Natural Koncept Tour Of Duty 2005

Words: Katch 1
Photos: Blair Alley

It had been over a year since our last tour, and everyone was getting antsy and asking when the next tour was coming up. We were also receiving requests for demos and shop signings from shops on the East Coast, so Josh Zickert, one of our riders, linked up a bunch of dates, shops, and demos, and next thing I knew, it was on. NK crew members Dave Davis, Brendan Leung, Chris Kays, Billy Wilson, Josh Zickert, Bob Gnarly, extended posse member and TransWorld photographer, Blair Alley, and myself, “Katch 1” were scheduled to arrive and meet in Washington D.C.

Before I even left Hawai’i, I received a call from Brendan. He was frustrated. I could hear it in his voice. “I can’t get in touch with Josh and I’ve been at the airport for an hour,” he uttered. I hung up with Brendan and called Josh Zickert immediately. Josh told me that he was on his way to get Brendan, but he was late because Bobby didn’t show up at the airport again. Also, there was some drama going down because Bobby stole a few boards from Chris Kay’s dad’s classic 80’s skateboard collection while he was staying at their house in Hawai’i. Chris’ dad said he’s barred from the island unless he can prove that he is not the culprit. He also sold decks that he was supposed to drop off to one of our local riders, Ian Okui.

After hearing all that I was pissed. I was tired of Bobby’s crap. I had seriously explicit visions of elbowing Bobby in the grill and biting his ear off. I left from Hawai’i that night at nine P.M. and flew for over 20 hours to get all the way across the pacific and then across the country. All I could think about on the plane was grabbing Bobby by his dreads, kneeing him in the forehead, and kicking him in the chest against the wall.I arrived at Baltimore at 4 P.M., and was really pissed by now. I waited outside for a while until a busted burgundy rental van with stickers all over it screeched up. Dave Davis’ head was out the front window yelling in my face. I got in, said what’s up to a few heads, looked at Bobby, and started yellin’ at him. I asked him why the fuck he stole Chris’ dad’s boards, and he just denied it. Then Larry tried to sit me next to Bobby and I spit,”I don’t want to sit next to fuckin’ Bobby.” I sat in the back and broke out some green candy I had from Hawai’i.

The van was tense because I just blew it up, but the mood suddenly changed as we pulled over to skate a steep bank right next to the street. Traffic was a serious factor, so everyone was doin’ tricks, landing on the sidewalk, and riding into the street, between cars waiting for the red light. People were beginning to become annoyed, but the session was getting crazy, too, so we didn’t care. Billy crailed it, and Chris Kays backside ollied in. Brendan backside ollied into it, too, and was attempting to backside 180 into it. Dave nearly 360 flipped into it when a man in a car called him over and said there was a lady filming us. Sure enough, we look back, and there was an old woman in her car filming us in a nearby parking lot. Although we weren’t really doing anything wrong, we got nervous and packed it up. Dave skated over to bother the lady and she rolled up her window as quickly as she could and got on her cell phone. He stuck his face as close to the glass as possible and yelled obscenities at the top of his lungs for a few minutes. He skated back to the van and we screeched out of the parking lot as we tried to escape without the lady taking down our license plate number. From there we went right away to a shop signing at Asylum Skateshop in Springfield, Virginia.On the way to the signing, I learned that although I had only missed the first day of tour, there had already been a fight at our host, Chris’ house. Some dude came over and was calling girls fat and mouthing off all crazy style, so Josh finally stepped in and told the guy to go easy. He started swinging at Josh, so Brendan and Chris Kaysumped him and fucked him up. Then he ran up into our host’s room to wake him up and tell him he was jumped. Our host woke up, body slammed him, shoved his arm into the guy’s chest and yelled, “It’s over!” From the signing we went to this bowl in the ghetto in D.C. Craig, the guy who was taking us there, was from Hawai’i, and he drove in circles for a while. I was a little nervous, as I remembered someone told me that D.C. was the murder capital of the world. Once we got out and looked at it, though, we immediately forgot about all the loops. It was new, so it was fresh, fast, and clean. Chris killed it with effortless 5-0s around the corners, huge, fast smith grinds all over, ending with one over the deathbox. Brendan slayed it, too, with feeble to fakies, huge backside airs to fakie, backside tail to revert, and finally a huge 6 foot air to hippie. Dave tailslide the deathbox and did lip tricks effortlessly everywhere, like blunt to fakie, kickflip to disaster to fakie, 5-0 stall to shove it in…all in the same run. Josh was flying around the bowl super fast and hitting these long 50-50s and tailslides along the back wall when he stepped off his board wrong and folded his ankle. He could no longer walk after the session, and was no longer able to skate for the rest of the tour.

We stayed there until the daylight faded, then bounced to go street skate. We still hadn’t made it out of the hood when we passed by a tall flat rail with a drop on the other side. Bobby called out that he wanted to ollie it. We pulled over and Bobby eventually ollied the rail and 180’d it, as well as Brendan. Someone bailed into the rail and we figured out that not only was it not secured well, but you could move the entire rail. We moved it to the side and started gapping over the 8 foot sidewalk to the street. Brendan backside 180’d it silky smooth style. Bobby pop shoved it. Again, Dave was about to tre flip it when this gangster suddenly rolled up and jerked to a stop in a lowered light blue caddy with shiny spittin’ rims and super dark tints. “What the fuck ya’ll doin’ on my block?” he yelled. He threw it in reverse, parked, got out, and headed towards us. This guy seemed really pissed, so we all just started piling in the van. Once he figured out we were just skatin’, he seemed a lot more chill with it, but everything and everyone was already packed up, so we just left.

From there, we were off to Freedom Plaza (Pulaski Park). Once we got there, I chilled in the car because it seemed like a bust, and I wasn’t up for the chase game. About 30 minutes later, though, Brendan was setting up to do something over a four to a huge sidewalk gap into the street, so I grabbed the camera and ran out there. First he ollied it, and then he backside 180’d it. It took him two tries each…butter…he made it look so simple. I knew that if I ever ollied a gap half that size I’d be lucky, and it made me respect Brendan and his skills.

During this 4 to sidewalk gap episode, this kid Zack rolled up on us. “Are you the Natural Koncept crew?” he asked. He had heard we were going to be in town and just happened to be rolling by. He willingly dragged his girlfriend along and became our instant street spot tour guide. He took us immediately to the “gold rail” in D.C. Dave said he was going to Barley Grind it. It took about 30 minutes for crew, cameras, and tag alongs to set up at the gold rail, but it only took Dave five tries, and we were done at that spot. We lazily packed it up and headed off to a double set/gap to rail around the way. Dave almost landed a switch tre on his first attempt, when an actual cop(not security) came around the corner and gave us the instant boot.

Our guide took us next to these two foot wide, six foot high, brick quarter pipes at a university. We were just getting warmed up when we were swarmed by campus security and were escorted off the premises. We decided to call it quits for the night, as it had been pretty productive. As we were driving back to the hotel, someone saw a walk up pizza joint that was still serving pizza at 2 in the morning, and we immediately pulled over.

As we waited and ate our pizzas, Larry was doing his super clean tre flips that he lands every single time, and some girl said, “That’s beautiful, do you want to go to a party?” Next thing you know, the crew was in a college party at this beer guzzling kid “Lobo’s” house in Georgetown University. I hung outside for a while, as I do not have the taste for the party scene. I eventually went in to film the posse, and as I walked in, a girl snarled, “Oh my God, now who the hell is this guy?” I was handed a beer and a pen, and next thing you know, I was drawing on the wall. I darted back outside as quickly as I came in when everyone started asking, “Who is that?” I hung outside and skated for a few hours with Josh. After hours rolled by, Josh finally went in, rounded up the boys and we were on our way again at 5 A.M. A girl came out to give us directions when we left, and as she turned around and left, Chris said, “Your hair smells good.”

We drove an hour back to Baltimore. There was no room on the couches or floor at the house we were staying at (Chris’s house), so I slept uncomfortably in the van. I woke up the next day at 3 P.M. to everyone packing up the minivan. Still crusty and showerless, I pulled down the blankets and shirts I had covering the windows, and we all piled in and drove an hour and a half to a signing in Timonium, Maryland at 3 Ride Skateshop. We met some kids, signed some shirts, then drove off to a demo for the skateshop at a nearby park.

We ended up driving up and down some street for an hour and a half until we finally pinned down the location of the skatepark, which was tucked away in a warehouse. There were no kids in sight and the skatepark was closed. The owner was quickly contacted, and he claimed he did not have the right insurance for a demo. We were suppossed to get paid for the demo, and the money was to go towards food and lodging for the remainder of the trip, so now the closed park and cancelled demo had become a problem. All the kids already left, and the owner didn’t want to open the park or pay for the demo. After a good 30 minutes of heated arguments, Josh somehow finagled him to open up the park as well as give us a check. It bounced when we tried to cash it later. It was a small indoor wooden park with a mini ramp, a 6 stair with a rail, and a small street course. About 20-30 kids made their way back to the park and were lucky to hang out with the posse. Brendan murdered the place with a backside air over the gap in the streetcourse, a backside 1-foot 360, fakie 540 1-foot, and tre flip down the stairs, and a backside crooks to back lip down the rail. Larry killed a clean tre and a big spin down the stairs. Chris Kays destroyed the mini ramp as usual with murderous lip tricks and airs. Dave threw down an effortless 360 flip lip down the rail to top it all off.

We packed it up after a few hours and followed our new tour guide,”Eric.” He took us to some kind of college parking lot, and we walked down the street to skate a beastly apartment pool. It was 11 feet in the deep end, a little over vert, and the tile had been removed. There was also a large 3 inch gutter that went right across the middle of the pool which made it hard to get the right speed when you started. Chris Kays front side ollied over the light and traveled about 10-15 feet into some sketchy tranny. Our host, Eric, was whapping the over vert broken, chunky tile.

After Chris got the shot, we took a couple more runs as Blair packed up his camera gear. As we selfishly took our last minute runs, two cop cars came screching into the lot. They promptly sat us on the curb, shined the car lights in our eyes, and took all our I.D.’s. They seemed really pissed as they jotted all our names and addresses down. The property manager came out to meet the tive. As we were driving back to the hotel, someone saw a walk up pizza joint that was still serving pizza at 2 in the morning, and we immediately pulled over.

As we waited and ate our pizzas, Larry was doing his super clean tre flips that he lands every single time, and some girl said, “That’s beautiful, do you want to go to a party?” Next thing you know, the crew was in a college party at this beer guzzling kid “Lobo’s” house in Georgetown University. I hung outside for a while, as I do not have the taste for the party scene. I eventually went in to film the posse, and as I walked in, a girl snarled, “Oh my God, now who the hell is this guy?” I was handed a beer and a pen, and next thing you know, I was drawing on the wall. I darted back outside as quickly as I came in when everyone started asking, “Who is that?” I hung outside and skated for a few hours with Josh. After hours rolled by, Josh finally went in, rounded up the boys and we were on our way again at 5 A.M. A girl came out to give us directions when we left, and as she turned around and left, Chris said, “Your hair smells good.”

We drove an hour back to Baltimore. There was no room on the couches or floor at the house we were staying at (Chris’s house), so I slept uncomfortably in the van. I woke up the next day at 3 P.M. to everyone packing up the minivan. Still crusty and showerless, I pulled down the blankets and shirts I had covering the windows, and we all piled in and drove an hour and a half to a signing in Timonium, Maryland at 3 Ride Skateshop. We met some kids, signed some shirts, then drove off to a demo for the skateshop at a nearby park.

We ended up driving up and down some street for an hour and a half until we finally pinned down the location of the skatepark, which was tucked away in a warehouse. There were no kids in sight and the skatepark was closed. The owner was quickly contacted, and he claimed he did not have the right insurance for a demo. We were suppossed to get paid for the demo, and the money was to go towards food and lodging for the remainder of the trip, so now the closed park and cancelled demo had become a problem. All the kids already left, and the owner didn’t want to open the park or pay for the demo. After a good 30 minutes of heated arguments, Josh somehow finagled him to open up the park as well as give us a check. It bounced when we tried to cash it later. It was a small indoor wooden park with a mini ramp, a 6 stair with a rail, and a small street course. About 20-30 kids made their way back to the park and were lucky to hang out with the posse. Brendan murdered the place with a backside air over the gap in the streetcourse, a backside 1-foot 360, fakie 540 1-foot, and tre flip down the stairs, and a backside crooks to back lip down the rail. Larry killed a clean tre and a big spin down the stairs. Chris Kays destroyed the mini ramp as usual with murderous lip tricks and airs. Dave threw down an effortless 360 flip lip down the rail to top it all off.

We packed it up after a few hours and followed our new tour guide,”Eric.” He took us to some kind of college parking lot, and we walked down the street to skate a beastly apartment pool. It was 11 feet in the deep end, a little over vert, and the tile had been removed. There was also a large 3 inch gutter that went right across the middle of the pool which made it hard to get the right speed when you started. Chris Kays front side ollied over the light and traveled about 10-15 feet into some sketchy tranny. Our host, Eric, was whapping the over vert broken, chunky tile.

After Chris got the shot, we took a couple more runs as Blair packed up his camera gear. As we selfishly took our last minute runs, two cop cars came screching into the lot. They promptly sat us on the curb, shined the car lights in our eyes, and took all our I.D.’s. They seemed really pissed as they jotted all our names and addresses down. The property manager came out to meet the cops, and he was really pissed, too. “Ya’ll are gonna get charged!” he kept barking. Then the property manager noticed that we moved the lights from the parking lot to the pool area to make it brighter, and he got even more pissed off. “50 dollars a light!”, he yelled. “That’s vandalism, destruction of property, trespassing…” After making sure the situation was okay, the older, angrier cop got into his car and left. The manager was still cussing as the remaing cop finished taking our I.D.’s and writing down the information.

As we sat there, Bobby was asking me if I knew his girl’s phone number and to take his bag back to Los Angeles with me. He thought he was going to jail because he had warrants in several states for skating and whatnot. I also noticed that Dave had somehow disappeared and had crept into the night. Eric did all he could to sweet talk the cop, even going as far as explaining we were pro skaters from out of town, and that he had brought us here, so arrest him. He even told the property manager he worked as a gardener and landscaper, and offered to clean and landscape the premises for him.

About an hour crawled by, and after making sure we were all clean, the cop suddenly seemed to have a lighter tone in his voice. He began to call us, “sport” and “dude.” Then he asked us what company we rode for and what skatepark we were just at. Then he suddenly started tellin’ us how he used to skate and he began to talk about the skatepark and the pros he used to idolize…WHAT? We were in shock…Ex-skater turned hater. After completely getting all our information, the cop just laughed and said, “Don’t come back,” and he shushed us away.

Eric left us at the parking lot and we headed for Philly. It took us a few hours and we ended up by the Philly airport. We checked motel after motel in the area and all of them were booked solid. One of the ladies at the front desk of the Motel 6 told me that there was a convention in town and all of the hotels and motels were booked. I asked if we should go on ahead into downtown Philly, and she said that she had already called all the hotels for someone and all of them were booked.

We decided to keep going past Philly, towards New York, until we found a motel. We drove and drove and drove. Every place we found was either booked or they were afraid of us as it was already about 4 in the morning and we were a van full of ugly, sweaty dudes. We kept driving and checking motels all the way to New Jersey and ended up in Port Amboy, New Jersey, right on the other side of the river to New York. We checked three more motels in the area until we finally found, “The Forge” , at 6:30 A.M.

Josh got the last room for half price ’cause it was already the next morning. Everyone snuck into the room we bought for “2” and crashed in every available space. I saw a room with an open door, and realized the guests had already checked out, so Billy and I took it over. Billy found “girl blood” on the bed, so we took the towels and pillows from the maid cart and laid ourselves out on the floor.

I got a knock on the door at around 12 o’clock. Somehow stealthy Larry had found us, and he roused us up into the van. We drove into Manhattan, dropped all our bags off at Josh’s crib. I had driven all night and had skated New York City a couple of months before, so I pussed out and stayed to sleep at the crib. The crew headed to downtown and the financial district. Bobby ollied and melon grabbed a big gap off of a ledge over a wall to a sidewalk. When he tried to backside 180 it, his board shot out and busted a cab’s headlight. Luckily, the driver wasn’t around and everyone jetted.

As the night rolled around, the crew met up and bounced to some famous fufu club called the Marquee. I stayed outside the club and drew the people in line. It was a weird scene. From what I understand, there is a $75 minimum champagne purchase required. Brendan left the club early and hung outside and by the van wi