The Arbor Collective is doing big, big things, and their talented freeride skateboarding team is definitely a integral component to this forward momentum of Radical. We’ve been watching all of the Arbor “Get Elevated Tour” videos over here at Wheelbase and have gleaned some major Stoke each and every time one of these puppies goes live. Today, we are proud to collaboratively introduce the final and culminating episode: Arbor’s “Get Elevated Tour Episode 5”, as well as provide you with an exclusive and truly Arbor “collective” interview with the freeride team discussing their experiences skateboarding and filming for the “Get Elevated Tour” series. Please enjoy.
Now that the Get Elevated Tour is a wrap and we have some time to talk, tell us a bit about the experience. How was it getting the majority of the team together and exploring some new mountain roads?
Duke: The trip turned out to be everything we expected and much more. Everyone on the trip had a different skateboarding background that eventually led us all to the Arbor team. It was the first time we had all gotten together to spend some serious time skating with one another. There was no better destination than the Sierra Nevada and the loose structure of the trip allowed for it to play itself out in the best possible way. The California scenery we traveled through was true to its reputation of being breathtakingly beautiful.
James: It was always just a fun idea. The trip was a blast as it was happening. Now, looking back, it was still awesome, but I should have booked campsites in Yosemite.
Max: It was insane. It’s one thing to have 6 or 7 guys who just skate and share the fact they’re on the same team and nothing else. It’s another when everyone is such great friends, it let’s you enjoy the experience outside of the “work” aspect.
What did you guys hope to capture in this trip when you first set out from the Skatehouse in August?
Jimmy: We hoped to skate some rad roads, have a team skate trip, get sick shots… film a little I guess and try to not get taken out by each other here and there. Oh- and get some nature time in!
Duke: Our plan was to focus on filming our group of talented dudes shredding down world-class hills but not to leave out all of the good and bad times we had during our travels and downtime.
Eric: We wanted to capture the complete process of big mountain skateboarding; finding, getting to, and actually riding the hills.
What was the best and worst thing about traveling with a bunch of dirty skaters through the mountains?
Josh: Well I wasn’t there until the last two days, so I didn’t have to deal with it, but just the smell of Dukes truck could kill a grizzly bear, so you don’t want to be there. and James, man, it’s called deodorant.
Kody: Best thing was getting to skateboard with your friends and camp out. The worst was not having girls to even-out the testosterone levels.
James: Well, we’d run out of beer too fast.
Jimmy: I think I saw some people actually stare at us… smell us… and run away.
Are there any memorable moments that particularly stand out for you?
James: There were some gnarly moments. Some high speed crashing. Filming gnarly hills tired late into the day. Luckily, awesome times like, cliff jumping, crazy pack bombs, and sleeping in the middle of nowhere only to wake up on top of a sick hill heavily shadow those times.
Eric: Swimming in natural pools after skating all day. Going super fast.
Kody: The look on Jimmy’s face when the breaks went out on Dukes truck. Partying with James’ grandpa.
What was it like filming with 6 people in close packs on these intense roads?
Duke: Hectic to say the least. We tried to keep the group as close a possible to make for the best footage but there were lots of downsides to riding like this. The leaders of the pack set lines based on their best intuition while the riders in the back experienced ridiculous drafts trying to follow the same line as the man in front of them.
Max: Fucking crazy. It’s great that we’re all so comfortable skating together, because if we weren’t there would have been lots more crashes. Trying to film with 6 people on big mountain roads is sketchy as balls.
Jimmy: It was work. . . it sucked. . . it was fun. . . Can’t wait to do it again. . . Yeah, it sucked at some times… especially when we had to all stop… Falls and getting taken out comes with skating. If you’re skating and don’t think you can or are gonna get taken out… just wait and hope you are prepared haha.
Were there any crashes or accidents?
Kody: Yeah always shutting down. Duke had the worst on the last day. After seeing that I did not want to skate next to people.
James: There were some gnarly crashes. Injuries are always a big fear on film trips, glad everyone is ok.
Josh: Ya, once upon a time I started the arbor team, then I put Max on it . . . oops, and i love crashing, lets you know how much you suck.
Max: Yup. Sliding through a gravel ditch on my face shield head first into a boulder. I don’t really remember the contact with Jimmy too well, but it was scary to say the least. Josh and Eric both went down above 55, Eric blew up the seams on his leathers. Duke fell on the last day in a really burly fashion around 45 with no cowskin.
James: Had this guy who is now the brand manager slam into me then get pitched into a ditch.
How often did you guys get lost?
Jimmy: With 6 of the smartest skaters and 2 cars- what could go wrong? Oh wait, about 10 or so U-turns and a couple back tracks. All in all we found out where we were at the end of the trip and I’m happy to say, no one got eaten by any bears.
Kody: Not too much.
Josh: Lets just say, its 2 am and me and brad farmer, my best friend, cant find are way out of hell.
The skating in Episode 5 was cut short. Care to elaborate on what happened?
James: After the week of skating, filming, and road tripping the crew got tired from filming a steep mountain road. Everyone was running out of patience, so we called it quits.
Jimmy: Life on the road happened. Some times you cant always put on a smile, other times you can grin and push a smile through… in other words, go with the flow. We were all pretty over worked from the trip in general and filming. A couple bad crashes and some bullshit ended that day…
Duke: What happened at the road in episode 5 was destined to happen eventually. The method we used to film that road involved everybody stopping after the corner or feature that was being filmed to make documenting the road more efficient. There was no organization to how everyone came to a stop; some people would footbreak to give each other room, a few people would slide when it looked safe, and guy in front usually ended up a few hundred yards farther down the road than everyone else. We were filming a corner that ended up being MUCH faster than any of us had expected. The group got really tight coming out of it and all hell broke loose. Someone threw a footbreak that caught Eric off guard, so he immediately threw a slide to save himself. Unfortunately, I ended up a few feet behind him with no option but to hurdle over him. I’ve got pretty long legs but they were no match to pavement racing under me at 40 miles per hour. A slide on my bare knee and a stylish somersault into a ditch on the side of the road was enough to bring me to a stop. By good fortune alone, I managed to escape with nothing but a sizable scar to remember the trip by.
After watching these videos, It seems like you guys spent a good portion of the tour not-skating. You guys got your fish on, you hiked around, camped in tents, and swam in some cold mountain waters. Don’t get us wrong—you guys definitely shredded some very awesome roads. It just seems as though you all came up to the mountains to experience and celebrate the natural surroundings of the mountains just as much as you came to shred the roads. How important was it for you dudes to simply soak up nature?
Eric: It was an unavoidable benefit.
James: We are trying to showcase the full story of a skate road trip. Taking the time to smell the flowers and soak up nature is a key part of any trip’s story and should be expressed. In a project like this, its important to highlight the lifestyle behind the skating and the Arbor team, not just gnar skating. Haha, plus some of those chilling, fishing, and swimming shots we worked hard to get. I thought we needed more.
Duke: The human body can only take so much skating in one day, especially at high elevation. We usually started skating first thing in the morning and finished up by the early afternoon, leaving the rest of the day open for whatever the local area had to offer. There is hardly a shortage of things to do in the Sierras during late summer.
What’s next for the Arbor team? Can we expect more team tours similar
to this one?Can Wheelbase come with next time?
Duke: Not sure what’s on the board but I’ve got some ideas I want to pitch: Get Marooned tour in Indonesia, Get Nomadic tour in Mongolia, Get Polluted tour in China, Get Belligerent tour in Ireland, Get Revolutionary tour in Egypt, and countless more. You’re always welcome in my book!
Josh: Well I’d love to go to Hawaii and skate down lava, but I doubt I’ll be invited after writing all this, but this is an epic group of dudes and they’re fun to skate with, so much talent.
James: There’s more in the works. Things are progressing quickly over at Arbor.
Max: If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
Jimmy: Arbor is gonna be bringing it back to 1979. . . well let’s just put it this way, Arbor 2012: rider designed and rider tested. We have a sick team—got some rad boards coming out. We got an epic family to work with, and it makes it better having a company that works with you. Party like its 1979, skate till you cant skate no more. . .
Also make sure to check out the Arbor Collective site for more details and further radnness regarding the: