Love & Sex

A Look Inside the Buckwild Parties of Underground Skate Parks

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Binge drinking, casual sex, and rampant destruction.

Back in 2007, North Carolina-based photographer Travis Dove started hanging out at Skatopia, the DIY skate park in Rutland, Ohio, where hundreds of grunge skateboard enthusiasts would live for spurts of time camp ground-style in order to get their skate on. You can image with all that adrenaline pumping in the back hills of nowheresville Ohio, lots of partying ensued. Dove thought so and wanted to capture some behind-the-scenes craziness for a photo project he was working on at Ohio University.

So Dove went under-cover as a nondrinking, nonskating super fan of the sport (think Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed) and after multiple visits over three months, he was considered a regular. After his reputation was validated, the spy began capturing crazy moments of the disenfranchised people group. He says on his site, "Binge drinking, casual sex, and rampant destruction of cars or property of any kind are the hallmarks of this uninhibited retreat." 

While the photos are mesmerizing, they certainly capture the "destruction," virility, chaos, and caution-to-the-wind creed of the thriving fringe culture. Maybe today, seven years later, these guys are all settled down with families, mortgages, and Volvos, but I like to think that at least one Friday night out of the year someone at Skatopia is asleep, ass-up, in the mud. 

[h/t Feature Shoot]

Images via Travis Dove