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Kern County's role in legendary Tony Hawk, Bones Brigade video

Recreated Animal Chin ramp still in Tehachapi
Tony Hawk films with Sam Jones
Posted at 8:44 AM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 17:42:40-04

(KERO) — Skateboarders the world over still have a fondness for the 1987 Powell-Peralta video "The Search For Animal Chin" and Bakersfield had a role in that cult classic.

The video starred the Bones Brigade's Tony Hawk, Mike McGill, Steve Caballero, Tommy Guerrero, Lance Mountain, and Rodney Mullen as the main skaters. The film centers on a search for a famous, mystical skater named Animal Chin.

Partway through the movie while searching for the title character, Tommy notices Animal Chin on a milk carton that Mike is drinking from and Mike claims the phone number on the carton is Bakersfield based.

That's when it appears the crew heads to Bakersfield.

"It was sort of fabricated, we went through the streets of a lot of different areas and then they had a thing in Bakersfield," said Hawk in an interview before the premiere of the HBO Max documentary "Until the Wheels Fall Off" about his life.

"But I do remember us doing a thing for the ramp."

The Bakersfield ramp in "Search For Animal Chin" was that of Chris Borst.

But that's not the only Kern County connection to that skate video. Even though the original ramp at the end of the video was torn down after filming, for the 30th anniversary of the movie in 2017 it was recreated at Woodward West in Tehachapi.

"People always hit us up on Instagram saying 'you guys should rebuild the ramp, and we're like 'What? How are we going to rebuild the Animal Chin ramp?' " explains McGill. "Who's going to pay for this? You know, Tony can do this! And Tony just floated the idea to the Woodward people and they're like 'yes, let's do this.'

"We couldn't believe it because they built it 10 times better than the original. Because when we skated it, at the top of the ramp the coping was plastic. You know that's what we had. And now it's metal and the transitions are perfect."

The Animal Chin ramp, which can still be found at Woodward West, also has a part in "Until the Wheels Fall Off."

"We recreated the Chin ramp to scale and it's a lot smaller than ramps are nowadays," said Hawk. "For me it was much harder to skate. In the context of that ramp, there's not a whole lot of landing room and I took a pretty heavy slam there. It's in the film and it's actually a big part of the film, which nobody really knew about but [director] Sam [Jones] thought it should be in the film."

"Until the Wheels Fall Off" makes its debut on HBO and HBO Max on Tuesday, April 5th.


Tony Hawk talks about Bakersfield's role in 'Animal Chin,' recreated ramp in Tehachapi


Bones Brigade legend Mike McGill tells 23ABC about the recreated Animal Chin ramp in Tehachapi, creating the McTwist