Weedmaps, Road To Spannabis

Braydon Szafranski, fakie kickflip. Lisbon, Portugal. *click to enlarge

Words & Photography By Blair Alley

Welcome back to another global galavanting trip courtesy of our friends at Weedmaps. This time our motley crew of skaters and surfers embarked on a grand loop of a roadtrip from Lisbon, Portugal, up to the north of Spain, across to San Sebastian, and then down to Barcelona to attend the Spannabis Cup. We had the Weedmaps surf team taking their own route along firing beaches while the skate team stuck to the cities. We all reconvened in San Sebastian and traveled the last leg together to Barcy where our trip-ending casa with a view was awaiting us. So buckle up and brave the road with us. It was rough and rainy at times, and sublime as skating a backyard bowl with a barbecue at others. The Road to Spannabis was a wild ride! But with the help of cannabis' health and wellness, and the camaraderie of our crew, we conquered this trek feeling amazing.

Braydon Szafranski is still a wild man after all these years. You know you're always getting high energy and good vibes when this man is on the trip. From the get-go in Lisbon, Braydon was on fire! Battling the fakie flip down the four block, then nailing the sketchy kickflip into the slippery alley in Vigo, right into a busy street. He went for hours on the hip in Gijon and over the bump to bar in Barcy to land his beloved kickflip late shove-its. When it was time to relax with a cerveza in Lisbon's rock and roll bar or at MACBA with a daytime shandy, it was well-deserved. Weed still saves lives.

Braydon in Gijon, Spain.

San Diego's one-two punch combo made this trip a delight. Tommy Sandoval started the trip with us in Lisbon, but had to bounce after two days to take care of business back in Chula. He jumped on a rail no problem in Lisbon, but then we got rained out on his only other skate day in Porto. Tommy was able to sample the incredible michelada offering from Lisbon's local rock 'n roll bar which was very much up to his standards.

Jon Holland in Lisbon, Portugal.

Marius Syvanen came in to the trip a few days late but casually murdered the perfect ledges and creative terrain in Northern Spain. The Governor has so many miles under his belt, he looks at home anywhere. Always calm, cool, and collected, not even getting lost in Barcy one night could ruin his trip. He just found a homie to crash with and met us at the Spannabis Cup the next day. More on that later…

If I had to name one highlight from the trip, it would be the absolute shock of what an incredible skate city Vigo, Spain is. I'd never heard of it or heard of any skaters hitting it up. It lies in the northwest corner of Spain, on a big bay. On one side of the inlet is a quiet beach town, with, you guessed it, great surf. On the south side lies one of the most perfect marble-plaza laiden cities you'll ever see. And up the hills from the plazas are gorgeous, ancient streets with smooth hill bombs that look like nothing you've ever seen. We could've stayed there a week, easy. But alas, the Road to Spannabis called our names. Like any seasoned travelers, we did as much as we could in this great city and vowed to return and tell our friends about the utopia we found.

The boys in Barcy.

Our abode in Gijon was a sort of skate/surf hostel complete with a huge wooden bowl in the backyard! The owner, Gus, was one righteous Spaniard. The night we arrived, he didn't hesitate to fire up the grill and serve us some steaks and sausages the region is famous for. Once we got our bearings the next day, we warmed up on the bowl that the owner built by hand and tripped out on the goats he had roaming his property. He said he got them so he'd never have to mow his massive lawn! Jon Holland said it best, this dude had fulfilled his dream. He's got his own house on a nice sized plot, wooden bowl in the backyard and just a stone's throw from a beach with great waves. He hosts surfers and skaters year round and that's about it. The Road to Spannabis held all kinds of surprises for us.

Marius in Vigo, Spain. *click to enlarge

Tommy Sandoval. Lisbon, Portugal.

Marius Syvanen, switch crooked grind. Vigo, Spain. *click to enlarge.

Braydon Szafranski, kickflip in Vigo, Spain. *click to enlarge.

Marius and Braydon hillbombing in Vigo, Spain.

Boo Johnson, back Smith in our backyard bowl in Gijon, Spain. *click to enlarge

Marius’ morning regimen in Vigo, Spain.

Boo Johnson's Road to Spannabis might have been the bumpiest. Boo was joining the trip late, coming across the Atlantic straight from Tampa Pro. He got delayed in London and was going to miss the skate crew in Porto, Portugal, so he just flew into Lisbon and joined up with the surfers! After a few days relaxing on the beach, we finally got Boo in the van in Gijon, Spain, and damn if he wasn't ready to kill it! In two days he stacked a ton of clips and at least five photos with me before we even got to San Sebastian. A ringer like Boo can really come in and boost morale and smooth out the Road to Spannabis.

Once both the surf team and skate team reassembled in San Sebastian, Weedmaps along with help from Alpha-Cat, FlavRX, Biobizz, and Dinafemseeds, rented an insane 60-plus person tourbus to take us on the long leg from San Sebastian down to Barcelona. This eight-hour drive breezed by thanks to constant entertainment from Boo Johnson and Bruce Irons, stops at zany Spanish truck stops, and freestyle rapping from Weedmaps' Director of Action Sports, Eric Sorensen. We arrived in Barcelona that night, and the driver was happy to have the Road To Spannabis get off his bus! It was all good though, because we had quite the surprise waiting for us in the hills above Barcy.

Boo Johnson, frontside flip. Gijon, Spain. *click to enlarge

Boo Johnson in Barcelona.

As is accustomed to the Weedmaps way of life, they had a cushy surprise waiting for us in Barcelona. The end of the Road to Spannabis greeted us in the form of a mansion in the hills overlooking the beach and skateboarding's Mecca. Far away from the madness of La Rambla, our crew relaxed, took in the views, and ordered pizzas in this Mediterranean crib. After a skate day in the streets of Barcelona, it was time to hit the main reason we came on this trip—The Spannabis Cup. The best way I can describe this is it's basically a big tradeshow for weed. You can get your seeds, growing accessories, of course sample some new bud and wax, hit the food trucks, watch some musical performances—it was quite a spectacle. Of course Weedmaps had one of the nicest booths there with cerveza on tap and delicious Spanish tapas. From the Spannabis Cup, the crew spilled out into the city for our last night in the Old Country, some hitting MACBA, some hitting night clubs, and some hitting the good ol' Doner Kebab spots. We all reconnected at the crib in the hills in the wee hours of the following morning to back our bags and head to the airport. Another sick Weedmaps trip with a sick crew and a bunch of new friends made. That's what it's all about.

Marius Syvanen, five-O. Gijon, Spain. *click to enlarge

Marius Syvanen, nollie. Vigo, Spain. *click to enlarge

Marius and Boo in Barcelona.

Tommy Sandoval, frontside boardslide. Lisbon, Portugal. *click to enlarge

Check out episode one here and stay tuned for more: