SOMETIMES IN LIFE you just have to go for it! Being a skateboarder you do this a lot. Grinding or sliding down a handrail, catching air out of an 11-foot-tall halfpipe, bombing down a steep hill (with or without cars), ollieing a huge gap, grinding pool coping—you’re going for it!
February 21, 2000, President’s Day, was the day I was GOING FOR IT! I was going to skateboard on the Kingdome roof. This was something I’d been wanting to ride since they built it in the late ’70s. Driving on the freeway passing the Kingdome, I would look at the roof and see the transitions that they had built and think to myself, someday I’m going to ride that. It had to be today. They were blowing it up soon. Time was crucial.
It was like any other day in Seattle: wet and raining. My two friends dropped me off at the Dome at 6:45am. Then they went into position on the Viaduct freeway to film me.
I was in construction clothes. Hard hat, safety glasses, and boots, along with my skateboard, which was strapped to my backpack.
At 7am I was on the site. I asked a worker how to get to the roof. He showed me where the stairs were.
I reached the top of the stairs and was only on the 300 level.
From there, I went into the Dome to see if there was a way to the roof. I noticed someone walking up the steps and vanishing into a doorway.
I thought to myself, “That must be how you get to the roof.” I walked up the steps, went through the doorway, and sure enough there was the ladder to the roof. YES!
I climbed up and was on the roof. But I wasn’t alone. There was another worker up there. When he approached me, I asked him, “Where is everybody?” and he just shook his head. He didn’t understand English that well. I told him maybe he should check to see if everyone’s at the safety meeting, something I overheard workers talking about. I don’t know if he understood me but he went back into the Kingdome.
I was all alone now.
I took off my jacket and backpack, grabbed my skateboard, and started up the steps on top of the roof. Halfway up, I stepped off. I was now below the safety net. The only safety device I had was a rope that was connected to the top of the roof that laid on the surface. If I fell there would be no catching me.
I was ready to ride. It was huge. I’d never ridden anything this high up before. I prayed that my experience would take over.
The transition was a huge mellow bank. The riding surface felt like Formica and was slippery because of the rain.
I pushed toward the transition and immediately slipped out and began to slide down the roof.
Fortunately for me the rope was there, and I grabbed hold. I did this twice.
I then went back onto the roof steps up past the safety net where it was a little more safe.
I slid out a few more times going for it—once into the safety net. I did manage to pull off a few frontside bonelesses (a maneuver I enjoy). It was time to leave now.
I went for it. I did it! I skateboarded on top of the KINGDOME roof. Why? Because sometimes in life you just have to go for it!