As I begin to write this tour journal I’m 25,000 feet above ground, the lady sitting next to me is snoring in my ear and the stewardess is trying to pass off a meal that she claimed contained chicken.
It’s amazing that I even made my flight though, just a few hours ago I was being held at the security checkpoint being questioned over sticks of batteries that were in my camera bag, thus beginning the 10 minute rifling of my luggage. Once I was cleared I was off to the terminal in which I had 5 minutes to catch my flight. I was beginning to feel like it would be “One of those days” when gat, 32 my departure gate was at the end of the terminal, I began to run and miraculously made it on board to meet the Birdhouse/Hoffman teams in North Carolina and be a part of the “Whoopass Tour”.
My flight was scheduled to arrive at 5:45 but thanks to a broken airplane radar, I reached the airport at 8pm to a cell phone beeping with voice mail. “Hey Lance its Tony, I waited at the airport for an hour, I’ll be back at 8pm.so give me a call”. I immediately call Tony back and tell him of the radar troubles. It’s no big deal since he has to pick up his family at the airport the same time. I wait out in front and
watch 2 tow trucks lift unattended cars at the baggage claim until I spot Tony in the Taurus, I pack the trunk with my gear and head to some decent Chinese food with the Hawk’s, then off to the hotel where the bed was literally calling my name.
Sleep is a good thing, especially when you’ve been in need of it for weeks, needless to say I felt very well rested this morning and hopped out of bed and into the RV which would be my home for the next few days. I met my fellow Travelers Jeff Lenoce, Brian Sumner, Matt Hoffman, Rick Thorne, Mike Escimalla, Big Island, and RV driver extraordinare Frank Barbara. Everyone seemed pretty chill especially considering that they have already been on the tour for a week. If you’ve traveled before a week could either seem like a day or a month, the consensus in the RV seemed to be a month.
We headed for a quick breakfast then off to our demo, which was taking place at Utopia at 4pm. A few missed turns and bad directions landed us at the demo at 5pm. Kids where lined up and the skating had just begun Jeff, Brian, Riley and Tony were destroying the street course while a few thousand people looked on. Some of the street highlights included Jeff’s huge frontside 180 flips, Tony’s nosegrinds on the flat bar, and Brian’s salad grinds, unfortunetely he tweaked his ankle and might be going home on Monday. On a higher note Tony’s son Riley was skating like a champ and busted out kickflips on the pyramid, he’s the
rippingest first grader I know. The Hoffman team was also ripping but I couldn’t name the tricks they were doing without sounding stupid. After the street demo everyone migrated to the vert ramp where Tony began skating.
“Do a 900 Tony!” were the first words I heard when Tony began to skate. Kid’s please keep in mind that Tony does not perform 900’s very well on 4ft. Jump ramps neither does he do it on 5ft. quarterpipes, believe it or not those were some actual requests that Tony had received so far on the trip. The demo actually went quite well and Tony even attempted to pull the infamous 9 but couldn’t quite pull it tonight.
After the demos the product toss and signature session had begun, it was unbelievable the amount of product being tossed out and the extremes people go to receive it. While we were on the van tossing product, Tony was signing, signing, signing. After every last thing was signed in the building hunger had soon set in and we were on our way to eat a decent meal and back to the hotel. We have a demo in Wilmington Tomorrow and right now the bed looks very inviting.