The VOCAL Times – Gnarmads / by VOCAL

“My name’s Bogdan, I’m 22 years old and was born in the Ukraine and raised in Brooklyn.”

“My name’s Matt Kruz. I’m 23 years old, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and have been skateboarding with my friend Bogdan for about 13 years.”

Gnarmads really started off as a joke — we entered a scav- enger bike race and needed to come up with a name, and people always referred to us as gypsies and nomads, so call- ing ourselves Gnarmads made sense. If you’re free and you do whatever you want, you’re a Gnarmad. It’s about doing things, pushing yourself and having fun.

Last year we endured a cross-country bicycle trip, skating in every place we stopped. It was a leisurely pace and took us about nine months. We met so many great people in different skate communities that were willing to put us up, feed us or just let us take a shower. We learned a lot about ourselves, other people, the universe and this country. Upon returning to NYC we completed two more bicycle trips to Vermont and to Virginia, building DIY skate spots in cities along the way.

We continue to organize events here in NYC such as skate contests, art shows, pool tournaments and community events. 

> https://gnarmads.co/ 

 The Gnarmads

The Gnarmads

 Virginia, October 2013  Photo of Nick airing over Thomas at Fearcliff Skatepark. We were leaving DC after Thanksgiving and looked up skateshops on our route. We called them early telling them we were on a bike trip and to stay open and wait for us to get there. We arrived and met Thomas and Kelly, the couple 20-year- olds who run this indoor skatepark; they kept it open all night for us to skate and camp in. of Nick airing over Thomas at Fearcliff Skatepark. 

Virginia, October 2013

Photo of Nick airing over Thomas at Fearcliff Skatepark. We were leaving DC after Thanksgiving and looked up skateshops on our route. We called them early telling them we were on a bike trip and to stay open and wait for us to get there. We arrived and met Thomas and Kelly, the couple 20-year- olds who run this indoor skatepark; they kept it open all night for us to skate and camp in. of Nick airing over Thomas at Fearcliff Skatepark. 

 Louisiana, December 2013  After riding all day we stopped at a gas station to pick up some beer before finding a campsite. Bog- dan handed his ID to the clerk, to which he immediately said it was fake. He showed him two matching bank cards, and the clerk exclaimed “Your name is fake!” We exchanged some cursing and shouting and he called the police. We waited right outside and explained everything. They looked at us like we were crazy and just told us to get out of town. 

Louisiana, December 2013

After riding all day we stopped at a gas station to pick up some beer before finding a campsite. Bog- dan handed his ID to the clerk, to which he immediately said it was fake. He showed him two matching bank cards, and the clerk exclaimed “Your name is fake!” We exchanged some cursing and shouting and he called the police. We waited right outside and explained everything. They looked at us like we were crazy and just told us to get out of town. 

 Santa Cruz, April 2014  DIY skatepark hidden in the cliff-side hills north of Santa Cruz on the Pacific Coast Highway. The was also a fixed rope on the cliff to rappel down to the beach / surf spot. 

Santa Cruz, April 2014

DIY skatepark hidden in the cliff-side hills north of Santa Cruz on the Pacific Coast Highway. The was also a fixed rope on the cliff to rappel down to the beach / surf spot. 

 California, April 2014  We crossed over into the southernmost region of California for the first time through Yuma, AZ. We cycled through seemingly endless sand dunes for days, and kept wondering if it was possible to skate down them. One late afternoon we saw a perfect dune mountain, took off our skateboard wheels and jumped into the slope, sliding down some of the hill before sinking in sand, waist deep. 

California, April 2014

We crossed over into the southernmost region of California for the first time through Yuma, AZ. We cycled through seemingly endless sand dunes for days, and kept wondering if it was possible to skate down them. One late afternoon we saw a perfect dune mountain, took off our skateboard wheels and jumped into the slope, sliding down some of the hill before sinking in sand, waist deep. 

 California, May 2014  It was a slow riding day because one of our rear derailleurs broke off. We had set our sights on at least making it to this small town that ap- peared to be just over the canyon, called Los Alamos. The Google Maps route took us on a windy road for a few miles, before the road suddenly turned to sand and we couldnt continue onward. 

California, May 2014

It was a slow riding day because one of our rear derailleurs broke off. We had set our sights on at least making it to this small town that ap- peared to be just over the canyon, called Los Alamos. The Google Maps route took us on a windy road for a few miles, before the road suddenly turned to sand and we couldnt continue onward. 

 Arizona, April 2014  After riding all day through the barren desert, it was get- ting dark and we werent seeing any safe place to camp. Just before nightfall we spotted an area on a hill above the highway and set up camp just in time for sunset. In the morning while packing up, we noticed there was a handmade heart, made out of wires, attached to the barbed wire fence near the site. Someone else in the past must have found similar refuge at this beautiful and middle-of-nowhere spot. 

Arizona, April 2014

After riding all day through the barren desert, it was get- ting dark and we werent seeing any safe place to camp. Just before nightfall we spotted an area on a hill above the highway and set up camp just in time for sunset. In the morning while packing up, we noticed there was a handmade heart, made out of wires, attached to the barbed wire fence near the site. Someone else in the past must have found similar refuge at this beautiful and middle-of-nowhere spot.