Europe – Relapse by Grant Brittain – 20.1

In the 1980s, a skateboarding trip to Europe was the exception, not the rule. But in the new millennium, it’s weird to not go to Europe. Teams fly in for whirlwind nine-cities-in-ten-days jump-ramp fests. And they travel in style, I might add. “Thanks for the company card!” “Back in the day”-actually a little after “back in the day”- getting a trip to Europe going usually meant working the graveyard at Denny’s forever, buying a cheap standby plane ticket, and to supplement your travel funds, scamming as much skate gear from companies as you could to sell at the Eurocana Skate Camp in Sweden. You’d be amazed how much gear you can stuff into two duffel bags: boards, wheels (no trucks-too heavy), clothing, and stickers. And it’s even more amazing how much skate-gear-starved Europeans are willing to pay for seconds. If you play your cards right, your little duffel-bag skate shop can finance a nice summer of skating across Europe. Of course, you have to pinch your francs and marks, but the money from selling a deck for double the U.S. price goes a long way. Sleeping on floors, couches, on the night train, and at youth hostels really stretches your stay. Three months in Europe ain’t bad. It’s funny where the pleasurable act of skateboarding can take you, no matter how meager your budget may be. The friends you make and the experiences you share will make up for any inconveniences you suffer along the way. Get it together-it will change your life.-J. Grant BrittainCaptions
1. German champ Clause Grabke stalling an invert at Die Baurnhoframpe. The year is 1988, and the film is color infrared. Precross processing-the real deal. 2. In 1985, Tony and Lance bought this Peugeot for a few-hundred dollars, gave it a custom paint job, and thrashed the hell out of it. I arrived at the Swedish summer camp, and the first people I encountered were Tony and Lance instructing me to put on a helmet and get in. Peugeots are not known for their off-roading capabilities, but this one logged some airtime.3. A favorite pastime on rainy days at the Swedish summer camp was car-tire hockey-skateboard demolition derby-a chaotic game/melee after which the most-hated camper usually came out bruised and bloody. This was only the beginning of the torture he’d be subjected to. Morning would bring shaven eyebrows and marker-pen art and slogans over 90 percent of his exposed flesh. Lance hurls a tire at Hans Gothberg in 1985.4. Clause Grabke dropping into a Berlin piece of art in 1988-great for photos, and the 540 at the top is a doozy!5. Uli Niewohner skating the historic and infamous Berlin Wall-1988. My kids were born after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It would be a shame if it were forgotten-I’ll never forget it. The words “Halb Berlin” on the wall translate to “Half of Berlin.” 6. Sin Egelja is one tweaked dude. In 1990, he pranced around Europe in this getup. When he’s walking toward you down the aisle of a plane, you’re praying he’s not the owner of the seat next to you.7. True-Lance Mountain does the best channel plants in skateboarding. Swedish camp, 1985.8. This was a cover of TransWorld in 1984. Lance Mountain shot Swede Tony Janson stalling a classic Andrecht at the Eurocana Summer Camp in Sweden. 9. “Look, Mom-I’m in Paris!” The Eiffel Tower ponds were empty for a couple weeks every year. Anders Pulpanek one-footed crail taps beneath a wonder of the world. Could be 1988.10. In Biarritz, France, during World War II, this German bunker was built to fend off the imminent Allied invasion. Skaters found a more peaceful use for it in the summer of 1985. Boneless at sunset. 11. Kevin Staab, frontside boneless off the bunker in Biarritz.