WORDS Josh Dunn PHOTOS Marcus Bandy
Recently, Bustin Boards sent a group of four skaters on a voyage of friendship and shredventure as they embarked on their 2016 Euro Shop Tour. The plan was simple: live out every one of our skate rat dreams by skating our way across Europe and visiting as many different skate shops and skate communities as possible along the way. With careful planning and a tremendous amount of help from our main Euro-side contact, Lisa Karina, the map was marked with a line that had us fully pitted all the way from Northern Germany, down south into Northern Spain. Scheduled stops for skeeerrrrting on our way through The Netherlands, Belgium, and France had been arranged until we were spit right out into Barcelona, our final destination of the tour. Two Thousand plus kilometers, twelve days, five countries, four skaters, one van. . . no mathematician alive can calculate the crust that this equation yields, but we were all committed to the cause and the adventure was tremendous. Toti “Bicicleta”, Carla Javier, Marcus Bandy, and myself simultaneously slipped the jet stream as we headed to the starting point of our voyage: Hamburg, Germany.
European Summer Shop Tour, 2016 (Video Recap)
Upon landing and discovering multiple accounts of missing luggage, the language barrier became painfully obvious. Thankfully, we all packed our good attitudes in our carryon bags and were able to shrug this mishap off as we got ready to get shreddy abroad. After recouping over night, and waking up to the discovery of some of our lost articles, the first of possibly a thousand TETRIS bouts of fitting our bags in the van went down before we were able to get on our way to our first session of the trip—which was held at a radical DIY drainage ditch. This was a great warmup sesh that combined multiple skating skill sets, all of which we would soon encounter again in spades as we experienced along our way—everything from long distance pushes all the way to full blown mountain mobbing (with a skate park ro two sprinkled in along the way as well). It truly was a “Skater’s Paradise” with each day holding a new string of experiences with such uniqueness that there were no two days being even remotely close enough to mix up during later recollections of the trip.
Adopting a true Skate Everything mentality as a skate family had us all eager and willing to skate anything in our path. The variety of terrain we encountered completely covered every color of the skate spectrum allowing each of our crew to shine multiple times in their main disciplines of devotion, yet still pushed each of us individually in many areas of skateboarding we sometimes overlook. Despite experiencing a different approach to skating at almost every stop along the way, we were beyond stoked to experience the exact same sense of community and comradely at every stop—being greeted as if we had been skating with the crew since way back. We were even lucky that every group spoke decent, if not perfect English, but even this slight communication bridge was often bypassed through opting to use the universal language composed, not of words, but of buttery grinds and thane lines.
And this Let’s Go Skate language was the real dialogue we had come all the way from America to conduct, which we believe is the true concept of community growth in an all-inclusive environment that fosters maximum possible personal creativity, thus granting every skater the ultimate chance at expressive their freedom. It was incredibly rad to see so many different skate groups who all skated with a unique style that was clearly molded from the environment around them. The number of skaters that showed up to come skate with us was the fire that fueled the trip, and was greatly appreciated and needed by the whole crew on such a distanced journey. Despite being on the road much of the time, every one of us were fired up to lurk with the next group of people along the way. Though our shared love of skateboarding each new crew quickly became our friends. Skateboarding is the ultimate tool to bring people together and I personally hope it is the tool to bring me back to see all my Euro homies real soon!
THANK YOU’S: With out the support so a lot of various individuals and shops, this tour would have never gone down the way it was able too. The entire Bustin Crew is VERY grateful for all of the hospitality, hot showers, salsitas, cervesas, & guided shred safaris shown to us by all of our hosts. A huge shout out goes to all the homies who came and showed up to sessions at every stop along the way, because without you our stoke levels would have been hella low. We’d would also like to specifically thank a few key individuals who really went out of their way for us and made us feel as if we were right at home on a completely different continent: Lisa Karina, Martijn Schrama, and crew of Sick Boards, Erwin Thomas, Richie Loffler of MDCN, Marcus and crew from Mantis Longboards Shop, Heiko and crew at Concrete Wave Skateshop, Gordon Timpen for the hospitality in Germany, Ed Martinez-sola for the hospitality in France, Marco from The Cave, the District 16 posse, the Dumpstijl family, the Nomad shop crew, Our Ride All homies, the All Bros crew, Giles and crew at Fortrate, Axel Serrat, Alexandre Gdiu, David Casabon and a huge thank you to all the skaters we met and now call our friends.