By Lee Dupont

There was much to be had for the C1RCA team during its 2005 European tour, and not a thing big or small (and not even each other) could get in the way of these eight men as they got their slice of the pie.

Words by acclaimed author, half-Japanese, half-French Lee DuPont

Photography by Skin Phillips

No matter what skate tour I seem to go on, thereà­s always a point in which I feel like I am actually working. I know what youà­re thinking, ìOh waaaahh! Poor little freckle-face has to travel the world and get paid to do itóand all he has to do is hold a wittle camewa!à® Well, normally I would agree with you, but tour life is long, repetitive, and if drawn out enough, can actually make you hate skateboarding.

The sales Nazis would love to have it set up as a ìshred, shred, shred then right to bed,à® but C1RCA tour life is much different than any other Ià­ve ever been on. Special attention is put into keeping up the morale and sanity of everyone involved on the trip. This time around, the CEO of C1RCA even decided to travel with us for a two-week stint. Never did it feel as if big brother was watching over our shoulder, making sure we were optimizing the companyà­s money and time to its fullest extent. Oftentimes, it was the boss man who was trying to get us to stop off for a quick siesta or take in a bit of the local culture.

I loved being on this trip.

Because of the close proximity to one another for such a long duration, a feeling of brotherhood was formed between all involved. And there was enough time for me to get what I needed and plenty of appearances for all the kids to soak up quality time with their favorite pros. The entire time we made sure we were able to enjoy the moment we were all in, never taking things too seriously and, above all, being committed to skateboarding and the lifestyle that comes along with it.

TONY TAVE

Man Versus Rabbit

The extreme change from his cookie-cutter lifestyle in Orange County, California to a whirlwind-of-a-month spent in Europe was difficult for the young Tony Tave. The lack of strip malls, Starbucks, and flocks of oversized SUVs came as a shock, and the miles of weathered cobblestone roads did a number on poor Tonyà­s nollie flips. How was he to pop off these streets, with these cracks and these bricks?

But really, life wasnà­t all that bad for Tony in Europe. He was extremely excited to be on the other side of this huge rock we call Earth. One night while skating the streets of Barcelona, Tony put his keen knowledge of our solar system to use. As he sat and gazed at the moon, he shared his thoughts with the rest of us.

ìCan you guys see the rabbit in the moon?à®

We all looked and tried to make out what he was calling a ìrabbit.à®

ìNever heard of the rabbit in the moon, but I have heard of the man in the moon,à® Lopez fired back.

Tonyà­s eyes rolled as he mouthed the words, ìOh my god.à® A calm smirk appeared on his face knowing all too well that he was about to kick knowledge our way. ìListen guys, when we are in America we see one side of the moon. That side is the one they call à«man in the moon.à­ Since we are on the other side of the Earth, we now see the other side of the moon, the side with the rabbit.à®

We all pondered and drank our sangria as Tony, who was feeling rather confident now that he had taught us all a little somethinà­, gave the switch kickflip down the triple-set another try.

WINDSOR JAMES

Primo Inspiration Versus Russell Winfield

We traveled high up in the Swiss Alps by train to a small village town to skate this rail à– or is it a hubba? Ità­s wide and ledge-like on the top, but it is metal and rail-ish looking. But if this is a rail, then whatà­s the little round bar next to the green rail? Is it a rail on a rail? Either way, it makes this noseblunt-slide that much more difficult.

Shortly after stepping off the train, Windsor realized just how out of his element he was. The quiet, mouain town gathered together and watched as little Windsor James began to toss himself down this rail of a hubba. ìCà­est incroyable,à® the villagers gaspedóthey had clearly never seen anything like this performed by a man of color since pro snowboarder Russell Winfield spent two weeks there while snowed-in during the 1998 El NiÒos. Windsor took his time on the noseblunt-slide, referring back to Primo Desedarioà­s best-selling how-to book, How To Build Hype And Really Move The Crowd.

ìYou got this one right here, Windsor! Put it down, doggy,à® I said between tries as he slowly strolled back up the stairs.

ìNot too soon, Lee, the crowd isnà­t ready yet. Primo clearly said in chapter fourteen: à«Donà­t pop your cork too early, anticipation leads to a more exhilarating outcome,à­à® Windsor wittily whispered, as if he didnà­t want the natives to catch on to what he was doing.

A short while later, the alphorns began to ring down from the highest of the mountain peaks, sending the entire village into frenzy.

ìNow ità­s time,à® Windsor confidently said as he threw a wink my way. The anticipation in the crowd was enough to make the hairs on my back stand on end. All four wheels were put on the floor, and Windsor rode away as the crowd erupted in gleeful cheers. St. Bernards howled, yodelers yodeled, fondue pots bubbled overóall as everyone danced and sang songs from The Sound Of Music. Windsor was hoisted upon their shoulders and carried down to the town hall where the second-highest peak in their town was named after him.

ìSecond highest?à® I complained. ìThatà­s bogus!à®

ìYou should have seen what that Russell Winfield did,à® proclaimed the mayor. ìCà­est incroyable!à®

So if ever you find yourself an hour outside of Basel, Switzerland on the green-line train, take a look to the northernmost mountains, and give a little wink to the Win-Wins.

DENNIS DURRANT

The Knower Versus The One Who Knows Best

Months prior to us leaving on this tour, I sat in on a sales and marketing meeting where we discussed the places and countries we needed to visit in order to keep our foreign distributors happy. Ià­ll just tell you that my input was very meaningless and slightly unwanted. I could give a ratà­s ass less where the shoes were moving more units as opposed to where they werenà­tóthe only factor I consider while traveling the globe is, are there spots to skate and is it good to film at? Call me selfish, one-track-minded, or even idiotic, all of which would contain a fair bit of truth.

The tour schedule finally came into order, and I realized that I was a complete prick with a little dash of asshole in him. Not only was there ample street-skating time set up for us, but even the demos that the gang was to perform were at perfect street spots such as this one at the hot spot, MACBA. What this photo doesnà­t show is amongst the fecal matter smothering this obstacleà­s landing, there were also about 150 people screaming for Dennis to make this backside Smith grind. Always cool, calm, and collected, the Australian Dennis Durrant poked one in.

COLT CANNON

Dr. Phil Versus The Frontside Flip

ìYou canà­t spell fart without art,à® is what I always say, and this photo screams fart. Colt is the mood-setter for every trip we go on. Never is he afraid to cheer another on or throw a pat on an ass in need. The fókinà­ guy carries around the do-gooder book Chicken Soup For The Soul in his backpack, for Christà­s sake. But like everything else in life, with the yin comes the yang. His extremely positive attitude toward every situation thrown his way would backfire upon him as Coltà­s feelings of self-worth began spiraling downward.

His frontside kickflips over the Barcelona hip were never good enough, never caught clean enough, never high enough for his liking. So over and over he would pop, flip, catch, land, pop, flip, catch, land. Physically he couldà­ve continued like this for hours upon hours, but emotionally, Colt broke down. He skated off to a dark corner and curled into a fetal position as the tears began to stream down his face. Just then Dr. Phil, who was in Spain on vacation with his pregnant wife, rode by on a bicycle, or as the Spanish like to call it, bicicleta.

ìYou have to look yourself in the mirror and believe that you are good enough and gosh darn it, people will like you.à® It was clear that Dr. Phil had seen a meltdown or two in his day.

ìBut Dr. Phil, I give and I give, and oftentimes I donà­t get any back,à® Colt sobbed.

Dr. Phil sat for just a second, scanning the psych-school Rolodex in his head. ìSometimes youà­ve just got to buck up and do it, pussy!à® Colt gave the frontside flip another go, and sure enough, POW! It was the best one yet, and boy it was mmm, mmm good.

SIERRA FELLARS

Endless Staircases Versus The OUCH

While in Switzerland, the team met up with the C1RCA Science Department to conduct a little research and development on the newest line of shoes. Donning white lab coats and carrying clipboards scribbled with French euphemisms of the words ìextremeà® and ìstreetstyle,à® the scientists insisted someone jump the biggest set of stairs in town as a test to the shoeà­s ìObviously Understated Crunching Heelà® or OUCH. The OUCH factor measures the point at which a shoe completely blows out and the heel begins to take the brunt of the impact. Dry and to the point, the team of scientists barked orders as if their time was money: ìUh, Mr. Lopez. Ve need you to jump down ze stairz!à®

ìYou guys got the wrong man. I ainà­t jumpinà­ down shit. Tell Sierra to do it. He lives for this kind of stuff,à® Lopez chimed out, calmly passing the buck.

ìVery vell zen. ZIERRA! Jump! Now!à® the scientists yelled.

Merely clearing the stairs wasnà­t enough for these men of shoe science, so higher and higher popped Sierraà­s kickflip until finally the coats were satisfied.

ìZat iz enough! Ze tests are finite! Ze shoez vill verk!à®

As we all sat back and laughed, the science nerds compared their results, not knowing that all along they had been walking around with signs on their back stating ìMy Bunsenà­s Burning For Your Beaker.à® Ouch.

GRANT PATTERSON

The Wind Versus The Ghetto Gown

The sirocco is a southerly wind moving eastward in the Mediterranean in advance of a low-pressure system. It often extends to the Adriatic where it may reach gale force, often accompanied by heavy rain. On one such blustery day, we traveled to this five-block located a few hundred yards from the sea called Mediterrania. Grant Patterson thought it wise to try a kickflip down this wooly mammoth of a set. On any normal day, I would assume that such a feat wouldnà­t be a problem for the little Canadian that could. But on this day, Grant would push and push toward the stairs to no avail. If by chance he did catch the wind taking a break, by the time heà­d get in the air, the wind would howl again, sending Grant sailing into the salty sea air some 75 feet. His quadruple XL clothing was acting as a sail, making him a human kite of sorts.

The idea of returning the following day arose, but unfortunately we were to be on a train headed to higher ground the next morning. Tony disappeared and returned with a bushel of stones he had gathered from the seashore.

ìHere you go, Grant! Put these in your pockets to weigh yourself down. That way the wind wonà­t get the best of you,à® Tony wisely quipped.

Amazingly, the 30 pounds of rocks added to his pockets did not affect the amount of style Grant put into this kickflip, taking it bigger than most, making it look better than most.

ADRIAN LOPEZ

The Sun Versus The Blubber Boys

This sequence tells a lot. Adrian is popping the hell out of a switch backside heelflip and is clearing a fair bit of distance as well. The photos say hot à– summertime hot à– heatstroke hot. There wasnà­t a cloud or even the most miniscule breeze in the sky, allowing for Godà­s great roke down. He skated off to a dark corner and curled into a fetal position as the tears began to stream down his face. Just then Dr. Phil, who was in Spain on vacation with his pregnant wife, rode by on a bicycle, or as the Spanish like to call it, bicicleta.

ìYou have to look yourself in the mirror and believe that you are good enough and gosh darn it, people will like you.à® It was clear that Dr. Phil had seen a meltdown or two in his day.

ìBut Dr. Phil, I give and I give, and oftentimes I donà­t get any back,à® Colt sobbed.

Dr. Phil sat for just a second, scanning the psych-school Rolodex in his head. ìSometimes youà­ve just got to buck up and do it, pussy!à® Colt gave the frontside flip another go, and sure enough, POW! It was the best one yet, and boy it was mmm, mmm good.

SIERRA FELLARS

Endless Staircases Versus The OUCH

While in Switzerland, the team met up with the C1RCA Science Department to conduct a little research and development on the newest line of shoes. Donning white lab coats and carrying clipboards scribbled with French euphemisms of the words ìextremeà® and ìstreetstyle,à® the scientists insisted someone jump the biggest set of stairs in town as a test to the shoeà­s ìObviously Understated Crunching Heelà® or OUCH. The OUCH factor measures the point at which a shoe completely blows out and the heel begins to take the brunt of the impact. Dry and to the point, the team of scientists barked orders as if their time was money: ìUh, Mr. Lopez. Ve need you to jump down ze stairz!à®

ìYou guys got the wrong man. I ainà­t jumpinà­ down shit. Tell Sierra to do it. He lives for this kind of stuff,à® Lopez chimed out, calmly passing the buck.

ìVery vell zen. ZIERRA! Jump! Now!à® the scientists yelled.

Merely clearing the stairs wasnà­t enough for these men of shoe science, so higher and higher popped Sierraà­s kickflip until finally the coats were satisfied.

ìZat iz enough! Ze tests are finite! Ze shoez vill verk!à®

As we all sat back and laughed, the science nerds compared their results, not knowing that all along they had been walking around with signs on their back stating ìMy Bunsenà­s Burning For Your Beaker.à® Ouch.

GRANT PATTERSON

The Wind Versus The Ghetto Gown

The sirocco is a southerly wind moving eastward in the Mediterranean in advance of a low-pressure system. It often extends to the Adriatic where it may reach gale force, often accompanied by heavy rain. On one such blustery day, we traveled to this five-block located a few hundred yards from the sea called Mediterrania. Grant Patterson thought it wise to try a kickflip down this wooly mammoth of a set. On any normal day, I would assume that such a feat wouldnà­t be a problem for the little Canadian that could. But on this day, Grant would push and push toward the stairs to no avail. If by chance he did catch the wind taking a break, by the time heà­d get in the air, the wind would howl again, sending Grant sailing into the salty sea air some 75 feet. His quadruple XL clothing was acting as a sail, making him a human kite of sorts.

The idea of returning the following day arose, but unfortunately we were to be on a train headed to higher ground the next morning. Tony disappeared and returned with a bushel of stones he had gathered from the seashore.

ìHere you go, Grant! Put these in your pockets to weigh yourself down. That way the wind wonà­t get the best of you,à® Tony wisely quipped.

Amazingly, the 30 pounds of rocks added to his pockets did not affect the amount of style Grant put into this kickflip, taking it bigger than most, making it look better than most.

ADRIAN LOPEZ

The Sun Versus The Blubber Boys

This sequence tells a lot. Adrian is popping the hell out of a switch backside heelflip and is clearing a fair bit of distance as well. The photos say hot à– summertime hot à– heatstroke hot. There wasnà­t a cloud or even the most miniscule breeze in the sky, allowing for Godà­s great sun to beat down upon the people walking or in this case, skating the streets. If Adrian seems to have an eerie calm about him while flying backward over this street gap, ità­s because he did.

Being of Puerto Rican descent, his body comes already acclimated to such skin-boiling heat. Thereà­s one thing remotely wrong with this sequence of photos, but it may not lie where your eyes can see it. It lay, rather, behind the lens, and for the most part, in that freckly fellow hogging the left side of the frames. You see, the man behind the lens is Welshówith a large, lurching frame and a bulbous melon he calls his head. The freckled bloke to the left is not much different. His ancestry comes from a little island a mere chip shot away from the magical land of Wales, called Ireland. He was blessed with the worst sun-weathered skin a man could have, and for an encore, God decided to throw hair all over it.

Puerto Rico is roughly on the same latitude as Milan, Italy. Granted, it is a fair bit more tropical and gets those lovely Caribbean breezes that can cool oneà­s core temperature down significantly. The heat was enough to make these two overweight, porpoise-like men fall into a world of delirium. As the sweat accumulated underneath every roll of their two swollen frames, their heads began to throb and no amount of water was going to cool these two blubber boys down. What was only minutes began to feel like hours as a now giggling Lopez, who hadnà­t yet broken a sweat, assured us that it would only be a couple tries more.

JON ALLIE

The Kickflip Versus The Candlestick Maker

Jon loves to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. Heà­ll often go against the grain or not participate for no other reason than to stick it to ìThe Man.à® I loved that about him as I too love sticking it to ìThe Man.à® They say stop and weà­ll proceed to go. They recommend no more than two doses in one day, and Allie and I are popping four at one sitting. What they call periwinkle just looks like a gayer shade of blue to us. All of which I found hysterical until I realized I had turned into ìThe Man.à®

My sole job in Europe was to make sure these guys were skating and skating well. As you could imagine, Jon was not in favor of being told when and where to skate. He would often skate off and disappear for hours on end, conveniently resurfacing when it was time to leave. I had to get creative with my barking of orders.

ìHey Allie, why donà­t you noseslide this hubba, and right when you land, flip off that lady who was trying to kick us out?à®

ìHey Allie, that old guy in the bakery would be so pissed off if you did a kickflip tailslide on this ledge.à®

ìHey Allie, if you donà­t do a frontside 270 to backside lip down this big white rail, Lutzka is going to come here and do it next week.à®

ìBut Lee, Lutzka is goofy-footed.à®

ìDid I mention he was going to do it switch?à®

eat sun to beat down upon the people walking or in this case, skating the streets. If Adrian seems to have an eerie calm about him while flying backward over this street gap, ità­s because he did.

Being of Puerto Rican descent, his body comes already acclimated to such skin-boiling heat. Thereà­s one thing remotely wrong with this sequence of photos, but it may not lie where your eyes can see it. It lay, rather, behind the lens, and for the most part, in that freckly fellow hogging the left side of the frames. You see, the man behind the lens is Welshówith a large, lurching frame and a bulbous melon he calls his head. The freckled bloke to the left is not much different. His ancestry comes from a little island a mere chip shot away from the magical land of Wales, called Ireland. He was blessed with the worst sun-weathered skin a man could have, and for an encore, God decided to throw hair all over it.

Puerto Rico is roughly on the same latitude as Milan, Italy. Granted, it is a fair bit more tropical and gets those lovely Caribbean breezes that can coool oneà­s core temperature down significantly. The heat was enough to make these two overweight, porpoise-like men fall into a world of delirium. As the sweat accumulated underneath every roll of their two swollen frames, their heads began to throb and no amount of water was going to cool these two blubber boys down. What was only minutes began to feel like hours as a now giggling Lopez, who hadnà­t yet broken a sweat, assured us that it would only be a couple tries more.

JON ALLIE

The Kickflip Versus The Candlestick Maker

Jon loves to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. Heà­ll often go against the grain or not participate for no other reason than to stick it to ìThe Man.à® I loved that about him as I too love sticking it to ìThe Man.à® They say stop and weà­ll proceed to go. They recommend no more than two doses in one day, and Allie and I are popping four at one sitting. What they call periwinkle just looks like a gayer shade of blue to us. All of which I found hysterical until I realized I had turned into ìThe Man.à®

My sole job in Europe was to make sure these guys were skating and skating well. As you could imagine, Jon was not in favor of being told when and where to skate. He would often skate off and disappear for hours on end, conveniently resurfacing when it was time to leave. I had to get creative with my barking of orders.

ìHey Allie, why donà­t you noseslide this hubba, and right when you land, flip off that lady who was trying to kick us out?à®

ìHey Allie, that old guy in the bakery would be so pissed off if you did a kickflip tailslide on this ledge.à®

ìHey Allie, if you donà­t do a frontside 270 to backside lip down this big white rail, Lutzka is going to come here and do it next week.à®

ìBut Lee, Lutzka is goofy-footed.à®

ìDid I mention he was going to do it switch?à®