It's mid-December, and Christmas is creeping up faster than you can say "fast". A lot has been going on with the team, so here's an update for your reading pleasure. (Along with photos for your viewing pleasure).
Arto Saari, Bastien Salabanzi, Stefan Janoski, Ryan Sheckler and Rune Glifberg all just got back from Puerto Rico, where they had some fun in the sun. Mission of the trip: Relax and hang out. The team has done such a kick-ass job in 2004, it was time for a little present, and a week in Puerto Rico seemed like the perfect trip to reward them with. The trip consisted of playing golf, swimming (Damn! The water is nice in Puerto Rico!), snorkeling, eating, sleeping and basically anything you could expect on any relaxing trip like this. There are lots of stories to be told, but we can't print them all here, because there's just not enough room! Anyway, thanks to the etnies team for destroying 2004. I hope you had fun, and lets get ready to destroy 2005!
Before the week-long Puerto Rican extravaganza, the team was hard at work earning that trip. Here is the latest:
Stefan Janoski has been on a mission lately, traveling from continent to continent. In October, he was in Spain (continent = Europe) shooting photos for TransWorld. In November, he ventured out to China (continent = Asia) to shoot photos for a Skateboard Mag article. In between these trips (and after getting back from China), Stefan headed back home to Sacramento (continent = North America), where he could be found skating every day and shooting photos for various stuff. (Did you see his recent etnies ad featuring the switch heel bump to bar?) The night Stefan got back from Puerto Rico, he was off to the Encinitas / Oceanside area to pick up his dog, the infamous Liam, who is featured in the TransWorld Subtleties video, and then head back up north to Sacramento for the holidays.
Since the etnies GvR contest, Bastien Salabanzi has been staying local in the Southern California area, skating and investing in his future. He recently bought a house in Huntington Beach (Congrats, Bastien!), which now garages the Beamer he also recently acquired. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Active Ride Shop hosted a demo / autograph signing with most of the Flip team, and Bastien was there killing it, as usual. The demo actually got rained out, but before the rain got too gnarly, Bastien did some crowd pleasing. Other than that and the trip to Puerto Rico, Bastien has been just skating locally, working on a few various projects which will grace your peepers soon enough! This Wednesday, Bastien is headed back to France to spend time with his family over the holidays. Damn! Christmas really is only 12 days away!
Like Bastien, Arto Saari has been spending his time in the Southern California area lately. He is still rehabbing his knee, but he has been back on his board anyway. Let me just say that the switch 360 flips are looking glorious! Arto was at the aforementioned Active / Flip demo over Thanksgiving weekend, signing autographs and hanging out with the kids. Too bad it was pretty much rained out, otherwise he might have been tempted to do some skating for the fanatics. Arto recently celebrated his 23rd birthday on November 9. Happy belated birthday, damn it! etnies took him (along with Rune for his 30 birthday) out to Palm Springs for a couple of days to relax and enjoy a round of golf. This weekend, Thrasher will be throwing their annual Skater of the Year party. This is the 15th anniversary of the event, and Arto will be in attendance. (In fact, he won it in 2001.) Over the holidays, Arto will be staying local and continue to strengthen his knee and work his way back to 100%, which wonҒt be long now. Go buy a pair of his etnies Arto shoes right now!
It never changes with Ryan Sheckler. He is always busy! Since October, leading up to the Puerto Rico trip, this is what he had going on: Normal day-to-day skating (He cant go a day without skating.), school (Homework, homework, homework.), finishing up his Almost video part (We truly hope youҒve seen it by now!) and going to a few of the Almost Skateboards video premieres. (In Los Angeles, London and Toronto, to be exact.) Thats just to name a few of the things he has been up to recently. Now that we are closing in on the holidays, Ryan can just focus on skating and looking forward to being out of school for a couple of weeks. Check the Quick Picks on the etnies home page, cuz a new one has been posted asking what you think etnies should get Ryan for his 15th birthday. It ends in a couple weeks, so go vote!
Mr. Rune Glifberg has been on a couple missions lately. He has been skating loads down in the San Diego area, working on ads for Utility Board Supply (Rune just started riding for them. Congrats to both Rune and Utility!), Volcom, Boost Mobile and of course, etnies. He's also been making trips down to the San Diego area shopping for a new place to live. There are quite a few vert ramps, pools, etc. down there, and of course, Rune wants to live close to them. Have you checked out his Web site yet? I advise you to visit it ASAP--you might be lucky enough to win a pair of etnies shoes! Rune is currently Christmas shopping for his two kids. Go buy a pair of the etnies shoes he designed, the Tip.
This Friday, December 17 from 2:00 - 5:30 p.m., etnies is hosting a holiday festival and shoe donation at the etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest to celebrate the park's first anniversary. Several non-profit organizations, dedicated to helping needy children in Orange County, will receive 500 free pairs of etnies shoes (to give to the needy children). There will also be a demo and autograph signing with loads of pro skateboarders in attendance. Arto, Rune, and Sheckler will all be there, so come on down and ask them for an autograph!