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Saturday, December 22, 2012
Morford at The Berrics

By Robin Fleming
ESPN.com

James Hardy, San Francisco, Calif. 2009, by photographer Gabe Morford.

The Berrics celebrated its enormous new home by hosting a photo exhibit of a selection of Gabe Morford's work over the last two decades.

Large color prints capturing pivotal moments in skateboarding, shot by longtime Deluxe photographer Morford, were hung along the loading dock. Spectators looking at the work pinned to the wall were quick to get out of the way of Nyjah Huston, who was skating the rail at the end of the dock. A frame within a frame, this was a photo show where skaters were actually trying to get photos.

The reason for the excitement was not only the photographs displayed, but the unveiling of the new Berrics Skatepark. Having harnessed the power of the Internet and injected themselves into skateboarding, The Berrics had outgrown the space they were in, and the list of ABD's (already-been-done's) in the park was maxed out.

Started in December 2007 by professional skateboarders Eric Koston and Steve Berra, The Berrics began as a private indoor skatepark in Los Angeles. Paired with a website that featured content filmed at the skatepark by visiting pros, The Berrics quickly rose through the ranks of the skate media to become the go-to destination for prime skate content. Earlier this month, The Berrics website went quiet, relaunching on Dec. 8 to reveal that they had moved into a new facility.

At roughly 30,000 square feet, the cavernous downtown warehouse is overwhelming. Designed by Berra, Koston and California Skateparks, last Friday night was the first opportunity to skate the new course.

Deluxe had packed their vans with Morford's prints and Real team riders Jake Donnelly, Justin Brock, Ishod Wair, Peter Ramondetta and Krooked's Bobby Worrest. Also on hand to check out Morford's classic images were skateboarders Jamie Thomas, Justin Strubing, Alfonzo Rawls, Chris Pastras, Keith Hufnagel, Brian Lotti and Daryl Angel.

Providing the soundtrack in front of an abandoned interior storefront were skateboarding legends Tommy Guerrero on bass, Ray Barbee on guitar and long time Beastie Boys collaborator drummer Fredo Ortiz. The trio closed out the night with a shredding rendition of the Agent Orange skate rock anthem "Bloodstains."

Clips are already pouring out of the new facility, and with so much growth, look to The Berrics to be rolling out bigger and better events. To see more of Morford's current work all you have to do is pick up the latest issue of Thrasher.