Girl x Volcom's "Pretty Stoned" Article

GirlxVolcom title v3Rick surfs the bank while Simon goes top shelf. Bailing on your boss is a major faux pas      Photo: Cabral
GirlxVolcom pullquote 1We drug the plastic X-Factor jump ramp to the edge of the spillway and hucked ourselves off the 20-foot drop into the frigid water below. Bombing the ditch and hitting the bank-to-wall sides was an amazing ride in itself, but the cliff dive at the end made it that much more exhilarating. All day long we charged down the incline and plummeted into the river. It was so fun sharing one of my favorite spots with some of my favorite people on Earth. Let me back it up a little bit, though…

GirlxVolcom photo 1Simon spins a nosegrab into Mother Nature’s foam pit. He’s got the X-Factor     Photo: Cabral

See all the ramp-jam mania in Girl and Volcom’s new release

GirlxVolcom photo 2Socially distanced and then some on the Pacific Coast     Photo: Cabral
GirlxVolcom pullquote 2Prior to the pandemic, Girl and Volcom were plotting an adventure to celebrate a collaboration. But alas, COVID struck, businesses closed, shipments were delayed and the trip was canceled. We all may live on one rock, but we all live differently. You gotta accept the randomness of life, understand that change is inevitable and go with the flow. Stay mellow and focus your travel energy towards non-remote locations. My friends and I never stopped during the quarantine; we kept the stoke high, taking small/safe road trips. We kept moving and frothing.

GirlxVolcom photo 4Full speed ahead at all times, Simon gaps to grind to gap—heavy froth     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 5Niels brings an extra board when the road gets rough     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 6Burly boardslide to fakie by Niels Bennett—who knew he could skate vert?     Photo: Cabral
GirlxVolcom pullquote 3Remy Stratton was checking in with me during the early days of the pandemic. He suggested we get the Girl crew to head up to the Pacific Northwest to explore my old haunts rather than pine over uncharted territory. I told him we’d have to be cautious, respectful and cutty if we were going to be trudging around with 13 people in tow. Then I started brainstorming a route through some of my favorite skate/nature/adventure spots.

GirlxVolcom photo 9The co-pilot maps out their next move     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom doubles 1Left: Remy Stratton, classically-trained FSO at Dope Planet
Right: Niels Burnquist backs him up with a frontside rewind grind
Photos: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 11Simon 180 nosegrinds at a deserted college campus. School’s out for COVID     Photo: Cabral
GirlxVolcom pullquote 7We stayed at my house in Enumclaw, WA for the first couple of nights. It was so rad to see Griff, Niels and Manch tee-off technical maneuvers on spots I grew up skating—straight mind-melters for the locals. The pickleball matches, hot tub, fresh fruit and veggies my place provided set us off in a smooth direction. Remy set a tight schedule for a 12-day trip. I told him that things may still be closed due to COVID, so to embrace change. Flexible schedules are a must in my book. We wanted to hit street spots but stay away from the pandemic city vibes, riots, cops and areas that might not appreciate 13 skaters piling out of a van. I wasn’t sure how I would feel being the co-pilot on this trip, trying to make sure that everybody was happy. Enter Rick Howard—seeing him with his board and camping gear washed all my worries away. Most of the crew was coming from CA where there’s a congestion of people and the law’s been out of control lately. If nothing else, I knew they’d all be thankful to be away from that madness for awhile.

GirlxVolcom photo 13Take off the shoes unless you want to lose    Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 15Schedules need to be flexible, like Simon’s spine—Andrecht at the Coalpad DIY     Photo: Remy
GirlxVolcom pullquote 4
GirlxVolcom photo 16Gotta pay to play     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 12No shoes, no shirt, no problem! Lukas Miller channels his inner Lee Ralph and lays one back sans sneakers     Photo: Remy

We went on to sleep in backyards, hotels, on ramps, in the mountains and on the coast. Whatever the best option was, we went for it. When traveling with a big group of out-of-towners, the locals will usually show up, leading to friendships, new spots and more good vibes. It was fun to see someone pop up who met Rick and Smyth at an old Girl demo years ago. Volcom has the skate/surf/snow trifecta in the PNW, too, which led to lots of new connections.

GirlxVolcom photo 17Manch borrowed Remy’s cruiser and went street surfing—wall crawl over the gas meter     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 14When the backyard’s your best option, you barge     Photo: Cabral
GirlxVolcom pullquote 5Early in the trip, Sam told me that he brought Niels and Griffin’s first pro boards and asked if I had a special spot for a big reveal—I waited ‘til the end of the mission. Everyone was pretty dusted as we pulled up to my buddy’s farm on the coast. I expected an empty campsite, but there were already two fires blazing—a birthday party and a family reunion. We weren’t the only people trying to escape the city. I wasn’t sure what to do, but the media crew already received the signal and the cameras came out. Whatever—we grabbed the boards and handed them to Niels and Griff. They were shocked, confused, excited, stoned, tired and officially in the pro ranks. Sorry I couldn’t do my fire dance ceremony, but at least we were in the middle of nowhere on a peaceful farm with good vibes—a great place to begin a new chapter.
GirlxVolcom cutoutPhoto: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 18We took a break from the woods for Griff to sneak in a front beak in downtown Seattle—then he turned pro     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 19Can’t find this view in the city     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 20Can’t go wrong with a guy in the sky—Niels, crack ’n’ drop. Next tour he can skate his own model     Photo: Cabral
GirlxVolcom pullquote 6We zigzagged and looped around mountains and the Olympic Peninsula, hoping to visit Cory Kennedy in the final days of the trip, but COVID-19 restricted all Department of Corrections visitation. Sorry, Cory. We love you, dawg, and thought of your vibe everyday. Keep the fire blazing. Grind things with no worries, as he would. Play good music, be open to adventure, stay in nature and enjoy life.

GirlxVolcom photo 22C’mon, baby, skate my fire     Photo: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 24Heavy traffic on the off-ramp    Photo: Remy

GirlxVolcom doubles 2Left: Tyler sows a fakie flip on the extension of a perfect miniramp inside a greenhouse deep in the woods. Gotta love the PNW
Right: Cold Chapman, boosted boneless—glass ceiling beware!
Photos: Cabral

GirlxVolcom photo 21Simon double trucks a kinker with no worries for CK1. We miss you, dawg. Hope to see you on the next one     Photo: Cabral

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