“A 24-Hour Mission”

There’s Antoine, a Finnish photographer, Brit’s Paul Shier, Joey Crack, and me–—the one responsible for picking up the rental at 9:00 a.m. As usual I will be the one paying and responsible for driving the thing, and I’ll have had no sleep. You see I’ve had this thing lately where I can’t seem to fall asleep until eight or nine in the morning. At which time I then become very tired and don’t wake until three or four. We’re thinking a five- hour drive, which means at least six realistically. This is where skater time comes into play. There is no avoiding it. No matter how much a skater means it when he says a time, he almost never makes it at the said hour, whether it be for school, work, to meet a girl, and especially if your meeting up to go skate. Time then becomes almost worthless with each counting on the others being tardy. This rule you can count on except under the most absolute important circumstances. These times a skater hardly ever comes to.

I was first invited to go by Javier, a Spanish friend of mine from the Pais Vasco— a part of northern Spain. He’s having his pro debut part and I’ve been really looking forward to seeing it. So last night I looked at tickets and they were around 125 Euros round-trip. not too bad. But today when I went to buy them they were 250. Paul and I really got into talking about how fun it’d be so we went to Easy Internet to surf for a rental deal. After which I learned another guy, Antoine, was looking to go. I didn’t know him too well but I traveled north with him once before.

A “mission” we labeled it as we talked over dinner. Some people we were eating with were not skaters and I can kind of can tell when non-skater friends are sick of us—always discussing leaving at the drop of a hat to anywhere while they have to wake up for work in the morning. So I kept my excitement under my hat and ended the conversation knowing it would be continued with Paul soon after leaving the others.

One thing on both Paul’s and my mind was that we’d received word today that our application for an apartment had been accepted. This has given me much to look forward to as lately I haven’t felt comfortable at our present location. I’ve been sleeping in the living room with Paul because my room is very dark. I think it to be haunted.

We must be back on Thursday night ready to pay the money and sign the lease. This our only real concern as it’s been one let down after another looking for a decent place to live. So we’ve got to drive to Lyon, France only to return within 24 hours. Seeing a skate video at a bar with free alcohol makes it for certain I will be seeing Shier in a Shier state of drunkenness. I think I will be the one driving on the way back for sure, as my interest in debauchery has been lessening each day recently. I’m sure I’ll have a few but I’m not trying to get too silly. Really though, we can not afford to mess this up. This is what we were saying to each other. We really love this apartment.

My wanting to go was mostly to meet up and spend some times with some of the European skate community. In the U.S. people don’t get to know or meet too many of these guys. As I live here I’d like to be somewhat into the skate happenings. I wonder what some people think about that? Maybe they don’t think too much about it— which reminds me Kenny Hughes has agreed tonight to live with us. So our two people in a five bedroom has made rent less for all two American professionals living abroad. Why aren’t there more, I often wonder? It’s not so hard, really. Was I one of the first? I wonder?

We’re up we’re out. Skater time has only made us fifteen minutes late picking up the car—which isn’t so bad. Also, it turns out that I could sleep last night, so I should be trying to catch some kip on the way.

I wake up in France. Paul is barreling down the highway at 190 kilometers an hour. I’m not sure what thatranslates to in mph., but it seemed really fast. I got nervous and couldn’t sleep anymore or maybe I was just excited to be in France. Soon we were all trying to remember our classes we had at the age of fourteen and speak to each other all the French that we knew. It turns out Paul withheld the most from school, so he was our “best communicator.

We reach Lyon and are thinking how we can find the place not having told anyone we were coming. Maybe go where everybody is or whatever. We all started thinking of people we know who might be there and start messaging everybody. For a while we could come up with nothing and for a moment began to question our quest. We Finally reached Fred Montange and we were told to go to a skate shop and ask any kids if they could come with us and show us the way. We did just that and Amory was willing to help us. Upon arriving at the skatepark we meet Cliche Owner and skater Jermie Daclin and Fred Montangue, the filmmaker. Team Manager Al Boglio set us up with a few beers, and before we knew it in came the crowd for a view of the long-awaited Bon Appetite. There were some videos already playing from earlier dated skating from around Europe. Then comes a rip part for a skater. The video follows shortly.

The video was filmed and edited by Fred Montange featuring parts from Cale Nuske, Ricardo Fonseca, Jan Kliever, Javier Mendizabol, J.J. Rousseau, Jeremie Daclin, Vincent Bressol, Lucas Puig, Thibaud Fradin, and Charles Collet.

Additionally, a surprise new addition Franklin Stephens from the U.K. also had a part unbeknowst to anyone and even some of the team.

The video starts off with Cale Nuske. A nice fella whom I’d just met a bit before the video started. If you’ve seen some stuff of this guy, you know what he’s into. Big rails and other kinds of tech stuff on big things. It was a well-rounded part.

The video is then broken up into sections featuring some traveling that Cliche has done over the past year or so. It certainly kept me entertained. That’s partly why I liked the video. It broke up the normal skate video format. People had their own parts and then they would have more tricks later in other sections that showed the guys skating spots as a team rather than individually. Each city had its own montage of skating mixed with some local culture and life style skatery stuff.

My two favorites of this video were Ricardo Fonseca and Lucas Puig. Ricardo is very entertaining to watch. His bare-knuckle boxing style is nonstop action with long hair flowing barbaric grace. He won “best thing in the video from me with a line where, after doing an unperfect nollie heel flip, he gets frustrated and goes on to finish the line anyway with a kickflip over a gargantuan gap—long hair flyin’ around. A crooked grind on a double-kink hubba was insanity, too.

Then Lucas showed a really well-rounded way to come and skate his part. It was very nice and he even did a wallride.

J.J. had lines with more then one hard trick. Jeremie showed how fun it can be. Charles, the young kid, showed a bit of what’s to come. Thibaud is really good at the frontsides. Jan is solid good. A style street skater with pop in his tricks and he does some stuff you want to watch again. What was that?

I was very impressed with Javier Mendizabol. More importantly he ollied a double-set into a skinny little ramp—it looked very scary. He’s courageous!

The whole video was most impressive. The party after was on a boat, where we ran into some more good friends. It was a good turnout of people and there were alot of French girls. Shier even got a picture of a few of them “French-kissing” each other. The party was really getting going when I decided I’d had enough and was thinking about the drive home. As I had been sober all night, the others were very warm with drink and talk. Joey had just started to chat with the beauty of them all, and I had to pull everyone out. The trip was well worth it and I know now that I’d like to spend more time in Lyon. The meeting went well with our landlord and we moved into our apartment that night. It is where I write from now.

all, and I had to pull everyone out. The trip was well worth it and I know now that I’d like to spend more time in Lyon. The meeting went well with our landlord and we moved into our apartment that night. It is where I write from now.