Dropping Like Flies
Not the standard-issue European tour article.
Words and photos by Atiba Jefferson

On March 27, 2002, Rick Howard, Mike Carroll, Marc Johnson, Scott Johnston, Rob Welsh, Anthony Pappalardo, Ty Evans, Dan Wolfe, Kelly Bird, and I left for a Lakai Trip to … wait, wait, wait, that’s a cheesy way to start off a European tour article. Wow, I wonder how I should start this thing off? I could talk about how our first stop was London, England, and while we were there, we went to Danny Wainwright’s skate shop 5050 in Bristol, and that it was fun until Carroll blew out his heel on a frontside, or how Matt, the distributor, did a good job taking us to street spots.

You know what? Talking about England right now really isn’t working for me, let’s talk about our next spot-Germany. I probably should talk about how we partied and had a great time with Tubs, the distributor. I could be a good boy and talk about how we went to Hamburg, Stuttgart, Olm, and Frankfurt, since it was the longest time we stayed in one country. I could also mention that Pappalardo sprained his ankle at the first demo in Germany, or that Marc got sick and couldn’t skate, but I think I’m really making this trip sound like it’s full of people getting hurt and not that fun.

Let’s talk about France. Because most of our soldiers were dropping left and right, we called for backup and shot Brandon Biebel out on the first flight from Sacramento, California to Paris, France. When he arrived, he gave the whole trip a jump start of energy. We got a couple of days in Paris to street skate, so we skated a place called Bercy. It had the best marble ledges. And the best locals-they were cool, too.

By the second day in Paris, Marc had beat his cold-okay, this is really starting to sound like a standard issue tour article, so let’s think about this. I don’t really wanna talk about how we missed our flight to Toulouse, or the long drive to Barcelona, Spain. Let’s just change to the next paragraph, and maybe I’ll have something better to say by then.

For most of the trip, it’d been nice, but when we got into Barcelona, it was raining. Why am I boring you with the weather forecast? I guess all I can say is that we had a couple of half days to street skate, and it was fun when we did. While in Spain, we went to Madrid, and the bad weather continued to follow us. On the one day we street skated, Pappalardo fought the pain of his sprained ankle and went to town on one of Madrid’s famous twelve-stair Hubbas.

You guys still with me? Well, don’t worry, ’cause the story’s almost over.

Then it was off to our last stop, Portugal. It was my first time in the country, and the people there are very nice. It reminded me of a Spanish Brazil-the street spots were rare, but okay … hold up-we were only there for a short time, and I don’t think it was enough time to see the place, so I really can’t write much about it. But what I do know about Portugal is that it’s a nice place and the meat gave a lot of our crew diarrhea.

I must apologize for being all over the shop with the words for this article (the editor is going to fire me). The trip was great, but I really don’t know how to get it to you from my pen, so I’ll just try with film instead.