FFF Xtreme Sports

Punk isn't dead: the extreme sports and punk rock ethos of Fun Fun Fun Fest

Punk isn't dead: the extreme sports and punk rock ethos of Fun Fun Fun

Fun Fun Fun Skateboard BMX Ramp
Two BMX riders get ready to tackle the ramp at Fun Fun Fun. Photo by Audra Schroeder
Skateboard Fun Fun Fun Couple
Fun Fun Fun fans takes in the festival from a special perch. Photo by Audra Schroeder
Fun Fun Fun Skateboard BMX Ramp
Skateboard Fun Fun Fun Couple

Skate and BMX culture ties in so nicely with Fun Fun Fun Fest’s old-school punk ethos that the demo and free ride ramps have become their own stage. Saturday’s vert ramp demo, presented by Hoffman Bikes, offered a who’s who of skate and bike culture, including the vert’s namesake, BMX legend Mat Hoffman.

Hoffman —who rode with a broken left leg — joined skater Lester Kasai, BMX-er Simon Tabron and others as they attempted some impressive feats of gravity, including something the emcee kept referring to as a “Texas hand plant.” (One rider eventually landed it.)

 Look no further than the merch booth for proof of who people were there to spend money on: The most popular t-shirts on Saturday were Television and the Descendents. 

There were also a lot of wipeouts on the ramp, a reminder of just how many injuries these athletes sustain. In a 2012 article in the Los Angeles Times, Hoffman estimated he's had 100 concussions.

At one point, the DJ played Agent Orange’s  “Bloodstains.” As I looked around the crowd, I noticed both adults and their children were singing along with the chorus. Fun Fun Fun has captured the aging punk demo and, by proxy, that generation’s young children who are absorbing their tastes and projecting them back in their own way in a sort of refracted nostalgia.

Look no further than the merch booth for proof of who people were there to spend money on: The most popular t-shirts on Saturday were Television and the Descendents.

Across from the vert ramp there was a smaller half pipe where middle school and high school-aged kids took turns dropping in. The ramps were more rudimentary, decorated with the markings of a new school of punk fans. Zooming out and looking at both ramps side-by-side, you could see the potential evolution of skate culture. On Saturday afternoon, I saw no ladies on the ramp, though one young girl who couldn’t have been older than five balanced on a board with the help of her sk8er dad.

A young skater named Ben explained he was there to see the Descendents, but that he got into them on his own, without any parental nudging. He’s 13, but has already a veteran of two Fun Fun Fun Fests. He saw Flag (aka Black Flag) on Friday night, and said they’re were “okay."