Bondi in 2014 was as usual a great place to party. Undeniably some of the best skaters ever assembled in one place, albeit mostly bowl and vert skaters, but the Fourstar team were in town for a couple of days too.
Ishod, Tony T and half the Girl skateboards team joined by Dollin, o’neill and Brophy providing lots of star spotting and fanning out for the locals and tourists alike.
The first people I ran into at Beach Road were probably RJ and Chris Russell, then Navs and Al P, Creature brought a big team out this year. Willis Kimbel, Cory Juneau and the NHS filmer Noah also made the trip.
It would come as a bit of a surprise a few nights later to find Al Partanen passed out in the mall after the kebab shop shut and the.pubs would no longer serve us. But after taking a few pics with some younger crew who were stoked to discover him this way, good sense took over, instagram pics deleted and i half carried him home. The boys were leaving for Canberra the next morning and Willis was the only one left awake. Stoked he gave me a board for helping Al home.
Pedro Barros and his Brazilians were already ripping the hell out of the southern summer bowl series, taking out most of the placings at Wellington, Newcastle and Manly in the lead-up events. I asked if he was bummed it was raining and he simply stated that he was looking forward to a surf.
Vans pulled the money out of Wellington apparently to bring the biggest ever lineup of current and future champions together with an equally impressive list of legends to ensure four decades of rippers were well represented and well looked after.
Frontside events and key sponsors like Redbull, GoPro and Beach Burrito put on a week long series of parties, exhibitions and other activities and probably what was most welcomed by the skaters was the miniramp upstairs, right in the bar at the Beach Road Hotel. The italians Luca, Bobby and Guido were all over it, hitting the ramp with fury after being denied entry the previous night.
As in previous years, the international visiting skaters stayed in the hotel, or at the very least spent alot of their downtime drinking there. Many of us ratbags stayed in the nearby backpackers, although a room full of eight or so guys got kicked out after a few nights of raucous behaviour.
Drink cards, free burritos and barbeques were sought after and sampled and needless to say there were plenty of people there just soaking up the party vibe. What skate contest?
Early on the Thursday morning, I woke up in the lap of luxury, or was it a decaying cavern, across the road from the bowl. The early birds got to mix it with the top pros. Stevie Cab, Mike McGill, Kevin Staab and Sean Goff were throwing down, Brian Patch was dropping in every second run. Unstoppable stuff. Steven Pineiro, who found himself caught short for a bed after being kicked out of Beach Road, ended up on the floor in our room. He must have still gotten a good nights sleep, because he was flying.
The Anti Hero guys were there too, its a rush seeing Peter Hewitt and Jeff Grosso smash a bowl from up close. Wouldn’t have minded seeing TNT skate it but they had already left town.