Thursday

The plan was to meet Team Manager Joe P. and Rodrigo Lima at TransWorld around 7:00 a.m. to catch the 12:15 p.m. flight out of LAX. On the way to the airport we’d pick up Carlos de Andrade. We’d be meeting Kerry Getz in Hawaii as he departed from Philly at 6:00 a.m. EST. Joe had it worked out to perfection. His roommates were flying back from their honeymoon in Tahiti at 9:00 a.m. and they were meeting us curbside at our gate. The only thing Joe didn’t know was that I was on a streak— a streak of missing flights. When we pulled up we unloaded our bags and helped the newlyweds load theirs. It was a clean swap, and the streak of missing flights had come to an end.

Earlier, Joe told me that Kerry called him at 3:00 a.m. because he didn’t know what airline or what time he was leaving from Philly. Joe laughed and also told me that he’d given Kerry the flight information three times already. I asked Kerry about it later and he laughed saying that he never wrote it down. He just knew that he had to wake up early.

Hawaii Ezekiel Rep Jim Blewster and local Ezekiel rider Nick Yamasato met us at the Honolulu airport. Within the first five minutes of talking, Blewster enlightened me with a great quote: “If you live in Hawaii and you’re worried about your home and real estate, you’re there for the wrong reason. Your home should be where you store your toys. Hawaii itself is your home.”

When we arrived at the hotel I was psyched. With Waikiki Beach just across the street, and we had an incredible view from our rooms. Seeing that this was our only free day, I walked over to Kerry and Joe’s to find out the plan. Walking in, I learned Kerry’s plan consisted of a six pack of Corona’s. Other than the 34-dollar room service charged us, it seemed like a good idea, so I joined in. That was the start of our demise for the nights that followed. I think we finally fell asleep around 4:00 a.m.

Friday

I’ve tried surfing so many times, but I think I just plain out suck. Joe woke us up at 9:00 a.m. and suckered me into trying it again. After one minute out I knew it was a mistake as I’d forgotten how much paddling out could wear you out. I had better luck catching the worst sunburn of my life than catching any waves. Rodrigo and Carlos had the right idea and decided to swim instead. For the rest of the trip those two would call me “Big Wave Dave,” and I referred to them as “Team Brazil.” Kerry just slept in, ordered breakfast, and viewed the Auto Trader online. He said he doesn’t like the feel or taste of salt water, so he stayed strictly poolside instead.

Next, we learned that Etnies rider Wagner Ramos was flying in Brazil and would be staying at a hotel right down the street from us. Team Brazil became three strong as Wagner became a welcomed addition for the rest of the trip.

The plan for the day was to visit a local radio station for some live interviews. Blewster pulled the classic move of telling us en-route that he had three radio stations lined up instead of one. Joe P. called him out on it and busted his balls pretty good. Blewster just laughed knowing he sugarcoated the day’s events. It really didn’t matter at all how many radio stations were involved just so long as we skated afterward.

The first interviews left us all laughing way too much. The Ezekiel pros had to introduce themselves and say a little about their skateboarding abilities and such. Carlos fell victim to the “talking like he was on television” and used much body language, and Rodrigo seemed a little microphone shy. Kerry had done radio shows in the past, so he was pretty much on point adding some much-needed sarcasm at the appropriate times. Kerry’s radio plug for the show went as follows, “Hi, this is Kerry Getz, and if watch the X-Games, then you know that I win every single one of them!”

We completed the last interview and high-tailed it over to the famouA’ala skatepark. It was the first time anyone had actually stepped on a board since we had arrived in Hawaii. I knew it was going to be a fun session and within the first five minutes there I had to pull the camera out. Carlos and Rodrigo attacked the ledge and hips landing everything , and Kerry put on a manual clinic. Wagner forgot his board at the hotel, so I gave him mine to skate. I knew it was way bigger than what he was used to, but he still managed to land all his moves. Nick had the place wired, styling some of the best one-foots. It was almost like a demo and most of the local skaters just watched in awe, marveling at the talent that these guys possess. After two hours of skating I had more than enough footage for an A’ala skatepark clip. The twist was that I really didn’t plan on filming much there, but realizing the caliber of the skaters I was surrounded by made that almost impossible to do. With that said it was dinner and demise time. No more 34-dollar six packs, we upgraded to seventeen-dollar twelve packs. That night i decided that I would sleep on the balcony for the duration of the trip.

Saturday

After three hours of sleep, I awoke at 8:00 a.m. to the rays of the sun beaming down upon me. It was a no win situation seeing that I recieved more sunburn before the day even started. Apollo (the Greek God of the Sun) was out to get me!

The Ezekiel Team had a demo scheduled at the Mililani skatepark, where a local contest was planned. Along with the skating, the team would be judging the best trick contest and signing autographs. Scheduled to be there at 10:30 a.m. we left the hotel at 11:00 a.m. in typical skater fashion. On the way there it began to rain, and as we pulled into the parking lot we saw an amazing park covered in water. But as soon as the van emptied, the rain stopped and the park dried within ten minutes. We’d arrived right on time!

It’s tough to film at a demo like this. With each of these guys capable of landing so much, it’s hard to determine where to point the camera. With the energy level so high, everyone fed off of each other. Carlos would land a trick right after Kerry. Rodrigo would follow with something after Carlos, and Wagner after Rodrigo and so forth. The whole park felt the wrath leaving no section unskated. From a video standpoint, it somehow worked out as well, and Joe and I had almost all of it on film. A two-hour autograph session followed the hour-long demo. After the last poster was signed we made our way back to the hotel. With a 7:45 a.m. flight scheduled to Maui the next day, we thought we should maybe take it easy for the night and get some rest. Maybe.

Hawaii’s nightlife was going off, and I believe we visited three clubs that night. Kerry played it wise and headed back to the hotel after the second club. Team Brazil enjoyed the night’s festivities in a different way as they had their own party happening in their hotel room. Joe and I finished the night by wandering the streets for hours—entertained by land pirates and the antics of inebriated night-clubbers. The balcony called at 4:00 a.m., and I figured that two hours of sleep was better than none at all.

Sunday

Blewster was on point, making sure that everyone was up and ready to make the flight to Maui. We spent the day traveling from skatepark to skatepark in two buses filled with over 100 groms. It gave the kids a chance to hang out with their favorite pro’s on a more personal level.

The first two parks involved skating in what seemed like 90- degree weather in 90- percent humidity. Not being phased by the heat, Carlos put on a clinic at the mini ramp. All the kids skated as well, which was what the Ezekiel Team wanted. It gave the kids a more up close and personal experience by allowing them skate alongside each pro, and the smiles that everyone had told the whole story.

The last park we skated had four bowls that were all connected with waterfalls. The park wasn’t finished, but they opened for one day. This seemed like more of a treat for the locals who had built it, and the Ezekiel Team showed them much respect. Carlos and Joe skated the heated session that had three to four guys dropping in at once. With people zipping around, underneath, and over each other, it was surprising that there was only one collision.

While the bowl session went on, Kerry and Rodrigo had a group of 50 kids lined up trying flips off a ledge. The first one who landed a trick would win either the deck, trucks, or wheels from Kerry’s or Rodrigo’s board. A nice gesture that had the kids trying to land on their boards no matter what. Some kid was even going to ollie off a roof for a board, but some moms were in attendance and they put an end to that idea.

I don’t think any of us had sat in school bus seats in years, and on the ride back to the skate shop it showed and hurt. With legs cramping up from a full day of skating it made for an uninviting ride. There was no room at all to stretch out at all. Oh well, this trip wasn’t about us anyways, it was about the youngins on board but I’m sure they had plenty of leg-room, little bastards!

Monday

Would a streak of missing flights start all over again? Our flight back was at 12:45 p.m., so in typical skater fashion we left the hotel at 11:30 a.m. The check-in line at the airport was horrendous! If it weren’t for Joe P.’s sweet- talking skills, we never would’ve checked in the luggage on time. Our gate just happened to be the farthest one away. Joe, Rodrigo, Carlos, and I began our mile-long run. Halfway there I had a moment of clarity and thought to myself, “Why was I running to leave Hawaii?” The worst that could’ve happened was that I take a later flight. I stopped running, which happened to be a good thing. Rodrigo’s backpack was open without his knowledge. I picked up a trail of his goods on my way to the gate. This path included his Brazilian I.D., a digital camera, and some other pertinent paperwork.

Our flight ended up being delayed for an hour and a half. A new plane was brought in which meant new seating assignments for Joe, Rodrigo, and Carlos. They went from spacious emergency row seating to sitting in the very last seat in the house. By the time dinner was served, there was nothing left for them to eat.

Aloha!

t were all connected with waterfalls. The park wasn’t finished, but they opened for one day. This seemed like more of a treat for the locals who had built it, and the Ezekiel Team showed them much respect. Carlos and Joe skated the heated session that had three to four guys dropping in at once. With people zipping around, underneath, and over each other, it was surprising that there was only one collision.

While the bowl session went on, Kerry and Rodrigo had a group of 50 kids lined up trying flips off a ledge. The first one who landed a trick would win either the deck, trucks, or wheels from Kerry’s or Rodrigo’s board. A nice gesture that had the kids trying to land on their boards no matter what. Some kid was even going to ollie off a roof for a board, but some moms were in attendance and they put an end to that idea.

I don’t think any of us had sat in school bus seats in years, and on the ride back to the skate shop it showed and hurt. With legs cramping up from a full day of skating it made for an uninviting ride. There was no room at all to stretch out at all. Oh well, this trip wasn’t about us anyways, it was about the youngins on board but I’m sure they had plenty of leg-room, little bastards!

Monday

Would a streak of missing flights start all over again? Our flight back was at 12:45 p.m., so in typical skater fashion we left the hotel at 11:30 a.m. The check-in line at the airport was horrendous! If it weren’t for Joe P.’s sweet- talking skills, we never would’ve checked in the luggage on time. Our gate just happened to be the farthest one away. Joe, Rodrigo, Carlos, and I began our mile-long run. Halfway there I had a moment of clarity and thought to myself, “Why was I running to leave Hawaii?” The worst that could’ve happened was that I take a later flight. I stopped running, which happened to be a good thing. Rodrigo’s backpack was open without his knowledge. I picked up a trail of his goods on my way to the gate. This path included his Brazilian I.D., a digital camera, and some other pertinent paperwork.

Our flight ended up being delayed for an hour and a half. A new plane was brought in which meant new seating assignments for Joe, Rodrigo, and Carlos. They went from spacious emergency row seating to sitting in the very last seat in the house. By the time dinner was served, there was nothing left for them to eat.

Aloha!