The Burton World Tour Gets Wild in the West

Chicago, the windy city gets hit by BWT

The carnage from the night out in Burlington took its toll on the crew en route to Chicago. JP and Romain were nowhere to be found, and we boarded our flight with the two Euros missing. Ross and Kelly, the two Olympians, have had their fair share of late night parties and early flights, but they managed to pull themselves together and make it on time.

When we arrived in Chicago, Matt Hoffman, the local Burton rep, shuttled us from the hotel out to Skokie for an autograph session at Shred Shop. The crowd of people at the shop had a definite international flavor, with some Koreans, a couple from Norway, and some girls from Innsbruck who knew a bunch of the IBK Burton crew.

After signing some posters and watching some of the Cubs game on the shop’s TV, we rolled back into the city for a break in the action. The evening plans were to hit ‘Innjoy’ to premiere the new video and do a little fashion show. With the Cubs game still on, we delayed the start of the video so the Chicago crew could finish watching their team cruise to victory. The hometown win left the club with an energized atmosphere, and the video started with cheers from everyone in the place.

Thanks to Matt, Brooke, Jason and the Chicago crew for the great time.

Off to Denver, in search of JP and Romain.
Denver World Tour Stop, One mile high and rising

En Route to Denver, we reconnected with JP and Romain in the Chicago airport. They had spent the last two days back in VT, recovering from Romain’s birthday and relaxing with a few rounds of golf in the epic fall weather.

After landing in Denver, grabbing some rentals and cruising to downtown, we had a few hours to kill before hitting the pre-party at the local rep’s showroom. Keir and Victoria had been in town for a day already and had been doing media appointments all day. Jeremy had gotten in earlier in the day and connected with the crew for a radio appearance on the Uncle Nasty show before heading off to get in a quick session at the Denver Skatepark. The rest of us took the time to do some quick shopping on the 16th St. mall to pick up clean underwear for the rest of the tour.

Rolling up to the showroom for the pre-party, there was a good vibe and a great crowd of local industry heads. All the local shops were in attendance, as well as reps from other companies and marketing crews from a bunch of the local resorts. The Colorado Burton crew did a great job redecorating their showroom and turning it into a full blown bar and party space.

After downing a few libations, the buzz came through the space that the VIP transportation to the video premiere had arrived. The party spilled out onto the street and into an old school double decker bus that was waiting outside. Despite the bus being a little over capacity, the rookie bus driver managed to get the thing going before too long and the mobile party unit was en route to the theater.

We arrived to a packed venue, with lots of eyeballs glowing in the dark, staring at the screen waiting for the videos to start. This was definitely a crowd that was ready for winter, and at the first sign of snow on the screen the place erupted in cheers. “The Process rocked the crowd and left them wanting more.

Thankfully, the local video crew ANMP (a new movement productions) had just completed their latest flick, “Uninvited. With a great Jeffy tribute section, and standout parts from local Burton riders Ryan Lougee and Mitch Reed, this video is one to watch if you want to see what happens when Colorado riders bust out of their local scene and get down to business. Lots of great footage from all over the globe and a solid mix of rails, park and pow riding kept the Denver crowd pumped up till the credits rolled.

An autograph session in the lobby was the last order of business before heading to the after-party, and once the riders managed to fight their wayhrough the crowd they got busy with the posters. Local kids were stoked to see JP, Romain, Victoria, Jeremy, Keir, Jussi, Lougee and a few of the local riders up close and personal, and for a while things got a little out of control as the crowd fought their way to the front for signatures and free goodies.The scene at the afterparty was even more out of control, with girls getting down to the dancehall sounds of Selecta DC, fresh of the plane from VT. With Whitey’s new movie running in the background, DC kept the place bumpin till the wee hours with his deep collection of 7 vinyl.After some recovery time the next morning, we had a much mellower day in store. Lunch in Boulder with ‘The Daily Camera’ and quick visits to ‘Outdoor Divas’ and ‘Satellite’ wrapped up our work in the front range. A mellow dinner later with the local Burton crew put most of us out of commission, so it was back to the hotel for some quality sleep.

Sweet dreams, then off to SLC.
Team fights, with and without gloves in SLC

When we hit the ground in Salt Lake, the tour crew had just enough time to grab the rental cars while the team chilled out and had a mini skate session on the airport sidewalk. DCP rolled in off another flight from Vancouver to join the rest of the riders already on the tour. With epic weather and a mellow schedule for the day, it looked like the first day in SLC would be an easy one, but little did we know how the evening would unfold.

An early autograph session at the theater and a premiere of “The Process went down at the Gateway Mall and loads of kids came out for autographed posters, the mandatory ‘free stuff’ and good times with the team. Jim Mangan from Park City supported the event and gave away a season’s pass to ride at the resort. Krista and the local Burton crew put together a great premiere and raised over $1500 dollars for the local Boys and Girls club of SLC. Everybody left the theater pumped up for the rest of the evening’s plans.

Shaggy’s was the scene for the after party, and it seemed like the whole Salt Lake winter crowd was coming out of the woodwork. Nate Bozung was chillin, and I know Ali Goulet was there getting psyched up for his boxing match the next day. Burton photog Kevin Zacher was spotted with a drink in hand instead of a camera, and even the Microsoft peeps pulled themselves away from their monitors after finishing up Amped 2.

With the evening drawing to a close, there was definitely a few weird vibes floating though the bar as the staff got a little freaked out by how hard people were partying on a Wednesday night. Security got a little agro, and of course the focus of their efforts had to end up on Romain. Not that he was doing anything wrong, but this guy always seems to attract the heat from the biggest bouncer in the joint. Before anybody could say a word, Romain was outside on the sidewalk with a massive doorman pinning him to the cement. Victoria was freaking out and jumping on the big guy and another bouncer had to pull her off. The Police were quick to make the scene, and Romain was soon in handcuffs.

A few words were exchanged between the tour crew and the Police, and then a few more words were spoken between the Police and the bar staff. In the end, Romain was released and everybody went home easy style, with nobody in the paddywagon. Just goes to show that you need to keep things on the mellow side when you’re in a scene like Salt Lake.

The next day’s main attraction was the celebrity boxing match at Blindside. This was not the first time Tom and Chad had gutted their store for a boxing event, but it was probably the best turnout they’ve ever seen. The place was packed, standing room only, and kids were climbing up on anything left in the store to get a good view of the fights. With some Foxy Boxing to open up the night, the crowd was getting hyped up for the big names to hit the ring. JP and Romain were on the bill, but I think JP was a little stressed after witnessing Romain’s venting the night before. DCP stepped to the challenge and rolled to the back of the store to get taped up before the match.

An epic battle ensued, with the two riders trading blows at a pretty breakneck pace. Three rounds, one minute each is a lot more work than you think, and both the guys were looking pretty haggard by the end, even though they were laughing and having a good time. Fighting with your friends is always fun, right? The panel of judges, including Keir Dillon, gave the bout to DCP by the narrowest of margins. I think the bouncer the night before had taken enough fight out of Romain to keep DCP safe.

Next stops: Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco and LA. ssing Romain’s venting the night before. DCP stepped to the challenge and rolled to the back of the store to get taped up before the match.

An epic battle ensued, with the two riders trading blows at a pretty breakneck pace. Three rounds, one minute each is a lot more work than you think, and both the guys were looking pretty haggard by the end, even though they were laughing and having a good time. Fighting with your friends is always fun, right? The panel of judges, including Keir Dillon, gave the bout to DCP by the narrowest of margins. I think the bouncer the night before had taken enough fight out of Romain to keep DCP safe.

Next stops: Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco and LA.