Skate & Explore - North West Road Trip
Ya cruise ya definitely don't lose, snooze or anything else that rhymes with ooze, except for YEOWS!! And plenty of yeows we shrieked on our NW Skate and Explore Cruise Tour - a multi stop skate, travel and party tour through arguably the greatest region on earth: the North West, a place with plenty of crews and epic shops that helped show us a top-tier time. Technically we didn't JUST hit PNW, we extended it to have a little dabble in the desert because obviously we're gonna squeeze as much stoke as we can. We hit Seattle, Spokane, Provo, Salt Lake City, Boise, Bend, Eugene and Portland - where we capped off the tour with the Mt. Tabor Challenge. We made various attempts at living the best life, most of which were certainly victorious attempts.
Stephen pumping off the bottom.
Alex in his happy place (tweaking setups)
Why all the glory? Easy, the crews that we cruised with - in each town we tee'd up either an epic store that supports the crew from their town or a local skate crew to give us a taste of what their zone has to offer. We were blessed to ride with legends from all walks of life and all skates of board (and bikes, blades, electric things and basically anything - we're an all-wheels-welcome kinda family).
The Cal Skate family.
The van was crammed with a mighty crew. Alex Hannigan, Carla Javier-Brea, Clarke Patrick, Stephen Vaughn, and Tessa Campbell, along with video lord Guff and, from Salt Lake onwards, Jacob. When I say crammed I mean in every sense of the word. When we do these cruise tours, we bring practically every board in the lineup so that you/us can test-rip everything we’ve got to offer and ensure no spot goes unscathed! It's like an ice-cream truck, except instead of selling treats, we're skating them.
This crew was the mightiest of skate and van life enthusiasts, a force to be reckoned with and like an ice-cream truck we stopped everywhere, except we traded that heinous monotone garbage music for a shared spotify playlist that never ceased in it's elevation of spirits.
The crew taking in the views at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
A perk about this tour was that we had some new boards to test out, top secret at the time, and although they're now (mostly) released, they're different (improved) to the protos we snuck around the place. Alex even managed to pack what felt like 17 downhill boards, or maybe it's that he spends about as much time driving the van as he does changing setups - no one else can make one deck appear, and ride, like an entire quiver.
Clarke sliding up and over.
Guff getting it all in - shooting, skating and frothing.
We got to sample a tonne of different zones and climates and there in lay vastly different skate terrain, for eg Salt Lake (at 40c/105f) is dry, flat and pretty epic for cruising - especially when the thunder storms roll in and you're pushing forward but going backwards, sarcasm aside, anything to cool us down was a huge bonus. PNW gets hillier and the rainforest engulfs you, with skateparks everywhere and plenty of hills between them it’s a very special place for us all. For this tour we mostly spent time in towns and generally it seemed like most in this region were built around/along rivers. Rivers are always a target because typically there’s some kind of river trail/bike path and given it’s alongside a river they're usually flat (if you're looking for epic cruise spots in your town, and it’s got a river, then you know where to look!).
That is one happy Dinghy.
Tessa with the aero-stache.
What you can't see is the near-hurricane conditions bearing down on us.
The zones were great, obviously, but they wouldn't have been anywhere near as enjoyable if not for the crews we got to hang out with along the way. The events ranged in attendance from maybe 15 up to what felt like up to 50 frothers, all down to cruise and share in the bliss that comes from skating with the homies - especially after years of being cooped up because of the spicy cough.
The legends at Boise Skate Supply hooked it up with the indoor ramp and blissful times 🤜
To finish the tour at Billy Bones' Mt. Tabor Challenge was a veritable icing topped cake situation. This event is unique in that racers must compete in an old-school tuck, a riding position where your feet need to overlap in your tuck - much easier said than done. Regardless of the results (which were insane) it was epic to see the core crew spewing stoke all over that little Portland Mountain. Those insane results… Team Riders Dexter Manning and Troy Yardwate took 1st and 4th in Opens respectively and in Womens more team glory with Alicia Fillback taking 1st and Tessa Campbell with 4th. YEEOOWW!!!
Wolf, Dexter, Jacob, Vaughny and more - maybe too much glory in one shot.
More Wolf, never enough Wolf tbh.
Dexter with the Opens title!!
Alicia taking the womens crown 🤜
WHERE TO NEXT?
It felt great to stretch out with the crew, we'd done some other tours this year but this was our first one in the US where we got to skate and lurk with the locals, something we'd all sorely missed, more sorely than our asses from the van cram, but no one was complaining, the only complaint was why the tour ever needed to end (it probably didn't) which is why we need you to build a crew and invite us out! We've even got a section on our website to do so, make sure you hit it up!!
pacific north west cruise tour
Video by Dave Leslie. Photos & words from Jacob Lambert.