Pool Skating Emerges From Fresno Foreclosures

by Pool Builders on 02-03-2009 in Articles

Like a scene from the "Lords of Dogtown" a popular movie describing the history of skateboarding in California, local boarders are taking advantage of empty swimming pools in foreclosed houses. Armed with gas powered pumps, buckets, shovels and brooms, these avid skaters locate empty pools, clean out any water or debris, creating their own personal skatepark.

In fact there are so many unoccupied pools in the area, that after expending a little elbow grease preparing the pools, the gang can hit several properties in close proximity. A particular group, headed by local Josh Peacock have the process down to a fine science.

Once they find the perfect pool (kidney-shaped are preferred), the water is drained into the gutter. Sometimes they go to the extent of setting up official orange traffic cones to appear more professional. Once drained, the muck at the bottom is shoveled out and the pool is given a day or two to dry before returning and testing it out. At SkateandAnnoy.com, they even feature an article with extensive details on how to effectively drain a pool. Once the boys return for their reward, they generally go from house to house, only indulging in short skating sessions to avoid attracting attention.

The skaters understand that they are trespassing, but maintain a code of conduct that includes no graffiti, removal of any garbage and never entering the houses. Although they have been caught by police on a few occasions and asked to leave, they haven't been fined yet.

These skaters are not just from the immediate area, word has spread of this abandoned pool gold mine and kids are coming from as far as Germany and Australia. Pools are located by checking online real estate sites advertising foreclosures or by surfing through satellite images from Google Earth. When scoping out different neighborhoods, a sure sign of a foreclosed house is dead grass on the front lawn and a lock box on the door.

The number of unoccupied pools in California numbers in the tens of thousands, and at least 5,000 in Sacramento County alone. Pools abandoned and left with standing water may be subject to California fines of up to $1,000 per day. The stale water becomes a haven for insects, dead animals and disease. Josh Peacock feels that by cleaning out the pools they are doing their part in reducing the spread of West Nile. He could be right.

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