Category Archives: Culture
It has come and it’s here to stay (for a while at least). The dreaded winter weather of our beloved country has arrived. Sure, it’s great news for all the snowboarders, but shitty news for all skateboarders for whom the rain and snow will keep indoors. This is the time our minds begin to process ideas at full speed when thinking of where to travel and chase a combination of the sun, the warmer weather, and the endless skate spots.
I know a lot of people who traveled to Australia as soon as they’ve finished high school. At 18 or 19-years old, it’s a safe and culturally familiar destination for a first time traveler. I get it. When I was that age, Australia was the last place on my mind. I’d spent enough time in Whistler to think that all Aussies were obnoxious and all I cared about were mountains. I didn’t give a shit about the beach. I grew up on the beach and it was overrated. As time passed, I heard so many stories about people going Down Under to drink box wine in Byron Bay and get laid in cheap Brisbane hostels that I felt like I’d already been to Australia, even though I was subconsciously making an effort to not go there. I had officially convinced myself that I should stay out of Australia for good.
It is 5:45am, my alarm is buzzing for the third consecutive time this morning and finally I get up, throw on an old pair of jeans and my trusty insulated plaid button up. It’s the uniform of choice among my co-workers on the construction site. I have just graduated from BCIT with a journeyman certificate in the trade of plumbing and this is my first week back to work.
Several years ago, when the excitement for motorcycles was still fresh and new to me, my friend rick got back from a skate trip and brought with him two videos; one was a Ruff Ryders music video featuring some booty shaking and motorcycle stunts by Wink 1100 (how many blocks you got?), while the other was The Road Racers.
What can I say? I’m not a two weeks a year type of person. Leaving a comfortable ‘bright lights, big city’ life working for the Swoosh to write for cents on the word in a strange surf filled land didn’t seem like a hard decision.
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” I can’t remember where I first heard that, but it certainly rings true. Another cliché that I like, “If you love what you do then it isn’t actually work.” I managed to take these two old adages and put them to work for me.
I’m in the quarantine sector of the Chinese border, near Mengla. It’s mid afternoon in sweltering jungle heat. I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m the only person in here. The border is new and modern, yet there’s no traffic. I later discover that the border is recently completed, but the highway is not, hence the lack of border clients. Maybe they’re trying to fuck with me by making me wait in this room alone for so long, but there’s nothing I can stress about. I’ve got the proper Visa stamps, I don’t speak any Mandarin, and neither of the two officers working can speak any English. I can only wait.
Over the last year we (Don’t Sleep Productions) have been jokingly throwing around the idea of shooting a short Zombie film for the Whistler Heavy Hitting B Grade Horror Film Festival. I wanted to shoot it all at the Whistler skatepark and do a sort of Zombie vs. Skateboarders type thing.
This past June I was on my way to Mammoth driving north on the 395 from LA. I saw a sign that said, “Death Valley 104” and thought to myself, “that’s not too far, maybe drive through there on my way back.” So after a week of sun & snowboarding in Mammoth I drove back down the 395 a couple hours and stayed the night in Lone Pine (a small town at the base of Mt.Whitney) and would begin my Death Valley excursion in the AM.