Friday, June 27, 2014

UNM Spot #1: Center of the Universe Gap

Center of the Universe Gap, exit pathway

The Center of the Universe is a decently traversed area by most UNM campus travelers. It's a simple design that's aesthetically pleasing and a nice little tunnel for anyone walking or riding bikes on through. Now if you're riding a skateboard, there's a giant grate right in the intersection of the structure that I'm pretty sure only longboard wheels can roll over. The chimney-like part of this structure allows light to shine right on down to this grate, highlighting the exact gap for skaters to fly over. One day while cruising around the campus, I was lucky enough to run into not only Clive Dixon and Clint Walker (and homies) from the Fully Torqued RV Tour but also some of the Emerica crew: Jon Miner, Spanky, Jerry, and The Boss himself. I was fortunate enough to witness Reynolds skate this gap and realized on the spot exactly why he got his nickname. Without spoiling the trick (just wait for Made Chapter 2!), he took 2 or 3 tries to land one and after checking the footage with Miner, landed another one just for perfection in another easy 2 tries. Handled only like The Boss could. Let's just say I was too stoked for words.

Now apart from Andrew's trick here, and some of that day's crew just ollieing over the gap for fun, I've only really seen one other trick at this spot while randomly browsing Instagram. Major props to the dude for the sick last-minute-before-darkness hardflip!

The spot itself has plenty of room to run-up, at least in one direction. (It was really awesome watching Reynolds start running with his board in his right hand and then throw down regular and take a few pushes. But no more details!) You can start by the scenic Duck Pond on campus, get a running start, and still have time for a few more solid pushes before entering the structure. You can also see the brick tiles that line the exit pathway; this is not worth trying to push on because you need as much speed and leg energy as you can get for this lengthy gap. And going in the other direction does not offer much of a runway either, though it may be feasible.

The run-up surface itself is quite perfect really. Nothing at all to worry about there.

Now to the gap.  The next two photos should hopefully show the length of the grate, compared to the length of my board (32"). It's always bigger in person too but this one's still quite a doozy in pictures. Like I said earlier, you need a lot of speed to clear this.

Another cool thing about this gap is that it's visible on Google Maps pretty clearly! The plus-shape of the structure isn't too hard to find, though just in case I pinned it here on the map. And what's even better is that it's right next to two other sick UNM spots too!

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