(Photo above: Tyshawn Jones, kickflip up.)
This was a party trip…let me rephrase that—this trip was spurned by a party but was a serious trip. Wait, that's not true either…. this trip was set up on the heels of a successful collaboration between Hardies and adidas. The good folks at adidas decided to fork out and turn the whole gang loose on Sydney for ten days and got the ball rolling with a giant party. Crazy, I know, but I guess they just like to see their crew have a good time and the Hardies Gang specialize in doing that. As the crew descended on Sydney so did a solid month of rain and although I've found in the past that you can usually work your way around a bit of precipitation, this was one for the record books. As you browse through the following photos it will probably seem as though it was just another beautiful Australian summer but trust me, these guys had to scramble for each of these tricks at whatever brief dry spell we got. One day we even did a 16-hour round trip to Canberra just to log a couple clips! Rain can get most skaters down and although we were battling it all day it seemed the nights were long and full of debauchery. The stories I'd overhear in the van each morning when I picked the guys up from their apartment were enough to make a call girl blush. You may not know all the guys so here's a brief introduction to each of the Hardies Gang, and remember—the bolts are what hold the whole thing together!
Words & Photography by Dave Chami
This was Jake's third trip to Australia in four months. That's not an easy flight from upstate New York either but I'm pretty confident he'd do it any time at the drop of a hat. Jake is like that older brother you never had, quiet and sarcastic but not afraid to throw haymakers if someone is messing with you. On one of the last days I let Jake know I wanted to get another photo of him and he swiftly obliged. Switch flip over a giant witches cauldron in five tries on a weekday in the heart of downtown—done.
Troy was the only one of the group who was experiencing his first trip to Australia and to a native New Yorker it's a definite switch of gears. He was down to soak it all up though and I bet sampling meat pies and gravy washed down with a cold VB beats serving customers at Supreme (his day to day gig). Troy has a mean impossible on him, so I was stoked to witness him stomp this one into a high-speed glory ride.
Nak went down hard on the first day and try as he might he couldn't get that injury to stop bothering him the whole time. I see a lot of people fly home in those situations but Nak toughed it out with the crew keeping us giggling constantly. Good vibes and a streetwise breakdown of all situations are essential.
The smile on this man is contagious. I swear even if he's down he can't help smiling. Kevin is holding the flag for the new LA street skateboarding scene. He'll rock some gear that you might not expect, too. I mean… a turtle neck while hitting a crusty bank to wall with a frontside pivot kickflip to fakie? That's breaking some rules and I love it!
Blake has an amazing drive and commits himself to try a trick at every spot he goes to. This adds up at the end of a trip and he definitely walked away with the most clips on the most varied terrain. This rail was a spot he had to battle solo and I reckon he chose one of the hardest tricks you could try on it. On some of the attempts his tail would clip the pole as he slid past it, sending him flying into the street minus his board. In the end he had to hold the lipslide almost sideways and pull it to fakie.
If Hardies forms like Voltron, then TJ is the head. I remember when I first met TJ he was going to the post office and shipping all the Hardies orders himself, now the Hardies' Fist is on an adidas shoe. It goes to show hard work always pays off. Here's another case in point, frontside crooked grind with little personal space on our 16-hour sojourn to Canberra to find some dry terrain.
Check the tour video below: