Words by Cameron Sparkes
Photos by Thomas Robinson
Don't worry, America—I'll do you a favor (even this far in) and spare you as many stereotypical Australian greetings, phrases, or jokes you have (most likely) grown sick of over the years. We even managed, for the rst time in history, to have an article in an American magazine that doesn't include the words "Down Under, Vegemite, Oz, Dundee, convicts, VB, Skippy," or any of the other cringeworthy shit that seems to continually loom over our heads anytime Australia or Australians are mentioned. It's no secret Australia exists; we are a little different but also speak English, and if you want to know more, give me a ring or use that thing called the Internet. We got it about two weeks ago down here, so I'm sure you guys are already somewhere on there too. So with that awkwardness now behind us, let's move forward, start fresh, and allow me to introduce ourselves.
We are the PASS~PORT team from Australia and New Zealand, and it's a pleasure to be finally "exposing" ourselves to you via one of your most highly regarded, domestically distributed print publications! We wanted to share a very special series of "life experiences" we were fortunate enough to encounter on a recent trip to Japan where we attempted to wine and dine within every single FamilyMart located in Tokyo!
I can honestly say that we were successful in doing so and that any attempt made to investigate the legitimacy of that statement will be seen as culturally offensive and we will be personally notifying our beloved leader, the prime minister of Australia (or Bazza as we know him), next time we are sinking "piss" with him at the pub so he can formally investigate the matter further when he sobers up on Monday after a couple of "Gary Abletts!"
So being the first people in the world to successfully execute such a "cool" and "rare" procedure, we knew we had to share the news with everyone as soon as possible and maybe throw in some photos containing skateboarding just to keep everyone happy and also to keep that bastard "the tax man" off our backs! Please feel free to skip this portion of the magazine if you don't like Australians, New Zealanders, or British tour guides; FamilyMart; Japan; "piss"; karaoke; and some classically brutal Australian honesty. At least we have been kind enough to warn you. If you choose to read on and become offended or get bored, that's your own fault and, quite frankly, you can simply go and "get a dick up your ass, G," because I'm currently all out of "gomen'nasais" and can't be bothered to sift through a pile of well-formulated complaints.
Thanks in advance if you opted to join us, and we hope you enjoy the following photographic documentation of Callum Paul, Geoff Campbell, Josh Pall, Nik Stipanovic, and our awesome tour guide/new mate Laurence O'Keefe on a two-week trip in Tokyo, Japan! Please be aware that the other, unfamiliar-looking people featured in the group photo have nothing to do with us and just jumped in there to confuse you. Huge thanks to our mates at FTC Tokyo, "the Convenience crew," Chu-Hi alcoholic beverages, the Japanese public transport system, and especially FamilyMart!
This is actually one of my favorite photos from the trip! I think it's the fact that this spot is legitimately busy 24/7 in real life, but in this photo it appears to be quite isolated and hidden away somewhere. It actually operates as a divider between two main roads somewhere in Tokyo, and for Josh to be skating it in this manner, using both sides of the road, required us to be there at a very obscure hour of the morning. It could also have something to do with Australia sharing the same general traffic directions as Japan— "driving on the wrong side of the road" as you guys call it—thus making it much easier for Josh to navigate and time his approach to successfully roll away from this nosegrind without being hit by a car. To be honest, I can't even remember, so just go with whatever you guys feel more comfortable— yes, I'm talking to you, person reading the magazine.
Upon initial inspection, we weren't too confident that anyone skating this spot would become a possibility, as it was basically nestled inside a hotel located in the middle of Tokyo. Thankfully, being the youthful, energetic, and extremely skilled individual he is, Stippo successfully executed this extremely tasteful wallie melon grab before the lobby boy even had the chance to notify the authorities of our temporary disrespectful behavior. We were in and out quicker than Laurence O'Keefe after a successful Tinder date in downtown Tokyo! Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.
This one was extremely awkward for two reasons: Firstly, because of the impending death Callum would suffer if he fell down the substantial drop leading into the subway next to him; and secondly, if you look closely, you will notice the evil little girl from legendary Japanese film (remade by DreamWorks Pictures in 2002—thanks, Google) The Ring, with her back to us, clearly observing Callum's daring Smith grind into the bank. Her long, black, greasy hair and demonic disposition always makes her a dead giveaway when you review recently snapped photos or video! I sincerely hope she doesn't cause the footage of this trick to glitch like she does in the motion picture every time she appears! If she did, no one but her should be held accountable for such a mishap!
I think Geoff probably did this switch heel about five times before he rolled away from one he was happy with. We all struggled to comprehend why Geoff is such a perfectionist and later discovered that it is actually a common side effect from eating your own toenails! What an educational trip it was! Here Geoff executes a perfect switch heel before the local Tokyo police had the opportunity to sexually molest him, using what appeared to be a rather large black banana.
This spot is extremely deceiving from a distance. Upon initial discovery, you think you have just stumbled across the world's best "kicker to kicker," but as you get closer, the radii on those kickers get flatter and flatter, the gap in the middle gets longer, and by the time your actually standing on top of it, you realize it's most likely impossible and probably not even ollie-able! Well, young Stippo definitely took a liking to it and figured with the assistance of my filmer board (give me props!), he could get the adequate speed required to loft this kickflip over the thing quick smart so we still had enough time to purchase some tins of "piss" before missing the last train home. Cheers, Stippo. Shiboooya!
Josh Pall recently had an extremely bad accident (better described as a near-death experience) filming for a recently released full-length video part. We honestly didn't even expect to see him physically able to roll around on this tour, but being the "the undercover tough guy" he is, Josh couldn't help himself and was back in the mix quicker than you can get a medicinal marijuana card in California. Josh doesn't smoke weed, but I thought I'd use that as a reference because I feel bad not catering to all you lovely bastards based in the States who kept reading on. Just to help reinforce the fact that Josh Pall is one extremely sensible and well-organized individual, take a look at this frontside feeble photo! Who else is smart enough to color code their board to match the color of the spot they're skating? Yep, I've been looking at all these photos for way too long—you caught me!
When he isn't capturing some of the best skateboarding to have transpired in Australia and New Zealand over the past decade with a video camera, old "pussy peepers" (now known as "puddy peepers") is out there doing it himself! I'm sure this switch backside noseblunt speaks for itself. To be honest, I don't know how he does it! Maybe being petrified of bananas due to their shape closely resembling male genitalia and a diet that largely consists of your own toenails has its advantages sometimes?
I just realized that Geoff, along with our youngest team rider, Nik Stipanovic, has three photos scattered amongst the article! Good stuff, Geoff! I don't really know what else to say here, as I feel any other sensitive/funny information I know about Geoff should now be stricken from the record as a reward for his hard work. I'm pretty sure Geoff did this switch pop shove-it after a few too many Chu His, and he also told me that I filmed it too close and it looked like shit. Sorry, Geoff. Personally, I blame the extremely well-organized Japanese security guards for not allowing us another go at getting this documented correctly.
Young "Stippo" is the newest and youngest member of the PASS~PORT team, and this was his first trip with everyone being of officially part of the team. Poor little bastard—it probably seemed like more of a punishment being told you have to go to a foreign country for two weeks with a bunch of complete losers! That aside, Stippo definitely didn't disappoint (as we predicted) and absolutely killed it on the trip! Here he successfully backside tailslides an out ledge so well even the guy in the background thought it would be appropriate to throw up "the horns" in celebration. Cheers, legend! Video coming Thursday!
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