GX1000: "EN CDMX" Article

GX1000 CDMX Header 2000Our first trip to Mexico City was four years ago. Most of that two-week trip was spent within the central district area. Our dreams of skating in the hilly neighborhoods were shot down by our tour guide almost immediately because the area was “too dangerous.” But what does that even mean? Gangsters? The cartel? Sketchy roads? We knew people had skated there before. Of course we wanted what we couldn’t have, so we decided to cautiously check it out to see for ourselves how “dangerous” it really was. We drove up to the hills on the last few days of our trip and tiptoed around each neighborhood. It was a long drive, so we really only caught a few hours up there that time around. We’ve been wanting to return ever since.

GX Pullquote We Wanted What WE Couldnt have 2000

Some of the roughest streets in Mexico get the GX treatment. Get ready to rumble

We spent the first day of this mission in the central part of the city. Mason Coletti started it off by getting the first piece of the pie. Chris Athens followed suit, snagging a few clips as well. I spent most of the day trying to acclimate to the elevation—my feet and knees were swollen from the elevation. It’s said that the air pollution in Mexico City is so bad that just breathing is like smoking a quarter pack of cigs per day. Add some spliffs to that equation and you’ve got some exhausted chimneys. Gabriel Vazquez from Guadalajara linked up with us in CDMX. He had infinite stoke and was a master chef—he supplied us with some of the best salad mixes I’ve ever tasted and his breakfast tacos were un-fuckwittable. Joe Brook was our photographer and nighttime storyteller. The man’s been going on skate trips for over 30 years and he’s got a story or two. The one about Omar Salazar’s board hitting him in the shin at max speed was gnarly. He said he nearly passed out and eventually went to the hospital because of the severe swelling. Photographers got it rough, too, ya’ know. By the second day, we were off to the hills.

gabriel vazquez ride on grind mx 2023 brook DZ Gabriel Vazquez 50-50s, takes the plunge and dodges the barrel of pain

zack tow mx 2023 brook DZ
Adán mongo belÍo tree wallie mx 2023 brook DZMongoman stopped driving the van long enough to show off his wallie prowess. Shout out to Mother Nature

GX Pullquote I Dont Envy Anyone Driving in CDMX 2000
Buggs is a local in the hills of Mexico City and was our guide throughout the trip. He showed us up and down each massive mountain. If there was an incline of any sort, Buggs knew about it—and probably already bombed it. Mongoman (don’t worry; he’s changed his ways) was in charge of driving us around in a large stick-shift van. I don’t envy anyone driving in Mexico City. It seemed to be a free-for-all at every red light. We were stuck in traffic most mornings on our nearly-two-hour drive towards Buggs’ neighborhood. As soon as we crept towards the hills, we were surrounded by all the VW Beetle taxis gunning it up each mountain. The van’s clutch started burning; it begged us to turn back to flatland. As the inclines grew, so did our anxiety. At one point, we had to stop for an hour to cool off the smoking clutch. We soon found out the emergency brakes were blown out in the van. Splendid. So we found two boulders on the side of the road and placed them behind the back wheels when stopped. Sketchy but sufficient. There were times when we had to fully park the van and walk the rest of the journey because the inclines were just too steep!

saul buggsao ortiz grind across down mx 2023 stitch 1 brook DZ Buggs got his nickname from his dad—it’s a Bugs Bunny reference and has nothing to do with him speeding down the hills faster than a VW Beetle. Or does it? Ride-on grind, out and down

chris athens wallie gx web 2023 brookChris catches a wallie over the steps

nile gibbs blood mx 2023 brook DZ
nile gibbs grind ollie over 1 mx 2023 brook DZ COMP FlatGrind to gap over pole by yours truly

mason coletti ollie bump to bump 2 mx 2023 brook DZMason Coletti, bump-to-bump ollie with a tow-in from Limberto AKA Viernes. Local love

matt finley lipslide gx web 2023 brook 2Matt Finley is on the fence with a lot of things, this boardslide for one

finley sean bucket boys mx 2023 brook DZ
zack krull nose press 2 mx 2023 brook DZZack Krull nosejams and then beelines it for the chaos corner

finley mustard bomb mx 2023 brook DZCondiment catastrophe

matt finley ollie over 50 50 mx stitch 2 2023 brook DZ COMP flat One of the few spots we skated outside of the hills. Matt Finley, up and over to grind

street fight mx 2023 brook DZGX Subhead Bystander Brawl 2000

Buggs and Sean were trying tricks into a hill with a lot going on at the bottom—plenty of traffic, pedestrians and tons of dogs. So, by default, everyone helped with spotting. It was super hectic—there was one guy with a backpack on who kept pacing back and forth with his dog; he was on some sketchy shit, so we kept an eye on him. And out of nowhere, a brawl erupted between the sketchy dude and a spectator from the neighborhood. All eyes were on them. Joe shot a photo, as he does so well, and we waited for things to mellow out. There were dogs surrounding the fight as if they were waging bets on who was going to win. It was hard to tell what started it, but the sketchy dude got beaten pretty badly. The bystander eventually left and everyone went about their day as if nothing happened. 

sean greene nose press gx web 2023 brookSean Greene puts wheel to teal on a more pleasant session, nosejam

GX PQ The hills were a lot different form what we were used to 2000

The hills were a lot different from what we were used to—there were many inconsistent divots, the greasy asphalt made us hydroplane on every powerslide and the slated grooves were VERY aggressive. The excuses were endless, for me anyhow. I’d be the first to chime in, Hey, maybe we should reconsider this and go to that perfect-hip marble manual pad that takes hours to drive to and even longer to land a trick? The crew wasn’t hearing it, and rightfully so. We kept the rest of the trip within the hills.

GX Art Ice 2000

Sean Greenes Two Board Tactic Subheads GX 2000
sean road rash mx 2023 brook DZ
Sean Greene Boards 2000

Sean had the idea of bringing two separate boards on the trip—one for a more technical approach and the other to face the rough pavement. Smart man!


8.75” GX board with 60mm conical full Spitfires

Pros: Better for all terrain

Cons: Harder to pop


8.5” GX board with 56mm 97 duro classic Spitfires

Pros: Easier to flip, lighter

Cons: Unable to subdue Mexico’s grated pavement

sean greene ollie off post 1 mx 2023 brook DZSean Greene tail drops into a meat grinder on the rough rider

matt finley gap to boardslide mx brook DZFinley finna’ touch down on a gap to boardslide

gabriel vazquez bump ollie gx web 2023 brookKicker to crust, Gabriel knows how to handle these hills

Every spot was spectated by nearly the whole street—block parties during every trick. People were buying us celebratory drinks when tricks got landed. As long as you asked first, residents were pretty much okay with you skating on the side of their homes. Take notes, SF! Numerous people wanted photos with us in their bootleg Thrasher gear. We even had a lady trying to block the streets with glass bottles to stop cars from interfering with our skating. As alarming as that sounds, her intentions were in the right place! The only people that didn’t take notice of us were the policía. They must’ve had better bribes during our stay.

vGX Pullquote So Much skin was lost on this trip 2000

Zack Krull joined us mid-trip and went right to it. On his second night, his back was already blasted with scrapes and bruises—following Sean’s lead, who looked like he’d been sliced all over by a cheese grater. So much skin was lost on this trip. We had some heavy rain during a few nights of skating. We probably could have gotten away with a couple of decent rain clips but the van was not equipped for that kind of flooding—the boulders behind the wheels weren’t cutting it. With a couple of close calls, Mongoman swiftly drove us down the slippery mountain. By the time we arrived at the bottom, some of the streets had been turned into small rivers

mason coleletti wallie into street 1 mx 2023 brook DZLand the wallie and buckle up, Mason Coletti about to hit terminal velocity

buggsao ollie gx web 2023 brookBuggs with a big O

Some of the members were unfortunate enough to have a taco blowout on the first night of the trip—meat sweats ensued that evening. Once you’re up in the mountains, the closest gas station with a restroom is a journey. Someone had to go pretty badly and there was no store in sight. In a panic, they asked Buggs what to do. Buggs simply walked over to the nearest bystander, explained the situation and asked if they lived nearby so we could use their restroom. We were in luck (a few times), and they allowed us inside their homes to chip off some porcelain. The hospitality was surreal. Once again, take notes, SF!

Mario Kart Frenzy Subheads GX 2000kids quad mx 2023 brook DZ
Every day we picked Buggs up at an enormous park that was filled with different banks and multiple sections of skate spots. We usually passed on the park, but on this day we decided to skate around. Buggs wanted to hit something that was quite deep within the space. After he got his trick, we decided to bomb back to the van down a mellow snake run that gradually picked up speed. Matt and Gabriel were toe to toe in front, doin’ their thing, carving the banks as they went. As we got towards the bottom, there was a three-way intersection with nothing in sight but a few parked cars. The side banks were about four-feet tall and we couldn’t see anything below them. We were about to cross through the intersection when out of nowhere these tiny kids in a go kart flew through the crossing, colliding with Matt. He flew off his board and the go-kart smashed into the bank. Somehow, nobody was injured and the go-kart even started back up after a few attempts. The Skate Gods tapped in with us for that one. 

gabriel shifty traffic mx 2023 brook DZ
Subheads GX 2000 Street Dogs 2000
There’s a surplus of street dogs all throughout Mexico City, especially up in the hills. Most of our interactions were pleasant, with the dogs wanting to hop in with us simply because we had snacks. But like humans, not all dogs are friendly. Chris got nipped in the leg while trying a line down one of the hills. The dog was chasing him most of the way and finally caught up to him towards the end. I also got confronted by a canine, mean-mugging me while spotting for Gabriel. Zack and Redhawk started skating a spot and put their belongings beside us. All of a sudden, a sneaky hound pulled up on their belongings and picked up Redhawk’s wallet with its mouth! Luckily, someone spotted it in time. If the locals wanted us to leave, all they had to do was ask!

chris athens wallride fence mx 2023 brook DZChris Athens, drop-down wallride for the locals—and not a dog in sight!

sean after bomb mx 2023 brook DZ
matt finley ollie up stairs gx web 2023 brookMatt Finley on the rare uphill GX tip 

crew mx 2023 brook DZ
GX Pullquote Damn Near All The Locals WE Encountered Were Welcoming And Friendly 2000
pet pig mx 2023 brook DZ
I know society tells you that every city has its rough areas, and by no means am I saying these neighborhoods were picture-perfect, but damn near all the locals we encountered were welcoming and friendly. I’m now wondering if our tour guide four years ago was just talking about the hills literally being dangerous. Because those sons of bitches were!

chris athens wallride gx web 2023 brook 2Chris Athans puts some black on the pink bricks, wallride onto the skinny landing

mason coleletti smith grind 2 mx 2023 brook DZ We saw so many what-if spots on this trip. This rail almost joined the list, but Mason had to make it a reality. Smith pop out into the rumble strips while the slug bug creeps through the hills. Give us danger

tow up hill gx web 2023 brookOnto the next...
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