Three Days of Skating Pools and Parks with Liam Pace

Monday afternoon, while most people in Los Angeles were clocked in on the job, I headed out to the San Fernando Valley to meet up with Liam Pace at a permission pool known as “The Hump Bowl”. The sun was in full force and the heat, typical valley dry.

Mike and the Hump Bowl. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

We were greeted at a side gate by Mike, the owner of the pool. Known to everyone as “Hump Bowl Mike” he is one of the nicest people I have come across when encountering the many personalities that make up the skate family. Mike said he had spent most of the day prepping the pool for the session. He walked us to the backyard and then as if introducing us to a celebrity said, “Here it is. Welcome to the Hump Bowl.”

The Hump Bowl. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

I walked over to the edge of the deep end and looked into the dark eyes of this beast. The pool is a deep blue color and the bottom is stained red from mulberries, but it looks like blood spilled by past skaters. This was one gnarly compact pool; steep and deep. The original coping sticks out about three inches over the edge except where it has been chopped down around the deep end. The walls in the deep end reach nine feet tall with about 18 inches of over vert! This pool is not to be taken lightly. I should also mention there are hundreds of locals who patrol this backyard, and they are some of the best fed squirrels I’ve ever seen!

Liam Pace, warming up with a frontside slash at the Hump Bowl. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

After a few runs, Liam was finding his way around this pool’s curves and flirting with the lip. Eventually, Liam was winning her over with grinds and backside airs, and I was impressed to say the least.

Liam backside air in this high and tight beast of a pool. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

A couple days went by and I asked Liam if he wanted to head down to Long Beach and skate Peck Park. His answer as always was, “I’m down.” With that, we hit the road and made our way to Peck. The park was pretty empty and Liam immediately started hitting the transitions, with a huge frontside air over the hip by the tall wall, and said that he “wanted to take this park back to Arizona.”

Frontside over the hip at Peck Park in San Pedro, Ca. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

Liam Pace is 17 years old and comes from Tucson, Arizona. Liam says he started skating at the young age of six when his dad got him his first board. He says it wasn’t long after that when started going to local skate parks and pushing around. Liam says the first time he realized he wanted to be a full time skater was in 2006 when he saw Danny Way do a back flip off the X Games mega ramp. The closest park for Liam was at a rec center with a few ramps, but he says it wasn’t very good. He would look forward to when his father would drive him about 30 miles to a much better park where he could really practice.

Front Smith stall to disaster. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

What’s it like, as a skater, to have such a supportive parent?

“It’s awesome really. Honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my dad. He took me to all the contests and skateparks. He filmed for me, and even helped me learn tricks.”

When did you start competing?

“Well, my first contest was at the rec enter. It was called ‘The Ring of Fire’. It was put on by the local skate shop. I think I was seven or eight years old.”

Front nose grind. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

What’s the difference, for you, between skating in a contest or just skating for fun?

“Well, it’s still skating for fun when I skate in a contest. Skating is always fun. I get to skate new places, make new friends, travel around the world. It’s just when you’re in a contest, you’re giving it your all.”

Who do you skate with mostly?

“I have this one friend since High School and also I skate with a lot of BMX riders. The Perezas family and I are all close friends. I skate with them all the time.”

Liam Pace frontside air from shallow hip to deep wall. Venice Beach. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

On our third day of shooting, Liam and I decided to hit Venice beach for some more photos. It was Friday afternoon and the beach was in full effect. Liam told me he loves the park and the vibes in Venice.

Do you feel intimidated skating alongside seasoned pro skaters or does it hype you up?

“It definitely hypes me up. Anyone skating at any level makes its fun, it’s skateboarding, so it’s always fun.”

If you could only skate one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“That’s a tough question, I guess a park course because it has the best of everything.”

What’s your favorite park to skate?

“I love California parks. I really like Linda Vista (San Diego), I love the full pipe there. I also like Prince Park. It’s really fun.”

What’s it like being sponsored at this stage in your skate career?

“Its awesome. I’m so grateful for my sponsors. I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of what I do if I had to buy boards all the time.”

Back Smith, Venice Beach. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

Where do you want to be in skating in the next five years?

“I want to be competing in all the big pro park events, hitting all the contests. I also want to go to the Olympics. I’m training for it and really trying to make it happen. It would be one of the coolest honors ever to be representing America.”

How does social media effect your skating?

“I personally don’t have that big of a social media presence. It seems like it makes the popular people more popular kind of.”

Liam Pace, Venice Beach Skatepark. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

Do you get kids DM’ing you about your skating?

“Yeah. It’s really rad. It’s cool because I know that some kid saw my skating and might think that, “That’s cool. I wanna do that, and that’s what happened to me.”

What does skateboarding mean to you?

“I don’t know where I’d be without skateboarding. That’s the only way to put it. I mean I do other things too, but skateboarding is the best family other than the one I’ve got.”

Liam Pace, Venice Beach, CA. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

Any words for skaters trying to come up?

“Don’t give up. Always persevere when you’re learning a trick. When you give up, that’s when you let it get the best of you.”

Blasting off Tiny Planet Venice Skatepark. Photo by @chrisclicksdigital #MiSphere360Juice

Liam Pace rides for Moonshine Skateboards, Independent Trucks, 187 Killer Pads, Gator Skins, Triple 8, and 90 The Original.

Liam Pace. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

I reached out to some of Liam’s sponsors and asked them for a quote on working with Liam. This is what they said.

Tweaked out in Wonderland Venice. Photo by @chrisclicksdigital #MiSphere360Juice

“We’ve been behind this kid for a few years now and we believe, like anyone who has seen him skate and knows what a rare talent he is, that his time is coming soon. He’s been flying under the radar for too long. – Garrett Caffacus, Team/ Brand Manager for Gator Skins Skate Surface

Front Smith at Pedlow. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

“We are very hyped on having Liam on the 187 Team! He is progressing so fast and getting a lot of gnarly tricks and lines together. His clips are getting posted and reposted over and over again. Kid is about to blow up.” – 187 TM Adam Taylor

Deep to shallow at Pedlow. Photo by @ChrisClicksDigital

“Liam is the animal heart of skating. Raw power. No limits. The reason it all exists.” – Adam, Moonshine Skateboards.

Power sliding down the drain. Photo by @chrisclicksdigital #MiSphere360Juice

In closing, I would like to say thank you to Liam for the time and effort he spent with me getting these photos. I also want to thank Hump Bowl Mike for his hospitality.

Story and photos by @ChrisClicksDigital

2 comments

  • Traci Anderson July 22, 2018

    I saw Liam skate at SkaterCon in Phoenix two years ago and new he was a force to be reckon. Way to kick ass and these pics are pretty killer.

    Reply
  • Mike Festerling August 30, 2018

    Nice article. Liam’s style is so fun and gnarly to see in person.

    Reply

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