Tuesday, April 10. 2012
Photos: Caissie, Collison, Moore
Supra Dist. TM Dane Collison put together a month long trip to China this past winter for some of the Supra team and their homies. Read the details of their epic adventures below.
When did you go to China and how long were you guys there for?
We left on February 6th and stayed until March 2nd. Almost four weeks.
Who all was on the trip?
Myself, David Ehrenreich, Benny Stoddard and Brian Cassie were the media along with AJ McCallister, Derek Swaim, Nick Moore, Corey Klim, Mike Campbell, Jason Gordon, Mike Vince and Matt Berger. Will Ciu was our extremely patient, and fucking rad tour guide.
So this was a Supra Dist and friends style of trip? Did Supra help out with covering costs?
Yeah, it was something like that. Supra did help out with covering costs, which was amazing. It’s rad to have the guys here at Supra Dist backing a group of friends rolling to a different country to skate. Greatly appreciated.
What made you guys all decide to go on this trip?
A bunch of us went out there last year, which originally stemmed from a few guys going there the year before that. It’s just such a sick place, and such a crazy experience. Basically all of the hype from talking about it naturally lead to another trip.
What cities did you visit?
We started the trip in Hong Kong for 5 days, then went into mainland China and stayed in Shenzhen for about 2 weeks, Foshan (Will’s hometown) for a few days, then Guangzhou, the provinces capital for a week. We went back to Shenzhen for a bit before flying out of Hong Kong.
Where is all the footage and photos going?
Right now I’m currently editing and releasing mini parts from the Supra Dist guys who were on the trip. Caissie has an article in SBC lined up, along with a few other things. The other footage will be saved for projects down the road. Benny and Dave from don’t sleep have something interesting in the works as well.
Was there any one guy who really stood out and killed it on the trip?
Everyone ripped and came back with good shit, but I’d have to say that Berger with his teenage legs came out with the most stuff. That kid was skating so much shit every day, with endless amounts of energy. I swear if there were other people who would have been down to just stay up and skate all night with him, he would not have stopped.
In your own words, what is skating like in China?
It’s fucked up. Skating everywhere in the world has its good points. It’s great to have a mix, but China is just next level. The spots are incredible, the food and hotels are extremely cheap, plus you can get massages and spa treatment of all kinds for nothing. Skate the best spots all day, eat a big meal for about $2 Canadian, beer that’s cheaper than water, then get your sore legs and ankles massaged. It doesn’t get much better than that!
It seems to kind of taken over from Barcelona for the winter get away trip for Canadians. It’s just that good?
I got to pick girls on a computer who would massage me and walk on my back, while other girls got me ice cream and fresh fruit. I did banking while drinking half-liter beer in the middle of the day. Police used pylons to block off our landing area at a spot so that cars would avoid us, and they played crowd control. It’s fucked. Barcelona is still amazing, though.
Yeah, Vince was telling me that cops were telling people to get out of the skater’s way? Was that common there?
Yeah, at some spots police and security would help us out for sure. It was nuts! Matt was skating this set of stairs right in front of a major bank downtown and he needed more runway so he opened up the door and started throwing down inside the bank. We thought we were gonna get the boot, until the security came and held the door open for him and would give him pounds and high-fives between attempts. Like, literally running from the counter at the bank to throw down. That was sick to see.
What is the overall culture there like? What are some other differences that really stand out from Canada?
One of the things that stood out the most to me was how they display food. Here we just have a menu, and all of the meat and fish we order is sitting in a freezer in the back. There, all the food is displayed in cages or tanks right on the street. Sometimes it would be pretty gnarly looking at zip-tied bags of 30 or so live frogs that couldn’t move, or cages stacked to the top with live cobras, or even gutted dogs ready to be served. But, in all reality, if you're eating meat, you should be able to see what condition it’s in before you indulge.
What did you guys do there when you weren’t skating?
We did a little bit of tourist stuff. We went to this crazy Bruce Lee Paradise and saw the village he grew up in and his family’s house. This huge lot of land in the middle of China dedicated to Bruce. That guy is a legend! Other than that, just massages, walking around and seeing all of the crazy shit you come across in the streets. People with boxes of puppies for sale... Benny and I bought fully tailored three-piece cashmere suits and classic Jordan’s for super cheap.
What was the food like? What did you mainly eat?
For the most part the food is amazing! One night I ate some weird oysters at this back alley BBQ spot and it fucked me up. Food poisoning like I’ve never experienced. But, mainly just rice and noodles with pork, beef or chicken. If we needed a break, there was this Italian spot with pizza and pasta. A big ass bowl of pasta was 10 RMB, which is about $1.50 Canadian. Bring your own beers in off the street and they’ll open it for you on the spot.
How was this trip compared to the last one? Was it easier for you to get around this time?
It was a trip going back, that’s for sure. It was really cool to see the reactions of the first timers, thinking that’s what I was like last year. It was a little easier to get around, just kind of knowing how things worked, but with that said, I would probably still be lost over there if it wasn’t for Will. We all would. It’s not like Europe where people speak English everywhere.
Will you be going back?
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That's when he filmed this http://www.skatenewspot.com/index.php?/archives/1776-Timebomb-File-Episode-3-Will-Blakley.html
Great interview! Sounds like a very interesting country, would love to experience it one day