The etnies/West 49 East Coast Tour is officially over and what a blast of a tour it was! On the tour was Arto Saari, Rune Glifberg, Ryan Sheckler, Ronnie Creager, Kyle Leeper, Conhuir Lynn, and etnies Canadian ripper Nathan LaCoste. Everything from skating sketchy parks to signing autographs to blasting the 80's soap opera smash hit Lady in Red went down. The crew flew in to Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 20th. Well actually the 21st at 1:30 am. Sleep was on the menu after that, or was it? No way, straight to the Nova Scotia casino! Besides skating and getting used to the time difference, the only thing scheduled for that day was a signing at 7pm. for the boys flying from California; it was still 9:30pm, so sleep was kinda out of the question. The casino was a nightmare, so after a couple hours it was time to get some rest.
Then it was time to check out what the city had to offer, specifically what the park where the demo was going to be had to offer. Rolled around the city, bombed some hills, had a fatty to flatty and a manual/ledge/flat bar sesh at the park. All in all, it was a good day of skating around central Halifax. Later that evening, the first of two signings was scheduled at 7pm at the main Halifax location of West 49. The signing went for a couple hours, with approximately 300 or 400 kids all getting to meet the etnies team and get their autographs.
Arto got tired of being in front of the lens
The next day was demo day, so everyone got the rest they needed in order to get their skate on for the kiddies. The demo was massive—probably around 500 or 600 kids showed up and got to see some serious shite go down. Ronnie was destroying everything as usual. Half-cab noseslide 270 nollie heel out on the ledge! Ryan was killing the fatty to flatty section of the bowl with massive kickflips. He even tried to ollie over 18 boards stacked on top of each other. He made 17, but things got too hectic with the crowd and he never made it over 18 boards. There was some good tranny stuff for Rune to skate and he destroyed it as he always does. Frontside airs to tail bash over hips, back tailslides, etc. Arto (backside flips and kickflips over the bowl hip), Conhuir (kickflip backside nosegrind down the hubba), Kyle (blunts galore on the sketchy tranny to vert wall), and Nathan (ruling every obstacle in the park) were skating amazing as well. A successful demo and a successful signing the previous day. time to get some dinner and have a few beverages (we’ll leave it at that for the night’s festivities)!
The next day was a day of driving. What’s new though for tours? The destination–Moncton, New Brunswick. Moncton is a bit different than Halifax. It has more of a French influence compared to Halifax’s British influence. It was a couple hour drive, with a few stops for food, fire works, snacks, and what-have-you. Got there at night and went on a mission to locate the park where the second demo would be a couple days later. No luck, so instead it was time to get a meal. This is where the tour went from good vibes to extremely good vibes. Our waitress at the restaurant Pastelli’s (go to this restaurant next time you are in Moncton. you won’t be disappointed!) was easily the best waitress any of us had had. Imagine a motley crew of skateboarders, in Moncton, coming into a nice restaurant with a bunch of people dressed in nice clothes. They didn’t know what to do. Except for our waitress, Anne Marie—she instantly took us in and took care of us for the next three nights. Her son skates, and she asked Arto if he would speak with him on the phone, which of course Arto did. After dinner, we all decided it was time to take care of this kid, since his mother gave us such a great evening of dinner and Hot Tatti’s (hope that’s how you spell it). So some new Bastien’s and a complete setup (Flip board, Fury trucks, and Ricta wheels of course!), and dinner the next night with the crew. The next 2 days, there were kids lined up at his house because of the story he had! Thank you so much for your hospitality and gifts Anne-Marie!
The next day was another day of driving. One and a half hours to Saint John for a signing. We get to the store, where again there was about 300-400 kids anxiously awaiting the team’s arrival. Another successful signing—now time to street skate. One of the locals, Brian, took us around showing us the local spots. He showed us a bump spot, a ledge spot, a couple gap spots, and a rail that was gnarly to say the least. Sheckler boardslid the rail, but that was it—sketchy run-up and steep bar. Not worth getting hurt at that time. It was starting to get late, and Arto had been asking for a lighthouse to shoot some photos and portraits, so we took a 30-minute mission to the most amazing place. Nestled back in the woods was a lighthouse with nothing around. You could take a walk down the hill towards these cliffs and hike around on a bunch of rocks right next to the ocean. Words cannot explain and cannot do the spot justice, but amazing it was. This is where the fireworks were shot off. Kicked it there for a couple hours, and decided to head back to Moncton, which was now about a two-hour drive away.
Ryan tried to ollie this
Sunday, the 25th, was basically the last day of the tour, and the last demo. The Moncton park is a pretty weird one. The obstacles are all packed into this tight little area, but it made for a good demo. No teams had really been out there for anything, so the local kids were psyched to see these guys skate anything. A huge crowd was there, and once the demo was over, everyone decided to keep on skating with the kids for a couple hours. This was another highlight of the trip since we got to skate with the kids. They kept telling us how happy they were that we came to their town, and that’s what it is all about. That is what makes tours all worthwhile! The next day everyone flew back home, remembering all the good times that were had from September 20th–26th, 2005. Thanks to everyone from West 49 and Timebomb Distribution for making this trip such a success, and most importantly all the kids that came out and supported the etnies team and continually support the etnies brand…you all made it a trip to remember!!!
Check the Gallery!
Here is what the boys are up to now:
Lots of people showed up
Ryan and Ronnie left today for the West 49 World Cup contest in Toronto, Canada. Yeah, back to Canada for them.
Arto is back in Huntington Beach getting his life organized and skating a bit as well. He’s planning to take a trip out to Arizona real soon to camp, skate, shoot photos, and enjoy a bit of downtime.
Bastien Salabanzi is back in France at the moment waiting to get his new VISA (work permits to be in the States). He couldn’t come on the Canada tour because it expired while the tour was on. He should be getting it real soon and will be back in the States after that.
Kyle Leeper is back at home down in San Diego planning to leave to Spain next Tuesday. He’ll be on a serious mission to get photos for etnies now that he is part of the team.
Conhuir is back in Ireland after the tour, but is planning on coming to Southern California sometime in October for the etnies Goofy vs. Regular contest. He’ll probably be staying after to skate for a while as well.
Rune will be skating in the LG contest Friday, the 30th, in Pomona, and after that will be skating the local parks in the Oceanside and Encinitas area.
Bibs are sooo hot right now!
Stefan is still chillin in Sacto and preparing to head out to Spain...again.
And that’s all she wrote. Quite a report, check back soon for updates on the contests and everything else the team is up to.