Hit it Hard: The Pala Pool

In this installment to the Jeff Tatum series, JT beings us a testament of the Pala Pool, setting the scene, paying tribute to the pool and stating simply the importance of locals in maintaining the local scene that continues the life of the Pala Pool. A life that continues to challenge sk8ters to this day.

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Located in the East Oceanside Ca., on the Pala Indian Reservation is a backyard pool called the "Pala Pool". This heavily skated pool sits behind an abandoned house right after Highway 76. It's been there for years and has been a local sk8 spot for quite some time now.

The Pala Bowl has a large crew of local skaters and is visited by skaters from all over California and the US. It is the subject of many photos and many rad and not so rad skaters appearing in many ads and sk8 films. The Pala pool has a way-cool skate sesh atmosphere with locals that accept the new comers with smiles.


The Pala Bowl is a right hand kidney, with a love seat on the left wall and a death box next to the love seat. It's gone through many changes, from coping remodels to a various paint jobs. At one point, some bonehead tried to cement in the love seat. That resulted in a big mess that the locals had to chip out.

The coping is gnarly and broken in many spots. It sticks out three inches and is very unforgiving. The bowl is tight with a foot of vert. The shallow end has no transition, but some still ride it. Stairs enter the right side of the shallow end. The care-takers of the property condone skating as long as we clean up the place.  Even so the place gets pretty thrashed and smells like piss because of the heavy partying that goes on. The cops don't seem to check it out much, which makes it a great place for drinking, smoking and skating.

Bands often set up generators and host skate parties. Also lighted night sessions and camp outs are common. Amazingly, this killer skate spot still lives on, due to the care and diversity of the locals. But, as we know it only takes one or two unsavory kooks to attract the cops and ruin it for everyone. (lets hope it never happens)

The place has the vibe of the good old days of backyard pool skate scenes, with unlawful freedom to skate and party amongst your peers, while leaving the rest of the world behind. Pala is a pool for the advanced skater, due to it's gnarlieness. Not many pull air out of it, but many intermediate skaters have tons of fun riding there (It's great for carving). If you haven't skated Pala pool find a local to show you where it is, and come on out.

It's not a pool I would ride on a regular basis but its fun to visit once in a while and a great bowl for photos. Bring lots of water and a lawn chair: it's always hotter than hell out there!!! There’s no surrounding home in sight so you can hoot and holler all you want. Skate with a friend in case you knock yerself out--you could lay there a while.

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Check out more of JT's exclusive photos, in his Silverfish Longboarding gallery.

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