WKND Lunch Ramp Tour Article

Words by Bob Altamirano
Photos by Dakota Mullins

To honor the ghost of demos past, one of the most fun-loving crews of all time tried to bring back some mid-'90s magic to go along with their mid-'90s outfits! That's right, kids, the WKND crew hit the road inspired by the masochistic mind of the one and only Jeremy Klein, trying to mimic and pay homage to the original Hook-Ups tours.

 Now you may think, Wow. jump ramps. Who cares? Well I can tell you from past experience that when you roll into a parking lot, bringing your own shit to skate and the thing you are skating is a van that has a ring of fire rigged to the top of it—shit gets sketchy and people get hyped!

 Despite the stars of the original Hook-Ups tours not being there, the silver tongued CEO of WKND, Grant Yansura, convinced the one and only Willy Santos to come shred. Little did the CEO know, it wasn't Willy's cheapskate antics he’d have to deal with. Instead, it was a plus-one, Vincent Milou, that threw everyone off. In the end, the trip was sick. Guest appearances were made and Willy's plus-one was revealed as an undercover agent from France so the boys played it close to the vest! –Dan Rogers

1.1 DZ 750pxMet up at our usual spot and divided the groups into Lit Van, OG Van, Sober Squad and Vegas Car

2.1 DZ 750pxVegas Car! Had to bring homies that are friends of the fly-out

The Cast:Jordan Taylor: Jordan blasted "Hungry Eyes" off of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack at the Tucson campsite. Immediately, I went from being a fan to falling in love. Anyone that listens to that song is alright in my book.



Johan Stuckey: This guy has the natural ability to find the best spot to set up a lawnchair at a demo. He can really sit on his ass like no other. It's amazing. By the way, did anyone let Johan know Christian Maalouf was turning pro on this trip? When his teammates were bringing out Christian’s pro model to surprise him I overheard Johan say, "Holy shit! Am I going pro again?"



Alex Schmidt: If you grab a seat next to Alex in the van, you’ll realize everyone steals his jokes and just says them louder. Everybody loves Schmidt but bring a doctor’s note next time if you’re not gonna lift a ramp!



Christian Maalouf: I'm gonna go with the classic, “Christian lets his skating do the talking.”


Austyn Gillette: Austyn is like the hot girl you date that's totally out of your league and everyone knows it. But you continue being with her knowing for damn sure one day out of nowhere you’re going to come home to an empty apartment with a letter on the counter saying she's met somebody else. When that moment finally presents itself you stop and think, nobody is ever going to treat you as good as I did. But then you remember that really hot chicks always fall upward. Then you start to get a little angry and crazy because you know the next person will probably treat them evern better than you did. Love stinks!

Trevor Thompson and Andrew Considine: These two are both what you'd call “a man’s man.” They made the ramps, drove the U-Haul and loaded and unloaded at every demo. Let me tell you something—you’ve never been in love until you've seen Andrew’s sweaty, shirtless body glistening in the hot Arizona sun. When he says he’s going to need all hands on deck to unload the trailer, you better believe I was first in line yelling, “Yes, sir!”

Saloman Cardenas: This guy is amazing. He was all smiles and brought the good vibes and the good goods! Unfortunately, he got hurt and couldn't skate the whole tour. That didn't matter, though. Him just being there is cool. I would ride a Saloman board.  Everyone loves him.

Grant Yansura: The CEO. He's the Puff Daddy of WKND. He puts himself on the team, in the skits and skates the demos.

Evan Wasser, Nick Michel and Frankie Decker: The flow guys—Evan for WKND, Nick and Frankie holding it down for Frog Skateboards. These guys are future heavy hitters. They shut every demo down and never complained once, unlike Johan who did the complete opposite.

Jesse Alba: Former WKND team rider and son of pool skating legend Salba. When his dad dropped him off he made us promise to make sure Jesse brushed his teeth every night and wore his knee pads when he skated. I said, "Of course, Salba!" Then I leaned in close to Jesse and under my breath I softly said, "Oh, you're going to wear those knee pads, and it's not going to be for skating." At the time Jesse looked confused. I have a feeling now that the trip is over he's not so confused anymore.

Clint Peterson: When Clint’s Planned Parenthood doctor told him he had to be on antibiotics for a week he decided he had no business staying in Los Angeles. He volunteered to drive the Cool Van the entire tour. Thanks, Clint!

Scott Mackey: If you own a shop or run a distribution, you know Scott! He's the sole salesman at WKND that makes it all happen. Hell of a sleeper, too. I jerked off in my bed while Mackey was passed out on the floor at our Airbnb in Phoenix. His snoring pattern didn’t miss a beat. Daddy slept well that night!

Willy Santos: The very special guest on this trip! People love Willy! At every stop, people showed up just for him. They brought old memorabilia or just wanted to meet him. Willy has seen every high and low in skateboarding. He handled this tour like a champ! Zero complaints out of him. It was amazing he was there. Love you, Willy!

3.1 DZ 750pxToo late to turn back now

 


Palm SpringsThe first demo was exciting because nobody had skated the van yet. It was time to see what was going to go down over it. Just an ollie over the van is impressive. But as you'll see in the video, much more than an ollie went down. It was a sight to see. 


4 DZ 750px“We’ve gotta skate that?”

5 DZ 750pxPush and pray

6 DZ 750pxWheatley has never had to look up to see melons. Kevin Shealy's eigh-foot 'choly in Palm Springs

7.1 DZ 750pxTrevor Thompson's no stranger to a balanced backside nosegrind. Just don’t look down this time

7.2 DZ 750pxSweet demo, guys

8.1 DZ 750pxAl Krohn grabs south and ollies north

 

WKND PQ 1.3 750px


That night, after the demo, we camped in Joshua tree. After tents were set up and the campfire was lit, it was on! Everyone went hard that night. Hennessy and whiskey were being used as chasers for our beers. People were on mushrooms for their first, second and 100th time! My favorite quote of the night goes to Johan: "Hey, Willy, you wanna smoke this shit?" Followed by a devious laugh. Willy gracefully declined Johan's offer to smoke that shit.


9.2 DZ 750pxJoshua Tree 

9.1 DZ 750pxSome people unlocked new levels that night


PhoenixChristian Maalouf got his birthday pro-job in Phoenix. It was the absolute best night of the tour. His parents hosted a killer party at their house which included BBQing, swimming and karaoke! It was a great reward for the guys that were drained from the long van rides and desert heat. Congrats, Christian!

11.1 DZ 750pxShealy Floats one before the Phoenix crowd arrives

12.1 DZ 750pxAl Krohn backside noseblunts

13.1 DZ 750pxNick Michel, one-foot tailgrab


10.1 DZ 750pxChristian Miller’s silhouette does a backtail

"Is there per diem or appearance money?" Was the first question Willy had when asked if he would like to join the trip. The answer to that question was, "No, the budget is fucked." All we had to offer was a free ride, camping and some meals here and there. Willy was totally fine with these terms. I think it's just the Tony Hawk in him that makes him ask these questions.

Willy DZ 750px
WKND PQ 2.2 750px
I decided to have some fun with Willy the first morning of the trip. While staring at him from the other side of camp packing up, an idea popped into my head and I just had to do it. I handed Grant 30 bucks out of my pocket and asked him to give it back to me in front of Willy as if it were the day's per diem. "Here's your per diem for the day," Grant said in front of Willy. Willy noticed it but stayed silent. The seed was planted. In Willy's mind, there was free money going around and he was just going to wait patiently until Grant got to him. After that, I put multiple people up to standing next to Willy while I went up to them and said, "Hey, Grant wanted me to give you your per diem for the day." They weren't even WKND riders. It was people like Clint Peterson and Jon Goemann. After the fifth time doing this Willy yells at me, "Does everyone get money?" I turned around, shrugged my shoulders and said, "I don't know." I could tell he was starting to develop some kind of feeling about the situation. I let him in on the joke shortly after and he was such a good sport about it. "I was wondering why every time someone came and stood next to me you were handing them money! You should have filmed that," he said. I could have sworn I heard him say under his breath, "If Willy doesn't get money, nobody gets money." Maybe I was just hearing things, though.

WHAT'S GOOD, WILLY?State your full name and age?


Willy Manaloto Santos. Forty-two years old.



 

Do you think Jeremy Klein is mad you went on this tour?


Jeremy is always mad.
 


 

Any crazy stories from the original Hook-Ups tours?


It’s not that crazy but I was red lining the van and was totally oblivious to what was going on. I almost blew up the van with all of us in it.




 

What was your first thought when you heard about the concept of this tour?


I honestly thought, this is going to be fun. It was.



 

Had you ever heard of WKND skateboards prior to this?


Yes.



Are you a fan of WKND skateboards?


Oh, yes!



 

Favorite WKND rider?


Stuckey and his glasses!



 

What was it like being crammed in the back of a van again?


It was just like the good old days. I don’t mind sitting in the back. I just go with the flow.

 



Did it bother you when the kids were hot boxing the van?


Not really.
 


 

Were you bummed hotels and per diem were not in the budget for this trip?


I was hyped on the whole camping thing. The showers in the campgrounds were kinda brute, though. We’re all dirty skaters to some extent. Per diem, Bob took it all.



 

Favorite stop?


It was rad to see it all unfold for Christian Maalouf at Cowtown with him turning pro, watching his new video part and it was all on his birthday. We even had a karaoke party at his house. Clint Peterson can really sing, by the way.



 

What movie rating would you give the van talk, G, PG, PG-13, R or X?


All of the above.

 

Would you go on this tour again?


Yes, please!

 



If you could have picked one person from the original Hook-Ups tour to join you on the Lunch Ramp tour who would you have picked?


Jeremy, but he won’t come.
 


 

Do you still talk to the Hook-Ups crew?


Dan Rogers every so often. Jeremy just never replies or calls me back.



 

Did the Hook-Ups crew ever give you shit for not jumping on top of the van?

It’s gnarly going over the top. I skated the hood and everything else.
 


 

Are you glad Instagram was not around while you were in your prime?


Yes and no.



Tell us about your Workshop board brand.


Once upon a time, it was a skateshop for, like, 12 years. Now it’s evolved into a board brand. Check what’s new with us on Instagram @willysworkshop.

 



Is Dan Rogers a Hawaiian bitch?


Just to me. Not to anyone else.



 

Was there a point on the trip where you were, like, “I’m too old for this shit?”


Nah.



 

Favorite era in skateboarding?


Launch ramp era!
 


 

In your mind, who are the true SD legends?


John Reeves and Donger.


SD for life? Could you ever see yourself living anywhere else?


I could live in Japan with my family.



 

Current favorite pros?


Tony Hawk.


Current favorite ams?
Bob Altamirano.

Current favorite board companies?
WKND and Willy’s Workshop.
14.1 DZ 750pxSchlager was present!

15.1 DZ 750pxNick Michel, roof ride to boardslide. I ain’t lyin’

16. DZ 750pxDidn’t catch this rippers name. Some said it was the man, the myth, the self-proclaimed legend Tug McClung

17.1 DZ 750pxAaron Goure, backside Smith over the Sienna

18.1 DZ 750pxPlenty of loitering

19.1 DZ 750pxClassic product toss

20.1 DZ 750pxWe would've screamed, “PRO AS FUCK!” if Maalouf’s mum wasn’t in the building. Congrats, Christian!

WKND PQ 3.2 750px
Van Life

I rode in the back of the 16-passenger rental van the whole time. Clint Peterson and Austyn drove the entire trip. The flow guys took up the two middle seats, and Willy and Vincent Milou hung in the back with me. Trap music and weed were the flow guys van habits, while Willy and I would just converse. Jesse Alba handled the comedic relief. He spent a whole hour imagining what certain pro skateboarders dicks look like. He came to the conclusion that Tommy Sandoval's dick probably has stitches and P-Rod's pubes are probably nicely combed and drowning in expensive cologne.

21.1 DZ 750px“Is that me?”

22.1 DZ 750pxSpecial guests Jon Goemann and Sadie keeping the vibes high

23.1 DZ 750pxAndrew and Johan hiding from the van launch

24.1 DZ 750pxJesse Alba adjusting his knee pads


TucsonThe lot that the demo was meant to be in Tucson was surrounded by a chain-link fence. We couldn't get the van in there. We had to heave the jump ramps over the fence and that was no easy task. Alex Schmidt watched as 20 people lifted the ramps over. We even carried Willy over the fence! It was a classic '90s demo—jump ramps and boxes only. Frankie Decker closed the demo out, launching onto the top of the U-Haul then half-Cabbing back into the ramp from the roof. Amazing!

28.1 DZ 750pxWilly, such a demo diva! Just kidding. Willy rules!

25.1 DZ 750pxMuch needed swim. Who planned this Arizona trip in June?

26.1 DZ 750pxYou good?

27.1 DZ 750pxAnything to get out of a demo

WKND PQ 4.2 750px
BBQ At Beagle's!


Josh Beagle was kind enough to put the entire tour up at his house for our final stop in San Diego. He let us set up our tents in his backyard and he grilled up some killer sausages! We finally were out of that brutal Arizona desert heat and we had an actual bathroom to use. It was pretty much the end-of-the-tour party. Special appearances were made by skateboarding vets Pat Rakestraw and Richie Belton. Some people kept it mellow and others (including myself) decided to get super sloppy. Exes were texted and Clint Peterson pissed the floor of the guest house. It was an awesome ending to an epic trip! Thanks, Josh!

29 DZ 750pxJosh Beagle let us all crash at his house in SD. Thanks, Josh! Invoice us for that water bill…

30 DZ 750pxDakota’s card fried in the Arizona sun but this photo from the San Diego session surfaced

29.1 DZ 750px

 

29.2 DZ 750pxStill practicing our routine. We should have it down by the next one

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