what up? how are you? you big polack, it’s Claravall with another Firm tour update.
Driving through Georgia on our way to Atlanta looking for the nearest Cracker Barrel…
Today’s demo is at the ESPN park at Discovery Mills Mall in Sawanee, a suburb of Atlanta. Since the last update the Firm did demos at Southside in Houston, Waveland in Mississippi, and the Skateboard House in Jacksonville , Florida. Every park on this tour has offered a different set-up so we don’t really know what to expect until we pull into the parking lot. Southside had a brand new course replacing the vert ramp with more street obstacles. Waveland, a sleepy looking town in Mississippi, had a state of the art huge indoor skatepark with super smooth ground and brand new ramps. The skateboard house had a tight back and forth mini-ramp type street-course taking up an entire room in what used to be a Walmart. The one thing all the demos did have in common is the destruction handed out by The Firm team.
I guess it’s no big deal to drive for five hours then get out of the van and rip. Highlights included Matt Beach and Javier Sarmiento flowing from obstacle to obstacle, doing trick after trick without setting up. Ray Barbee-just smooth, doing tricks the way they were meant to be done. Jani Laitiala popping and catching everything way higher than necessary. Lance Mountain and Bob Burnquist killing the transition every time they could escape from the rapid throng screaming for autographs. And last but not leastWieger VanWageningen doing tricks you’ve probably never seen before (let alone first try). The hardest part is trying to film seven skaters at the same time.
Unfortunately for all the kids, Bob’s vow of doing the loop at every demo could not be fulfilled due to the severe lack of loops, however, Wieger managed to do the inward heelflip nose slide and Matt came through with a frontside flip melon at each and every demo.
next up is;
Charleston, South Carolina on the 15th
Wilmington, North Carolina on the 16th
Richmond, Virginia on the 17th
May 12, 2003
Day six and two speeding tickets deep.
Considering the last time the Firm toured was in Canada back in ’96, the whole team seems pretty ambitious about the current tour with 18 demos stretching from Arizona to Massachusetts. As with all best laid plans some thing is bound to come up at the last minute, and in our case that something was Rodrigo. After two years of non-stop ripping resulting in a part in Menikmati, parts in Digital and 411, and 2 amazing parts in the new Firm video “Can’t Stop”, Rodrigo had to decided to stay home and rehabilitate a tweaked knee. The final line-up featured both Firm veterans Lance Mountain, Ray Barbee and Matt Beach, new pros Bob Burnquist, Javier Sarmiento and Jani Laitiala, and lone upstart Wieger VanWageningen (what a weird group of names). What’s rad about the crew is that they all know how to skate a demo. Growing up in such places as Finland, Oregon, the Basque country in the north of Spain, Holland, and Brazil, everyone on the Firm has clocked some serious hours at their local skateparks.
The tour started in Phoenix with a signing at Cowtown Skateshop, followed by a session at the Chandler (or “candlemaker”) park. Next is Albuquerque, El Paso, and Austin. May 9th is Houston at Southside Skatepark demo @ 8p.m., then on the 11th we’re in Mississippi. Check in later today for some quicktime clips and the lowdown on the tour. — Lance Mountain