The etnies Team!
Yup, the Mallorca trip finally came to a conclusion earlier this month, after 19 days of joy, pain, carnage, and rain (there was a bunch of other sh*t that went down, but that rhymed, which is fun). The entire team was on this trip: Arto Saari, Rune Glifberg, Ryan Sheckler, Bastien Salabanzi, Elissa Steamer, Ronnie Creager, Ali Boulala, Kyle Leeper, Eric Fletcher, and Conhuir Lynn. etnies European team homies Javier Mendizabel and Charles Collet also came over for a while as well.
There are tons of words that sum up the trip, but the ones that stand out the most are: rain, motorbikes, fires, amazing spots, villa, guitars, Ali, and more rain. The trip was 19 days long, but that includes travel days; so basically there were 16 days for skating, with no planes involved. Sounds like a lot right? Well, not when it is raining for seven of them! The local we hooked up with for spots, etc. said that it never rains like that in Mallorca. Maybe over a 16-day period at that time of year it would rain two times, and never three days in a row, or whatever the worst stretch was. The only thing positive that can be said about poor weather is the fact that when the sun does come out, everyone is amped to skate. And that is exactly what happened. The first day of skating (four days into the trip) was a beast. The first spot we went to we skated for three-plus hours, and everyone got a trick on film—that is one of the rarest things in skateboarding. Now that I think about it, I could go on and on about everything that went down on the trip, but that would probably be long enough to fill up the pages of a short novel. You got the basics, so let’s throw out some key things about the trip:
Elissa is happy!
- As was mentioned above, rain…too much of it!
- Ali’s antics: he rented two motorbikes within a span of four days, and had to ride them in the rain with freezing temperatures. We weren’t sure he was going to make it one night.
- The villa: Wow! A massive piece of land, with two houses, that will accommodate sixteen-plus skateboarders. You can figure the rest out.
- The spots: Wow times two! You wouldn’t think a small island like that has as much stuff as it does, but let me just say, there are a lot…and they aren’t a bust (for the most part).
- The rulers: Eric Fletcher and Ryan Sheckler. Straight off flights from the good ‘ol US of A, each of them got tricks that first day, and it continued on the duration of the trip. Ahhh, to be young again…
- The rental cars: at one point, we had four cars total. Rental cars are a blast no matter how many or what kind, just make sure you get full insurance ‘cuz reverse donuts are fun!
- Injured list: nobody came down with injuries on the trip, which is fabulous.
- Scenery: Spain is beautiful no matter if you are on the mainland or on one of its few islands. We went to some pretty scenic places…beautiful! Felt like you could fall off the side of the Earth.
- Nightlife: none thank God. The island is basically a ghost town during off-season, so we just kicked it at the villa at night when we weren’t skating or it was raining. Note to reader: you don’t want to go in the summer.
Ali, just chillin'
That’s enough of that. If you want more Mallorca vibes, check some of the photos here and in the Gallery, and keep your eyes peeled for a massive article within the pages of TransWorld Skateboarding in a few months.
Aside from Mallorca, here is what everyone’s been up to and has coming up:
Arto is currently driving from Phoenix to Huntington Beach (driving while this is being typed anyway). After Mallorca he went to Barcelona for a week or so to skate, before heading back to his homeland of Finland to get his new work documents (or business papers if you are a Lebowski fan) for the USA. Once he got those, straight to Arizona to shoot photos and film with the Flip crew…as you may or not know, Flip is working on a new video, and Arto is just getting started filming for it. Next week, he’s headed to New York City for the first celebration of etnies’ 20th anniversary (Ryan, Ronnie, Kyle, Elissa, and Fletcher are also heading out to New York), and then he’ll be headed to Barcelona for a Flip trip until the end of April.
Ali left Mallorca headed straight for Australia. His good friend Dustin Dollin was got married earlier this month, and Ali wouldn’t miss that for the world. Ali is still in Australia, skating and probably renting motorbikes, but is headed back to Europe in early April for the Flip Barcelona trip.
Sheckler came back from Mallorca and flew to Tampa, Florida within a couple days for the Tampa Pro contest. Not sure if you saw some of the footage (there was a story here on the etnies site), but basically he killed it. He ended up with a concussion and a 5th place finish. Ryan is currently in Dubai, comes home this weekend, heads to New York next week, and then flies from New York to China…holy crap! That is some heavy traveling, but how about those destinations? Dubai, NYC, China…wow!
A moment with Ronnie Creager
Bastien, who is still trying to get his ultra bruised heel healed, came back from Mallorca and continued the path to foot recovery. A strict diet of doctor visits and guitar sessions had him on the right path, but then he hurt it again on a recent Flip trip to Arizona. He ended up coming back early since he couldn’t skate. Not to fear though, as Bastien is headed back to Paris to see a specialist, to get him fixed up in time for the Flip Barcelona trip. Let’s cross our fingers!
Rune came back from Mallorca and pretty much started his filming for the Flip video straight away. He has been at home in the San Diego area ever since, skating every day. Rune is headed to China (with Sheckler) on the 7th of April for a week, to mainly skate the new massive (world’s biggest) skatepark in Shanghai.
Sheck on a cliff
Mr. Creager has been busy stock-piling as many photos as he possibly can. He has been on daily AZ missions since returning from Mallorca. He has also been finding time to play a round of golf every now and then. He’s headed to New York next week to meet up with the rest of the crew.
Kyle, like Bastien, is trying to nurse a foot injury back to 100 percent healthiness. He basically started skating just before the Mallorca trip, and since then has been skating everyday trying to get the strength in his foot back. After Mallorca (actually about 12 hours after he landed in LA), he flew to China on a weeklong Quiksilver trip. What next? Yup, you guessed it, New York next week.
Ali likes burning stuff...
Elissa has been up in San Francisco ever since the Mallorca trip. When the weather has been good, she’s been bombing hills and skating local SF spots. She’s headed to New York with the rest of the crew on Monday.
Fletcher is in Arizona with the Flip crew shooting photos and filming for the Flip video. A week after getting home from Mallorca, he flew out to SoCal, and when straight to AZ. He’ll be skating in the Phoenix AM contest this weekend, before coming back to SoCal for a night, and then flying out to New York. From New York, he flies directly to Barcelona for that trip you keep reading about.
Conhuir is at home in Belfast, Ireland at the moment. After Mallorca, he went to London to shoot an interview for UK-based Sidewalk Skateboarding Magazine. That went well, but he still needs a couple photos to finish it off. Coming up for Conhuir is a Quiksilver- Europe trip that gets started in a couple weeks.
Wow, is that it? It was a lengthy one, but lots of pack in these days. Once the New York trip is over, you’ll get another team update, which will be full of photos, stories, and more. Grip It and Rip It.