handful of parks that were just as close. Over the course of two and a half days (friday-sunday), we
skated 8 skate parks. That might sound like a lot, but there are so many skate parks around Phoenix there were probably another 5-10 skate parks we didn't even hit.
Honestly, I think 8 skate parks was plenty. By the end of it, we were all so tired, sore and worn out, I don't know if we could have handled any more skate parks.
Like I said earlier, I think this was by far the best AoS-fest yet (they seem to get better every year!). Some people made it for the whole weekend tour while others
were only able to join us at a park or two, but I think everyone had a great time regardless. I appreciate everyone who made it out this year. And as I promise every
year, next year I will sincerely try to plan for a springtime AoS-fest with much better planning and communication ahead of time. In any event, enjoy this year's
AoS-fest run down, report and photos!
Map Overview of the Tour