A Lifestyle To Die For (Or From) My Six Month Summer Tour

In the beginning of April, I finally found and purchased the house of my dreams in sunny San Diego. Little did I know at the time that being a homeowner requires you to actually be at home every once in a while to take care of things. My summer tour had started and my first lesson, the self-taught class “How To Be A Homeowner When You’re Never Home,” had begun. For starters, I was in Australia for two weeks for a contest and wasn’t even there to sign all the paperwork for the transfer of the house. If it weren’t for fax machines and e-mail, I would have never been able to do it.

Not until April 20, two weeks later, was I back in San Diego for a whole four days to finally move in and pay some bills. Lesson number two: all of a sudden I had way more bills to pay. This should have been obvious, but this was all new to me. Home Depot, which I had driven by every day, now caught my eye as I reminded myself of all the things I still needed.

Back to work. I flew up to Santa Rosa to do some demos with Tony Hawk and Willy Santos. I returned at the start of May for two days to do some laundry and realized that it wasn’t even summer yet. I’d only just begun:

May 7 ESPN X-Trials contest in Virginia Beach.
May 11 Back in the house¿unpack a box or two and set up a new board.
May 14 Vans Triple Crown in Panama City, Florida.
May 18 Back from Florida late-night, only to leave for Europe Powell tour early the next morning.
May 29 Back home from Europe for another one-nighter, then off to film for the Powell video at Woodward Camp in Pennsylvania.
June 13 Home again. This time for a whole week. Enjoy. To-do list includes: four days of flight training and one day flying F-18 fighter jets for ESPN, Split Clothing team meeting, buying furniture for the house and unpacking remaining boxes, and entertaining guests and family in town for the X-Games with a house-warming party.
June 21 X-Games start. The biggest media skateboarding event of the year, and there was no escaping it¿I could see the venue from my bedroom. To-do list reads: “Do good, your mortgage is weighing on it.”
June 30 Escape from the media blitz with one week at Windell’s Snowboard Camp at Mt. Hood, Oregon.
July 6 One day home again. Lesson number three: When you’re not home, somebody still has to cut the grass. The lawn was knee-high and the bushes were getting out of hand. Anyway, no time¿off to Europe again.
July 8 Lausanne, Switzerland for the Grand Prix contest.
July 13 One day in Marseilles, France to shoot photos for TWS interview.
July 14 Montpelier, France for the “midweek contest.”
July 17 Münster, Germany for the Skateboarding World Cup.
July 20 Arrive in San Diego at 6:00 p.m. and leave for U.S. Warped Tour at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. To-do list reads: Enjoy sleeping in your own bed, last time for a while.
July 21 Get into Lansing, Michigan in time to have dinner with Pop.
July 22 Catch up with the Warped Tour in Detroit.
July 23 Do the first demo of the day in Cleveland, then catch a plane to Woodward Camp with Neal Hendrix and Mike Frazier in time for an evening session on the new ramp and ESPN’s B3 contest.
July 28 “Woodward Express” back down to Buffalo, New York to get back on the Warped Tour bus.
July 29 Warped Tour, Northampton, Massachusetts.
July 30 Warped Tour, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
July 31 It’s my birthday! Joy. The Warped Tour joins the Vans/Hard Rock Cafe Triple Crown Of Skateboarding in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
August 4 Warped Tour, Jacksonville, Florida.
August 5 Warped Tour, Orlando, Florida.
August 6 Warped Tour, Miami, Florida.
August 8 Warped Tour, Houston, Texas.
August 9 Warped Tour, Dallas, Texas.
August 10 Home for six ds. To-do list: Cut grass, film for Powell video. Note to self: Bushes used to be eight-feet tall, now they’re twelve. Again, no time.
August 17 Yokohama, Japan with the Powell team to shoot a Honda commercial.
August 20 Fly home and save a day (gotta love that International Date Line).
August 21 Leave on a red-eye flight to State College, Pennsylvania; arrive in the morning for a lunchtime meeting at Airwalk.
August 23 Steal a quick session at nearby Woodward Camp.
August 24 Tried to leave for Europe again, but missed my connecting flight to Sweden and spent a day in Chicago instead.
August 26 Arrive in Stockholm in the morning. The first demo of the Euro-Warped Tour was that night¿there’ll be two a day from now on.
August 27 Catch a flight to London, England.
August 28 Back on a bus and in Reading for the first of the music festivals.
August 29 Cross the English Channel on the ferry and on to Belgium for the Pokelpop Festival.
August 30 In Holland for the Lowlands Festival.
August 31 Ahh, a day off in Amsterdam.
September 1 Euro-Warped Tour, Hamburg, Germany.
September 4 Euro-Warped Tour, Minden, Germany.
September 5 Euro-Warped Tour, Strasbourg, France.
September 6 Euro-Warped Tour, Dinslaken, Germany.
September 7 Euro-Warped Tour, Berlin, Germany.
September 10 Euro-Warped Tour, Vienna, Austria. First demo, then catch a flight to Zurich with Mathias Ringstrom for another contest and a weekend away.
September 12 Fly to Biarritz, France for the Glissexpo (part two of the Zurich contest). Get off the plane and go straight to the ramp. Ten-minute warm-up, then qualifiers. Meet a few of the bands from the tour there and put on a mini Warped Tour show.
September 15 We miss the connecting flight to Bologna, Italy that was to get us back to the bus; have to fly into Milan instead. The bus picks us up there and drives us two hours to Bologna¿just in time to miss the second demo. Bus again that night back up to Milan.
September 16 Milan, Italy. After the show, Steve Caballero and I catch a train, and once again head back down to Bologna.
September 17 Day off from the tour. We hooked up with Giorgio Zattoni to shoot some more Powell footage. I had locked on a kickflip at the last demo, separating my shoulder, and couldn’t skate. Cab, however, ripped.
September 18 Catch a flight in the morning to Madrid, Spain, and we’re back with the tour in time to do two demos in the city bullring.
September 20 Pamplona, Spain for the last show of the Euro-Warped Tour. We walk down Ernest Hemingway Boulevard and do demos in the bullring where the Running of the Bulls ends up.
September 21 Fly home to San Diego for two days to finish shooting for TWS interview, and then off once more.
September 24 K2 Pro Contest at Woodward, Pennsylvania.
October 1 Vans/Hard Rock Cafe Triple Crown Finals in Huntington Beach, California.

When I started jotting down the places I’d been on tour this summer, I guess I thought that the list would end at some point. But here we are in October, and its still going. Good or bad, the truth is that it’s never-ending. Skateboarding is “cool” again, and that means more opportunities for everyone to get out there on the road.

Ever since I was a kid I used to love road trips¿from checking out a contest in a nearby town to a full East Coast tour with my pop and brother. Now, with thirteen years of skateboarding under my belt, I’m still going. All this time away from home and still the good outweighs the bad. New places to ride, new cultures to explore, new people to meet, and always a new experience. It’s the best education I could ask for. I’ve just got to find time to cut those bushes …

Thus, after a whopping two weeks at home, I’m back at it. The 1998 Split Clothing East Coast Autumn Tour. May the road rise to meet us and the wind be at our backs.

¿Andy Mac

ks at home, I’m back at it. The 1998 Split Clothing East Coast Autumn Tour. May the road rise to meet us and the wind be at our backs.

¿Andy Mac