Only in skateboarding is it completely acceptable to take a random teenage kid from across the country and throw them in a dirty van on a road trip with a bunch of skaters they’ve never met, with no contracts, parents’ consent, insurance policies or legal contest rules in place. To the general public it may sound like kidnapping or the beginning of a really bad story, but to a skateboarder’s ear it all sounds like a dream come true.
About a month ago Thunder had a contest that gave skaters a chance to live out the dream of a skate trip. First, to visit the Thunder warehouse with Chris Cole and then head down to LA for the Battle at The Berrics 2 Finals. After receiving thousands of emails we picked at random a kid from Albany, New York named Dylan Longton. Lucky for us he was a true skater that was always down to skate and up for everything else we had in store for him. Below is the story of our trip as told by Dylan himself.
Winning the trip out to SF and LA was definitely a sweet experience. After a long flight from Albany, NY to SF I met up with Chris Cole and the Deluxe dudes at the airport to head down to the Thunder Warehouse.
Cole and I checked out some new truck designs for his next pro truck and then went out back to the foundry to see how the trucks are made. It was pretty sick to see all the things a truck has to go through before it’s finished.
Next stop on the tour was the best part. Mic-e Reyes handed me a big board box and said, “Fill it up.” I went shopping through aisles of decks, wheels, trucks getting to grab whatever I wanted, I couldn’t even believe it. After my shopping spree we went to grab some burritos, not only was it my first burrito ever, but it was definitely the first time I’ve had lunch with a bunch of pro skaters. Ramondetta, Gerwer and John Cardiel all came out to join Chris and I for lunch. Most of lunch I couldn’t even eat, I just sat there with my mouth wide open listening to them tell sketchy stories from the road, for some reason a lot of them seemed to happen in Tampa.
After that we went to skate 3rd and army. Skated around with everyone and even did a little filming too. It was a pretty fun sesh and then it was time to head to LA. Six hours later we ended up in Santa Clarita. Stayed at a pretty nice Holiday Inn then went to a skatepark close by in the morning. It was the first cement skatepark I’d ever been to, really fun but definitely different then what I’m used to skating in NY. A Few hours later we went to Push Skateshop where I was also hooked up by the owner with a sick Push deck and autographed Transworld by Peter Ramondetta. Next was a quick drive down to a new hotel in Hollywood. After dropping our stuff at the hotel and a quick bite at Swingers we headed down to the Berrics for the Battle at the Berrics 2 Finals. On the way we picked up Mike Carroll, Brandon Biebel and Andrew Brophy, those guys were rad, especially Biebel, non-stop entertainment the whole 45 min drive.
I never thought I would get to be there for the finals. It was such a good time meeting a lot of pros and a bunch of other people at the Berrics. The games were insane, good tricks going down, so many that I could never even think about doing. Good job to everyone who skated in it, I was pretty siked that Cole won. After all the games were over we went back to hotel, then it was time to leave in the morning. Overall I had such a sweet trip, that I never though I could get. Thanks to Thunder/Deluxe for everything I had such a good time meeting, chillin and skating with everyone!