Greetings From The Nude Bowl!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Nude Bowl

The Nude Bowl was a popular skateboarding locale from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The name comes from the fact that the site was once a nudist resort named “Desert Gardens Ranch.”[1]

It was outside Desert Hot Spring’s , California and consisted of an abandoned kidney bean shaped swimming pool and a few foundations of buildings that used to surround the area. There was no paved road to the Nude Bowl, so visitors had to travel through the desert.

Initially, the Nude Bowl was merely a skateboarding party location, but by the 1990s, large parties and violence became commonplace there.[2] After numerous complaints about guns and fighting around the Nude Bowl, the police filled it in with dirt. Skateboarders returned, removed the dirt, and repaired the bowl.[3] After a few months, the police broke up the concrete and buried the remains of the bowl, but until recently the pool was dug up and repaired and is now intact.

Documentary and resurrection

A documentary project on the site was started in 2008, intended to trace the Nude Bowl’s history, from Nudist Colony to the many attempts at re-building.[4]

The Palm Springs Skatepark contains a replica of the Nude Bowl, which is the most popular feature in the park.[5]

The history of the Nude Bowl is the subject of JFA’s popular song “Nude Bowl Resurrection”.


I’m just a skateboarder. It’s the only thing I have stuck with nearly all my life. Everyone has their own thing with it. Be it going pro, getting sponsored, competing in contests, constant progression, “The Carve & Grind Program” or just staying on at the scumline….bottom line, we are all just skateboarders. In my case, I have been on “The Carve & Grind Program” for awhile now and I am perfectly content where I am. I still think about skateboarding every day, go skateboarding whenever I have the chance and pretty much spend my online time glorifying skateboarding.

I’ll be 50 years old in a few months. When I was younger (and a bit more wayward) it was inconceivable to think I would still be skating at the age of 50 yet alone not be dead or in prison. Skateboarding saved me from all that bullshit believe it or not. When Swickipedia texted me and asked if I could make a quick overnight trip to Palm Springs to skate The Yard and The Nude Bowl for Adam Richard’s birthday sesh, the stars must have aligned for me, I got a spot in Craig Kent’s truck and it was on, along with Craig’s son Steven.

 

The author, Tex and Mohawk Dave look on as Jeff 'Dahmer' Westling gets his
The author, Tex and Mohawk Dave look on as Jeff ‘Dahmer’ Westling gets his, late 1980’s.

I first went to The Nude Bowl somewhere between 1987-89. I can’t remember exactly. Back then, it was a legendary spot. Often talked about, few had skated. The background story and the lore of what went on before and after it was a nudist colony was mind blowing to young skateboarders hungry for transitional terrain. I made it there with Jim ‘Tex’ Allen, Jeff ‘Dahmer’ Westling and Mohawk Dave. I remember Dahmer annihilating the Nude, Tex and I catching grinds all over and Dave was there for inspiration. The bowl is not the most insane bowl or anything like that. It’s a classic kidney larger than most backyard pools and rides like a real pool. Steep as shit catching a grind is an achievement (at least for me). It was one for the history books which I will always remember with the fondness of “‘back in the day’ I skated The Nude Bowl”. Any self-respecting skateboarder will know what the fuck you are talking about. To have this sacred spot resurrected recently made this opportunity just the more special as I approach my 50th trip around the Sun.

We got to Palm Springs in what seemed like only a few hours. After the hotel check-in, we headed over to Jeremiah Risk’s sprawling backyard home made bowl dubbed ‘The Yard’. Now I have skated some big shit, probably the biggest being the original Upland Skatepark’s 15 foot bowl, but The Yard takes the cake for the gnarliest, best constructed, smoothest concrete that I have ridden. Period. The deep end is immense, about 12 feet, I could barely get a little tile ride but that didn’t matter because the side bowl, ‘shallow end’ and hips were all masterly crafted, functional and grindable. After some runs it got super fun. Ryan and Steven repped us hard and tore the shit out of the place but not quite like some of the other shredders who were all beyond super cool and inviting to their scene and session. Ability didn’t matter. All were welcome. Birthday Boy had the hugest grin goin’ all night. The vibe was off the hook. Super thanks for the epic hospitality, Mr. Risk!

Before my pilgrimage to the Nude Bowl, apparently I needed to be cleansed. After epic times at The Yard, we made our way to a closing hamburger place which has the best hamburgers in town. For some reason, Lob Rocker here decides the Carne Asada Tacos instead of a nice, safe hamburger are a good choice for a restaurant about to close for the night. Around 3AM I awoke and proceed to barf my guts out meanwhile my whole body going into sweat mode. This went on until about 7 or 8 in the morning. The rest of the crew went and got breakfast and I passed out until they got back. They were pretty cool to me considering I inconvenienced everyone. I was still pretty out of it, stomach beyond empty but had no choice but to get my shit together and go skate The Nude to the best of my abilities.

Lives worth Living

We made it up the hill to find her pretty cleaned up and ready to roll. Steven jumped in and got things going while we padded up and got the tunes going. Five was a perfect number for a perfect session as we all got as many runs in as we could handle before exhaustion took over. I soon forgot about being sick as fuck and my empty stomach. After awhile nothing in the world mattered except for catching that grind. I was not gonna leave without one. Everyone was having a blast and after a bit I got some good barkers in the deep end on my 215’s which was a pretty indescribable feeling. Ryan and I found ourselves skating by ourselves for a bit while the others took a break. It brought us back to the times when all we did was skate backyard pools. Kinda a Circle of Life thingy. Steven the Millenial started setting up a selfie shot that involved a look-back and wave to the camera while he did a hand down slide in the deep. Craig his dad yelled out ‘Greetings from the Nude Bowl’ and before you know it Steven shed his shirt to make the selfie seem ‘really uncomfortable’ at first view. Epic times. The Vibe was like a feel-good drug. After some photos we packed up all our shit and left only memories. We hit the road back to AZ and made it home in time for Adam’s birthday dinner. Happy Birthday Bro!

 

3 Comments

  1. Having just watched the Animal Chin – 30 year follow-up I think perhaps you boys found “Animal Chin”or better known as fun!!! Let the search continue ………. and never stop!!!!!!

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