Have you ever wondered what life on the road is like for professional skateboarders? Have you found yourself wishing you could pack the van and hit the road with your friends, searching for the best spots to make an epic short film?
Most skaters never get the chance to go on a real skate trip but thankfully we have Jeff Grosso to fill in the details. Grosso accompanied Antihero as the team toured New Zealand, shredding during the day and camping out during the night; Grosso documented it all and penned his first-person narrative for Thrasher. The final product gives great insight into the traveling skater’s glory, struggles, and everything in between.
“I watched Daan awake from a dead sleep, crack a beer and join Robbie, Div, Grant, Frank, and Raney in a session on this old, weathered mini ramp on a beach outside Hampden. Kinked, splintered, and slow. A field of Alpacas and sheep grazing nearby, indifferent to the intense skate action. Fog rolled in off the ocean and bagpipes played in the distance as they commenced in decimating every square inch of this forgotten relic. That’s right—I said bagpipes. I watched Daan learn 5s in 20 minutes, a trick that took me 20 years to put down, while bagpipes droned on in the background. It was fuck’n surreal!”
Grant Taylor took over the majority of the DJ responsibilities throughout the trip. Taylor played reggae or hardcore tunes at full blast, prompting angry looks and calls to “go smoke your drugs somewhere else”. The crew were even mistaken for “Freedom Campers” after the van ran out of gas, prompting the team to sleep in a field for the night. Grosso wrote about the experience in his lone journal entry of the trip.
“I’m lying in my tent, on the side of a hill, at the mouth of a capsule bowl built in 1981. She is tagged, neglected, all but forgotten, but we have traveled halfway around the world just to dance with her. Kind of crazy, but there’s not a sane one amongst us. The air is sweet with smoke. I hear glass breaking and laughter. Our little outlaw camp at the bottom of the world. They call it “freedom camping” down here, and we are proud to count ourselves as part of the tribe.”
The crew found time to go fishing, celebrate a couple birthdays, and throw back some cold ones (3,888 cold ones by Grosso’s count) all while sampling the best parks and street spots in the incredibly scenic country.
If you’re like me and have always wondered what it’d be like to go on a skate trip of your own check out Grosso’s full article and Gabe Morford’s photos.