A collaboration between Quad Media and CIB Crew, a new TV pilot is set to shoot at the Clatskanie Skatepark this month.
Dubbed with the working title “Quad Pro Quo,” the show’s concept is something that would be familiar to fans of competition shows like Ink Master, Blown Away, and The Great British Bake Off—but make it roller derby (sort of).
Roller derby, a roller skating contact sport played between two teams, utilizes quad skates (four wheeled skates), but the skates are used in a variety of skating sports. “There’s not a lot of crossover,” Quad Media Producer and Director Benjamin Doyle said of roller derby skaters and ramp/bowl skaters, but “Quad Pro Quo” is trying to bridge that gap.
The TV show, Doyle said, aims to increase the exposure of all forms of Quad skating by taking prominent skaters from across the country and judging their trick and line skating abilities. The reason they chose Clatskanie?
“What we really like about Clatskanie [Skatepark] is it’s covered, so we don't have to worry if it's rainy or crappy weather, we can still shoot,” Doyle explained. Doyle also lives in Portland, and the show’s host Samara Buscovick—the illustrious derby champion Lady Trample—does as well, for the time being.
The park is also one of the newer and more modern skateparks in the Portland area, according to Doyle. “It’s just kind of a beautiful, interesting, weird park.”
Originally built in the mid-1990s, the skatepark was remodeled in 2018, completed in 2019, by the Clatskanie Skatepark Committee. Costing shy of $100,000, the committee, in tandem, with Skatelite—a PNW based skate ramp surface manufacturer—replaced the skatepark’s cover and ramps. The city paid for the new cover and the materials of the new ramps, but Skatelite covered the installation for the city, said Clatskanie City Manager Greg Hinkelman. To use the park, Quad Media and CIB are paying the regular reservation fee to Clatskanie Parks and Rec.
When CIB and Quad Media were looking for a skatepark to film in, they had some specific gets on their list, Trample said. “We wanted something that is going to challenge the skaters but give them the opportunity to show what is possible on quad skates.”
Clatskanie Skatepark fit the bill. “It’s challenging but still safe,” Trample said of the skatepark. “And there are good opportunities for bigger tricks.”
Most skateparks have bowls that are 10 to 13 feet high, creating high risk for bigger tricks. The Clatskanie skatepark doesn’t break 9 feet on its bowls though, Trample explained, so bigger tricks with lower risk are possible.
The premise of the show centers around four skaters, who any Quad skating enthusiast would know: Rochelle Jubert aka Gal of Fray from Oregon (Rose City Rollers, anyone?), Katie Baird aka Bambi Bloodlust from Iowa, Angel Lopez aka Kid Quad from Colorado, and Leonette from California.
The line-up embodies CIB’s mission, Lady Trample said. “We wanted to create an opportunity for visibility for skaters that identify in different ways,” she explained. While CIB was originally created to stand for “Chicks in Bowls” (a reference to skatepark bowls), Trample said CIB is “so much more” now.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for visibility for skaters that identify in different ways,” she said. As a queer woman, Trample says “I didn’t see myself among mostly cis, white, male skaters … I didn’t see a lot of females, and I didn’t see a lot of queer [skaters].”
The skaters set to compete break the molds of the historically white, male, and cis skatepark, Trample and Doyle explained.
“We have a mostly women and LGBTQ expansive audience,” Doyle said. “CIB has the energy of ‘we should be welcomed here too. We’re going to come here as a group and take this by force.’”
By having a cast of skaters that aren’t tokenized, Trample said she hopes the skaters have an “opportunity for them to compete in the show just as themselves” and be judged solely on their wicked skating abilities.
The competition itself is the first generation of its kind, according to Trample. Quad skating is still fairly under the radar, in terms of competitive sports. The skaters will be given short bursts of time to show off their skills for the judges—Mary Smith aka Kid Ace from Washington and Nick the Medic from California (two more judges are yet to be announced)—in a tight hour-long pilot.
“At the end of the day, even though it’s a competition, it’s a celebration of skating, and we want to help grow the sport,” Trample said. “This really is a steppingstone for the skaters and for the sport itself.”
Once the show is filmed, Trample and Doyle hope their pilot will be picked up by a larger platform, but if not, “We will find a way to do it ourselves,” said Trample.
The show will film on June 17 and 18. The public is welcomed to watch from a distance, and between shots, Doyle said local skaters can get a chance to skate with the competitors.