Skatopia Welcome Image
Skatopia is an eighty-eight acre skatepark near Rutland, Ohio owned and operated by pro skater Brewce Martin. Skatopia is known for its anarchist atmosphere and annual music festivals Bowl Bash and Backwoods Blowout. It was described by one writer as "a demented mess that meets halfway between an anarchistic Mad Maxian Thunderdome and a utopian skateboard society."
Structures include Lula Bowl, Epcot Bean, Church of Skatin', The Full Pipe, the Amity Whitelight Amphitheatre, the Skateboard Museum and, formerly, King Dong.
Martin says he built the original Skatopia in 1977 at his parents' basement using closet doors, particle board, and other odds and ends. In 1979, he built his first quarter pipe. In the eighties, he continued building skate ramps, even after moving to Florida in 1988 to attend university. Years following, Martin would tour the world skateboarding before revisiting his dream of Skatopia.
Early years (1995–2003)
Martin moved back to West Virginia in 1995 where he started work on a permanent Skatopia on leased land at Progress Ridge near Parkersburg. During that October, Skatopia was forced out from West Virginia. Within seven days, Martin found an alternative location in nearby Meigs County, Ohio, signed a land contract to purchase the land and with a cohort of friends moved the entire ramp complex to the site. During this time, the group formed the CIA, or Citizens Instigating Anarchy, where fifty friends donated money to cover the down payment on the final resting place of Skatopia. In 2003 a writer from TransWorld Skateboarding described Skatopia as "88 Acres of Pure Skateboarding Anarchy", a term that stuck and was shortened and used as the subtitle of a later documentary.
During this time, Martin started holding annual parties called Bowl Bash and Backwoods Blow Out. Notably the Epcot Bean bowl and King Dong Ramp were constructed. In 2000, Real TV highlighted Skatopia as an extreme back yard party which increased attendance as a result. In 2002, the Full Pipe was completed and 2003 saw the Church of Skatin'. Legendary punk and skate-punk bands such as JFA, Skatanic Rednecks and Bunji Jambo made appearances at Skatopia events during these years.
Media years (2004–09)
In 2004, Skatopia was featured on Viva La Bam. The popularity of the episode led Skatopia to become the final level of Tony Hawk's Underground 2 later on in 2004 and a shoe line by Draven Shoes in 2005. Headlamp Productions started filming "Skatopia: 88 Acres of Anarchy" in 2006 during which, Duane Peters visited and Brewce Martin served jail time. In late 2006, Fuel TV featured Skatopia in its "Best Backyard Scenes" countdown episode and awarded the skatepark the #1 position in the US. The documentary and ongoing coverage in the skate magazines led to Rolling Stone magazine's profile of Skatopia.
In 2009, a week before Bowl Bash XIV, Martin was severely injured by an explosion at a local tire shop. Martin was in an extended coma where he missed Bowl Bash and the Skatopia movie premiere.
Post accident (2010–present)
In early 2010, Skatopia announced American Skatefest featuring Gwar, Meat Puppets, CJ Ramone, D.I. Greg Ginn, and Agent Orange and the filming of a MTV Series. MTV cut Skatopia's reality show and instead made it an episode of MTV's True Life.
Afterwards Skatopia collaborated with Bones to release a line of wheels. The Skatopia Movie DVD was released in 2011. Skatopia continues to build new skate terrain, hold its two annual parties and attract "skate pilgrims" from all over.
Skatopia in media
Skatopia is the subject of the 2010 documentary film Skatopia: 88 Acres of Anarchy, produced by Headlamp Pictures (Laurie House and Colin Powers). Skatopia was a playable level in the 2004 video game Tony Hawk's Underground 2.
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- , Skatopia History
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- Sergent, Beth "Bowl Bash tradition continues", The Daily Sentinel, 20 June 2011
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- , Skatopia news archive
- , Welcome to Skatopia: Eighty-Eight Acres of Anarchy in the USA, Retrieved 4 January 2012
- Salo, Adam "Brewce Martin Seriously Injured", ESPN.com, 18 June 2009
- , "Film Premieres As Skatepark Owner Fights for Life"
- "2010 Interpunk American Skate Fest with Fishbone, 7 Seconds, Youth Brigade, Greg Ginn, Meat Puppets", Punk News, 15 April 2010
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- "Skatopia Collab Wheels", Bones Wheels, Retrieved 4 January 2012
- , "Film Threat"
- , The Daily Sentinel: Bowl Bash tradition continues: ‘88 Bands of Anarchy’ promised"