Friday

The etnies BBQ Tour started in Colorado on July 6th and would stay in Colorado for the remainder of the month. It all started with a phone call from etnies team manager Dave Hoang on Thursday afternoon. He said they were leaving for Colorado the next night and wanted to make sure I was still in. Of course I was, I thought we weren’t going to leave until the following Wednesday, but last minute decisions always make for a good trip.

Foundation am Tony Silva, Toy Machines Alex Olson/Parker(?), and David Odle would all be along for the first portion of the tour. Leo Romero would be flying in to meet us the following Saturday, and Rob Gonzalez would fly in later in the month. Dave Hoang and myself would be doing some filming and Lance Dawes was there to shoot some photos (or drive the etnies van).

The drive to Colorado took two days. We left on the night of the fourth of July while driving out of the city and in to the desert area I recall being able to see over ten firework displays going off at once. The next thing you know, we are almost running out of fuel somewhere in who knows where Nevada (I think). We pulled in to a gas station at 3:00a.m. We all grabbed our boards and skated around the parking lot waiting for the van to fill up. I guess the hotel owner next door didn’t like that too much as he came over and yelled at me. I think he was trying to intimidate us but it didn’t work to well which only made him angrier. Lance Told him to “chill out, it’s the fourth of July, it’s a holiday. The distraught, gravitationally challenged, and way too angry hotel manager replied, “the holiday is not for everyone. Lance tried to tell him that if you live in the United States, the fourth of July is a holiday for everyone. The guy could’ve care less though, he just wanted to smoke his cigarette (at a gas station I may add) and get us the hell out of there. I wish I could’ve taken his picture, but I somehow was the center of his anger. Maybe I should’ve just stopped skating when he asked me to, but come on, it was 3:00 a.m., the gas station was closed, and there was no attendant. The guy just approached us in the wrong way.

Saturday

We drove almost all day today so I slept for the majority of the day. Not to much to write about today other than beautiful scenery, way too much snack food, and a headache!

Sunday

After twelve hours of driving and a late check in, we all slept in whether we wanted to or not. The first BBQ was at 3:00 p.m. in Fort Collins and we didn’t wake until maybe 2:00 p.m.? So that left us an hour for showers, breakfast/lunch, and a forty-minute drive. Needless to say, we arrived a little late, but by skateboard tour standards we were ahead of schedule.

It was nice to see a good turn out of kids as we pulled in to the skatepark. After two days of driving everyone was amped to get on their boards, and a new park to skate just fueled the session. The bowls there were in the process of getting swept out but that didn’t stop Lance from dropping in. He seriously wasn’t trying to run in to anyone, but when a carve shot him in to the deep end a minor collision resulted. I couldn’t help but laugh as I saw it coming. Lance tried to carve around the helpless broom pusher but slid out and took him down. The broom pusher was pissed and voiced his opinions. He even asked Lance if wanted to sweep; Lances reply was, “No, you seem to be doing a good job yourself.

The session there seemed to set the tone for the rest of the trip. It was amazing, almost everyone there was skating and just flat out having fun. It was like it wasn’t even a demo; instead it was more like a bunch of friends just out skating together.

When the BBQ food was handed out, it left the park virtually empty, which gave us a perfect opportunity to film a little. It’s a funny thing filming sometimes, especially when you have mo than one filmer. You start to see the guys stepping it up to another level, and you think to yourself, “I better get the camera. The next thing you know is that you have two filmers and a photographer trying to get the same angles. I’m glad I was with Lance and Dave because that aspect of it just made it more fun! It was never an issue at all. So, when Tony landed the frontside blunt, and Alex pulled a nifty 50-50 no comply, along with David’s stylish backside 360, we had it covered from long lens to death lens. That’s the fun of travelling with friends.

On the way home from the demo we were all witness to the best quote of the trip. I don’t know what Alex was thinking when he said, “Richard Simmons, not Gene Simmons!, but the expression on Lances face told the whole story. Putting Richard Simmons above Gene Simmons just wasn’t right, at least in the eyes of Kiss fans!

With Dave driving and Lance navigating, the forty minute drive home proceeded to take close to two hours. No one really remembered how to get back to the hotel. So by the time we found all restaurants were closed, leaving all of us hungry. Lance doesn’t like olives, so when the pizza arrived, he made a quick U-turn which ended up with the over 21 and over crowd (Lance, Dave, and myself) driving around at midnight looking for a place to eat. As luck would have it, the first place we stopped at had just stopped serving food, so the liquid dinner was on! Across the bar was a police officer that was returning divorce papers to a group of women. Only one of them was getting divorced, but they all seemed to be enjoying the circumstances. We became friends with the bartender, who in turn, was a friend the divorcee party, so we heard all the details, which I’ll spare you. When it came time to tab up though, all we had to throw down was a measly twelve dollars for twelve drinks. I guess it sometimes pays to be friendly.

Monday

We decide to switch hotels early in the morning. The hotel we’re at doesn’t offer an outdoor pool, and with the temperature well in the 90′s we opt to find a place that can meet our needs. On the outskirts of downtown Denver, we find the place that would be our home away from home for the next week. We all knew not much would be going on today, so we all just “chilled out, sat by the pool and relaxed.

We had to find a skateshop for Silva as he was out of boards, and as we pulled back in to the hotel parking lot we saw Mike Taylor. It turned out the DVS/Matix tour had some stops in Colorado the same time, and as luck would have it, we were staying at the same hotel? Daewon, Hufnagel, Beibel, and Van Wastell were all there as well. Mike said the rumor was that the DC video was premiering right down the street from us so we decided we would all meet up there later that evening. We ended up meeting at the bar across the street at the pool table. Lance and I proceeded to take out Beibel and Daewon, and everyone else as well. That left Beibel a little upset. He now wants to play me for some money in the future, and I will gladly take his money in the future.

Tuesday — Thursday

The trend of sleeping in continues. With the next BBQ not scheduled until Friday, there is no real reason to get up early. We left the hotel at 1:00 p.m. for our usual breakfast/lunch. After food, we made our way to the Denver skatepark which was located right outside of downtown, The park is seriously amazing, and seriously way to slick. At times I felt as though I was skating on ice, all it needed was a Zamboni and it would’ve been complete! I swear it was like a cartoon, I mean, you would push like three times before you would actually get a push in. I guess all you need is some softer wheels and all would be good. It was still way fun though; we ended up there everyday for the next three days. I have a question though, why is it that there is always that one kook that tailgates someone and tries do the old I’ll one up you? Tony Silva was subject to that kook on this trip. This weirdo seriously followed Tony around everywhere he skated, and he tried to one up him on every trick. Tony handled it well though, and it seemed to be more of a game for him. It was actually really funny to watch.

We also met up with some Sole Tech flow riders at the park. They became our “skate tour guides for the rest of the trip. Angel Ramirez and Sean and Nial Frederickson didn’t hold back on any “secret spots (that we know of), and for the the next few nights we skated prime spots until dawn.

For some dumb reason we tried to skate during the afternoon for a few days. I think the temperature was well in the 100-degree range, which left us all miserable and back at the pool all afternoon. With that two-day lesson learned, most of the skating was left to the lights and generator. We went to a thirteen-stair handrail one night that handed everyone a beat-down. Angel was almost pulling a front feeble but was taken out, and the twins (Nial and Sean) both went down as well. I think Sean went out first, and he then told his brother Nial that he shouldn’t stop skating until he took a good fall. And that he did! Trying a lipslide, he bailed early which left himself in a very vulnerable position and to top it off he then went straight to a faceplant. Check out the video link for a slow motion view of it all. It’s painfully entertaining!

The long days and long nights can sometimes take a toll on you. It was 4:30 a.m. and all I remember hearing was the one-man conversation Dave Hoang was having with himself. When I questioned him about it, all I got was his delirious laughing, along with some more rambling. It’s one of those things where you have to be there to get the full effect, but I’m sure everyone has experienced this sometime or another and can somehow relate.

I believe it was Wednesday night at the Denver skatepark when we ran in to Alex Chalmers. Apparently he was with Mike V, Donny Barley, and Rodney Mullen. I guess they were on some secret tour thing, but I guess it’s not a secret anymore. It was just amazing that we randomly ran in to so many skaters on this trip.

Later that night, we lit up a gap, and David Odle was almost landing perfect backside 360 ollies down it. After maybe fifteen attempts, it finally got the best of him. He landed on one, but he was way off balance. I thought he blew his knee out, but it turned out to be a severely sprained ankle. It sucked because he landed on one perfect but his board broke. Tony then gave him his board to use and a few tries later his trip was over.

Friday

The BBQ today was at the Boulder skatepark and it was such a relief to be able to skate a park and not have to worry about sliding out. The vibe seemed to be the same from the time we stepped out of the van to the time we left. Everyone had such a carefree attitude and that seemed to make for another productive day. Alex Olson/ Parker (I still don’t know what name to call him) and Lance continued their ongoing battle of s-k-a-t-e. Alex claimed that Lance never won, but I think that was just wishful thinking on Alex’s part. “Dogtown Dawes can still hang with the best of them.

Some of the Boulder Park locals were doing some of the funnest tricks I’ve seen. Brian (I’m sorry I don’t remember his last name) was doing one-footed frontside rocks with his hands behind his head along with a board transfer to a blunt fakie. Again I’ll direct you to the video link so you can watch for yourself. It was another day of fun skating with fun people, and everyone there was super friendly. A passerby van with a bunch of dirty, barefoot hippies even stopped by. They seemed to be in to the whole thing. They watched for a while, grabbed some veggie burgers, and drove off! Too bad we didn’t have any granola.

Another great quote was heard on this day as well. I was told ll one up you? Tony Silva was subject to that kook on this trip. This weirdo seriously followed Tony around everywhere he skated, and he tried to one up him on every trick. Tony handled it well though, and it seemed to be more of a game for him. It was actually really funny to watch.

We also met up with some Sole Tech flow riders at the park. They became our “skate tour guides for the rest of the trip. Angel Ramirez and Sean and Nial Frederickson didn’t hold back on any “secret spots (that we know of), and for the the next few nights we skated prime spots until dawn.

For some dumb reason we tried to skate during the afternoon for a few days. I think the temperature was well in the 100-degree range, which left us all miserable and back at the pool all afternoon. With that two-day lesson learned, most of the skating was left to the lights and generator. We went to a thirteen-stair handrail one night that handed everyone a beat-down. Angel was almost pulling a front feeble but was taken out, and the twins (Nial and Sean) both went down as well. I think Sean went out first, and he then told his brother Nial that he shouldn’t stop skating until he took a good fall. And that he did! Trying a lipslide, he bailed early which left himself in a very vulnerable position and to top it off he then went straight to a faceplant. Check out the video link for a slow motion view of it all. It’s painfully entertaining!

The long days and long nights can sometimes take a toll on you. It was 4:30 a.m. and all I remember hearing was the one-man conversation Dave Hoang was having with himself. When I questioned him about it, all I got was his delirious laughing, along with some more rambling. It’s one of those things where you have to be there to get the full effect, but I’m sure everyone has experienced this sometime or another and can somehow relate.

I believe it was Wednesday night at the Denver skatepark when we ran in to Alex Chalmers. Apparently he was with Mike V, Donny Barley, and Rodney Mullen. I guess they were on some secret tour thing, but I guess it’s not a secret anymore. It was just amazing that we randomly ran in to so many skaters on this trip.

Later that night, we lit up a gap, and David Odle was almost landing perfect backside 360 ollies down it. After maybe fifteen attempts, it finally got the best of him. He landed on one, but he was way off balance. I thought he blew his knee out, but it turned out to be a severely sprained ankle. It sucked because he landed on one perfect but his board broke. Tony then gave him his board to use and a few tries later his trip was over.

Friday

The BBQ today was at the Boulder skatepark and it was such a relief to be able to skate a park and not have to worry about sliding out. The vibe seemed to be the same from the time we stepped out of the van to the time we left. Everyone had such a carefree attitude and that seemed to make for another productive day. Alex Olson/ Parker (I still don’t know what name to call him) and Lance continued their ongoing battle of s-k-a-t-e. Alex claimed that Lance never won, but I think that was just wishful thinking on Alex’s part. “Dogtown Dawes can still hang with the best of them.

Some of the Boulder Park locals were doing some of the funnest tricks I’ve seen. Brian (I’m sorry I don’t remember his last name) was doing one-footed frontside rocks with his hands behind his head along with a board transfer to a blunt fakie. Again I’ll direct you to the video link so you can watch for yourself. It was another day of fun skating with fun people, and everyone there was super friendly. A passerby van with a bunch of dirty, barefoot hippies even stopped by. They seemed to be in to the whole thing. They watched for a while, grabbed some veggie burgers, and drove off! Too bad we didn’t have any granola.

Another great quote was heard on this day as well. I was told that Lance was talking to an ex-con that was there. I guess the guy said to Lance, “It’s alright to be an outlaw. Lance was psyched as he proceeded to tell us that the saying was going to be his next tattoo. I guess we’ll find out soon if he holds true to that comment. Maybe he can put it next to his “stay stay tattoo. Yeah Lance!

I forgot to mention that we finally found the best late night diner to eat at in Denver. The place is called Toms — “where every night its Halloween. It’s even written on the menu and I have to say it’s true. It was great eye candy though! The Goth crowd was there, all the crazy old timers, the transsexuals, punk rockers (if there still is such a thing), Backstreet boy look-a-likes, and I guess you could add us. So, If you’re ever in Denver and in need of some late night food, I would suggest going there. The green chili fries are ” to die for. Wait a second, this is supposed to be an etnies tour article, not a restaurant review. Lets get back to the story….

Saturday — My Last Day On The Tour

The Denver skatepark was host to today’s barbecue. Dave Hoang dropped us off in the 100-degree weather and went to pick up Leo Romero from the airport. Everyone was psyched that Leo was coming; We weren’t sure if was going to make it or not. Right out of the van he proceeded to adapt the park, and the slipperiness wasn’t even an issue. After another laid back barbecue session we left for another all night session.

The police seemed to have us out numbered tonight. They were a step ahead of us at a few spots. We pulled up and they were already there. We finally found a good sized gap where Leo pulled a clean heelflip and Silva stuck a solid nollie half cab. After that we tried one more spot. A seven-stair handrail that was right on the way back to the hotel. After skating it for maybe 45 minutes, the Sheriff showed up and it looked as though he was only watching, so everyone kept skating. That was a bad move as he then stepped out of the car, sat us all down, and separated us by age. The security guard from inside the building then stepped outside to greet the Sheriff with a smile. What it came down to was they wanted to get us for trespassing and destruction of property, along with a few curfew tickets for the minors. After a long talk with the Sheriff, it was decided that Lance would come back and paint the rail the next morning, otherwise we’d all face charges. So, as simple as that our problems were solved. The security guard shook the sheriff’s hand again, smiled again, and then gave us the dirtiest look that still chills me to this day!

Sunday

I’m never scheduling an early airline flight for myself again! I woke up way too early only to arrive at the airport to a cancelled flight. The etnies van was on its way to paint a rail and then they were off to Aspen, Colorado. I should’ve stayed for an extra day, I mean, we’re talking about Aspen “where the beer flows like wine and the women flock like the salmon of Capistrano.

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old that Lance was talking to an ex-con that was there. I guess the guy said to Lance, “It’s alright to be an outlaw. Lance was psyched as he proceeded to tell us that the saying was going to be his next tattoo. I guess we’ll find out soon if he holds true to that comment. Maybe he can put it next to his “stay stay tattoo. Yeah Lance!

I forgot to mention that we finally found the best late night diner to eat at in Denver. The place is called Toms — “where every night its Halloween. It’s even written on the menu and I have to say it’s true. It was great eye candy though! The Goth crowd was there, all the crazy old timers, the transsexuals, punk rockers (if there still is such a thing), Backstreet boy look-a-likes, and I guess you could add us. So, If you’re ever in Denver and in need of some late night food, I would suggest going there. The green chili fries are ” to die for. Wait a second, this is supposed to be an etnies tour article, not a restaurant review. Lets get back to the story….

Saturday — My Last Day On The Tour

The Denver skatepark was host to today’s barbecue. Dave Hoang dropped us off in the 100-degree weather and went to pick up Leo Romero from the airport. Everyone was psyched that Leo was coming; We weren’t sure if was going to make it or not. Right out of the van he proceeded to adapt the park, and the slipperiness wasn’t even an issue. After another laid back barbecue session we left for another all night session.

The police seemed to have us out numbered tonight. They were a step ahead of us at a few spots. We pulled up and they were already there. We finally found a good sized gap where Leo pulled a clean heelflip and Silva stuck a solid nollie half cab. After that we tried one more spot. A seven-stair handrail that was right on the way back to the hotel. After skating it for maybe 45 minutes, the Sheriff showed up and it looked as though he was only watching, so everyone kept skating. That was a bad move as he then stepped out of the car, sat us all down, and separated us by age. The security guard from inside the building then stepped outside to greet the Sheriff with a smile. What it came down to was they wanted to get us for trespassing and destruction of property, along with a few curfew tickets for the minors. After a long talk with the Sheriff, it was decided that Lance would come back and paint the rail the next morning, otherwise we’d all face charges. So, as simple as that our problems were solved. The security guard shook the sheriff’s hand again, smiled again, and then gave us the dirtiest look that still chills me to this day!

Sunday

I’m never scheduling an early airline flight for myself again! I woke up way too early only to arrive at the airport to a cancelled flight. The etnies van was on its way to paint a rail and then they were off to Aspen, Colorado. I should’ve stayed for an extra day, I mean, we’re talking about Aspen “where the beer flows like wine and the women flock like the salmon of Capistrano.

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