I just got back from trip to Europe. I went to enter the two contests,The
Quiksilver Bowlriders in Marseille, and the Etnies Bowlmasters comp at the
new "Cradle" skatepark in Austria. It's named "The Cradle"
for the one of a kind over vert bowled out end.
I flew into Marseille and i'd like to thank Air France for losing my luggage
for the third time in a row. You gotta give it to them for consistency.
So as a result of that i had to ride some one else's board and shoes in
the qualifying rounds of the Marseille contest. I managed to slip thru and
got my bags delivered that night. With my own equipment in tow i made it
past semi-finals into one of the gnarliest finals i've ever seen. Eight
skaters skating all at once in the blazing heat. In the end Tony Trujillo
won hands down, Omar took second with his power lines. I took third, which
i was very pleased with as this is one if not the most respected contests
of those who know what's up! Marseille's park is challenging fast and flowing.
A perfect place for all around skills to shine. You can check more photos
and results at quiksilver.com.
The next day a band of skaters (Al Partnian, Steve Bailey, Marc Haziza,
Christian Brox, & myself) and photographers boarded a hired greyhound
style bus and headed towards Annecy France. Ben Krahn and his wife followed
along in a car. The park is fun(see pic) and we sessioned it for hours before
hoping in the freezing cold lake. That night we ventured into a bar we just
happened upon while roaming for food. The people working there towards closing
time started throwing things at us and we returned fire. We proceeded to
escalate this to a fun little war, throwing anything that wasn't bolted
down, breaking glasses and basically destroying their bar before leaving.
I was surprised they gladly wrecked their bar with us. I decided i'd take
a short cut to the hotel by swimming across the river that runs thru the
town. Once again it was cold considering it was frozen in the Alps only
The next day we all got in the bus and headed towards Sattle Switzerland.
I'd been to Sattle's park several times before and was looking forward to
it's Keyhole bowl with the animal chin door, the high jump launch ramp complete
with adjustable high bar. Most of all I wanted to see the unskateable steep
concrete mogul field again. We were let down to discover that all that kooky,
skier designed stuff was dozed right before we got there. I can't wait to
see what they'll make in it's place. No one in the crew of heshers was into
skating the standard street obstacles that escaped the dozer, but we were
all into taking the 15 minute chairlift up into the Alps to ride the high
speed alpine slide. It's a sketchy little cart with a brake that you ride
down a metal trough at what seems like 60 mph, but it's probably 45-50,
with nothing keeping you from flying out! We all managed to take at least
one run without any braking.
I opted to take a little side trip with Steve Bailey and Al Partnain to
check out a new bowl that had been built in a park in Wintertour Switzerland.
It's a brand new structuring technology where they basically press the surface
plys pre-curved to create perfectly bowled surface for the corners. They
built a Bob style over vert section of a mini bowl that was absolutely unbelievable
(see pic). We're talking Swiss precision. Gapless seams and unrivaled strength.
These things can be made portable and go up in a matter of hours. They are
pricey but worth it. The maker told me that they would last at least ten
years. To check out more about it hit up bowlskateparks.com.
We rolled into Brixlegg Austria around 3am and crashed. I woke up and wandered
down to the most amazing skatepark "The Cradle". It was the brainchild
of Mark "Red" Scott and the Dreamland crew. You can check it out
The park is nestled beneath the oldest Castle in the Tivoli area, around
5 - 600 years old. Many Braveheart style battles had gone down right there
and beheadings took place in the castle. The park is a 12' square bowl that
tapers down and hips into a 6' bowl that spines into a snake run that ends
in the "cradle" an over vert bowl (see pics). As an added bonus
there is a really good Thai restaurant sharing the parking lot that is owned
by an Elvis impersonator.(see pic). Once again we ran too many eliminating
runs. Pre-lims, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. All the foreigners
skated like soldiers but almost all the locals would drop in the same spot
and take the same line to the hip. It got really annoying but I think their
eyes got opened and when we return next year they will have the whole park
wired. After it all went down I ended up winning the contest as well as
the "best transfer". I was so stoked! My friend Christian Brox,
from Norway, took 2nd with major style and smooth lines. Chet Childress
took 3rd with his rapid-fire tricks in one of the gnarliest parks i've ever
seen! Thanks to Etnies & all the organizers and people on the tour for
such a fun trip.