Despite our excitement to get to Australia, there’s no escaping the fact that long flights suck. And then there’s the jetlag to contend with. The one redeeming quality of jetlag on a skate trip, however, is that it changes everyone’s sleep cycles, which means everyone gets up early. Unfortunately for us, though, our early-bird intentions were to be met by the traveling skateboarder’s nemesis: rain. And as it transpired, the entirety of our two weeks in Australia would be spent dodging showers and raiding skate shops for Deluxe windbreakers and sweatshirts. But did it bring down the crew? Fuck no.
This is one of those spots where you wonder if the architect was a skateboarder. Slabs on slabs on slabs equals manual pad galore, and the craziest possibilities. You could easily get stuck here for quite some time, which is exactly what happened to the crew.
Ishod rifled off a couple of lines and channeled his inner Daewon. Sebo was bouncing all over the place and filmed some Insta gold with Ben Ventress from Project Distribution, who was killing it as well. Then Chima goes and pulls this out of the bag.
Schools like this are awesome on trips. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone. Flat ground? Got it. Rails? Yep. Basketball rings? Tick. Water? Perfect. Grass to nap? Absolutely! Bobby wanted to mess with the blocks, so after a quick trip to Bunnings for some bondo, it was on. Bobby, Ishod and Sebo all secured shots. Sebo even did this nollie backside flip twice. Thanks to the Newcastle locals for bringing the lights.
The Mike Carroll spot. Rumour has it Carroll was so hyped on Perth that he wanted to buy a house there. True? False? Who knows? Anyway, we rolled up to this spot a day prior to this photo. Alex Campbell, Perth connoisseur and ripper, told us that there are usually cars in the way so it’d be best to skate on the weekend. Well, shit. It was a Tuesday and we were only in town for two days. What do you do in this situation? Create a fake construction site, that’s what you do. We stockpiled every construction cone we could find and went back under the cover of night to cordon off the perimeter. Sure enough, the following day, the landing was wide open for Bobby to nail this beauty of a switch backside tail. I heard that to this day, the landing is still open.
Pizzey is heavy. It has so much history that you can feel the energy of past sessions even as you park the van. Prior to the trip we definitely talked about this session. “Damn, Ronnie at Pizzey is going to be sick,” we would speculate. And sure enough, after calmly skating it for a little bit and getting used to the crazy lumps, Ronnie went to work. He nailed the gap to eggplant perfect. Too easy.
Robbie Brockel is a champ. He folded his ankle pretty bad two days before the trip. After a hectic day of phone calls we decided that he should come anyway and serve as a hypeman for the rest of the crew. Jim Thiebaud [CEO of Deluxe Distribution] suggested we get him pom-poms and a bullhorn. “Sure,” said Robbie, the most down-for-anything dude. Some people would be bummed and maybe go dark at times like this, but not Robbie. He kept it pretty mellow the first few days of the trip, then one day he asked me where I kept the spare boards. The next day he strapped on his brace and had a roll around. Fast forward a couple of days, and he got his first photo. Near the end of the trip he was just as fired up to ‘get some’ as the rest of the dudes. You can see the evidence of his determination in this photo. The crew definitely approved.
Usually on long, demo-heavy trips everyone’s morale starts to go down after about 10 days. Day after day of skateboarding and night after night of partying can wear you down. Not on this trip. Maybe it was the flight to Perth that made it seem like we started a whole new trip, or maybe it was the first rays of sunlight we had felt for quite a while. The white sandy beach and the deep blue water right by the hotel didn’t hurt either. The Perth demo was something else. Hundreds of kids showed up, and if you were there and you’re reading this, you know what went down. If you weren’t, just wait till you see the edit. Everyone skated their asses off. The park lights kept on turning off and each time the crowd assumed that would be the end of it, but the boys just fired it up again. The crowd absolutely loved it, and Ishod sure knows how to fire it up. It was such a rad ending to a fucking awesome trip.
Words by Bram Demartelaere
Photos by Gabe Morford