I was fortunate enough to go back to Europe this year for another round of espresso, sparkling water, feeble attempts at speaking new languages, and awesome skating. Instead of following the whole IDF circuit I went a smaller freeride on the French/German border and one race after that. It was a whirlwind of a trip but still tons of fun.
Yes, this guy is pissing in the middle of the field.
What better way to start off your trip to Europe than by landing in the Frankfurt airpot, getting a Franziskaner and baguette with salami.
I was so stoked that my bags made it without getting lost that I took a photo (it’s the little things that count).
My friend Felix made a map of Freiburg for me so I could get around town. He made sure to include things such as a coffee shop, old church and cemetery. Felix knows what I like.
Awe-inspiring church: check.
Cemetery with cool bones-stuff: check.
As much as I like the city of Freiburg, the streets weren’t exactly made for skating.
I stopped by the Layback shop to meet up with the crew and slap 5.
They have a fun mini-ramp, but I didn’t have the proper board :(
We went to do some freeriding up in the vineyards but it began raining not long after we got there. Maybe I should have been skating instead of taking landscape photos…
Made it to the Downhill Academy and got to rally a fun narrow road with a rad crew of people.
Pat Schep was pretty stoked that the sun finally came out (apparently he had been dealing with many days of rain).
Sammy is one of Germany’s OG downhill skaters and helped run the Downhill Academy. His luscious beard needs special treatment for when he’s eating.
This kid’s name was Louis. He’s french, 5 years old and a badass. I want to be him when I grow up.
Unfortunately, the rain came back. I don’t have any photos of Pat’s face but he wasn’t stoked.
Tent city in the rain.
The French have a sense of humor.
We got to take warm showers at a school for troubled teens. It was hella creepy.
One night we went into town to get dinner and it just so happened to be Bastille Day (France’s 4th of July). They had a parade go through town that we eventually joined. If they knew that two Americans intercepted their festivities we probably would have been shot (or maybe just given dirty looks).
The town put on a firework show that was pretty dang good. I’m a firework enthusiast so my opinion on this matter is worth something.
Do what Koff says.
In between the DH Academy and Almabtrieb we pick up Valeria and went to the Munich skatepark.
I got up in the fool pipe.
Pat got up in the pool.
Once in Germany, it was hard to not get wrapped up in the frenzy of the recent soccer victory. Probably should have bought this hat but I purchased gummy bears instead. #noregrets
The Germans have a sense of humor.
After a short detour (2.5 hours to be exact) we made it to Almabtrieb.
The Germans do a lot of things right. They have my favorite beer for sale almost everywhere and it’s dirt cheap. Praise jah!
The shuttle drivers don’t fuck around.
I had a small child open a beer for me. Not sure how I felt about that…
Refrigeration was limited so we utilized the local stream nearby. It worked surprisingly well except for the fact that some people helped themselves to my beer.
I went to this restaurant a couple times and realized that I left my bottle of hot sauce on the table. Luckily nobody took it or used it. It would have been a devastating blow to lose my bottle of green Tabasco.
Zak Maytum got back to his gear at the top of the hill to find this note. Funny thing is, Zak was loving up on this dog and petting him more than anybody else. Maybe too much…
The next few photos are selfies with homies. This pic is of me and the 2013 Almabtrieb champ Matze Ebel. Just met him this year and I’m stoked to call him a friend.
Eric Lundberg; he’s the shit, bitch.
Martin doesn’t smile often but when he does, it’s pretty rad. Max probably smiles too much.
Stephan and I have known each other for quite a few years so I’m incredibly stoked to finally check out his race and share a beer with him. Thanks for putting on a rad event! Definitely coming back.
We think know we’re tough.
It was great to catch up with old friends like Pete Connolly. Hadn’t seen this chap in almost 7 years. Very good to see him and his big ol’ bottle of Jägermeister.
This was the usual lurk spot at the campground. It was shaded and gave us a chance to clean off the stank from our feet.
I should have bought these pajamas but I don’t think Pat would have been stoked on them.
Ville is a man of many talents. Unfortunately, not many of them are useful.
Ville doesn’t let Finland’s harsh winters stop him. Studded wheels are next level.
You can’t see it but Pat was doing 230kph on the Autobahn. It’s such a well made road that it didn’t actually feel that fast.
Before flying home we hit up the local skatepark in Stuttgart. The graffiti there was next level.
I was dropped off at the airport around 2am for a 6:30am flight. Luckily I had my sleeping pad so I was able to catch up on some sleep that I desperately needed.
Didn’t really take any good photos to end this post with so I’ll leave y’all with this photo of Schneider. I think he sums up the Euro crew quite well. They skate hard but love every minute of it (and most of them smoke).
Thanks to all of those who let me hang out with them in France/Germany. I wish I could have spent more time in y’alls country but duty calls and now I gotta organize an event of my own.