Vans EU's "Tom's Tales" Article
Axel, lip to lip in the Gypsy neighborhood of Alicante while Doobie keeps his people in check. Check that board flex! Photo: Ponsero Cheerful and good-natured guys who do not know cleanliness and smoke like steam locomotives in the rooms, smoked EVERYTHING. They burned the mattress, cups served as an ashtray. When the table was taken out of the room, they did not realize to remove the column and spoiled the new door. Clogged sinks and turned everything upside down! We departed on good terms. They did not return the set of keys. They plunged the neighbors into shock with their appearance. Well, thanks, no worse. Needless to say, I would not recommend anyone rent to Tom and his friends EVER! *Translated using Google Translate and may not be completely accurate Alexey Krasniy’s front board transfer was colder than the brutalism concrete structure at the employment office in Paris. With stunts like this, he’s not gonna be unemployed anytime soon! Photo: Ponsero
Alexey Krasniy erupted the spot with an elusive Losi grind at the foot of the Etna Volcano in Sicily. Apparently the warm-up nosegrind just wasn’t killer enough for the Russian assassin Photo: DVL
Albert Nyberg is one of the wizards of the crew and apparently snus and brews are the main ingredients of his magic potions. Chinese fakie hardflip straight outta the cauldron Photo: DVL
After juggling some Carhartt spreadsheets, Joseph Biais front boarded a wavy Sicilian flatbar to warm up those office legs Photo: DVL
For Pietro “Pepe” Tirelli, this was as easy as smashing a bottle of Moretti over his head. Home turf Smith grind in Sicily Photo: DVL
I am very disappointed by Tom and his group! They had so many great reviews therefore I am shocked how they left the apartment. The group destroyed one of my chairs, broke it. They got many duvets dirty. Destroyed two of my paintings in the apartment—one ripped, one covered in dirt. Chipped three glasses. Scratched parts out of my wooden table and the cupboard in the entry hall. Before check out one person was at the open window harassing all passersby, which made them (as well as the inhabitants) very uncomfortable. All the furniture was moved, which meant that I had to get two strong boys in to help with this. Interestingly, I also found shoe prints on my wall and the wall outside the building. Apparently they were entering through the window. Broke the heater. Very frustrated! Even though Tom was very nice that doesn’t change the mess I have to deal with. I would NOT host them again. Photo: DVL
“We went to this spot the night before and thought it was a bust, so we were like, “Let’s go back early in the morning.” I think we left at 8 am or earlier. It’s one of those ollies where you don’t need a bunch of tries—three good tries and you’ll probably roll away from it. As soon as we start setting up the stuff this lady comes out and grabs one of Joe Brooks’ flashes. I remember seeing her grab it and I was like, “What the fuck?” I chased her down and grabbed it from her. Then everyone got involved because she wouldn’t let go of the flashes and some random dude was filming everything. She’s like, “You see these guys fucking up!” and they’re like, “No, you’re fucking up. You’re stealing their stuff.” She was so mad and finally she drops the flash and hits this guy’s phone. His phone falls on the ground and his first reaction is to slap the shit out of her. The lady gets slapped in the face and we were like, “We gotta go.” We packed everything up and were hiding at this cafe. The cops showed up and everything. But I guess the lady came to her senses after she got slapped.” —Axel Cruysberghs
The Crusher loves a good meal and the paella at Roberto Alemen’s folks’ house gave him all the juice he needed to make this impossible possible Photo: Ponsero
Dodging seesaws and tail-grab nosegrinding waist-high bars, it’s all child’s play for Axel Crusher Photo: Ponsero
He crushes axles, but hubbas aren’t safe either. Axel Cruysberghs, lipslide backside 270 at Le Dome in Paris Sequence: Ponsero
After damn near backflipping on a slam, Yeelen Moens put down the back noseblunt slide in Sicily. Sometimes a good bonk to the head is all you need… Photo: DVL
Martino Cattaneo summoned the dark arts and cast a stylish front nose spell in England. You’re a wizard, Martino! Photo: Burnett
Robin Bolian, boardslide yank in Malaga for the Sheikhs of X-Dubai Photo: DVL
Warning to any hosts considering Tom and his crew: DENY IMMEDIATELY! Though they look like a nice group of young men, they turned my flat into a saloon, moving all the furniture outside onto the stoop to create an open-air party of skateboards, broken glass and hashish. Although I hold no prejudices against people of any persuasion, including Gypsies, the fact that the guest they called Doobie appeared naked more often than dressed while catcalling every woman between the age of 14 and 85 was troubling to many of my neighbors. I received many upset phone calls. My fishing pole was also missing upon check out. Be warned!
So you have a phone again?
Yeah, I have a phone again. I’m so hyped. I gave my phone to Nassim and he gave it to a friend and he gave it to a friend and a friend gave it to a friend and I got it back for 80 Euros. They even changed the speaker on it.
What the fuck? That’s some full Gypsy moves. So this is the phone you won a few years ago in France at the weird video contest.
So you’ve been running that and it got broken and you took it all the way down to Morocco.
And now it’s even better than what you had in the beginning?
Yeah, man. It’s way better.
How does that work? Gypsy-mentality, right?
I was like, “Yo, Nas, I have a broken phone. Can you do something?” He was like, “For sure.” And it’s brand new right now.
He’s the best guide you can have in Morocco, right?
He drove us to so many places. He’s fired up. Like, really.
Doobie has a tattoo which says “Take off… no landing.“ Wonder if that inspired this ollie into the AstroTurf? Photo: Ponsero
Everything seems to be fired up down there right now, huh?
The only thing we’re missing is you. That’s the only thing that’s not fired up.
I can’t be everywhere at once. The kids are on vacation and I have to be with them right now. You understand that. You can’t give me shit, Doobie. Fuck you, Pfan Man.
Well fuck you, too, Doobie. You’ve been getting some boards from Antihero now, so you’re flow for them, am I right?
Fuck yeah, Pfan Man, because of you.
I didn’t do shit. I said, “Yeah, I got this crazy Gypsy. You want to send him some boards?” Then Frank sent you some boxes. That’s been working out?
Fuck yeah. Everything is so important and then you watch it burn and go skate.
When are you gonna go to the US? We’ve been talking about this for about two years now.
Yeah, I need to move my ass.
What’s the plan?
If I’m not hurt by the end of the trip, let’s go.
Do I have to hold your hand and guide you over there or are you going to go on your own?
I will go on my own. But if you want to drive that would be way better.
I’ve heard about Gypsies—they get through anywhere. I’m sure there’s Gypsies in the US.
If there’s not Gypsies, they have Juggalos. Do you know what Juggalos are?
No, what are Juggalos? Sounds pretty good.
That can get you around, too.
I’m going to try this move over there.
After the locals showed up with weed cookies, Doobie was seeing double. Smith grind to noseblunt slide, enabled by edibles Photo: DVL
If the US doesn’t pan out, we’ve been covering a lot of ground in Europe. What happened in Slovenia?
With the cookies?
We were skating a spot and the landing was right on the terrace of a bar. It was the best landing ever. Everyone was pretty fired up and this guy shows up with some cookies full of weed. I’ve had a lot of cookies but those ones were pretty fired up. I don’t even remember making the decision to eat them.
How many did you have?
Like three or something. A lot. Too much.
How many did Max have?
He couldn’t even handle filming after one.
We were really fucked up. At some point I was with you getting the flat and we were getting fired up. I remember the lights because it was dark. The lights from the roof were going gnarly. I was up there looking nowhere. I was lost. I felt like I was in front of a stage with the lights and shit. But we skated that thing and I did my trick. I don’t even know how. Nobody could even say anything. It was horrible. We were cooked as fuck.
But it somehow worked! You got your trick and I got my trick.
We were really, really cooked. And we just rolled straight onto the bar. It’s always really convenient when the landing of the spot ends at the bar, right?
Yep. You know. For sure, Pfan Man. Aperol on the landing and cookies on the run up.
That sounds like a winning formula. What more could you ask for?
Titties on the stairs.
Speaking of titties, we also did Moscow. Do you think the Airbnb review we got in Moscow was on point? Did it do the whole situation justice?
That was insane. Oh my God. I remember when I came back the last day and the guy was sitting on the steps. I remember the look on his face. Everything was so fucked up. Max was sleeping in the kitchen with you. The setup in the kitchen was insane. That was the office. Bong rips everywhere. So many ashtrays. Max’s bed had no sheets, no cover. Just drunks laying on the beds and the floor. There was a graveyard of beers and vodka bottles.
They kind of asked for it. Where else would you show up to a double bed in the goddamn kitchen? I was like, Yep, that’s my bedroom. That became the office. As it turned out, that was the spot.
Fuck, man, we just partied every night. The review was fucked. They ended it with “it could be worse.”
Yeah, they still liked us. We didn’t do everything wrong if they ended with a quote like, “could be worse.” We still had room for some more damage.
That was gnarly.
Gypsy astronaut! Who knows where he’s going to land that rocket, the USA maybe? Photo: DVL
On every trip we come up with quotes and stuff. I remember for a while we had this one quote, it was called “a day off.” Could you remember one day that we took off? I think Fezzano was a pretty good day off, right?
Oh my God. The day off. We started on Saturday, we got invited to a festival. We had a really gnarly, big crew. We started the day like, wake up—brewski. We went straight to la playa. Pfan Man was puking all around. Everyone was getting fucking cooked on the sand. We went straight to the office in front of the park and we were drinking, drinking, drinking and drinking.
What was that drink called in Croatia?
Rakija. Fucking A, man. That’s why. The vodka that the Russian brought too! Fuck, man. Everywhere we were going they would fire up a new one.
Do you remember on that Saturday we went to an island?
Yeah. Were those zebras you saw real? Or was it the Rakija and the vodka?
Dude, I don’t even remember. That’s the problem.
You don’t remember the zebras and elephants on the island?
I was cooked as fuck. I was under the big tree.
That didn’t stop you. You kept it going until Sunday.
You too, guys.
What did you do on Sunday?
The fishing day? That was a beautiful day. We don’t talk about the other thing. I’ve done some fishing. We got two or three fishing rods. Everyone was so cooked after how many days? Four? We didn’t sleep for shit. Then we get fucked up and go fishing. Everyone was cooking in the sun and everyone was so hyped on fishing.
You like fishing a lot but that was the only time I saw you catching any fish. You always tell me the similarities between fishing and skateboarding. What are some things that you do in fishing that are the same in skateboarding?
“Straight for the big one!” That’s something fishermen say.
That’s how you run your skateboarding too, huh? Straight for the big one.
I like the big ones sometimes.
What else do fishermen say?
When you can’t get shit, go to the next spot. It’s the same. Sometimes you don’t get shit and you’re so fucking pissed off. You try for hours and nothing happens. One day you show up to the skatepark and you’re cooked as fuck and somehow it all ends up working. Same as fishing, you get to the spot thinking it’s a shitty day and you get the fish on your line.
So you still need to go to the US and fire up your career—if that even exists for a Gypsy. Is fishing your plan B?
No, I don’t want to talk about plan B. I think it’s going to be gross. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t have a plan B. I’m just living and enjoying it. It’s beautiful. I will dream when I sleep. I’m just running this until the end.
Grab a baguette and stay Gypsy as fuck and everything will be alright.
Thank you, Pfan Man!
1/05/2021Last year was the worst, which means we’ve got an extra-stacked pack of T-Eddys for the skate world’s gaffes and god-awful moments. Plenty of praise in there, too! Don’t get pissed if you made the list.
12/18/2020Continuing its tradition of offering powerful year-ending edits, the POP crew annihilates Amsterdam and a score of European dream spots. You can feel the ground from the sound alone.
12/02/2020Skating can break your heart. It helps to have someone to share the stoke with. Here are interviews with six couples that have learned to grind through the good times and the bad. Featuring Nora Vasconcellos, Lizzie Armanto, Axel Cruysberghs, Franky Villani and more.
10/07/2020This Masher gets you close enough to smell the melting coping as Martino Cattaneo careens through Euro ‘crete and opens new doors. Roll in with two of the realest out.
9/18/2020Julien Stranger catches up with the Pfann Man to talk close calls in Nigeria, working for Vans Europe, his new Quantinium video part and the joys of being a rad dad. Chris handles it all with class in this one from our October ’20 mag.