Spitfire's "YKWTFGO" Article
Raney’s been hitting the pipe forever but this one’s a doozy—front thrust, fully tweaked out in Tweakerville
Our only concern for the evening was looking out for rattlesnakes, so when I heard a commotion my initial thought was, Oh fuck! Someone actually got bit!
“Why me? Why me?!” a jet-lagged Kevin Bradley shouted. It was 11:30 PM and I was trying to catch some shut-eye in the van when I stumbled out expecting to see KB in a viper’s coils. Nope, turns out the psychedelics had gone from 0 to 100 and he’d gotten a terrifying visit from the Grimple Gods.
“You know what the fuck going on!” Kevin yelled. This became not only his war cry for the night, but our communal chant for the rest of the trip. The campground eventually quieted down but by then we realized KB was missing. “Kevin, bruh, where you at?” we called while searching the woods. We heard hooting in the distance, a quick splash, and sure enough he’d fallen into the lake—fully clothed. Amidst the chaos some fellow campers called the cops. As the police approached we all scattered, heading to our tents. The officers were super cool and kept trying to convince Kevin to just go lie down but to no avail. The Grimple Gods were too powerful. Next thing you know he’s getting the pat down. “Nah, I want a lady cop to frisk me!” he demanded. The two Red Bluff officers who had driven 90 minutes to the campsite looked at each other warily before finally escorting KB to the local drunk tank. “How do you go to jail while camping?” Gerwer asked. After rescuing him from the clink the next day, Kev explained that the Grimple Stix banner hanging at our campsite was what set his bad trip into motion. Those devilish eyes, wild tentacles and mischievous grin sent him to the dark side of the moon. Seemed like a fitting time to present Evan Smith with his Grimple guest board. Hopefully Kevin’s are in the works as I type this.
KB started the trip trippin’, Evan started the trip lippin’
The unspoken motto of our trip was simply to keep the fire burning. This has been a rough couple of years and we all cope with loss the same way—by packing our bags, grabbing our boards and hitting the road. After P-Stone passed we rev’d up Ecuador, after losing Hubbard we shut down Chilé and now with Phelps gone we knew we had to keep it lit. With two weeks to get from San Francisco to Portland, the Hellride Crew was ready to destroy everything in its path.
First spot and Ishod’s already getting bangers. Gap to noseblunt, SOTY shit
Raven blasts an Indy. Thought he was on Ace
Out of the woods, into the pit! Ceddy Pabich, crail to tail. Not bad, new guy
Hugo Boserup discovered a back lip at the Oakland Scientific Facility. Eureka!
Most people plan trips months ahead of time, with all the details locked in: where you’re going, when you’re gonna get there, what hotels you’re staying at; shit like that. For this trip, we had only one goal—to be in Portland on May fifth. Other than that, the road was ours. We’ve never had such a diverse group of dudes like this together, especially on a camping trip. When you travel with a new group, you don’t always know what to expect. Are they gonna think I’m a kook? Are they picky eaters? Are they gonna pout that we’re camping every night? Our bond as skaters made all those worries disappear. When you put 22 skaters together in a small campground you automatically feel united. When Bira the axe man is chopping down logs, almost taking off his fingers, you just sit back and laugh—not because he’s putting his digits in peril, but because literally every swing has to come with a quote. “Got about three more hits outta this one, Ray.” The first night camping was like a company work party—you know everyone but you don’t know them that well. But once the beers start flowing, the details emerge. You find out that Ishod lost his virginity the night he won PHX AM, for instance. Although I suppose most company parties don’t have tents where you can sneak away and go watch the newest episode of Game Of Thrones. C’mon, KB.
Hewitt, rocket air into the Grimplesphere. What kinda skate Viagra is he on?!
Ishod, tail block for the tranny haters. Vert don’t hurt
KB, crusty backside flip. The Grimple Gods are smiling
Hates bugs, loves eggs. Ronnie plants one for the homies
I’ve been camping since I was a baby. Both of my parents are hippies from TX, so I’ve had my fair share of nights under the stars. But being a filmer, camping is not my ideal mode of traveling. When you’re out on the streets all day, you blow through batteries quickly. And what are you gonna do at the campsite, plug your shit into a tree? Quick tip: always bring a car outlet power strip with you. Those things will save your ass. I spent most nights in the back of our Dodge minivan charging my gear. It wasn’t the Four Seasons, but it definitely beat sleeping on the ground for two weeks. Don’t be afraid to be the glamper on the trip. At the end of the day, the dudes just want clips, so the filmer’s gotta do whatever it takes to make it happen. And sometimes that means locking yourself in the van every night. Hey, it’s better than falling in the lake on hallucinogens.
Gotta keep them batteries charged, especially when Mason’s cracking shit like this. Half Cab heel the hard way
Simon’s been reading a book about Hendrix so he had to put it down at Jimi Hendrix High—bigspin blunt. You’re confusing psychotic with psychedelic, man
With the Grotto gone, Silas is back in the van, chomping on some street coping—Smith grind
Back in high school, my friends and I wanted to start a video series called Pool Ghouls. We dreamed of hopping fences and getting chased out of backyards, like the Z-Boys. It never happened—not too many empty pits in San Antonio. I got to experience the thrill of a legit trespassing session on this trip, though. We jumped the fence at a rundown crack den of a hotel and Raney, Cody and Raven’s eyes lit the F up. It was a dream spot—two lights, multiple pockets, good tranny. After a quick drain and the ol’ kitty litter trick (you spread it around to soak up the moisture), it was fucking on and the boys weren’t holding back. Some people go easy when they get first dibs at a spot. Not this crew. They wanted to destroy the place so there was nothing left to get. Pools aren’t like skateparks—you might only get a few minutes and you might never get the chance to skate it again, so get your shit and get out. Pool Ghouls episode one is now in the can.
Double-light boneless days after going pro—congrats, Cody
Fearless Raney snags a 5-0 while fearful Rye gets a ticket around the corner
“What are we doing? Is there a spot here?” I asked John Alden as he instructed me to pull into a parking lot in Redding, CA. “Nah, there’s a bar,” he replied. It turned out there was another bar, a bump to bar, across the street that Raney knew about. We cruised over to check it out while Hugo and Ville eyed up a fun-looking crusty bank. As I set up to get the fisheye angle, Evan came over and said, “Hey, you got the keys? I’m gonna move the van so they have more room to skate.” I gave him the keys and he moved the van—right into the middle of the street. I’m not sure if he thought there was some kinda valet service that was gonna park it for him later, but the only people that came to look at the vehicle were the cops. As Hugo rolled away from his trick, I ran over to the van to try to move it before it got ticketed. Too late. “What seems to be the problem here, officer?” I asked sheepishly. The seven-foot tall cop looked down at me and said, “Uh… you parked your van in the middle of the road.” Apparently leaving an unattended vehicle in the middle of traffic is a no-no, even if you’re trying to get a clip. Lesson learned: don’t let your intoxicated friends move the van for you. You’ll always be the one to get the blame.
High-speed crooks before getting fitted for a tux, Ville’s always stylin’
No showers in the woods but that didn’t stop Ishod from getting his sweat on—switch varial heel
We were all pretty over California after the little street-blocking incident, so we headed up to Grants Pass, OR, to a rather chilly reception. The inhabitants and police department were not feeling us one bit. My brother immediately had an altercation with some locals at the AM/PM gas station. The hillbilly hobo posted up in front of the trash cans didn’t like Raney’s open container and decided to go Paul Blart on our asses. Next thing you know the cashiers are outside, backing the tweaker and threatening to kick us out. Seemed weird to take sides with the criddler instead of the group of 22 skaters who were about to drop a few hundred bucks on snacks and beer for the night. After a couple “fuck you”s and some middle fingers, we got the hell out of there only to be tailed by the cops to our campsite. Lesson learned: don’t call tweakers tweakers, especially when they’ve got the local fuzz on speed dial. Being in a small town means word spreads quickly and three strange vans are an easy target. If you’re gonna engage in hijinx, maybe don’t put a huge American flag on the side of your vehicle. The stars and stripes tend to attract the red-and-blue flashing lights for some reason.
Mason slid through this curvaceous rail before we got chased out of town. How could Grants Pass not be feeling this?
Out-of-this-world 540 with a pocket full of Alien Rock Candy, Evan always keeps it cosmic
Haulin’ ass, gas or grass, nobody rides for free. Raven, noseblunt slide at B-Side
Like the propane cans, only certified operators stepped to this spot. Mason was overqualified. Ollie
Cat in the Hat? Nah, Pat on the hat. Check this spot off the bucket list
Guest appearance by Louie Lopez in Portland—hairball front feeble in the treetops. See y’all on the next Hellride
In a world of sanitized skateboarding, trips like these are a good reminder about what it’s really all about. It’s not about contests, having the best run and all that other bullshit. It’s about hitting the road, hanging out with your friends and making new ones along the way. Two weeks ends up feeling like two years and eventually it seems like your normal life. And when the party ends, you shed a tear. Why? Because it’s hard to imagine not being with the crew the next day. Unfortunately, we’re all hyper aware of how short our time on this planet could be. We’re cherishing the hell out of these missions and we’re gonna keep the fire lit for all those who no longer can. HRC4EVR—GTWYFC.
12/26/2018Silas is on another level. SOTY 2008 hasn’t missed a beat.
5/15/2018A secret contest up in Portland? No social media allowed during the event? Everybody killing it? Hell YES. Congrats to Austyn Gillette for capturing the top spot.
5/15/2018A warehouse packed with friends smiling, shouting and smashing boards. Check out some photos here.
1/22/2018Videographer Chris Mulhern has captured some amazing footage with the adidas team over the last few years. Here’s a re-edit of some of his favorite tricks and clips from the three stripe’s legendary squad.
11/28/2017They can kickflip, handplant and switch back tail better than the rest of us, but can they select the perfect SOTY? Check out who the pros want to win the only award that matters!