You've probably caught the buzz about Weedmaps and its endeavors in the skate community. You may be asking yourself, "What are they doing in skating?" or else you've realized what a dream sponsor it is for its lucky team riders.
Words and Photos by Blair Alley
No, they don't sell weed, Weedmaps is a tech company promoting the medicinal side of it, largely via an app with—you guessed it—maps to dispensaries. You can find one near you, rate it—basically it's the Yelp of bud shops. Why do they want to sponsor skaters? They want to support, educate, and create awareness about the benefits of cannabis and sports medicine. And I for one salute them. If you were on this kush-y (I couldn't resist) trip, you would too! Here's how it went down, Big Kahuna style:
So Weedmaps rented the most baller mansion on the North Shore of Oahu (Sunset Beach to be exact) in December during the renowned Pipe Masters contest. Weedmaps surf team rider Bruce Irons even held down the master bedroom in the house and killed it in the contest! Seriously, even the surf mags were writing articles about how our house was the place to hang day or night. We had private chefs (shout out to Tristan of Hawaiian Fresh Farms) cooking our organic non-GMO breakfasts and dinners, and each day/night was sponsored by a different Cannabis brand (FlavRX, West Coast Cure, Flower of Life CBD, Showgrow, and California Unified) throwing parties each night. You could catch Greyson, Nathan and Herbie Fletcher there any night, along with Spanky, to Dustin Barca, Joel Parkinson, and more. So every day, the house would be laced up in promotional towels, hats, sunglasses, shirts, sunscreen, oil pens, and gummy bears that we'd stock up on for the day. And yes, some of brands even handed out handfuls of weed to us daily. The aim of the house was to have a relaxed atmosphere for the team to recharge after a full day of skating, get refueled on healthy food, medicinal cannabis and CBD [Cannabidiol] products, and they even had masseuses on call and doctors administering vitamin rich IVs. No one was complaining.
Each morning would start with a 90-minute Dharma Mittra yoga session at dawn led at the Sunset Beach Jiu Jitsu center by Kendyl Beschen, wife of pro surfer Gavin Beschen. Then we'd head back to the house around 8:30am just as chef Tristan was putting out the locally-sourced, organic breakfast. Breakfast was usually enjoyed on the back lawn, overlooking Sunset Beach and the surrounding breaks where dudes were already dropping into overhead waves. After a few cups of coffee and perhaps a soak in the outdoor, sand-bottom Jacuzzi, we'd hop in our van and head out for the day's skate adventure.
A couple of the guys might hang back at the house after a particularly grueling day on the island streets and catch an MMA lesson on the back lawn from Dustin Barca overlooking Sunset Beach. Toward the end of our stay, Dustin and chef Tristan actually threw a huge luau on our back lawn that was basically open to the whole North Shore community. If anyone hadn't heard about our house before that night, the word was definitely out afterward. And the sick part was, there were never any problems. The Hawaiian locals can have a rep for being territorial, but I can't remember the last time I was welcomed so graciously to someone's native land. Here you had surfers, skaters, moto and MMA dudes, all under one roof, and it was nothing but smiles and passing of joints. Maybe legal weed and Weedmaps are what's going to unite America!
Did I mention Dirt Nasty was also one of our roommates hitting yoga with us every morning?! Dude's cool as hell. It was a surreal skate trip. He loved toking his CBD pen proclaiming, "I'm about that CBD life!" For real though, skaters live in a great deal of pain, for god's sake, Jaws is jumping off roofs! Doctors dole out opioid painkillers, which are highly addictive and can affect us long after we're done skating. I'm not gonna go off on a theory here, but do some light Internet digging on the powers that be that have kept cannabis illegal and it's easy to see that Big Pharma, et al. can get just about any law passed with enough money and bribes. Don't get me started on the sugar industry versus saturated fat (really, don't)! After a full day of skating, you're sore—instead of drinking alcohol, you hit the Scooby Doobie or puff a CBD pen and guess what? No hangover my son. That CBD be halting inflammation and aiding your recovery—like an ice wrap for your whole body.
Truth be told, I thought I might be swatting away buns by the dozen in our North Shore sanctuary. Or at least, I could catch a few stragglers that didn't make the cut to hit one of the surf brand houses with John John or whoever the hot-shit surfer is. Surprisingly though, the international females rolled through the house (it was during the Pipe Masters afterall), wait a second, if we all had gotten a bunch of chicks this article could be called the Pipe Masters! Ha!
But I digress—the girls showed up each night, but they were just window shopping, maybe trying to land that whopper (pro surfer). When you roll through the house in the morning and see Dirt Nasty sleeping alone on the couch, you know it's hard to get any leis in Hawaii other than the floral variety. On our last day, some Brazilian bird actually slid through my DMs like Slater slices his cutbacks and I tried desperately to line up a rendezvous for that night. It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity as she was trying to holler at The Govs! Funny stuff, but in all reality, that Foodland poke is just as good as getting laid, fam.
Big ups to Tonz and Sean Reilly for tourguiding us on the island, and 808 Skate for always hooking up visiting haoles with a sesh on their ramp or any product we needed.
Due to the massive surge of the team Instagramming the trip (the Instagram Live update went through while we were on this trip so you might have seen Boo Johnson or Tommy Sandoval having fun with that), the word was definitely out about how Weedmaps plans trips and treats its riders. I can't count how may texts, DMs, and comments I got from skaters asking if they could get on the team. Weedmaps already has a few more adventures planned this year and another trip to the islands for next winter. One morning as we were wandering through the kitchen, loading our plates with a scrumptious breakfast, the owner of West Coast Cure reached into his man purse, gave a serious look at Boo Johnson and said, "You wanna smoke this blunt of OG with me?" Boo only glanced down for half a second before calmly replying, "Roll up."