This photo of Josh doing a fakie pivot at Double Rock makes my mouth taste like watermelon beer.
I don’t really know how it all happened or where to start, so I’ll start as far back as I can remember. About a year ago, Mike Murdock invited me to a barbeque. But it wasn’t any ordinary barbeque: it was a barbeque to induct me into his gang, which shall henceforth be known as the International Gang of Awesomeness. Not only was I made a member, but I was now privy to all the rights and privileges pertaining to being a member of this gang.
One of the privileges of being in an international skateboard gang is the fact that you can travel to any strange city in the world, and as long as someone in your gang knows someone there, you will always have a place to stay. It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t know you—all that matters is you skated with someone they skated with, and that gives you the right to share a beer and sleep on their couch, sometimes for months on end. If they’re someone in your crew’s homie, they’re your homie too. That’s just the way skateboarding works. Another benefit of being in an international skate gang is the lack of territorialism. Skate gangs are generally nomadic by nature and travel is essential in the quest for good curb cuts to carve. If someone is going on a trip, you’re automatically invited, no matter how much room there is in the hatchback.
I still don’t really know how it all happened, and how it happened so quickly. It was as if one weekend I was in Southern Utah with friends (SLUG 256, March 2010) and the next thing I know I’m in San Francisco sleeping on a floor with eight other people (technically four months). I guess this is the blur that comes with the alcohol privileges associated with the International Gang of Awesomeness. It was a great time though, or at least what I can remember of it. The trip had a lot of highlights, and even though the whole gang wasn’t there, it was a great crew. I tried my first watermelon beer (strangely satisfying) and for the first time in my life I was part of “bring the bar.” For those unfamiliar with “bring the bar,” it’s what happens when you have a group so big, you can go to any bar and it will become crowded. I believe at one point we were walking down a street and there were 18 of us. Awesome. If you told me in high school that one day I would have 18 friends, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I can’t remember much about my nights because apparently in California, the alcohol content is higher, so half the beer got me twice as drunk… I think that’s right (my math skills aren’t all there sometimes). I do remember falling down a lot. I also remember accidentally calling James Atkin at four in the morning. I heard someone talking to me (via my phone) and woke up curled up on the floor with a boot as a pillow. I think my pants may have been missing as well. But those warm San Francisco days were great for skateboarding. Mike McGreevy, a friend from South Dakota who was staying with some of our gang, was MVP of the trip for sure. McGreevy was usually the first one out the door to skate and the last one to sit down for a tall can at the spot. Murdock killed everything as usual and it never ceases to amaze me how good the guy actually is at skateboarding. Andy Pitts, who I’m pretty sure learned how to skateboard in the future and then traveled back in time, had a hurt ankle but was the best damn tour guide ever. Josh Martinez filmed the whole thing but also did a pivot on pool coping at Double Rock that got cheers from Real Skateboards head honcho Jim Thiebaud. Mike Hays, Kris Nelson, Ashley Bloxham and Micah Scholten were all there skateboarding too, but I’m not sure what any of them did on skateboards.
We did enjoy, as I mentioned earlier, some watermelon beer. Plus, even though it’s considered a faux pas in most skate gangs, the International Gang of Awesomeness is an equal opportunity gang, so people were able to bring girlfriends and wives along on the trip. I’ve heard it’s not cool to bring girls on a skate trip, but the crew on this one was so proper that I would say you should bring girls on every trip. It was a great addition to the crew on “bring the bar” nights and everyone killed it both on and off the board, as well as on and off the wagon.
The old saying goes, “I left my heart in San Francisco.” I’m afraid that after this trip “I left my liver in San Francisco” is much more appropriate. I’ll see you soon San Francisco, but I’m going to build up my drinking immunity first so I can remember more next time.