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Broke off: birdhaus.

WHAT'S THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND when the words "Birdhouse" and "road trip" are said? I pictured rollin' with Tony Hawk and a huge entourage in a pimped-out tour bus, with portable vert ramps being towed from town to town and hundreds of kids and rednecks hollering "900!" and "Mctwist!," and of course big-ass camera-carrying MTV kooks running around. Then I think of Jeremy Klein and Heath Kirchart with a crate full of fireworks driving a burning tour van off a cliff, while Matt Allen is puking on the back seats in the corner. I shuddered as all this flashed through my mind after I got off the phone with JH, the team manager. "Oh God! What did I get myself into?" We had one week to roll up to Vancouver and hit everything in sight. Willy Santos, Vinny Vegas, Matt Ball, Matt Allen, Joey Poiriez, Sean Eaton, and John Goemann were the crew.


ALTHOUGH THERE WAS NO TONY HAWK, we were still rolling in a pimpin' tour bus thanks to Billabong. All the torturous thoughts of being squashed in some little van while fireworks were being shot off and people puked went right out the window.

Matt Ball told me the bus once belong to Bob Dylan, so it was an official rockstar bus four beds, two TVs--one in the front room and one in the back, each with its own DVD player and VCR--not to mention the PS2s and Xboxes. Plus the mini fridge with seven cases of brew. We were rolling hard as fuck.

We were nine hours and 40 minutes into the trip, then it started...

Matt Ball on his fellow teammates' misfortune: "Everybody got broke! That's what happened. I got a trick and everybody else got broke off, straight to the face; face plants and shit. We went to this shitty ass rail. Jefferson, shittiest rail ever, real narrow I don't know why people even skate it. It's steep and it's got a stupid crack. Matt hit it on the way up and sacked it to face plant scorpion back. John Goemann tried a frontside hurricane to glass ankles. Sean Eaton slamming his head into the Tuba at 3rd and Army. Joey--oh my God! Oh God! Some shitty rail in Portland that goes right into a wall and the way Joey is, he'll try and jump on everything. So he jumped on it and goes right into the wall face first. So that's pretty much what happened to the young dudes. Day one, one-by one they all went down."

With half the crew hurt, the week just flew by. I found myself back at home with little more than a handful of skate flix, not nearly enough to make the cut and surely not enough to make that phone call to Phelps So it was settled that we would give it another shot.


THIS TIME Matt Ball, Vinny Vegas and Sean Eaton wouldn't be joining us. Instead it would be Dylan Rieder, and just a quick weekend road trip to SF. No luxurious tour bus this time around--just a van, a genny, a metal sign, and a couple plies of wood. Since there was a bunch of littie kids, no one--not me, not Willy nor Drew--really wanted to take on the team manager duties. Like yelling. Yelling has major play in the roll of team manager, yelling and being yelled at. "Come on guy," "Wake up," "Chill out," "Shut the fuck up" and don't forget "Hey, it's time to go!" That's all really draining, along with the dirty looks and back talk. But someone had to do it, so Drew and I made Willy the trip's official unofficial team captain.

Willy Santos is a mellow dude, real laid back. He wakes up bella early--my phone would ring at 8:00am every morning. At nine o'clock sharp I'd wake up thinking I had to move my car or something, but it was cool 'cause we kept it mellow due to the little kid factor (no one over 21). But still, I likes my sleep. Dude, what's up with your schedule? You, Drew, and I would wake up pretty early--we'd be ready to break out at 10:30--but the rest of the cats wouldn't be ready 'til one. And trying to wake them up was pretty lame. I felt like a team manager, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I took charge sometimes and got them into gear. Everybody handle it.


Matt Allen and Joey Poiriez, after getting jacked on our earlier road trip, were ready this time around. The kids were psyched 'cause of the lack or absence of a real team manager. John Goemann's the new kid. He got broke on the first mission, at the first spot, on the first day. On this second mish I still knew very little about John. He has weird eating habits. I think he's a sugartarian or something. Matt, what's up with your boy John?

"He eats the craziest stuff. Every time we'd go to a liquor store everyone would get water, but he would get cookie dough and ice cream and crazy junk food" Is he a vegetarian?

"I think he'd eat healthier if he wasn't a vegetarian, 'cause all he eats is shit food."

Well, a weekend is such short time, and before we knew it was time to head out. I gotta give the little dudes credit, it wasn't looking so good at first. The fool me-once saying kept repeating inside my head. But at the end of the day I was going home with a pocket full of rolls. With that all said and done, I'm gonna make that phone call now.
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Author:Woods, Shelby
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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