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From crust 'til dawn: cons crushes New England.

THE FINER THINGS

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We started this trip in Boston and worked our way around to some of the rougher, off-the-beaten-path skateparks that the greater New England area has to offer. And although the parks might have been on the crusty side, we had the Cons' corporate credit card funding this venture so everything else was cake. We're talking about fancy dinners and Tempur-Pedic mattresses in five-star hotels with valet parking. This was a golden opportunity to venture into the surf-and-turf section of the menu or to order that fancy bottle of wine you've always wanted to try. Needless to say, the dudes imbibed.

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JASON JESSEE'S ROAD CREWS

SKATEBOARDING IS TECHNICALLY A MOOD. It's balance in my life. You get on the road and out of your comfort zone, especially out of my comfort zone. I'll tell you right now, I love traveling in my vehicle with my homies. But when you are in the back of a van, it's terrifying. Dude, who knows? What if you have to shit your pants? Anything you want to do you have to run it by the whole crew. I love going on the road and dealing with this shit because it helps me function in the real world properly. I never wanna do what the rest of the world does. I live through this shit because I am fascinated by human behavior; that's the bottom line. There's no more comfortable people to be around than skateboarders. That goes for all skateboarders. Everyone else is outta their minds. Skateboarders, that's what we are. Here's some of the tight crews I've rolled with over the years.--Jason Jessee

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In the '80s and early '90s it was Steve Claar, Jeff Grosso, Neil Blender and Mark Gonzales. Travelling with Mark and Neil was the best. Mark would sing all the time and drive you crazy, but it was the best. Neil would keep you on your toes because you never wanted to bum him out. Traveling with Grosso, you knew you were never gonna get any sleep. He liked to party. Back then it was a different type of traveling. Now it's so comfortable. Back then you had to jockey for position. Now it's just like everyone is cool. Everyone is cool as fuck. Back then you really had to stand your ground.

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Through the mid '90s and the 2000s I didn't get out much. I tried to stay in my zip code then. In the 2000s I was a zip coder. I only went on a few trips. I'm fragile and I like comfort.

Nowadays, Converse trips are the most comfortable. Nobody suffers. They just know if someone's working all day you have to feed them. They know how to make you comfortable so you want to skateboard. Comfort didn't matter in the '80s and '90s because I was in my teens and 20s. When you are in your teens and 20s you can sleep on an aardvark; it doesn't even matter.

You could never be in a bad mood around Frank Gerwer. There's not very many people hard wired like Frank. You cherish traveling with Frank. Even if your grandma died you couldn't be sad. He's a wordsmith and a dancer. There's certain people that need to be involved in skateboarding for life: Lance Mountain, Jeff Grosso, the list isn't very long. We need Frank involved! Sure, he's bombed some legendary hills but Frank could be the greatest skateboarder/dancer in the world. Kenny Anderson is pretty good too. Frank has no problem showing off his moves. Even if you aren't into dancing you watch Frank and you're, like. "Oh, I like this." Frank opens your inner dance.

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Cranny, aka Alex Horn, is the most exciting human being on the planet. There's never a dull moment. He gets the most out of every second of life. I've never gone on an OJ trip, though. I've only gone on small trips with him. I imagine an OJ trip would be terrifying. They are always on pot. I feel like there are a lot of U turns. I'd be contact high the entire time and get the munchies. I'd gain 20 pounds and that's why I'm scared.

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The bottom line is that in order to survive a skate trip, you gotta mesh. You gotta adapt. You need situational awareness and if we get pulled over everyone has to get outta the van, surround the cop and let me do all the talking.

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SOTY POWER

I have yet to go on a trip to Philly where Ishod didn't meet up with the crew at some point. This trip was no exception. We got to FDR and who comes rolling up? Ishod in a late '80s era Porsche. All style, that guy. We skated the park for five or six hours with different guys sessioning at various times. But Ishod skated the entire time, ripping straight through the day. As the sun set he took us to an indoor bowl and continued to shred well into the night. The dude is a machine! Hey, you don't get to be SOTY for sitting on your ass. Take note, kids.

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THE ORANGE BEANIE BUNCH

Pretty much everyone in the crew packed a beanie for the trip: maroon, grey, black and orange being the colors of choice. About a week into the tour, a dinner-table discussion ensued about which color was the most elite. By the end of the meal, it was decided that orange was the most exclusive and noblest of all beanie colors. Jason became the judge, choosing who would be allowed to wear the sacred headgear. Luckily, no feelings were hurt as everybody was granted the honor. A few days later, our shared opinion was validated as Ishod showed up to FDR wearing an orange beanie with no knowledge of our conversation. Orange you glad--nah, can't make myself do it.

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GERWER SHOOTS, KOWALSKI SCORES

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NYC is hectic and the Owl's Head Skatepark was no exception. I was on the street course trying to shoot something with Zered while some random dude was learning how to fly a drone overhead. Hey, what better place to cut your teeth with a remote-controlled airborne vehicle than directly above a bunch of kids? It was distracting to say the least. As the guy packed up his toy and Dr. Z zoned in on his trick, Gerwer came over to tell me that the bowl session was heating up. Well, Frank used to live with Morford and knows his way around a camera, so I handed him my backup gear and told him to shoot anything he deemed worthy. When I saw this 360 transfer he shot of Kowalski I almost shit myself! Holy hell! Next time Frank tells me things are heating up, I'm gonna come runnin'.

Thanks for the hot times and cool drinks, dudes. And thanks for making my mattress back home feel like shit. Any chance I borrow that corporate card one last time?

BY JOE HAMMEKE
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Author:Hammeke, Joe
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Nov 16, 2016
Words:1191
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