January 25, 2010

Kill Fee Three: Nick Dompierre Placed

This was supposed to appear in The Skateboard Mag about nine months ago, but alas, it will not be running, so, read it here first, and for the last time too. Other "never happeneds" here and here.

It’s a Saturday night in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and as resident Nick Dompierre would say, “Saturday, it’s like the big night.” Saturdays, in general, loom pretty large just about anywhere, but when it’s Saturday night in New Bedford, for Nick, it means street racing in his ’87 Camaro.

This all makes perfect sense, really. New Bedford, aka “The Whaling City,” is an old New England port town; around 1920 or so it’s population topped out at about 120,000 people, and now there’s just over 90,000 people living there. Nick Dompierre is a rather gnarly skateboarding human, a fact that has been illustrated and proven countless times. Stick him in a smallish east coast city, add the fact that he’s drag racing in a Camaro on a Saturday night, and the whole situation becomes a foregone conclusion.

Nick was born and raised in New Bedford, and when the skate trips are over it’s where he calls home. He didn’t have much to say about the place really, and lives there for the same reasons that most people live anywhere else; he says, “I don’t know how to explain it, I like it, its where I’ve from.” Beyond that, and not surprisingly, he states, “I basically like it because all my friends are there.” New Bedford has its share of weather and seasons and all, but the winter months don’t phase Nick all that much, because, as he tells, “I’d say I like being home when it’s winter, I get to work on my cars and shit; I pretty much sit in the garage and work until April, when the track opens up again.”

Waiting for the track to open again must be like waiting for that one spot downtown to be dry and sand free. Car racing and skateboarding have yet more parallels, at least in Nick’s case; as he tells it, he saw some guys doing it, and it looked cool. In his own words, “A lot of people would be street racing, and I’d watch, and I’d want to crack that. Then I ended up making some money from skating and I put money into [my car].”

But the parallels don’t end there; of a typical night out racing, Nick says, “Usually we just meet up at a parking lot, a hang out spot; just hang there. If someone wanted to race, you go race, or hang out, get something to eat.” Replace the word “race” with the word “skate”, and that’s damn close to a proper Saturday out skateboarding. There’s more, as Nick explains, “It’s best when people come down from another city, there’ll be a big race. If we’re lucky, a crew of cars will come from another area, and we’ll get something set-up.” For that last bit, replace “race” with “session”, and “cars” with “dudes,” and you get the picture.

While Nick is without a doubt an accomplished and established professional skateboarder, when all is said and done, he wouldn’t mind throwing some salt in the racing game; regarding being a professional racer someday, he says, “Yeah, I’d loved to. It’d be a way easier job than jumping down stairs and rails all day.” As an aside, if any car companies are looking to sponsor Nick as a racer, he’s down; he says, “Yeah, that would be great.”

Car and skateboard sponsors alike, don’t get it twisted; Nick is not leaving New Bedford anytime soon, and he’s especially not going to move to California. He says, “I’ll never move to California, I’m pretty much where I want to be.” Beyond just wanting to stay put, street racing is way better in New Bedford, even if, as Nick says, “It’s starting to die down [here] because the cops are getting worse.” He continues, “It’s definitely more mellow here though. I heard about some crazy laws; out in California if you get caught drag racing, they take your car and crush it--I heard rumors about it.”

All in all, having his car crushed as the result of a proper Saturday night out street racing is no concern of Nick’s; he states rather confidently, that, “My cars will never be in California, so I don’t have to worry about it.”

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