Some random lurker.
The Burnside Project
"One individual cannot tell the history of Burnside. It is a collective memory shared by many different people and personalities. What you find is that not one persons story is the same as another. These are only my memories."
- Weekend Warrior

OPB Video Documentary
"Full Tilt Boogie"

Directed by Chris Bredesen
Video feed courtesy of Dreamland Skateparks

The Real Story :::: At Least My Story

Before I even get started with my take on how Burnside came about, I want to give a disclaimer of sorts. Quite a few people have helped in the construction of Burnside and each one of them has their own story to tell. Of course there are those that really pushed the boundaries when it came to the design and work put in. There's Mark "Red" Scott, Sage Bolyard, Bret Taylor, Osage Buffulo, and many, many others that put in more than their share of time and effort. Each of us have our own view, or story, when it comes to the history of Burnside, so the following is just my side of the story.


In 1990, Bret and I shared a house in northeast Portland right off of MLK Blvd. It was right by the old Nike outlet store, which, by the way, had some great curbs to skate. For those of you that know where that is, you know that that part of the city was not the ideal place to be living. Bret decided that he wanted to build a half-pipe in the back yard and had started collecting the supplies he would need. Things like post supports, bags of cement, and things like that. We had hardly started to set the post supports when the landlord had found out. That killed it. There were still bags of cement just sitting in our garage and somehow a few of us skaters started to get the idea we should try and use it to make something to skate.

There were only a few of us that thought that underneath the Burnside Bridge would be a good spot. It was one of only a few spots that stayed fairly dry when it rained and it rains a lot in Portland. There were other spots that were brought up, places like underneath the Fremont Bridge in NW and some other covered areas around Portland. I think one of the reasons some people didn't want to do anything under the Burnside Bridge was because it was nasty. Nasty as in old syringes, dirty mattresses, crapped in clothes, thick dust on the wall, and sketchy people wandering around. It was also someplace you didn't want to be caught alone at night. The crime rate in the area was very high due to the fact that the area was basically a no-mans land with empty lots and easy access to the passing freight trains.

One day in the late summer of 1990 Bret, Osage, and I decided to get something going. I don't know who made the decision, my guess is Bret, but one day we packed up some brooms, shovels, and the bags of cement and we headed to Burnside. When we got there we cleaned up a small area against the wall and started piling up some dirt to form a bank leading up the wall. The dirt came from across the street, which at the time was an empty lot. After we gathered enough dirt and formed it into a bank, we started mixing the cement. There was no access to any water to mix the cement at the time, so we just used water from mud puddles. We, well, at least I, I don't know about Bret or Osage, had no experience forming anything with cement, but by the time we were done, we had a pretty good looking bank to the wall. It stood about 3 feet high and was about 3 feet wide.

The next day we went to check out our handiwork and it was good, at least compared to what was there before. That was the only bank that was there for a little while. I think word started getting out and more skaters started coming down to ride the wall. I'm not sure how long it was, but soon there was more cement and another bank in the making. The second bank was a bit bigger and was set about 5 or 6 feet away from the first. After it was dry, we had ourselves a wall ride gap that looked much easier than it was.


It was about this time that Red, and a few others that became leaders in the development of Burnside, started to come around and get stoked on what was there. Once Red took charge, it wasn't long until the two banks were merged into one long bank and a new big bank was set off from the long one by a number of feet. Now the gap was even crazier and the skating had started getting hectic. Jay Graham used to pull Red with his motorcycle to get enough speed to reach the top of the wall and come back into the new big bank. At the time it was absolutely nuts. A few big blocks of concrete were dragged down and put in the middle of the parking lot for a little curb sessioning too, although they didn't last too long.

After a while the whole wall basically had a bank along the bottom. Well, where to build now? It was taken to the other side of the parking lot, towards the street and around the pillars. There was now a berm that ran around one of the pillars and a mini version of the popular corner pocket that is there now that had a great brick corner spine that you could cross over onto the sidewalk. I remember Jim Thiebaud was the first person I ever saw do a rail slide transfer from the sidewalk into the pocket, at the time that was sick. There was also a tight bowl set right up to the sidewalk that was later named the spider bowl. It was super tight and nearly gave you whiplash as you carved through. Not a lot could be done in the spider bowl by most locals, but for more than a few, it was just a new challenge to tackle. People were throwing down grinds and even airs in this thing. The construction continued in a piece meal way for a bit longer until the I-84 on-ramp started construction a couple hundred yards away.

With the I-84 on-ramp construction came a lot of cement. Ross Island Cement, a local major cement supplier, had trucks in and out constantly by the park for the new on-ramp. After a while a deal was struck where the trucks would dump whatever cement was left over that wasn't used in the pours at the on-ramp since they couldn't use it again. Once this cement started coming in the park went crazy. This is how the entire parking lot was covered and everything was made new.

Once the cement started coming in on a regular basis, things really started changing and growing. Bigger elements of the park could start being built and older things started getting buried. Once everything was resurfaced or patched up, the flat was covered in about 2 inches of cement. The park was now fast. It totally changed the feel and flow of the park. Getting way up the bridge wall wasn't as difficult and pushing became a thing of the past.

I'm not sure where in the time line the big bowl was built, I know it was pretty early on, but it's a story in and of itself. It was started by breaking up the blacktop of the parking lot with long steel poles. We would chunk it up and use the blacktop as fill for other projects. After the circumference was broken up the real work started. For those of you who have never been to Burnside, the big bowl is has a diameter of about 20 feet and is about 9 or 10 feet deep. (I may be off by a couple of feet. I'm horrible with measurements.) At least 7 of those feet are underground. It was a huge undertaking but we grabbed our shovels and started digging.

One day Mark hired a backhoe to come down and dig for us. This wasn't just any backhoe though; it was an ancient relic with a man about the same age running it. It was awesome, he dug most of the hole before Hans, a man whom I won't even give the satisfaction of introducing in this history, came down and raised hell. He swore, threatened, and made such a big display, that the old man packed it up and left. I'm not sure what the old mans' name is, but he gets huge props for coming down onto city property and digging a huge hole for us. Thank you old man!

Not much later the square bowl was started and the big hip came into existence. The big hip is probably one of the most skated places in the park. It lines up with the elbow on the opposite side of the park and has a clear, straight run to it. It's perfect for pumping to get more speed for the big wall or just popping as big as you can from. At first the hip and spine were pretty sketchy but the challenge just added to the mystique of Burnside. I think that's what made Burnside so sick, back in the day, it wasn't perfect and made you work for your lines, but it was built by skaters so the lines were always there to be had.


Now that the park was totally enclosed, basically as it sits now, there was nothing to do except improve on what was already there. That didn't happen right away though. During the early years of its completion (it's never been, nor ever will be complete) a lot of sick skating had went down. These were the years that there was a massive jump in the talent of the local skaters. This was the only place in Portland that you could skate some transition and you didn't have to know the right person or pay for admission. It became the place to ride. Burnside was the spot to hook up with your bro's and session until you dropped.

There were still some sketchy spots in the park. The one that really sticks out in my mind is the punk wall. If you were to ride it now, you may wonder how it got it's name, but early on it was blatantly obvious. Right in the center of the punk wall was a convex lump that you would have to navigate, which then went right to about 3 or 4 feet of cinder block vert. That was topped with some chunky pool coping that had been vandalized a number of times. There was no question that it was as the name implied, a punk wall.

The big bowls early years were also sketchy. The bowl wasn't exactly the smoothest tranny and it also was topped with about 2 feet of cinderblock vert with pool coping. It was still fun as hell and you could charge it at full speed and just feel yourself getting sucked into the wall as you tried to hold onto your carve. That pool has seen some of the sickest sessions imaginable by all manner of skaters, be it first timers or seasoned pros.

Both the punk wall and the big bowl have since been resurfaced and are very smooth and fast. They aren't quite as punk as they used to be, but they are still forces to be reckoned with. Just like anywhere else in the park, if you don't respect it, you will get served. Burnside is like a woman. You have to treat her nice and feel her out before you hop in and get wild. If you don't take your time with her she will turn on you in an instant and you will feel her wrath.


As I write this, we are closing in on the 14-year anniversary of Burnside. In the parks 14 years there have been numerous changes and improvements. But the park is still not done. The beauty of Burnside is that it is never really complete. By being a non-sanctioned park, we are at liberty to destroy and rebuild as we see fit, without approval from any city organizations. It is how Burnside was started and it is how it continues to thrive.

Burnside usually gets some sort of update at least once a year, usually before Halloween. Updates can be a simple as patching any holes or cracks, or it can be as complex as removing whole chunks of the park for re-building. It also receives a new coat of paint around the same time. The painting has its positives and negatives. The positives of painting the park are twofold, one is that before painting the park gets a much needed power washing, and two, it becomes a blank canvas for the local graffiti artists, like Meer, to come and throw up some incredible pieces for the anniversary celebration. The only real negatives to a paint job are that it usually is painted in a grey or white which makes the trannies look flat. It is very difficult to get any real depth perception. But it doesn't take long for the wheel marks to scuff up the park enough to get it back to normal.

Halloween is the day that Burnside celebrates its anniversary. Over the years there have been some amazing parties and even more amazing skating. This is the day that skaters from around the world, literally, come to see Burnside at its best. Admittedly, the last couple of years have seen a bit of a decline in the amount of people showing up, more so with the pros, but there are still nearly a hundred or so people, all vying for that next run.

The sessions are always heated and insane. There are often five or six skaters going balls out at any one time. Collisions are common but there is always a good vibe. It's cool to see so many pros show up and even cooler to see the locals able to hang with them. I like how the pro skaters are able to come to Burnside and just be one of the guys, unlike demos or contests where they are over-run with kids trying to get a piece of them. When they come to Burnside, be it on Halloween or any other time, they are just like everyone else. And just like everyone else, if they come in coping an attitude, which I've seen, they are basically run out of the park. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

One thing that I find amazing is that the local police have always let us party in the street without hassling us. There are years that there have been throngs of people in the middle of the street, drinking and having a good time, with no police intervention. Sometimes they just sit a couple of blocks away and watch from a distance, but have yet to interfere.


Over the years Burnside has been mentioned or featured in countless magazine and newspaper articles, on MTV sports, in the Hollywood movies "Free Willy" and "The Hunted", numerous skateboard videos, two different video games, in various books, and more. Yet with all of the exposure, it still retains its original "screw you" attitude. At the time of it's creation, nothing like it had ever been done. Sure, there had been other skate spots that had been modified to be more skateable, but never had a bunch of skaters gotten together and created an entire skatepark by themselves. It was unheard of. And the quality of the park was much better than a lot of the parks in existence at the time too.

Every skater knows what Burnside is. Every skater would like to visit it at least once. That's what makes it legendary. It is the fact that everyone wants to test themselves on one of the best concrete skateparks in the world, to challenge themselves and take their skating up a notch.


It has been 14 years and there is still no end in sight for Burnside. I don't have a crystal ball that will tell me what the future of Burnside will be, but I know that there are people that have the parks best interest in mind and are continually watching out for it. These people might not be in foreground of all things Burnside, but they are like the pillars that we skate on that hold up the Burnside Bridge, if they weren't there, neither would the park.

There are things in the works that may, or may not, work out for Burnside. We are trying to get 24/7 lighting at the park. This would be one of the biggest improvements the park has ever seen. Permanent bathrooms are another improvement that is being worked on. One of the biggest, and yet most iffy, is getting additional land north of the park to expand. This will only happen if certain elements fall into place in the near future.

There is going to be a lot of city development right at the parks front door in the coming years and we plan on being right there in the city's face, letting them know that we're here and we aren't going anywhere. If all goes well, in a couple of years we will have expanded by nearly 5 to 10 thousand square feet. It will take some time and a ton of fund raising, but it is a possibility that I won't give up on.

(Ed. Note: As I write down things that I remember, other memories start running through my head. It's pretty difficult to give a chronological account or even a full checklist of what has been built, destroyed, or re-built. So I need your help. Like I said earlier, my memories are just a small part of the whole picture. If you've been to Burnside, leave a comment below. What do you remember? Anything happening while you were there?
I'm not the only one interested in a full account of Burnsides history. There are a couple people that are in the beginning phase of a book concerning the full history of the park. They want as much info as they can get from as many different people. This will just be one of many resources they will turn to for some source information. These aren't kooks doing the book either, they are O.G. locals that know what they are talking about. So help us out and leave a comment. Thanks.)

3:17 PM :: ::
  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger weekendwarrior, at 12:38 PM  
  • Leave your memories of Burnside here. You don't have to register or leave your name if you don't want to. Just leave something to help get a fuller picture of what Burnside is all about.

    By Blogger weekendwarrior, at 9:55 AM  
  • burnside sounds cool i heard the peeps that skate there aren't very nice though

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 PM  
  • What is nice? I think everyone down there is nice. You would think everyone is nice too, if you went down and skated. The people that think that the locals aren't nice are the guys that camp out in the skatepark. It doesn't matter how good of a skater you are, if you come down to Burnside, skate.

    By Blogger weekendwarrior, at 8:25 AM  
  • hey i lived in portland as a youngster just off burnside st and i remember riding my bike down there and i would sit by the building on the south and watch you guys work and i was in total aww i would cruise around and wait untill u guys would leave and if the banks were dry i would ride on them i moved about the time things started really happening. i go there now and ride it and i cant believe how its changed and what an incredible vibe the park gives and how great it is to ride, i ride bikes but i give major props to everyone of you guys who put work into that its an amazing place

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 PM  
  • I moved here cause of b-side. I know have a family of my own and at b-side. Because there are tons of new parks I want to skate there more than ever.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:10 PM  
  • i rem. a couple of contest held down there before the square bowl along the wall was not there but like a couple of weeks later i came up and rem red, osage and others had this truck with a bunch of scrapwood filling it in and i jumped in and stated to help like all the rest of the locals that skated there in 91 i belive and remember when danny sargent use to come and rip it up he was one of the first peopl i seen catch major air he would come down the wall for speed and just fly over the spine i skated there almost everyday from 90-91 then got sent back here to oklahoma use to hang with osage alot cause he was indian same as i who was it that had that brown van and would always have it playing r.h.c.p?
    dustin guoladdle

    By Blogger guoladdle, at 1:21 AM  
  • burnside has changed me from a little boy to a man.i was so scared the first time i went there hearing all the stories of kids getting fucked up by the locals for gettig in there way.now its my home park i love it thanks everyone who had a hand in it a continues today.shread the gnar

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 PM  
  • Hey, just watched your film about burnside, its definately pursuaded me into trying my hand at pouring some crete, just like you guys started me and a couple of friends r going to build a tranny up a wall, hopefully all goes to plan, peace, keep on shreddin'
    Ryan, Northern Ireland

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:03 AM  
  • does anyone know JT? osage brother? i would like to hear if anyone knows him

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 PM  
  • 6-8-07 8:53am
    I couldn't wait to get back and check for a reply to anyone knowing JT Ball...osage's younger brother...when was the last time someone was in here? If anyone sees this msg. - reply - if you know him or not, thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:57 AM  
  • Yeah, I know JT. Send me an e-mail instead of here.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:32 AM  
  • 6/19/07 9:25am
    Hey, I emailed you then, i havent got anything back...wondering if you got my email?? about JT

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 AM  
  • where is anyone? email me back, i'm going crazy here, yeah you know him but no you won't hook me up, c'mon now, i am nice :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:48 AM  
  • it was a dream come true to finally skate the legendary Burnside park it was my first time thier this weekend and i came all the way from seattle to $k8 and it was the best park i have ever skated and ive been to alot of parks.
    (and just so you know i got there rite before everyone showed up and there was only one person that was there before me and he wasnt riding anything he was just sitting there and as soon as i pulled up he walked by stared at me raised his fist and made a face i mean it wasnt normal

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:10 PM  
  • I recently took my kids to the Burnside skate park. The park is cool if you don’t get kicked out by the locals. And man are they tough picking on a dad with a 10 year old and 13 year old. I have been skating since the 80s and these guys are punks, probably unemployed, hanging out at a skate park drinking beer and smoking weed. Obviously pissed that they have no career no money and the world to blame. You guys may get away with this 90% of the time but the taxpaying working people like me know that the system will eventually work in our favor. I will be actively working to make sure this doesn’t happen again to someone else. It’s only a matter of time before the park is shutdown due to the behavior of the locals. If this type of situation happens to you, do as I am and contact the city and every other city and state official that has an e-mail. Make it known that taxpayers and their children are being harassed by the locals. Even though this park was not sanctioned by the city it still falls under the laws of the state of Oregon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:28 PM  
  • i skated at burnside this week end and the locals minded there biz, they looked at me crazy but i looked right back at em and they didn't do NOTHING, maybe they were scared!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 PM  
  • my point of view is non-skater, but let me tell you why what you have done/are doing is important. there are lots of groups out there looking for a place. you guys made your own. mad props/keep it local.

    p.s. hopefully, by this time, that frustrated dad has stopped paying taxes and started skating again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:43 PM  
  • I remember seeing video of Wade Speyer, Phil Shao, Cardiel and Choppy Omega skating Burnside and knew I had to be there someday. Life's always been that way. Objectives.
    I'm glad you guys had the objective of building the place and having the balls to pull it off.
    It is one of the gnnnnnarliest places ever.

    By Blogger The Chez, at 2:47 PM  
  • Who the hell takes there 10 and 13 year old kids to burnside? Yeah you can do it, but only if you are there when hardly anyone is skating. The reason why locals get pissed is because they do not want to crash into a little kid while going Mach-10 and nearly kill them. Skate parks are for skateboarders not beginners. This is why you learn to skateboard or at least stand on it before going to the skatepark. If you and your saplings were rippers that had some skate park etiquette I am sure you would have gotten nothin but props. So head on back to the suburbs, pull your mini-van and ford taurus out of the driveway and teach your kids to skate... dick

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 PM  
  • I've skated Burnside alot now and I went in hearing all the fucked up rumours about the locals. Skated behind everyone there and cause I wasn't a dick and didn't snake or get in the way I got nothing but good vibes from the locals. Even razing me when I was being a chicken shit about dropping in the steep quater. The best enviroment to improve your skating in Oregon and possibly the World. Don't be scared and don't be an ellitist dick.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:48 AM  
  • www.flickr.com/photos/85571946@N00/369291063/sizes/o/

    (sorry but you will have to copy and paste link)

    Just a few images from when I lived in Portland and visited Burnside, which I have to say was one of the best times in my life so far.I was taking pictures as studies for a drawing show, there are more images I just have not scanned the negs that have been files away since 1997/98.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 PM  
  • Nice write-up! I started going to Burnside EARLY early in the morning when I had an all-night land surveying job. We'd have a 2 hour break from 4:30-6:30 AM, and while I had some pals who skated there, I was kinda intimidated by the scene: I was a non-skater, too old to be starting & didn't want to get in the way. But I was bored & crazy with trucker speed & work-induced insomnia. So I started rolling in for my "lunch" break when the park was dark & deserted. In a few weeks, I went from fully retarded to pretty good. Then my job ended. But by then I was comfortable enough to go during the day & was surprised to find there were guys older & worse than me who would drop by.
    Burnside is the kind of thing I love & miss about Portland. By the time I moved, the Pearl district uptight yuppie scene was taking over & I got priced out of my deep SE apartment, but there were still places where the community would get together to make something cool, and no one would really fuck with it. This does not really happen anywhere else in the US.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:09 PM  
  • I just moved here from Michigan two months ago, and had no prior skating abilities. I went down to Cal Skate (which i hear now I should have gone to Shrunken Head) and bought a complete. I went into the park with the attitude of respect and amazement, and I gained nothing but respect from the locals. Now, after 2 months, I feel like i'm treated like i've skated there my whole life. Sure, you meet some kooked out people, and yeah, the homeless sleep there sometimes, but just mind your biz and skate. If you don't skate, sure, it irritates the people who do.
    Also, Nontest II was so sick. That was the best day of my life. Props to Shrunken Head for bringing a lot of good people together.

    Kyle (Spat) Van Dam

    By Anonymous Kyle, at 9:08 PM  
  • SAD... Our kids just drove down from Montana to skate at your park and got robbed.Have a little pride Oregon!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:42 PM  
  • I learned to skate in the parking lot up above. It was a place that I would always go as a teenager to hang out. It was a second home to me at times. And the Halloween party's were/are awesome! The locals have always had there own thing there. Dont go in and skate if you dont know what you are doing if there are alot of people there. Its totally not a place to bring some fucking kids. Maybe during the day I suppose though. I remember when people would go down there on roller blades and bikes and get there asses kicked. haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:19 AM  
  • a burnside was a servant for queen elizibeth.

    By Blogger burnsidekid, at 6:25 AM  
  • still wanna know what's up with JT

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 PM  
  • who knows JT i have to know whats up with him he skates sooo good

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:37 PM  
  • jt? anyone?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:17 AM  
  • I think the first time I skated there was in 1991 or 1992. It was a place you could go and feel at home skating. It had the little pool back then, and it was a blast to carve in. But my youth is scattered with odd memories, and a missing tooth with Burnside. The late night sessions, the beer, and everyone there. I even remember showing up for one session at about 9 o'clock at night and the place was lit up like a stadium. I ask someone what was going on, and they said " were filming a movie" oh yeah whats it called. "Free Willy, it's about a boy and his whale". The best part was they left the lights on most of the night after they were done shooting. But as for memories of the building, the only thing I can really recall is if someone asked you to help, you helped however you could, either by donations or the sweat off your back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:41 PM  
  • I visited Portland from Chicago just to skate B-side. I had no problems with the locals eventhough I dont have the balls to skate as I used to. I'm in my mid 30's now and even after 2 ACL replacements last year left me to break out the longboard. Granted I just cruised the park on it the locals gave me a lot of respect. If your there to skate and your respecting their runs as you should then no one messes with you. To the father who used to skate you need to remember that when we were younger we tore shit up too and wanted our space also...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 PM  
  • im 9 and iv been there. they are nice. you people who dont understand are selfish and annoying

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 AM  
  • I remember skating at city skate and hearing about Burnside being built by the talk in the pro shop there I was prob 12yrs old at the time so me and my buddies would go check on the progress of Burnside being built while getting our skills on vert and bowls from city skate after the majority of the park was done we started skating there and it was super fun had the time of our lives there lots of great sessions will be remembered forever I also remember the band everclear filmed their heroin girl music video there and paid to have the box built for being able to film there all in all great park and I see nothing but great things happening in Burnsides future its a permanent peice of Portland and prob will be for the next 100yrs

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 AM  
  • I got up damn near every Saturday, early as hell get to Burnside at 6:30 am to ride my bike from about 1996 - 2002. Seriously the best memories i have are riding and burnside at the core of them. Thank you for the chance to enjoy such a awesome place and i will always support its existence. I miss those days and my friends from them. Chris P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:21 PM  
  • Halloween coming up in two weeks! If unable to make it Ill be there in spirit.


    By Blogger Magic, Mysteries, and More, at 11:29 AM  
  • JT? Where are yoooooooou

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 AM  
  • Must come forward and choose the best bed for your little mans.
    Fire Engine Kids Bed

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:30 PM  
  • I was there 8 years ago, I was 22 and had recently dropped out of college. I was born and raised in kansas. I discovered burnside as a boy through thrasher magazine at the local library. I am still skating. I drove there from kansas in an old jeep wrangler. It was my first time leaving home for a distant land. I was battling drug and alcohol dependency, I won that battle eventually. I remember the locals being badass skaters with good attitudes. I saw a homeless teen drinking booze in the morning. I saw a skater bum a smoke from a crusty old hobo. A dude rocked up in a new audi and announced to the park he was looking for some green. It was so awakening to a boy from rural america. My best memory was of a scumbag local launching a massive disaster at the quarter pipe near the entrance, he got 2 foot of air and nailed the landing, it was sick, we later got drunk together, it was great. In the past 2 months I have started skating again. I now live in western australia and a friend of mine was getting rid of all his stuff after deciding to live in Indonesia, I got his old skateboard. I have not thought about burnside in years and the park is partly responsible for where I am today. It was a goal and a dream to see and experience. To touch it and see if it is real. I did not shred it like in my dream but it left something inside of me that is still here today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:57 AM  
  • I was a kid when I first came to the skate park and had the pleasure of meet all those guys I had an amazing time everyone was friendly and it was one of the most fond memories of my life. The last time I was there I remember huging Osage goodbuy and never saw them again but man it was fun:)

    By Anonymous kate, at 9:06 PM  
  • Respect their local culture and they'll give you a moment to enjoy. Went there with my son for his 14th birthday today and got one hell of a show. Thanks to the three old skool skaters (whoever they were) present that tore it up! You made his birthday really special!

    By Blogger sk8mom, at 4:45 PM  
  • My name is Johnny McMahon ( ironshowstudio@gmail.com )I am an ancient skater. I am just getting back into tranni for the first time since 1978... that's what? 36 years. I used to skate half pipes and quarter pipes in the 70's. I am a native Portland skater and I live on the east side. I would like to get involved with the project even if you will only let me donate a few bucks for funds. Let me know.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5:23 PM  
  • First time I came to Burnside was in 95. I rode the MAX from Gresham got off at the convention center and made my way down with a buddy of mine. When we got there we just watched for a little bit. We were only 12. Sooner than later, some of the Locals asked us if we were gonna watch or skate? We skated. The hip was rough. There was still an opening to the parking lot (I think that has been filled in now). But there were so many good lines. Burnside pushed us as kids. You could be riding with local pros like Matt Beach, Jamie Fortune Pig Pin, or just some random dude who came from far away who was there because he heard it was a good ride and had to see this park from the Video game. Burnside was a vacation in your own back yard. I moved away from Oregon in 2004. When I came for a visit in 08, one of my first stops was Burnside. Crazy thing was I had not been in 8 years but there were still the same guys riding the park who remember me. I'm happy to see it expanding and still going.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3:33 PM  
  • This park is the best. I have been here 5 times now and it is the most gnarly park ever. This park may not be the biggest in terms of area but it is the biggest in terms of history and and how gnarly it is. This park fits into a catagory of its own and i hope it never gets destroyed or taken away from us. I plan on skating here way more in the future and cant wait to see how it grows and improves and evolves. It would kill me to see burnside disapear. Skate and destroy! Ride or die!

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:01 AM  
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  • Hello, My son Chad, aka Chandler, Poister skated Burnside for a while. He was killed in 2001. I am interested in hearing stories from anyone who knew him.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 6:26 PM  
  • Thanks for sharing your story......best of luck for the future.

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  • I was one of the original skate bettys. My name is Melanie and I rolled with Randah and China, and Charity and Amy Motts who was Brets girlfriend at the time. We called Mark Red-But and Bret was Bret-Burl. Dan Menche was also somewhat a part of the beginnings but never mentioned. I was dating him at the time (1990). I was there when the first vert was made and I watched them break their necks dropping down that wall all shitfaced. I also remember one time going for a piss by the tracks in the pitch dark and coming across what seemed to be a dead body but it was too dark so we scrambled outa there.

    By Blogger mbeam, at 11:26 PM  
  • Hey Chris, remember Crazy Heather? Sometimes I wonder what could have happened to her.

    By Blogger mbeam, at 11:37 PM  
  • (March 22 2018)
    Started going to Burnside in the Summer of 93, actually it was the first park I ever rode and with being 14 years old. I learned and I learned quick how to skateboard that place, Speedy Dave was the one I had to watch out for, I started taking the bus almost every day from Vancouver to Burnside with Nate Sherwood and other friends. After learning to ride and staying outta the way I got some respect from the locals. I put time in to help out when new concrete pours were coming and clean up the park. I've had to times there and more to come.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:54 PM  
  • First time skating burnside my dad brought me I was probably 7 years old, everyone there was very encouraging and respectfull. Skating there now as an 19 year old that frankly sucks compared to anyone else skating there I am yet to recieve any harrassment from locals. If you are friendly, don't snake people, and SKATE, you have nothing to fear.

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what's your story?
Did you help with Burnside? Is there a part of the history you wanted to tell? Am I completely wrong about something? Feel free to say anything about the history of Burnside in the comments, located at the end of the post. The history of Burnside is totally different with each and every person. By adding a comment you help to complete the real history of Burnside. So if you've read the history and feel that there's something that needs to be added, then leave a comment.