Omen Southern Comfort Tour Part 2: California to Bayou Battle
Omen Longboards packed up the #MobileRuckus van and headed across the country. We dropped the tour kick off in a post a week or so ago you can find here. Nate Blackburn, Ruckus Captain, hit us up with some notes on the tour so far.
Nate Blackburn here. Hi everybody! We have finally made it all the way to Kona Skatepark in Jacksonville, Florida for the King of Kona. Peep the hashtag #omensocotour on instagram to see some of the best and worst moments so far. Even though we made it, that doesn’t mean that it was a smooth journey. The Mobile Ruckus had to battle harsh weather through Arizona and New Mexico. Avoiding a direct shot to Houston in order to avoid wintery mountain passes, we still managed to end up caught in a blizzard. Luckily enough we had multiple Canadians with us, so we were prepared better than most people on the road. #itsalwayswinterincanada, eh? The weather slowed us down to a max speed of 30 Miles an hour (50 Kilometers an hour for Canadian friends), or about as fast as I remember Cole Kurtz driving on a clear, open road in summer (ha ha Cole!).
Safely through the passes of the Southwest we headed straight for Carve Skateshop.
Arriving in Texas somehow lead to a random game of Dare Dice and me getting tasered within about 10 minutes of getting out of the van.
Not the ideal way to be welcomed to Texas, but I was were stoked to be warmly welcomed into the Houston HGR Scene, and if 10,000 volts was the way to do it, than it had to be done.
The first night (Thursday) we skated the Houston Mountains [READ: garages] and met up with a huge community of people. Even thought Houston doesn’t have a ton of hills, they have a ton of skaters, and everyone of them is a diehard skater. It is weird to drive into a city to skate hills, because typically when we skate hills we have to head to the hills, we think that this is why the scene in Houston is so big!
On Friday we Skated Spring Skatepark, which is the largest Public Park in America, and it is a dream. There is not a bad piece of Transition in that Entire Park, and we were stoked to be able to rip around all of the different bowls, and be able to session with everyone who was in town for the Bayou Battle that was sponsored by Carve Skateshop and No Bull.
Friday night was awesome thanks to Scotty, owner of Carve, treating all of the visitors to some Southern Hospitality, and letting around 40 people stay at his place! It was a home away from home and there is no amount of thank you’s that can pay back that amount of generosity! So thank you Scotty and Missy for putting up with the #mobileruckus.
Saturday Morning was a race to get to the Hobby center garage for qualifying. The garage is awesome because while waiting for your heats you can ride down the opposite side of the garage to stay warmed up, which was pretty important because it was super cold in Houston. After Qualifying we left to go eat food and hang out with some friends until the finals, which were held at night. So the garage was even colder. The key to winning this race is to stay warm, have a board that can pump on, and be willing to push, pull, shove, and clothes line your way to victory. After the entire battle I was a shock to see to out-of-towners come away with First and Second Place. Brandon Tissen with the win, and $4000 in cash, and Troy Yardwaste Grenier (riding along for the #OmenSocoTour) coming in second. The race literally came down to a photo finish, and the speculation of who had won was carried all the way to the podium which is a first for a lot of people spectating longboard races. I don’t remember all the podiums, sorry. Lots of excitement and I’m on the road. But it was rad.
The after party was held in an abandoned warehouse. We stayed there till we ran out of things to burn, and went back to Scotties house for the Evening. We woke in the Morning to head to the Local Ditch. The whole thing was a drainage ditch with curbs, extensions, rollins, and ledges that have been DIY’ed by the locals, and it was mind-blowing to see some of the skill that the locals had shredding this feature.
Wrapping up our time in Texas, we added Max Dubler to our van and headed to New Orleans to meet up with Team Pizza and party on Bourbon Street. It was a good time with a lot of good friends and possibly too much drink.
Unfortunately, Troy got jacked cause Nawlin’s can get real and he was bummed the entire next day. But we made it up to him by sympathetically “icing” him to boost his spirits. This epic city definitely won the battle against the #mobileruckus and crew this time, so we took off with our tail between our legs and made a B-line straight for the Kona Skatepark. Which is where we are now. There were some things that we learned on the second leg of the tour that we think are useful to know:
- They say when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Well, on the road, don’t just lurk the van. Get out with the crew, even if it is out of your comfort zone. You might have more fun than you think.
- Stay together, travel as a group, it is easy to lose someone in a city and shit happen when you’re new somewhere.
- Don’t be bummed if you break off and get left behind or shit happens. See points 1 and 2. Own it. Good shit happens too.
- Southern Hospitality is a thing. Meet everyone you can, you never know who is throwing the warehouse party!
- Refill the van with Gas when it hits 1/3 of a tank, you never know where the next gas station is.That’s it for now.
We’re going to smash Kona Skate Park and King of Kona and get back to you later! Not at Kona… you blew it!
A photo posted by King of Kona (@skatekingofkona) on
Thanks to the homie Dustin “Monkey” Ascheman / Nwest Media for snapping all the exclusive photos on tour – https://www.instagram.com/nwest_media/.