WORDS & PHOTOS BY ANTHONY ALARI, @ANTALARI
Street skating adventures in Georgia began for me about four years ago when I moved up here from South Florida in the summer of 2018. Growing up not too far from here, just one state to the south, lead me to visit Atlanta more than once over the years. Whether it was to compete in the legendary skate contest Superhick, the A-town Stomp, or to spend a few quiet nights on the Appalachian Trail, I’ve always felt the southern hospitality here. But for me, it’s the supportive and growing SK8TL rollerblading community, and the abundance of stair rails that really won me over.
Atlanta has been a mecca of street skating for years, from hosting an IMYTA event, to producing some of the best street skaters of all time like David Sizemore, Julian Bah, and Adam Bazydlo. The mountain foothills landscape of the area leads to the creation of perfect stair rails almost everywhere you look, all over town.
Through countless hours of exploring, both on foot and in my car, I’ve done my best to compile a collection of the best street skating spots in all of North Georgia. For every spot I find, I record the address, take some photos, and post it to my private spot page on Instagram called @NorthGeorgia_SkateSpots. When my best friend and pro rollerblader, Jimmy Cisz, offered to come film and edit my very first street profile, I knew we were ready.
The first spot we used for the video is the kinked concrete ledge over the dirt pit at the abandoned Alonzo Herron Stadium in downtown Atlanta (0:34). Jimmy chose these clips to be first because of the colorful graffiti surrounding the area, and the unique drone-like shot he was able to get from climbing to the top of the old announcers booth on the opposite side of the stadium and zooming in as he gave me the signal to go.
After a few more North Georgia gems such as the Hobgood baseball park (1:01), and the Jimmy Carter Center stair ledges (1:30), followed by a quick cameo by Atlanta legend himself, Richard Williams, the beat changes and the hammer section begins. We definitely considered using music from a local rapper like Gucci Mane, but in the end we went with Kodak Black because like ourselves he too is from South Florida, and we wanted to add a bit of that Fort Lauderdale flavor to the edit.
At 2:05 in the edit we put in a big soul grind clip at Mountain Road Elementary School in Woodstock on what I would probably call the best handrail I’ve ever seen in my life. Shout out to my friend and local shredder Jason Hicks for being the one to originally find it, and sent me the pictures and address to add to the spot page. The spot itself has 24 stairs that are longer than they are tall, which makes for a very mellow ride. Both sides of the set have a sturdy railing made out of perfect material, low, not too fast, level run up, no cracks, and a perfect landing (if the parking lot is empty). Can’t really ask for anything better than that.
At 2:35 the edit takes you to the rail in front of B.B. Harris, made famous by a massive 450 back royal by David Sizemore in his section in iRollerblade (click to view) . There is a yellow pole to avoid at the bottom, and a sidewalk to step up onto at the top, but other than that it’s nearly perfect. Very low, not too steep, and sturdy. Then at 2:52 we go to KSU for a quick top acid clip on the same set of rails that Chris Haffey throws a truespin top porn down in his Vibralux VOD (click to view) .
One of the hardest parts about this project was choosing which spot to use for the ender. We wanted it to be somewhere iconic and memorable. In the early 2000s Atlanta had its own skate shop called Skatepile, and right by the store was a notoriously steep and dangerous rail known as the Atlanta 35. The location has even been featured on its own episode of Iconic Skate Spots on YouTube (click to view), with Sean Kelso lacing a front torque at the end to kingpin the spot. Well, the skate shop is no longer there, but the rail still exists. I faced some adversity while getting to the bottom of it myself, through having to return three times in the same day due to rain, and smashing my left knee at the bottom on one of my final attempts(3:06). After about 20 or 30 tries I got the clean roll away we were looking for, and that was a wrap of our street skating project. Atlanta has a thriving blading community, and I’m proud to be a part of it.