SOTY Trip 2019 "Up In Smoookes!" Article


SOTY Title
Milton had one hell of year in 2019, going on multiple trips, putting out an absolutely insane video part and blasting the kickflip that was heard around the world into the Sunset Car Wash bank. You’d think after all of that he might need a vacation, huh? Hell no. All he wants to do is keep skating. And when you win SOTY, it’s victory lap time—you pick the crew and the destination. The squad was the easy part. He wanted to bring along his brother Eze, Figgy, Collin, Kremer, GT, Omar, Remillard, Louie-Lo, Bækkel, Jack O’Grady and Bobby Long to skate, party and smoke bangers. Not a problem. But planning a trip in the winter is tricky because you gotta take the weather into consideration. “What about South America?” I suggested. “I just went there,” he said. “I want to go back to Australia!” If the SOTY wants to go to Oz, we’re packing our bags for Down Under. Only one problem—leading up to the trip, Australia was literally going up in flames.

photo 2
With no plan B, the crew brought the stoke despite the smoke

The government declared a state of emergency as brushfires rapidly spread across the country. Our flights and Airbnbs were already booked and the plan was set. Fuck it. We were just going to have to roll the dice and see what happened. Random texts were coming in from the crew with photos of the fires. GT asked if we had a plan B. Nope. Thoughts crossed my mind of flying all the way over there and not being able to shoot photos or film anything because of the smoke. Next thing you know we’ve landed in Sydney. We grabbed our bags and headed outside the terminal and what do you know? The sky was blue and it was hot out. The vans showed up and five minutes later the smoke started to appear. But not from the brushfires—from the bangers! Up in SMOOOKES, here we go!
soty pullquote 1 photo 1What’s that in the air? Smoookes! The SOTY sets sail off a sculpture in Melbourne. Art is cool

photo 4 title
How’d you get invited on the SOTY trip?
I actually had the honor of Milton calling me up on Christmas Eve and I was hyped he invited me!

Did he tell you where we were going?
He mentioned going to Australia.
soty pullquote 2Were you surprised when you heard Milton won SOTY 2019?
I was in Greece with T-Funk and he told me the news. It was nighttime and we celebrated the news out there. I was pretty much in tears when I saw the kickflip at his premiere. I had a feeling he would get it.

Speaking of the Greece trip, what happened when you got home?
I got picked up by Govs at the San Diego airport. I had about a two-hour layover. We went skating around downtown Diego for a little while then straight back to the airport to fly to SF for the SOTY party. I rolled into the airport and Milton, Figgy, Collin and Lannie were checking in and we were all on the same flight straight to SF for the party. I had no idea they were on my flight.

photo 3Skate hard, play hard–Wes knows how to get it done on a SOTY trip. He's a GD SOTY, man. Varial heel over the rail

You got SOTY in 2014. What are some of the perks that come along with winning it?
A new nickname—SOTY. Honestly, the perk is just getting more hype and respect from the homies. Random people still bring it up and tell me they are hyped I got it.

Its a prestigious award, for sure.
It’s a trip and it’s still surreal to me. Jake’s got our backs.

Where did you go on your trip?
We went to the Canary Islands. It was cracking, for sure.

Who was on that trip?
Govs, Surrey, Madars, Josef Scott, Jake, P-Stone, Ewan, Chris Ray, T-Funk, Roast Beef and Torey Pudwill.

That’s a rad crew. You had Jake and P-Stone on that trip. That must have been a wild one. What was it like traveling with those two?
Epic times, for sure. Jake and P-Stone were always down for whatever and always hyping it up in every way, shape and form. I remember P-Stone getting the clips up in a tree with a wine bottle, just doing what he does—capturing the magic. Every night we all were just kicking it, hanging outside the hotel, playing dice, drinking beers and talking shit. We only went out one night to a club and we got Jake out with us.

photo 5Justification for the vacation, Wes earns his beer helmet

Are SOTY trips a lot of pressure to go on? I mean, you have to make sure you get a cover from the trip and a solid article.
Hell yeah, definitely there is some work to be done. You have to get the justification for the vacation.

It’s also sort of a party trip. How do you manage both on a trip like that?
That stuff just generally handles itself. Partying or not, everyone just does what they have to do on the trip. Shake off the crust in the mornings and just get it going.

How was this year’s trip to Australia?
It was epic. I had a blast, for sure. The weather was hot and Milton was keeping the streets hot as well. It was in no way short of a Hellride.
soty pullquote 3What were some of your favorite memories from the trip?
Being on a trip with Omar. I had never been on one with him. It was a goddamn blessing. He knows exactly what to do on the road, and that’s have a good time. He was skating street. Street Omar is the best. Rapping with him at night was a highlight. We used the dead skin from a blister on his foot for a filter and the crew smoked it. Russell Grundy giving the crew Stabbie’s tattoos at night. Stabbie’s revs for life!

How was that day it was 109 degrees?
That day was insane. Collin was trying a line. How dare he skate in that heat, but he did. After that we just drove around looking at spots. It was too hot to skate.

Didn’t you go meet up with some Australian homies one afternoon when everyone was burnt out from the heat?
Everyone was heading back to the Airbnb and the homie Niddy was driving to the city, so I hopped in with him to link up with some Melbourne skaters. We migrated over to the wall rail with like 30 drunk Australian skaters to watch Tommy Fynn and Gabbers skate the rail. It was a full party in the street at the spot.

You got to see the homies get some?
It was insane. Tommy got his trick and the 30-skater crew just went crazy. Right after that Gabbers got his and it was an all-out celebration. A full stadium feel, heavy celebration. The crew was loud and then the cops showed up.

photo 7Crusty spot, crustier dude. Wallie back tail for the milk-carton crew

How are cops in Australia compared to cops in the US?
They are super mellow as long as you’re not doing any real crime. If you just talk to them they are pretty laid back. Sometimes they just let you keep skating the spot. It’s the opposite of the police here in the States.

We stayed pretty far from the city in both Sydney and Melbourne. What was the average night like at the Airbnb?
Collectively hanging out at Stabbie’s, which was the Airbnb porch with a table. That was our nightlife on the trip—kick it all night until everyone just calls it quits and goes to bed.

What was the craziest trick you saw go down on the trip?
Hands down, Milton trying the kinked boardslide. That was savage. He did the boardslide through the kinks, was about to roll away and got wheelbite or something. He was basically rolling away. Next try he stuck at the kink and flew about four meters. Mid-air he looked like he was facing death. He flipped over and landed on his side and got a healthy Charley horse. He dropped a couple of loud “fucks!” and got back up there and handled it.

That was insane. I thought he was done after that slam.
Same here. Then he got back up there and handled it, then killed it on the rest of the trip.

What about Jack O’Grady? Had you met him before?
Squish? Yeah, I met him last year on an Indy trip. He cruised out with us a few days. This year he got to hang out on almost all of the trip.

I think last year he was a little nervous.
Yeah, that’s right. This year he came out swinging and got some heavy tricks. That was another notable memory of the trip, him skating that drop-in grind rail.

That was gnarly, especially getting kicked out right away and he just had to try and handle it.
Yeah, he sacked it and went over the side of the rail. Nick Boserio was trying to get the security-guard lady out of the way. She was throwing some elbows at him and he was pushing her out of the way with his body. Squish got squished by the rail, but in the end he handled it and we got out before the police showed up. Aside from skating, he is a stand-up human.

I think he is coming over soon for a few months.
He better come over and hit Oceanside then cruise down for a BBQ on the stoop in Mission Beach.

If you had to guess how many slabs of beer went down on the trip, what would you say?
Let me try and do the math. I would go with at least five-to-seven slabs per day.

It was hot there and the boys were thirsty.
That would be over 100 cases plus the free slabs we got from the brewery. Damn, that’s a healthy amount.

Your last trip to Australia was “Gotta Eat!” This one could have been “Gotta Drink!”
I think every trip is “Gotta Drink!” these days.

If you had to pick a MVP, who would it be?
Everyone contributed to the trip and killed it, but as far as a standout overall I’m going with Omar! Larry, MC Money Bump brought so much hype to the crew.

Omar needs to go on every trip from now on!
He will be on every trip if he makes a rap album, for sure.

photo 8Frontside flip bowl to bowl, Fitzroy park goes

photo 9 v2 pullquotes 2
soty sequence figgy 2Rainy-day bridge lurk, Figgy nollie backside flips into the Melbourne drains. HRC4L

photo 10Figgy 50-50s a neon beast with a fucked landing

photo 11See, told you so

photo 12
How many times have you been Down Under?
I’ve been to Australia 11 or 12 times.

What’s so rad about traveling to Australia?
They speak English—or sort of English from what I can understand. Their summer is our winter so it’s a great place to travel and they have tons of street spots, skateparks and of course really nice beaches.

Was this your first SOTY trip?
Yeah, it was. Thanks, Milton, for inviting this fool on the trip.

How was the overall vibe of the crew?
I already get to travel a lot with some of the guys like Milton, Collin, Louie, GT and it’s always a good time. The vibe on this trip was rev’d the whole time.
I'm like Peter Pan Just KiddingHow is keeping up with the younger dudes at 46 years old?
It’s more like how is it keeping up with me? I’m like Peter Pan. Just kidding.

What’s a typical scenario for Larry to come out and start rapping?
You never know but it’s always good to unwind after having a good skate day—some cold ones, a speaker on my head and it’s on.

What’s the next day like for you after Larry turns it up?
I usually feel like a 100 pesos, which is about a dollar. I have a formula for trips, though. I need to pace myself and have a night off here and there.

If you had to give the youngsters advice, what’s your secret to staying involved in skateboarding so long?
Don’t break your leg. No, just skating in general is something that you want to be a part of and do. There is no real formula to it, but if it’s your passion, just keep skating and going on trips and being around other skaters who like to skate.

You said you were only skating street on this trip. Have you been skating street lately?
I was just trying to be funny when I said that but watching the crew skate street so easily, it was kind of fun to push myself. Obviously my level of skating street is not the same level as what they are doing, but I was feeling the hype and when you find a spot that’s up your alley you have to get it.

The crew was so hyped when you rolled away from the boardslide the second day. Boards were thrown and a few bottles got broken.
That’s what I mean. Any of those guys could have boardslid it but for me it was a challenge. They just get hyped for me to roll away from anything these days.

What happened at the demo in Ulladulla?
I was sort of the last man standing at the demo. It was drizzling and just wanted to put it down. I have probably done a thousand of those heelflip frontside airs over the years and it was just a fluke. I think it was just the wrong one to put my feet on and my front foot came off and I sat on my ankle. I broke my fibula.

photo 13He’s probably landed 1,000 money grabs, but this one got him a ride to the ER. Heal up, Larry!

It seemed like you just wanted to put it down and end the demo before the rain.
Yeah, it could have happened anywhere, but it’s all good. I will just have to go back there next year and tackle that shit like Milton would!

When the ambulance showed up they gave you a “green whistle” for the pain. What was that all about?
I’m not sure what it was but they need to import that thing over here. I could see people just using it at parties all day long!

That was the fastest I have ever seen Omar go straight to Larry in like five minutes.
Yeah, I don’t know what’s in that thing but it definitely helped. I went straight from shock and a little bit of embarrassment from breaking my ankle at the demo—everyone around was concerned but the whistle just made me feel better and I wanted to leave there on a good note and make the people laugh. The green whistle sure helped with that.

The money grab was going to shut down the demo but that didn’t work out, but your speech ended it so perfectly under the circumstances.
I think everything happens for a reason. I need to get a whistle necklace. I think Too Short must have had one of them a long time ago: “Blow the Whistle.”

How much longer did you have to stay in Australia?
I had to spend another week there after I had surgery. I stayed with Shane Azar for that week in Sydney. He works for Volcom. I just chilled at his house ’til I was able to fly back to California.

What are some of the highlights of the SOTY trip?
Rallying around Australia watching everyone skate and kill it, then sitting around the table at the Airbnb and making fun of each other every night. I think the levels were really high with the crew we had. Even though there were some casualties, when levels are high like that shit gets a little bit hectic.
Watching Figgy skate in person is intenseWas there anyone on the trip who you were stoked to see skate in person?
Watching Figgy skate in person is intense. Jack was really cool to meet and he rips, too, and of course watching Milton is always a treat.

photo 15Make that 1001 money grabs

How would you describe Milton’s approach to street spots?
He is just savage. That would be the word. He has that Evel Knievel approach. That’s why he got the SOTY award. Not a lot of people are willing to put themselves in those types of situations and have the skills to do that type of skating.

photo 14Omar’s 46 years old and still getting wild in the streets. Roll-on feeble grind, the hype is real

Milton and his brother skate totally different. How would you describe their skating?
Milton is the savage animal and Eze is the technical wizard. They are both really talented skateboarders.

Thanks for killing it on the trip. You think you’ll be rolling around by the time this mag comes out?
Yeah, the doctor said I will be able to start putting pressure on it in about four weeks. It’s just a minor setback. I have had a lot of injuries over the years and one thing I realize is that you will heal. I will be back soon!

Can’t keep Larry down!
Never!

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photo 17 v2 photo 18 v3
TUNES
To start the revs, tunes are a must. Volume in the van must be maxed at all times. Once parked, boards are out and the Jambox is on. Slayer or Bagman vs. Larb will do.

COOLERS
We need a rev’d SOTY but we don’t want anyone overheating. With temps hitting over 100 degrees, best have the chilly bin fully stocked with the local flavor. Break a few daily for the Phelper.

DAD CAM
To motivate the SOTY, the dad cam must be out and fully zoomed. Climb a tree or get under a car then give a holler, “Right here, Smoookes, this angle is perfect!”

FOLIAGE
The rolling greenhouse that is the van should be decorated to really set the mood. Random branches and multicolored leaves hung inside can really harness the energy. Also, we love you, CK1—the pioneer of van decorating.

STABBIE’S
When the day is done, the revs don’t stop. Head to the local porch and have a couple with the crew. Overstay your welcome, then head home to your own Stabbie’s to finish off the slabs and get stabbed with ink by the legendary Russell Grundy to really seal the deal on a clean rev.

photo 16.5 USE Fire exinguisher on deck if the revs get too heavy

photo 20 v2 photo 21
This was a 16-day trip and Ewan not only drove the van the entire time, he cleaned it out every morning and also documented all the shredding. He’s been on five SOTY missions. Let’s see how this one stacked up.

How was Milton’s SOTY trip?
It’s like every SOTY trip—it’s like a hurricane. The doors of the van open and the hurricane comes out and destroys your city. It was really gnarly; a lot of the dudes got broke off.

Name all of the SOTY trips you’ve been on.
Ishod’s, David Gonzalez’, AVE’s, Kremer’s and this one—Milton’s.

How did this one compare to the past ones you’ve been on?
This one was all-time gnar. It was the gnarliest one out of the ones I have been on. I saw one of the gnarliest slams I have ever seen. Figgy is the hardest human out there on a skateboard. He slammed so hard, bounced and got right up.

What’s the heaviest trick you saw go down on this one?
I feel like the first day, straight off the plane to the stair sets in a row—Milton just got gnarly on that spot with the lines he did.

What about the most memorable moment?
GT shitting in the bucket at Stabbie’s bar, which was the back porch of the house. It was an emergency but he was not scared. I saw the biggest fly I have ever seen in my life land on it afterwards.

How do you decompress after a 16-day trip like this?
I don’t know. It’s two weeks later and I’m still not decompressed. Post-party depression is what it is.

Then straight back to living it again when you start editing the video, right?
Yeah, once I start editing it I will be remembering all of the days. Sort of like PTSD but in a good way.

What was the overall vibe of the trip?
Fuck shit up—everything, yourself, the spots. I was driving the party van and I would hear these dudes going mental in the back. I was just chuckling the whole time. If you put a normal person in there they would think the van was filled with a bunch of lunatics. Everyone was having a good time!

Stabbie’s or Hooters?
Stabbie’s, for sure. Fuck Hooters.

Who was the MVP?
I would have to go with Kevin Bækkel. He got smoked the second day of the trip and fucked up his shoulder. He never complained, stayed for the rest of the trip and helped out as much as he could with one arm. That’s the real deal!

photo 22 pullquoteHigh-speed roll-on grind, gap out past the curb. Apparently Remillard’s an authorised vehicle

photo 23 pullquoteAm Scramble to Up in Smoookes, Jack O’Grady was a rad addition to the trip—back 5-0 on Australian Day

photo 25 Sorry, miss, Viking Jack is on a quest to destroy

photo 24Security tried to stop him, police were too slow. Jack took a few good slams on this one but came out a winner, ride-on 50-50

photo 27 v2 photo 28 v2
CAN’T RIP? SIP!
First and foremost, drinking beer all day definitely helps keep the good revs going when you’re hurt.

HELPING HAND
Help the homies out! Sweep out skate spots (one handed if you gotta), clean the van’s windshield at gas stations and help tackle the slabs.

INK BLOT
Tattooing is definitely a good way to kill some time. I was trying to tattoo myself but it was tough with only one working arm. Thanks, Collin, for helping me finish that one up.

SPOT LOGGIN’
I used the downtime to log all of the spots in my phone. I know I’ll be back sometime to get another chance.

GOPHER IT
When you’re the only one who can’t hop the fence at a spot, you can be the gopher. Grab the dudes beer, water—whatever they need from the van. Keep ’em sippin’ while they’re rippin’.

photo 26One thing to do on a trip when you’re not hurt, by Kevin Bækkel: Steep and deep noseblunts straight off the plane

photo 29 pullquoteLouie Lopez takes out the trash with a kickflip 5-0 at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney. Gold!

soty sequence louielopezBluntslide bigspin on a cooker of a day. Hot moves, Big Lou
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photo 30Boardslide drop-down hurricane by Bobby Long. Crime pays

photo 32 pullquoteOur tour guide Cody Riley took a little time off to huck a heelflip over the rail and past the bumps. Double duty!

photo 33 toptunes
photo 34Waking babies up and pissing off the residents with a bluntslide pop over into the bank, The Provider provides

photo 35Demo day at Ulladulla skatepark, Collin goes fatty to flatty for the crowd

photo 37 photo 36
PROVOST KNOWS you don’t need a bunch of shit weighing you down when you’re on the road. Pack light and keep your gear tight.

How many pairs of pants do you bring on a 16-day trip?
One—the pair I’m wearing when I get on the plane.

How do you know when it’s time to wash them?
When they stand up by themselves.
I’ve had a couple staph infectionsHave you ever gotten a rash from them being dirty?
I’ve had a couple staph infections.

How many t-shirts do you pack?
Seven.

And how many boards do you bring with you?
Five.

Shoes?
Three pairs.

How many packs of cigs are in the bag for a trip this long?
Fourteen packs.

How many tattoos do you generally take home from a trip?
It depends on how sick the posse is. I brought two home from this one.

Did you bring home any other souvenirs?
A Yellow Bird Bar Motörhead shirt, a High Street sign that I stole and one epic hangover which doesn’t take up any space in my carry on.

soty sequence colinprovostTwo new tattoos and one-two moves, Colin knows the perfect souvenirs

photo 42 titleHellride tagged? You better roll away. Milton, frontside wallride into the bank. He’s still watchin’

How blown away were you when you heard you won SOTY?
I didn’t even think it was real. I was like, No way.

Where were you when you found out? Did you get a call or anything?
Actually, my friend called and asked if I had been looking at my phone and I said, “No, I haven’t.” Then he starts fucking with me and my phone started ringing with people hitting me up after they found out about it.

That’s huge news, a SOTY from Argentina.
Yeah, there haven’t been that many skaters from Argentina who have made an impact in the States. Diego Bucchieri is pretty much the only one, so yeah, I think everyone from there is hyped.

What did you do when you got the news?
We were already out skating the streets and we just kept skating and drinking some fernet. The next day Converse had an event and a lot of people showed up. My dad drove up from Mar del Plata and he cried when he saw me. He never shows any emotions like that either. We just had a fun day skating with everyone.

That’s a great way to celebrate. The next thing you know you are at the SOTY party in SF. I heard you passed out on the couch at the party.
Yeah, I did. I was there with one of Jake’s good friends. He was passing out first. Then it was me, probably around 8 pm before they awarded me the trophy. Earlier that day I skated Prince park in Oceanside with Collin and Figgy, then we went to the airport around 4 pm to fly up to SF, so we started partying early. Then Wes showed up at the airport straight from Greece and we kept it going all the way to the SOTY party.
I was trying to get ready for a speech but the fernet got meSo you eventually woke up and got awarded your trophy by Mark Gonzales. How did you prepare for your speech?
I was trying to get ready for a speech but the fernet got me and all I could say was, “Smoookes!” and threw the mic down. But I am totally thankful for everything that happened that night.

Did you get some time to relax after the SOTY party?
Sort of. Straight after the party my brother Eze was at my house in San Diego for a few weeks, so I took him all around San Diego skating before we left for the trip. It’s been three years since he has been here. We used to travel together a lot back in the day.

Why did you pick Australia for the trip?
It’s one of those places I had seen footage and photos of over the years. The first time I went there was last year on an Indy trip. That trip was one of the best trips I have been on. The whole crew and Phelper was there and it was such a fun trip that I wanted to go back. Before the Indy trip, whenever I would see Jake he would say, “We have to go to Australia.”

photo 43
Jake loved going to Australia. He was great guy to have on a trip, too—always hyping up the crew and making trips more fun.
Yeah, he did. I think it was just supposed to happen to go back there for the SOTY trip. Jake would always get up early and so do I. He was the best! Him and Preston together were such a heavy crew to go on a trip with.

We threw out Argentina as a destination. What happened with that?
I had just been there for two weeks. I thought about going there for the SOTY trip but I always go there. I asked a few homies from Argentina about the trip and they were like, “Go somewhere else other than here.” I love Argentina but the spots can be harsh. I am going to keep going there all the time and I have a ton of homies from there and family, too. I want to keep going everywhere and keep traveling.

How did you pick the crew who went with you?
I think the crew came together naturally. They are the homies who I usually skate with every day and go on other trips with. There were a lot of other skaters I wanted to come along but you can’t take everyone. I wish we could have but that’s just how it goes.

photo 45SOTYs X 3

Is it a lot of pressure knowing that you have to come back with a cover-worthy photo, an article and you are also trying to make sure you have a good time?
It was a hard trip but lots of fun hanging out with your friends, smoking bangers, laughing and skating. Obviously, everyone wants to get tricks—that’s why everyone was on the trip. You never know what you’re going to get on trips and sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less. But we definitely had fun and I think we got a lot of clips.

What was a highlight from the trip?
Much love to Omar for the speech after the demo, before he was taken away by the ambulance. The microphone-drop explosion at the end was sick.

I think he may have gotten the idea of throwing the mic from the SOTY party.
Yeah, maybe.

This may have been the first trip where a sibling of the SOTY went along and skated. How stoked was your brother Eze on getting invited?
He was hyped when I told him we were going to Australia. It’s not that easy to travel around the world coming from South America. He was blown away on the whole trip.

photo 39For these guys, the skate family thing is literal. Milton and Eze take a well-earned breather 

Everyone loved Eze.
He is a really good kid. He’s always been a super mellow, nice kid.

How old is he?
He is 24 years old, five years younger than I.

Did you guys grow up skating together?
Yeah, we did, our whole life. We went to the same school and everything. I started skating first. When I was around two years old I had a skateboard because my dad skated. He brought skateboarding to our whole family. Every weekend we would go somewhere where we could skate. Then my dad opened a skateshop in 1998.

You and your brother skate so differently.
Yeah, we do. He is more technical. We grew up together skating and I always looked up to him. He was doing backside overcrook backside reverts and stuff. That’s why I learned overcrooks, from watching him. My whole life I always thought he was a better skateboarder than me, really smooth and stylish.

On the trip when he battled the backside 50-50 on the rail down the double set and had to pop out, is that a typical spot for him?
No, it’s not. That was a highlight of the trip for me. Because watching him cross that barrier and step out of his comfort zone—he was going fast on the grind and then eating shit. I never saw him skate spots like that. It was super sick to watch him. But I was scared and I was thinking, Don’t try to do it anymore, but I didn’t say that to him, just to myself.

photo 41 pullquoteThe crew got Milton’s younger brother Eze fired up for this gnarly backside 50-50. Turn this man pro! Oh, Butcher already did

He took a few gnarly slams. I didn’t think he was going to be able to ollie when he fucked up his ankle.
I never saw any dirt or dust on his shirt before. I think the whole crew cheering him on got him hyped up to get it. That’s what it take sometimes—to go on trips with other skaters who are better than you and it makes you try harder. I’m glad he got it. His ankle was swollen and black and blue the next day. He couldn’t skate anymore on the trip.

The first day straight off the plane, you got a few lines down those stairs with rails. It’s a long flight. Most people chill the first day. What gets your fired up to skate?
Yeah, it depends on the flight. That flight was good. I got to sleep on the plane. It happened to be a really sick spot and that’s what gets me hyped.

Did you get any tattoos on the trip?
I got “YA ERA,” which Preston used to say all the time. Means kind of like, commit. Don’t think about shit, just go for it. Fuck it, pretty much. I also got “Hellride.” Both are pretty small but Grundy hooked them up.

photo 40Shitty tattoos? Check

What’s the meaning of Hellride to you?
Hellride, first of all, is having a good time with your homies, skating, doing whatever the fuck you want. Obviously it’s going to get hectic because everyone gets fired up and shit will get hectic. Watching Phelper bomb Dolores Street at six in the morning is Hellride!

What does getting Skater of the Year mean to you?
I never thought it would be possible and getting the opportunity to get the award is unreal. It means so much that I can’t even explain it in words.

Have the SOTY perks been paying off yet? Energy drink sponsor, weed sponsors?
No, no. I’m good with what I got.

What are your plans for 2020?
Just keep skating and going on trips. I want to work on another video part. Last year I spent a lot of time at home working on the part. Maybe this year I’ll travel more and work on a part all over the world.
John Cardiel is one of my biggest inspirations to my skateboardingDo you have any favorite SOTYs?
Everyone who has received the award obviously deserves it and are insane skateboarders, but I think John Cardiel is one of my biggest inspirations to my skateboarding. He is my favorite SOTY.

Where do you keep the trophy?
I keep it at my mom’s house in Argentina.

I saw your mom carry it off when she left the party.
Yeah, she knew I was probably going to lose it that night!

That’s a rad place to keep it—it belongs in Argentina.
Yeah, I get random photos from friends who go visit her and they will send me photos of themselves holding it.

You are keeping skateboarding really exciting to watch. Thanks, Milton.
Thank you to everyone at Thrasher magazine and to all the skaters who eat shit every day and love it.

photo 44 V2
For 16 days, the SOTY hurricane ripped through Sydney and Melbourne leaving nothing but destruction in its path. The crew skated straight off the plane and didn’t stop until after dark on the last night. Most of the guys were bruised and battered by the end, but there were zero complaints and nuthin’ but smiles. As Wes says, “You have to get the justification for the vacation.” I’d say we covered both of those bases on this mission. And what’s next for Milton you might ask? We sure as hell don’t see him slowing down one bit, and neither does he. Just keep the camera pointed at him and try to keep up! Good on ya, Milton, for keeping the revs going and taking us along on your Australian Hellride. I know Jake and P-Stone would approve.

photo 46Make sure you see the footage. Straight survival mode! Kinked boardslide to broken window and we out! 
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