Happy 2015, welcome to our Athletics Club blog, and my first entry. Like the Original Los Angeles Athletic Club, this a place where people who maybe have different day jobs (or maybe don’t necessarily skate) but have similar interests can come together. More on that later…
I’ve traveled to a ton of far away places and countries in my 25 years of being in the business of skateboarding, and the city of Stockholm ranks pretty damn high on favored destinations. Great food and drink, beautiful Scandinavian people, Old World European architecture, endless parties, the list goes on. An added bonus in winter, Stockholm at Christmas is truly a sight to behold. The city goes all out. The decoration and X-Mas vibe is second only to New York City, in my opinion. And while Santa ain’t from Times Square, he may very well be chilling’ in a corner booth at a nightclub in Sweden.
Needless to say I was super hyped when my partner Jason Lee and I got an invite to WeSC’s bi-annual sales meeting in Stockholm this past December. Here is a peak behind the scenes of all the madness.
Any good trip begins with a gear check, Steezy RP socks, CHECK.
Later for you land of smog, traffic, and epic sunsets…Stockholm here we come!
We had some serious airport down time, which in lead us to start an Instagram account for Jason. I’m sorry in advance J.Lee. Follow him at @akajlee.
1 Layover and 19 hours later, we were met by our driver Edmond…cool sign, but has anyone seen Earl??
If you are looking for a classy stay and have a decent amount of scratch to spend, I highly recommend Berns Hotel (berns.se). Built i 1898, this place is old world beautiful. It has two killer restaurants and a nightclub frequented by tons of hip inhabitants and stylish regulars, so if it’s -20 below outside and/or your super jet lagged, no need to worry..Stockholm will come to you.
The Stereo Co-Captains Take Stockholm!
The WeActivists! Jason, myself, Pro Skateboarder and all around good time Dane Wieger Van Wigenan, and Ricky Sandstrom the Global TM.
Thanks to Osiris Shoes I traveled the globe with Ali Boulala at the height of his professional skateboarding fame. It was 2001-2002 and Ali had just dropped his Flip Skateboards part in the “Sorry” video, and was a bonified skateboarding rockstar. He would actually get mobbed and chased out of the van at some of our demos, I’d never seen anything like it. He was a heavy skateboarder, leading a heavy lifestyle which helped fuel his rockstar legend. This all came crashing down in a tragic motorcycle accident which killed his good friend Shane Cross. Ali himself narrowly escaped death, and the accident landed him in an Australian prison for 2 years. Ali is now married, two years sober, and happier than healthier than he’s been in over a decade. It was great to see him doing well and catch up.
Sammy Davis and Frank Sinatra singing, “Stockholm in December”.
We got a shopping spree courtesy of our CEO Johan, pretty damn cool that the CEO of a mutli-million dollar brand took time out of his schedule to hang with us and get us geared up.
This is Jason Lee shopping, seriously.
Ok, maybe not so seriously.
Jason had met Ali for the first time exactly 10 years ago for a WeSC catalog shoot. Ali rocked up to our hotel lobby in full rock star mode wearing Pajamas and smoking hash out of a green apple. Jason was speechless. It was a pretty hilarious scene because I was about to spend the day with two people who couldn’t have been more different, yet both wielded monumental influence on skateboarding. In a strange twist of fate, when the three of us hung out in December and stopped for lunch at a Subway, Ali’s friend had randomly ordered him a green apple instead of chips. Ali said he hadn’t thought about or even touched a green apple since that day in 2004.
Johan and J.Lee discussing the finer points of jet lag.
We’re cooked! That’s a wrap! See you soon America.
Big thanks to my best bud Jason Lee and everyone at WeSC for the red carpet treatment. We had a blast! Until next time Stockholm, don’t go changin’.
- Tags: Ali Boulala, athetlics club, Athletics, chris pastras, Dane Wieger Van Wigenan, jason lee, richer poorer, stockholm, sweden, wesc