Thrasher Vacation in Argentina and Uruguay Article
Don’t write vacation on the flyer and not expect us to pack for one. I wasn’t the only fool who threw some shorts in my bag thinking we might be in the water half the time. Our first layover was seven hours away in Panama. Yeah, the one from the Van Halen song. We pulled up and the inside of the airport is fuckin’ bricks. It was pouring rain outside, which looks pretty sick when you’ve got another eight hours to go ‘til you get to Buenos Aires. No in-flight entertainment (aka no TV) meant that we were all stuck with our own thoughts for the duration of the trip. Of course Atiba was the only one who figured out how to upgrade his flight. Maybe he needed the extra leg room for all the clothes he brought. I’ve never had a flight upgrade in my life. To me, a free ticket to South America with my name on it is an upgrade in itself! Sign me up—always.
Neck can tell some tall tales, but this trip was just as loco as his description
Real postcard shit, Grant floats one in the fountain
The crew was pretty random, to me at least. It was kinda like a Pro Scramble. I knew a couple of heads and had done miles with some of ‘em—Grant, Ishod, Trujillo, Atiba and Rye, but it was my first time meeting the rest of ’em. You got on the plane and muscled a flight to go on a Thrasher trip? Shit, you’re good in my book. That’s what we’re all here for—to rep the mag, eat, drink and fuck up your spots.
Deedz goes green to avoid food poisoning, kicky in
As soon as we touched down in Argentina we got a text from Jake Anderson and Malto. They’d already been there for a few hours. We’re at the sickest karaoke bar in town. "Get over here." A’ight, say no more. We dropped our bags and stepped outside—it was freezing fuckin’ cold and most of us didn’t pack jackets. Fuck it. We get to what’s supposed to be the “best karaoke bar” and it’s a fuckin’ burger stand with a microphone plugged into a TV. There were only three people in the place, all annoyed that Jake was singing “Wonderwall” at the top of his lungs. But burgers and beer ain’t that bad, especially straight off the plane. We don’t need much. Roman found weed and hash first try using sign language. We ate, then slept, ready to wake up to Buenos Aires and see what all the hype was about.
Jake with a tall order—back 50, extra altitude
The group chat said: “Downstairs at 10 AM.” No problem. Just don’t hop in the hotel’s elevators—they take forever. I was rooming with Grant. We walked down the 11 flights of stairs and met up with the crew outside. We had two vans with drivers, tour guides and a cooler full of drinks. Okay, okay, not bad. This shit’s gonna be sick. Our drivers were fired up! They were drinking something out of cups with metal straws. Ah, yerba mate! The real shit. I drink one out of a can every morning to get fired up, but I wanted some of that real shit. That became my mission the first two days of the trip.
Jenn grinds one into the subway dust particles below
If you speak Spanish—I’m talkin’ even a little bit—it’ll get you a long way out here. Honestly, you’d be fine if you only speak English, but learn some Spanish and try to speak it, you lazy piece of shit. Don’t be a jerk. We all jumped in the van on the first day and headed to spot number one. The back of the van is MY spot—always has been. You can see everything that’s going on, unless you were in the other crappy van with no windows, then you ain’t seeing shit. Sorry, Malto! So I’m in the back of the van and we got the homie from Uruguay and Milton’s little brother Eze in there. I don’t know half these fools, especially the stinky dude passed out in the corner next to me. He smelled like a dirty mattress filled with cigs. Anyways, we hit up a bank to ledge next to the freeway. It was freezing cold, but the crew was so revved up it didn’t matter. The first spot of any trip is always sick because everyone is so charged up and excited to finally skate—and that they fuckin’ did. Ishod fucked it up with his eyes closed, Jake back tailed the tallest thing there, Tony got some and Mami jumped in the mix. Told you. The crew was juiced.
Grant kept telling me about this local legend named El Jason who tattooed a unibrow on himself back in the day. Apparently he was obsessed with Jason Lee and wanted to look like him. What the hell are you talkin’ about, Grant? A few hours later and there he is—the dude with the unibrow tat. He even had the J-Lee Video Days sideburns. Holy shit! Grant was telling the truth. The first thing he said to me was, “Ten days, ten days.” He kept saying it like he was hurt. “Ten days what, man?” I asked. “I’ve been skating for ten days straight,” he replied, pointing at the holes in his shoes. I’ve been there. He then showed me some old-ass photos of him ripping back in the day. El Jason is a legend and a weird-ass fool. We need more freaks in skateboarding like him.
Crail back tail? Even Ishod was shocked
My quest for yerba mate continued. Finally, the dreadlocked homie took me to get some and showed me how to properly drink it. It’s gotta be hot and the loose-leaf tea is in the bottom of the cup. The straw has a built in filter. It’s hard to explain, but just Google that shit if you really wanna know, dude. I must have ripped about six cups, and the hype is real. It had me going big time. It was better than any sports drink I’d ever had—nothin’ but pure energy. It didn’t make you shaky and shit like you’re on speed. Legend has it that Cardiel drinks this shit, too—must be why he’s so charged up all the time.
Curren keeps it clean with a nosegrind down a quad
There was a dinner planned for us the first night at a skatepark—BBQ style. You know we were down for that. I climbed back into the van and the homeless dude passed out next to me was starting to smell worse. He had a hoodie covering his face. Is this dude even alive? We get to the park and the dude wakes up. What the fuck? Milton Martinez! Ha! There he is! I was actually wondering where he was the whole time. I guess he got back on his home turf and was partying for a few days before he showed up. He was hungover the whole time. Fuck it, he deserves it. He’s been shutting shit down for years, but unfortunately the only thing he shut down on this trip was his brain. He only skated to the store to get beers, but even that was better than what half you fools do out there.
GT on the top rope, always
We got to the skatepark for the “private dinner” and to our surprise the whole goddamn town was there expecting a full-on demo! I’m glad to see this classic bait-and-switch tradition is alive and well. The surprise demo came with some unexpected moments, too, like Roman blasting Rye’s fisheye. The whole crowd heard that shit. The bowl got smoked—yeah, the bowl you’re thinking about along with the wooden one that we skated. When the show was over, it was time to feast. Little did we know that TNT had broken his collarbone on the street course while we were sessioning the pit. No more surprise demos, please. Somebody always gets destroyed! While Tony took a trip to the hospital, the rest of us headed upstairs to a sick BBQ grill with all kinds of meat on it. Damn, this is what I’m talkin’ about. I couldn’t stop thinking about P-Stone and how hyped he would have been on the money coals and all the brews that were flowing. They were slicing up the BBQ and feeding it to the hungry animals. I grabbed a heaping plate and snapped a photo of it. I used to send images like this to Preston, but instead I just held my phone up to the sky and said, “Check it out, Stone!” Grant came up to me and told me that P-Stone was with him the last time he was at this park and he was loving the hell out of the grill zone. The revs were definitely high in that place—it was probably my favorite meal of the trip. The feast fools kept coming up to me during dinner and telling me that they knew Preston, Jake and even Fausto! Fuck yeah. Those fools set the volume to 11 for this shit and we’re here to keep it like that forever.
One of the main reasons we were in South America was to hit the Thrasher Death Match in Argentina. The locals throwing the event took me to the ramp late at night after our BBQ dinner. I was painting the surface and looked over and saw a fool puking. Damn, that dude is dusted. Puke’s just leaking out of his mouth. Oh shit! He’s puking all over my board! It was the only one I brought with me, so I had to ride with dried puke on it the whole time. Shit happens. The Death Match was the next day and it was over organized—too many damn rules. Just give us the drink tickets and tell us when to skate. Nope. The locals were skating the ramp so much that it was almost impossible to get in there. Only Grant got a couple of runs in before it got too hectic. I thought you guys wanted us to skate the ramp? Well, get the fuck off and let us skate! The locals were ripping shit up, though, so it was all good. The bands were sick and TNT even got onstage with a broken collarbone and sang “All Hail Cardiel” for a crowd of metal heads. I went upstairs to get a better view of the chaos and got to meet Milton’s mom. “Look at Milton,” I said. “He’s got a crew of people swarming him for autographs. You must be proud.” She replied, “Es su tierra” which roughly translates to, “It’s his turf.” Hell yeah it is! Soak it up, Milton. When we left the Death Match the crew had a pretty good buzz going and needed some food. Off we go into the night. I was walking with Grant and writing on some shit along the way, of course. We stumbled upon a DIY concrete spot and it looked sick as fuck. We snapped a photo to put on the list of shit to hit the next day. Finding spots late at night with a buzz is always good, ‘cause you go the next day when you’re more clear headed and you’re like, Well, I brought everyone here to skate this spot that I found when I was faded, now I gotta put my money where my mouth is and bust.
The next morning we headed straight to the DIY. In the daylight it was a little crustier than it looked after a few beers, but it was definitely still hittable. Grant, Roman and the crew went to work on the top ropes. We got our shit before noon and then it was off to the next destination—a pool in the middle of the gnarliest projects in Buenos Aires. Sounded good to us; we like danger. We pulled up to the outskirts of the area and waited for security to show up with their guns and shit. Yeah, you can’t go in without your own guards! Damn! I like it. While we were waiting, I saw some people selling stuff on the side of the street, including a stuffed dog, like taxidermy style. It looked pretty sick so I went to see if it was real. Turns out it was a real stuffed dead dog and it smelled like gnarly piss. I asked how much it was and it was $30. No thanks, brotha. I left that homie right where he was.
Curren launches over an ancient DIY spacecraft
Security never showed up so we dipped. We weren’t trying to end up like that dead dog. We heard about a DIY in the middle of the town so we went to check it out. It was pretty sick—huge concrete over-a-tire thing that Curren fucked up. There was a roll-in deck that was tall as hell and I noticed a crusty QP next to it. This thing was gnar-gnar, like chwed-up petrified wood, but it had a metal frame and looked pretty sturdy. A light bulb went off and I went looking for some scrap wood. The only thing I could find was another chewed-up piece of petrified wood, but two shitty plys equal one good one, right? I needed some nails or screws to add some stability, then maybe I could convince one of the guys to ollie into it. I grabbed a pair of busted pliers and started unscrewing some rusty, bent screws out of some scraps that were lying around, then I screwed them in using the pliers—a Mexican Neck-nique I learned along the way.
Jake earns his nights off, kickflip 50-50
"You might die but you might also roll away.” GT rolls the dice and lives
Just like that, we got a fucked-up, gnarly obstacle ready to go. Who am I gonna ask to ollie into this thing? Very sketchy yet slightly doable—shit, that’s my money man GT. Sure enough, he looked at it and said, “Is it good?” “Yep, probably got about two tries, Grant.” He gave it a test jump and then—boom—he snapped a fat ollie into the crust. So sick. We climbed back into the van and celebrated with some big-ass beers. They were like four times bigger than regular ones. Then it was off to a five-star restaurant where we had a reservation. Only top shelf for the gang. The food was bangin’. I love being crusty and with a crew of maniacs eating some fancy shit. It’s my favorite. I guess the owner knew Fausto back in the day. That’s our guy and that’s why we’re here. More carne, please! They gave us over 100 drink tickets and we headed downstairs to a secret, fancier bar. Jake looked it up and it was listed as one of the top-50 bars in the world. Shit… I’ve been kicked out of nicer places, but we’ll take it. We burned through our drink tickets and then headed back to the hotel. We figured out how to get up onto the rooftop and it was sick! Beers, flower, tunes and a nice view? Now this is what we call a top 50!
Emilio with the local juice—Barley grind
We headed to a velodrome on our last day in Argentina. That’s a bike track for dudes who like to ride in circles. We weren’t there for that—there’s a huge, insane bowl in the middle of the place. Curren and Mami did some sick shit in there. Mami is younger and she’s from Japan. Atiba is old. Most of our van rides consisted of Atiba asking Mami if she’d ever heard of different things. He’d be like, “Mami, you ever heard of Trainwreck?” “No,” she’d reply. Then he’d show her some Trainwreck footy—shit like that. Once he asked her if she’d ever heard of GG Allin. She hadn’t. He got the biggest smile on his face and then proceeded to show her footage of GG for the rest of the trip—shitting, fighting, getting bloody, all the good stuff. We got to watch Mami’s GG Allin education unfold in front of our very eyes. Atiba corrupted her brain, for sure. Now she’s down for life. Who knows, maybe she’ll skate to GG in her next video part?!
Casper feels at home at the South American Southbank, tré flip
When it comes to trips like these, we got a rule: get some shit at every stop of the trip. Do that and you’re in the clear. Casper, our brother from England, was the last to get some in Argentina. It’s not that he couldn’t land shit—we just weren’t skating anything he was down for. It’s all good, it happens all the time. Luckily, we found a crusty subway station that was pretty much underground. It was like the South American version of Southbank. This was literally his last chance to get a trick in Argentina. “Fourth and inches” is what we call it. That’s a football term for when your team is at the end zone. It was dark and the crew had to hold lights so Casper could see where he was going. He blasted a trè flip over this gap, landed it, snapped his tail and rolled away. Fuck yes, Casper! That’s how we shut it down on the way out! Pack your bags at 1 AM while you’re wasted; we gotta be in the lobby at 7 AM to catch the ferry to Uruguay. You got that? Yeah, we got that.
Stone steps and a long bluntslide kicfklip? Now, we're at a Casper spot
Grant keeps it high and tight
We were in zombie mode the next morning, but nobody missed the boat. The ferry was cookin’, going full fuckin’ speed for two-and-a-half hours. Shit was rocking big time. Everything was flying off the shelves and people were puking left and right. I was just enjoying the ride. We finally landed and got to check the place out. It reminded me of Bondi meets Mexico City meets some other dope shit. It looked sick and we all caught a re-hype and were ready to rip. The crew was starving so we got some street sandwiches—salami, cheese, bread and whatever else you could shove in there. I think it was my second favorite meal of the trip—probably because it was street style and we were starving. On our way to the first spot we passed a big-ass U concrete sculpture in a fountain in the middle of a roundabout. “Is that skateable? Anyone ever hit it?” we asked. Turned out, nobody had ever attempted to skate it because it’s surrounded by hectic traffic. Done and done. We’re hitting that for sure. As the crew was skating another spot, I crept to the side and told Atiba, Grant and Casper that we were gonna go on a side mission. Gotta keep it minimal because of the traffic. I made a pebble path in the fountain for us to walk on to stay dry. Casper, the biggest fool in the crew, boosted Grant up real quick. We threw him his board and he started trying to snap a frontside ollie. That thing was tough to skate! It was more like a V than a U. But we all know Grant’s the best, and before anybody had a chance to call the piggies on us, he snagged a few Os and Atiba got the shot—real postcard shit.
One day Neck decided to do some painting next to a spot we were skating. A woman in a little red car pulled up shortly afterwards. She got out to open her garage door only to find a freshly-painted enormous ghoul hand on it, welcoming her home. She was not hyped and we were the obvious suspects. The lady came in hot and started interrogating us, but nobody broke. Even the locals covered for us, and our unified defense seemed to do the trick. We thought we were off the hook, but unfortunately in this digital age nobody is safe. One quick Instagram search of the freshly-sprayed “NECKFACE” tag on her door and Nasty Neck was ID’d. The gig was up. She went straight up to him, phone in hand, claiming she had the culprit. Neck attempted to convince her otherwise, but the writing was on the wall—literally. She wasn’t upset about the graffiti (her metal garage door—and the entire neighborhood—was already covered in tags before Neck made his mark), but she strongly disliked the “scary” content. “I have kids. I want something cute,” she told him. After a little bartering, a deal was struck: Neck would paint over the fresh ghoul hand with two cute bunny rabbits. He got to work, and although I am a huge fan of his normal genre, I do believe that this unexpected style could be a new phase for him. In the end, the homeowner was elated and took selfies with her two cute bunnies to send to all her friends, and we went on our way. —Dylan Christopher
“Anyone ever done this?” Yeah, his name is Roman
For a party guy, Atiba kept it pretty professional on this trip—until this one night. He took a lot of heads down with him, too. First, at dinner, he and Mami did a Jäger shot. It was her first and his billionth. Later that night, he and the boys all went out drinking. I split with the crew and went painting with Deedz as my lookout. What? You thought Neck wasn’t gonna write on shit on his first trip to South America? Wrong! A family came out while I was painting, so we bounced. I was lying in bed in the hotel, pissed off that I didn’t finish my piece. Fuck, I can’t sleep. I got off my ass and went and finished the thing solo. Finally, I can get some rest. Wrong. Grant makes his way back to the hotel and I could hear the hell train following him. They crew was banging on every door because nobody could remember what room they were in. I opened ours and Jake threw Grant in. He was yelling and mumbling, pissed off at something—or nothing. Who knows? I thought he was gonna rip the TV off the damn wall. It was 5 AM and he was trying to connect his phone to the bluetooth speaker. I was hoping the shit didn’t pair. Boom! Down goes Grant on top of his sheets, speaker and phone in hand. Lights out. I got up and turned off his reggae.
Mami gets pissed and takes a drop taller than herself
Here’s what I found out the next morning: The crew was walking around, looking for a cool bar when some skate homies rolled up. They said their friend could give them a ride to a skater bar. Seconds later, a frozen-pizza van showed up. They all jumped in and apparently Curren was already dusted because he threw up all over the frozen pizzas. They got to the bar and went off. The next day we were waiting for these fools to get downstairs. Once again, they were zombies but they still made it to the van. We got to a skate spot and half the crew took a hungover nap in the grass. Instagram-famous Atiba took a photo and posted it, and just like that the entire town showed up to see everyone passed out. Way to go, Atiba! But that didn’t stop us from getting it, man. Mami took a drop that was five times her size. Jenn got super tech on a manny pad and even Malto busted out some classic moves despite feeling like shit. This crew is good under any circumstances. Roman had called out a big drop he wanted to do—he’d seen some top-rope shit and wanted to jump. You call your drop, you better do it. Off the high dive into the middle of the city? Once again, checking off some shit that had never been done. That’s what we do, because when we’re gone you’re always gonna remember who did what for the first time in your city. That night we tried to celebrate with some good food. It looked delicious in the photos but was the worst in town. Even the stray dogs didn’t want the leftovers.
Malto’s got classics—switch flip
Everybody was ready to explode on our last day in Uruguay. You got some extra sketchy shit you wanna try but don’t wanna risk getting hurt early on? Save it for the last day! These boys and girls sure did. The first stop was a Love Park fountain-type of gap, but with a dirt hill roll in. Nick Michel is a silent killer who can fuck anything up. Too bad this stunt didn’t work out, though—he landed in the splits and ripped his whole shit. Damn. Good thing he got like 79 other tricks earlier in the trip. All good. The next spot was a sketchy skatepark that Grant found on one of his side missions. The park was a local soccer hooligan hangout. The story goes that one soccer team claimed it and then a rival team stole it from them. They painted the whole park their team colors. It’s actually pretty sick. They are called “los pibes de skate” which means “the kids of skate.” I guess they lit the whole park on fire which killed two chickens. These dudes really skate or nah? The park was crusty and perfect. Grant and Roman burned it down in their own way.
Deedz’ front board is longer than this article
We headed to the center of the city on a Sunday. It was dead, like, dead-dead. The night before, some of the crew found a long-ass kink rail while stumbling around. See, the best spots are always found late at night! We pulled up and this thing was beautiful. Yeah, Neck uses the word beautiful. Anyway, our man Deedz had been sick for a few days. He probably had food poisoning from some nasty pizza. Straight off his barf binge he jumped into a front board on this thing—and it was like a block long. Ain’t no way this fool’s gonna ride away from that. Never doubt Deedz! He did it to fakie. Damn, man, I ain’t never seen a front board that long in my life. Not bad for a fool who was sick ten minutes ago.
Nick Michel can smash over anything, anywhere, anytime—wallie 180
Cheers to bad decisions
Could be worse
We ended the day at the beach as the sun was going down. Roman was eyeing a spot straight off the ferry—a dusty, crusty, shitty bump to rail across a canal that nobody had ever grinded coast to coast. Once again, that’s what we’re here for, fellas! Roman threw on the cruiser wheels to get through the rough run up and pushed full speed into the ocean wind. A few rips of the joint and a few tries later and he was rolling away into the sunset while a crowd of homies screamed in celebration. What a way to end the trip! Argentina to Uruguay—South America, baby. I would definitely suggest hittin’ that shit. Start collecting some cans and save up some moolah. Get on a plane and hit the road; it could be there or anywhere! Let your board be the translator. Beer and spots are all around the world… just go!
Coast-to-coast grind into the sunset, Roman closes this shit out
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