On October 3rd, Quiksilver team riders Todd Richards, Danny Kass, and JF Pelchat , along with Team Manager Brian Craighill, photographer Mark Oblow, and all around great guy Matt Patterson embarked on the Quiksilver promotional tour to the east coast. Mounting a tour like this seemed “way too easy and tame”, so we decided to premier the new Grenade Gloves video, “Full Metal Edges” and include a few disreputable Grenade kids to make it more interesting. Add one Ponytail sporting, hacky-sack carrying, hippie loving sales rep from New York, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a strange crew.
It all started in NYC after a mellow seven hour travel day. We arrived at Laguardia airport on the evening of the 3rd, picked up the rental car, and then proceeded to drive a fully packed min-van into one of the most crowded cities in the United States, during rush hour. Destination was the W hotel. That’s right! The W hotel. If we were doing a promo tour, and we were going to do part of it in NYC, we were going to do it right. After a long day of travel and what seemed to be a longer drive from the airport to the city, we were beat down. That is, until we stepped into the W hotel. Bam! It was on. After a quick freshening up, we were off to dinner in the big city. One word is all you have to remember when trying to dine in NYC. Republic. It’s a noodle factory in Union Square. Go there, it’s fabulous. After a few post-dinner drinks it was back to the Dubs (W Hotel) where the beds have down comforters, and the thread count in the sheets is higher than I can count…..A great first day.
Day two. An early morning rise, and drive to the beautiful state of New Jersey to visit Brave New World and Blades Board and Skate. Todd and JF signed autographs and held contests to see which kid could fart on demand for free Quiksilver shirts. They were stoked! Shortly after, we were in route to Philadelphia to meet up with Quiksilver Skater, Tim O’Conner, and bro down with the guys from Elite, a skate shop on South Street. Because we were under certain pressures to stay on schedule, the crew skipped a nice sit-down dinner to help set up for that evenings screening of “Full Metal Edges”, and hang out at Elite. By powers unknown to man, and the technical wizardry of Matt Patterson, we managed to set up the projector and sound equipment. Halleloujia!!! After a greasy, but well worth it cheesesteak from “Jim steaks”, we showed the movie to a packed house at “Tattoo Mom”. Again, everyone in attendance was stoked.
Day two was a success, until we checked into a hotel that will remain nameless. I’ve had some scetchy sleeping arrangements before, but when you pay money to sleep in place that’s obviously dirty, smelly, and in a questionable part of town, you have to kick yourself in the ass at least once for it. Bad choice of hotels for night number two.
Another early morning rise and drive back to NYC. As I checked out of the roach motel, and passed on the offer for free breakfast at the “wonderful” restaurant next to the lobby, we hit the road only to take a wrong turn 20 minutes later. Rush hour traffic yet again. After stopping at Wawa for coffee day three started to look promising, perhaps because our first destination for day three was back to the comfort of the W hotel in NYC.
Back in the fast pace of the city, we met up with Danny Kass and Jeff Schorr(hippie) and proceeded to hit Princeton Ski, Blades NYC, and the Quiksilver Boardrider’s Club in Soho, while the technical geeks, Matto and Oblow went to the “I Bar” to set up for the screening and after party. There were kids, teenagers, and adults lined up to meet the Quiksilver super pros . After the mayhem had subsided, I realized just how important these tours were. I saw first hand the looks of disbelief on peoples’ faces, young and old. The fact that Todd, Danny, and JF would actually show up, let alone sign their poster or Quiksilver T-shirt seemed to be on eveeryones faces. This day put it all back into perspective for me. I remembered what it felt like when I met a super pro snowboarder for the first time and how cool, but also normal and human the whole experience was. This time I was able to view it from the “other side of the fence”, and it was just as enjoyable.
Back to the best hotel in the world for a much needed rest and shower, and then onto a sit-down dinner to thank the crew for their attendance and patience before the party that night. “Full Metal Edges” and “Civilians” in front of a packed house yet again. In attendance, the Quiksilver crew was joined by Matt and Nicole Kass, filmers Curt Morgan and Jared Slater, and grenerd Kevin Casillo. I even think I saw the Dingo at one point. After the flicks, we all piled in taxis and headed for Maxx Fish, where we met up with the likes of J2 and Natas Kaupus for a few cocktails. Day three in the barrel.
Day four started way too early. The last thing everyone wanted to do was leave the W at 8:00 am, but we had a fairly long drive to Boston, and we were on a schedule. Back into the mini-van and on the road, and a few hours later we were parked in front of the Quiksilver Boardrider’s Club in Boston. Again, I was quickly reminded of the draw that Danny, Todd, and JF have over the snowboarding public. More stoked kids, parents, and shop employees. Next it was on to Underground Snowboards where we all got to skate a super fun mini-ramp, and the Quiksilver super pros pimped the brand yet again.
We ended the tour in New Hampshire with a large party at the Redhook Brewery, after skating the most amazing park located in a an old aircraft hanger. Thanks to all the shops who hosted, all the spots we skated, and all the athletes and Grenade kids that made it possible. See you on snow very soon.