Braydon Szafranski and Lance Dawes, Melbourne.
Leo Romero, Melbourne.
Neck Face and Jet Ski, Melbourne.
Ah, Australia. What a beautiful country. It has definitely been on my list of must-see places, and it was amazing to be able to experience it with the Emerica team on the Stay Gold tour! We put together a good squad for the trip: Andrew Reynolds, Kevin “Spanky” Long, Bryan Herman, Leo Romero, Matt Allen, Brandon Westgate, Jon Miner, Lance Dawes and myself headed out on this mission anticipating good times. We were not disappointed.
Kevin “Spanky” Long, Melbourne.
Leo and Spanky, Melbourne.
Dustin Dollin’s wedding, Melbourne.
A bro’s wedding is a good way to set a cool mood for a trip. Dustin Dollin got married during the time that we were down in Oz and the Emerica team was invited. We all got dressed up in our finest duds and raged all night. It was such an awesome wedding.
Fancy lamps, Melbourne.
Pool shark Herman, Melbourne.
On the road again, Melbourne.
We officially started the Emerica Stay Gold tour a couple of days after the wedding. Pete Daly, the Emerica Australia Team Manager, met up with us and fellow Emerica Australia team riders Jeremy “Jezza” Correa and Scott Standley The itinerary for the tour was a bit hectic. We started in Melbourne, then flew to Adelaide and ended up in Perth on the West Coast. In each city we visited, we were met by huge crowds of kids at the demos, and we also got to skate some amazing street spots.
Demo crowd, Melbourne.
Spanky signs, Melbourne.
Andrew Reynolds and Ali Boulala, Melbourne.
Every demo was packed with kids wanting to see their favorite skateboarders. The team got to hang out with everyone after they were done skating each demo. At the one in Adelaide, Andrew saw a kid wearing a David Bowie t-shirt that he really liked. So, he bartered with the kid, handed him an Australian $50 bill (roughly equivalent to $35 U.S.) and ended up with a new shirt.
Drew signs, Adelaide.
Leo enjoys a nice, tall flat rail, Adelaide.
I noticed that Australia and the U.S. are very similar, although there are a few differences. Driving on the left hand side of the road was a bit weird to get used to, but it was pretty fun. It was also sometimes hard to decipher what someone was saying through all the thick accents. To them, we were the ones with the funny accents.
Herman and psyched kids, Adelaide.
Brandon Westgate, kicky fence hop, Adelaide. Photos: Pete Daly
Kicking back, Adelaide.
The biggest difference I noticed over there was how nice the police are. I know this sounds weird, but we went to the same school three nights in a row and got kicked out each time by the same police officers. You’d think after the first time they would get pretty pissed that we came back, but each time they were very polite, apologized for having to kick us out and even gave us directions to the nearest skatepark. It was crazy.
Spanky, big-ass frontside flip, Adelaide. Photos: Pete Daly
Tired in the airport, Perth.
After we recovered from the wedding, this trip turned into a serious skate mission. We skated day and night searching for the best spots Oz had to offer. One of the last sessions we had was at this huge five-flat-five double set in Perth. Andrew, Leo, Scott and Spanky skated it and threw down some hammers. Leo landed a nollie 180, both frontside and backside, so he walked off into the darkness and chilled while the rest of the crew kept skating.
Leo the Rail King, Perth. Photo: Pete Daly
More signage from Drew, Perth.
I didn’t notice, but while I was filming the session, some bros from Star Skateshop in Perth showed up at the spot with beers, started a little lawn party and watched the insane skating go down. Andrew threw down a huge buttery backside flip, then Leo came running up to me with a beer in hand, and I was confused as to where it came from. After Spanky nailed a hefty frontside flip down the double set, everyone was cheering and raging. It was such an amazing sesh!
Drew, 5-0 shove-it, Perth. Photos: Pete Daly
Light at the end of the tunnel, back in Melbourne.
When the trip came to an end and it was time to go home, Braydon and Spanky didn’t want to leave. They both changed their flights so they could stay a bit longer. I don’t blame them, I did the same thing. The whole tour was so much fun and really productive. We definitely got a good taste of the Oz nightlife, too. The Emerica team keeps talking about how much fun the trip was. We want to thank everyone who came out to meet us at the demos, everyone from Star Skateshop in Perth who helped us out, and everyone who showed us around.--Jeff Henderson