Thursday, November 4, 2010

Skateboarding In Iraq

Last summer Billy Rohan went to Iraq as the only skater on a BMX infested trip called Bikes Over Baghdad. The idea behind traveling to an active war zone and a place, as Billy puts it, so hot it’s like taking “the hottest day ever in Florida and adding a blow dryer to your face,” was to hype up the troops. You know, give them something to look at besides exploded limbs and USO shows with people like the Zac Brown Band.
While he was there, Billy got to fly around in Black Hawk helicopters and enjoy privileges generally reserved for people who get shot at and disarm IEDs all day. He explored the bombed out palace he was staying in, which had some amazing sand-covered stuff to skate–particularly the Bath Party Headquarters, which had smooth ground and a perfect drop over a handrail. A lot of the palace was in ruins though, and Billy said it was like skating a haunted house. The Flintstone Village, which Saddam built for his grandchildren, had an especially eerie, dead baby-ish vibe to it, but it was covered in fucked-up natural transition, so he skated it anyway.

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