If you've ever been to Canberra, I think you'll agree that when it comes to skateparks, we've got some of the best in Australia.
But over one long weekend we got our eyes opened to some seriously amazing skateparks that NSW has to offer - only a few hours west of us.
A bunch of the Back Bone crew ventured west and found (a lot of us for the first time) 5 seriously good parks that were almost too good to be true!
So where are they and what do they contain? Keep reading:
Millthorpe in the morning with the sunrise.. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
We got a chance to get here right before sunset and got an amazing session in. We met the legend Will Gunn there and he put on a show. There is plenty of lines to be had here, it's kind of wide open but with a mix of tight areas, which makes it a really fun park to ride. Not to mention that capsule. If you've never ridden one of these things Millthorpe is the perfect introduction to it.
Arthur Birbilopoulos goin' round the loop. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
Millthorpe is the kind of park that appeals to someone who likes jumping around, kind of like a built up, next level Queanbeyan skatepark. Well, well worth it.
Tyrone Edwards is a smooth dude. Table in the tighest section of the park. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
We woke up and got the early morning session in, then headed off to Orange, NSW (about 15 minutes away) for a quick pit stop and sesh at the park, then headed off to the next bowl..
Chris Harti picked up an Akubra knock-off at the corner store - definitely a good idea. It was hot as hell out west. Blasting the foot off, Molong, NSW. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
Rolling into a town with a population less than 3000, you would not expect to see any skatepark, let alone a next level bowl that goes to somewhere around 10ft deep in the deep end. While it was steep at first, we got used to it and some serious airs were blasted by all. Sick transition that keeps you on your toes - and there's even a smaller street plaza type park there as well if that's your thing.
One tip though:
If you head out west from Canberra, expect it to get at least 5-10 degrees hotter. Pack appropriately. We were dying out there!
The crew staying out of the sun in between runs at Molong. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
It's no secret that if you take Dylan Lewis on a bowl trip, he'll be blasting. X'ed up! Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
After the Molong bowl sesh/sizzle, we moved onto one of the most anticipated stops of the trip.. Mainly because of the reviews we had heard of the town. Nevertheless we were done with being in the sun, so onward we went.
Look at this monstrous beast! Tyrone well up there in the deep beast that is Wellington skatepark. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
We had our doubts - there was a lot of talk of 'the town is sketchy..'. We pulled up to 10-15 kids under 12 years old, all on scooters and not shy at all. Beyond the kids and the small street section, sat a monster of a bowl. 6-7ft shallow ends in a clover shape, leading down into a 12ft tall deep end.
We all walked over to it; it looked super intimidating.
Then came the drop in. Without a doubt, the first run was almost hilarious.
Bold statement coming up..
Style master Rusty Brindley in the deep at Wellington. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
Wellington bowl has got to be the best 10ft plus transition of any of us have ever ridden.
For something that is 12ft tall, it is perfect. No weird steepness, so safe, the only thing the dictates your height is the speed you can get from rolling in.
Because we were so wrecked from a full day in the sun riding I know that most of us can't wait to go back and really get a feel for it.
Without a doubt a must go to skatepark if big transition is your thing.
Chris Harti ripped in! Photo: Zac Miner
One last thing..
The kids were sick! While they were wild, they didn't have any issue dropping in on that bowl on their scooters - we're talking 11 year old girls. They even borrowed our bikes and ripped around, carving like they were Garrett Byrnes. It was sick.
Goes to show that if all someone has to ride is a 12 foot deep bowl, they'll adapt.
The government needs to stop being scared of building the big transitions!
Anyway, onward we go, to the final park of the trip.
The crew at Dubbo on sunset. Photo: Zac Miner
No doubt about it, whoever built Dubbo skatepark did a hell of a job. We rocked up and were gassed from a full day of riding in the sun, but we managed to get some good laps in while that burning orange ball began to set (it was something like 37 degrees at 6.30pm!)
The park itself, I'll tell you right now:
You have to go!
Tyson Jones-Peni dangling the foot at Dubbo. How's those Back Bone socks! Photo: Russell Brindley
There's a lot to offer at around the 9ft mark at Dubbo, plus an insane full pipe capsule that takes a bit to get used to if you want to start heading into 'upside down' territory, but is incredibly fun.
Another thing that makes Dubbo skatepark so fun is the amount of different lines you can take without trying too hard to be different. Everyone on the trip was doing their own thing in the bowls, which is pretty exciting to see.
You know a park is good when everyone is doing something different and it all looks effortless!
Dylan Lewis with one of those good lookin' lipslides he does, this time on the cinder block extension at Dubbo. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
The trip in itself was amazing, we were only 5 hours away from Canberra and along the way we'd hit 5 amazing skateparks that I can promise you won't regret riding.
Road trips are integral to BMX, experiencing new spots and growing friendships, making memories. Riding new things allows you to get out of your comfort zone, both on your bike and being in a new place.
You don't need much, jump in the car with a tent and some mates.. and if you live in Canberra, head west for the weekend - you won't regret it.
Here's some extra photos to get your stoke up even higher.. And trust me, you want to get to the last one.
Sun's coming up, Tama's cooking brekkie, Harti's getting pitted while Russ watches on. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
Chris Harti up there with the 44t Imperial! Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
A Tyson eclipse at Wellington.. Photo: Russell Brindley
Oppo table in the deep by Rusty. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni
This is ridiculous! Dylan casually blasted this right before we left.. 100% Death Grippin'. Photo: Tyson Jones-Peni