May 11-18, 2004
Once again, the éS team left their homes around the world and headed off on tour, this time to Eastern Canada for a two-stop jaunt. Montreal was up first and is a truly amazing city. Although it's not more than three hours from the U.S. border, it seems as if it is a world away. French is the main language spoken there, with English a close second. Nearly everyone I ran into spoke English, which made me wonder why they even speak French. Either way, French is a beautiful language, no? Montreal's architecture and its people make the city a great place to visit--especially when you consider that skate spots are at hand on virtually every other block.
Present on this trip were éS team riders Eric Koston, Rick McCrank, Rodrigo TX., Justin Eldridge, Javier Sarmiento and éS Europe's Benny Fairfax (on his first-ever tour with the éS team). Also with us were éS filmer Scuba Steve, photographer Atiba Jefferson and, of course, Tony E. the éS Team Manager. We had a solid crew and were looking forward to some of the good spots Montreal has to offer.
Tuesday, May 11'We arrived amped to skate, and met up with our distributors Dave and Judah of Timebomb, Canada, at the airport. Once we checked in to the hotel and got everyone together, we were ready to go. We found an abundance of spots over the next few days, ranging from the Big O (a natural fullpipe built for the Olympic runners) to rails, ledges, stairs and gaps--Montreal's got em' all. We had three free days to skate, and we used them to our advantage. Justin found his twin. Javier and Rodrigo found some good ledges. Eric, Atiba, Scuba, Justin, Rick and Tony E. all witnessed one of the most amazing Lakers games in history.
Friday, May 14'We had a demo scheduled in Montreal at a great indoor wooden park with the typical skatepark set-up, including hubbas, gaps, fun boxes, manual pads, ledges, quarter pipes, etc.). The boys got started on a heated demo (it was nearly 95 degrees inside the warehouse, which was filled with over 800 kids).
An hour into the demo, the power went out, creating a pitch-black skatepark with 800 kids going crazy and screaming! The éS team soldiered on, though. Rick found a small patch of light from an emergency exit sign, which was placed next to a six foot tall quarter pipe. Rick, Eric, Justin and Javier skated the quarter pipe until the power returned close to twenty minutes later. Once the power came back on, so did the éS team's energy. They continued with the demo for another hour, then signed autographs for another two hours. Fun!
Saturday, May 15'We were off to Toronto, Canada. The first flight out in the morning got us to Toronto by 1:00 p.m. The same tour routine applied here: we were picked up by the distributor, checked into a hotel, ordered room service and relaxed a bit before preparing to shop. Life on the road rules. The boys were feeling a little too exhausted to skate, so we decided to hold off, relax a bit and get ready for the big demo on Sunday.
Sunday, May 16'Bing! Sunday's here already. The éS team had a hot date with Canada's premiere skate mag, SBC. We were escorted over to their headquarters so the riders could pose for portrait shots, enjoy some indoor golf putting and skate their thirty foot wide mini-ramp a bit. How come every skate company doesn't come equipped like this? Golf? Mini-ramp? Damn! Once we wrapped things up at SBC, we headed on over to the demo.
'Damn! This place is too small for all these kids,' I thought. And it was. There were over 600 kids at this demo, and since the park was too crowded, the boys had to choose which side of the course they wanted to skate (manuals and mini-ledges or a full-blown extreme park not quite wide enough to get extreme). They chose the extreme park side, because, you know, éS is so extreme.
The boys went off on this demo, too. Koston, McCrank, TX., Eldridge (feeling a little sick but still kicking ass), Javier and Benny were all off the charts. After the demo came the signing. Sorry Toronto fans, for cutting the autographs a little short, but we had to get to work that night before the sun came up'there was filming to do before we left town! We visited a hubba and checked out some other random spots, as well. There were a few tricks thrown down, but you'll have to wait for the éS vid to see them.
Monday, May 17'The big drive to Rochester, New York to do an autograph signing at Krudco skate shop. Krudco rules. Aaron, who runs the joint, is a genius. I've never witnessed anyone so tight with his customers. Both parents and kids were happy to see him and congratulated him on the success of the signing. What success, you may ask? The line for the signing was over two blocks long. There were probably 200-300 kids waiting in a light drizzle to get an autograph from the éS team. Aaron is an even better man for allowing us to hang out with a competing shop during our short stay in Rochester. Aaron even came with us to the other shop! What a dude!
Well, hey, that's about it. We made this article short and sweet so you can head straight to the tour photos. Big-ups to the Timebomb crew, G-Man, Judah, Dave, Dan and the crew for hooking this up. Also, the boys at SBC mag for hooking-up the session at the mini and on the putting green, Aaron at Krudco for being a super dude and all of our homies in Montreal, Toronto and New York. Now check the photos'