Photo: Mako Ozaki

The 3rd Annual Dipshit! Rat Cage Classic

Photos by John Oliveira, Mako Ozaki, and Bret Sullivan

Growing up in Honolulu’s very limited, very isolated skateboarding, music, and art communities, I always felt that small, grassroots media and events were more legitimate and necessary than big-time corporate things.

This could be because when I was growing up, nobody gave a shit about that little island chain to even consider any big corporate-sponsored events, but I like to think that it’s because those small things are less about money and more about the betterment and maintenance of the culture. Turns out, Monster Children agrees with me on that one because they bought an ad in my little brother’s Honolulu-based skate/music zine, Dipshit!, and sponsored the building of a bump-to bar/bump-to-rail/bank-to-pole-jam, as well as a bank-to-wall, this past weekend at the 3rd (maybe 4th) annual Rat Cage Classic—a Halloween skate contest and zine release party. 

Photos: John Oliveira

For those who didn’t grow up under the freeway overpass, the Rat Cage is a term for the shitty, dirty, fenced-in skatepark underneath the Ke’eamoku bridge in Makiki, Honolulu. Just a few blocks from the glamor and money of Waikiki Beach, Makiki has everything a skateboarder could want: beers, needles, and felons, and Dipshit!, piloted by local shredder, Caleb Sugai, seeks to capture, recap, and promote that awfulness every month, or quarter, or whenever his job at the photo lab pays him enough to print a new issue. 

Photos: Bret Sullivan

On this happy occasion, the release of their best issue yet, Dipshit! threw their annual skate contest and zine release, wherein skaters, kids, and crews from all over the island headed over to Makiki to try their hand at glory. With best-trick prizes provided by Former, Dickies Skate, and APB Skateshop among many generous others, there was a lot of glory to be had. At least, there was a lot of glory until JC flung his board out and broke the weld on the bar we created. Or maybe it was Kaikea? I can’t remember. I do remember a really nice front nosegrind on the bar, Steven Do’s wall ride to back smith on the box, a guy jumping off of a fucking fence into a bank, and one kid in a skeleton costume getting stabbed in the shin, but that’s probably because of the photo evidence below. 

Photo: Mako Ozaki

Events like these are the heart and soul of any healthy subculture, whether it be skating, surfing, music, or art. No one ever started a band because they went and saw Guns n Roses from the nosebleeds with their parents; they got the itch when they saw their local punk band play an insane set in someone’s basement that would have gone on all night if the cops hadn’t come and shut it down. Small engagements like this are tough because no one makes any money. In fact, if you’re a small promoter throwing shows and costume contests and making zines, you’re only ever going to lose money. So why do it? Because it must be done, and if you don’t, someone else will try, and it will be lame. The burden is on you, reader, to do something cool in your hometown. Make a zine, throw a show, start a subculture and then email me about it. 

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