Mark Appleyard, Darrell Stanton, Aaron Suski, Caswell Berry
We were picked up by a man whose self-proclaimed name was “Big Head.” Now, Luigi did have a large melon, but the fact that he was able to joke about it made him instantly liked by all. Big Head was our tour guide and hook-up while Caswell Berry, Darrell Stanton, Aaron Suski and I were in Peru. And his first piece of advice was to not roam the streets due to the fact that we are all blatantly gringos.
The roads in Lima are hectic. If you crossed the road without a problem, you’d likely be greeted on the other side with a high five by a random pedestrian. The rental van we got came with a driver we called “Jefe,” which means “boss” in Spanish. I don’t know if he was a brutal driver or not, but maybe in Peru the more sketchy lane changes and barges you pull, the better driver you are. Ah, much respect to Jefe for taking us to spots and then waiting for us to make our stunts. And he didn’t even complain when we were dropped off at the bar and then didn’t come out for nine hours. He just sat there looking through my binoculars. After a few days, he got into our program. He even tried to shoo the cops off one time.
The Mega Demo
We drove to the demo with motorcycle security at the front and back of our van. The Brazilian Volcom team was already ripping for 4,000 psyched Peruvians. Massive bleachers surrounding the skatepark were completely filled. A band was playing, and the Brazilians skated under a flashing disco ball. Our crew was to go on next. We hid out in the tent, away from the madness. The music stopped and some Spanish announcer said the word “Americanos,” so that was our cue. They called us in one by one. For a second or two, I felt like we were going out to perform a trapeze act. After a while we loosened up and had fun skating the course.
When we were done skating, Darrell decided to throw a board into the crowd. Bad idea. Before the board left his grasp all the kids had leaped out of the bleachers to the ground level in a matter of seconds causing a hostile pit of ferociousness. I’m telling you, man, every kid there dearly wanted that board, but before he could lob it, Big Head’s voice came over the loud speaker, “Darrell, no!” It was a safety concern. No kid had any problem biting another’s head off for a chance at that board. We were escorted off to much-needed relaxation.
For our last day in Peru, we decided we wanted to see some sights. We drove out of Lima to a beach town. One of Volcom’s surfers lived there, and he invited us to eat at his beachside estate. I walked through the garage and into the corridor. The next door I opened revealed the life of a surf stud. It reminded me of Castle Anthrax. In this room were eight young vixens dressed in white, a butler-type individual handing out potato wedges and dipping delight-which I later spilled on the Mongolian-sheepskin rug-and some of his surf bros. We went surfing and rock jumping after we had a feed. The Volcom Peruvians showed us a good time.
Ernesto was the next person to be tortured by our demands. We really owe a lot to Ernesto and his girlfriend, Nena. Every security guard or police officer we encountered, Nena was the first to deal with it. She even convinced an angry security guard with a rifle to let us skate in a mall. They both went above and beyond the call of duty. The spot that we ended up at the most was the natural quarterpipe in a car park. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but that spot is all-time. And when the security tried to kick us out, Nena rubbed his arm and Ernesto shook his hand with a twenty-dollar bill to help him change his plans. Suski then proceeded to terrorize that poor virgin quarterpipe like the man-beast that he is.
On the last day, we got to see the Panama Canal in action. Caswell claimed that if he had an aerodynamic suit, he could ollie it.