SOTY 2018 Trip "It's a Movie, Kid" Article

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“Yerrr!” That’s the first thing I heard as Rowan, Dom and I walked into LAX. Kevin Bradley and Kevin White greeted us and the rest of the LA crew soon assembled. We were en route to Miami to meet up with the rest of the guys for Tyshawn’s SOTY trip. When TJ initially won I thought it would be easy to decide where to go, but Jesus Christ was I wrong! Most skate destinations have shitty weather and limited daylight in January. Miami and Puerto Rico, however, seemed perfect for numerous reasons, so flights were booked, vans were rented and bags were packed. Throughout the mission we had 27 attendees, ranging from pro skaters to tour guides and even girlfriends. Whokid would describe this many people and personalities coming together as, “It’s a movie, kid!”

SOTY Trip Photo2 750pxThe author skips the pool and dips into a Smith on some street coping. Gold, son!

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SOTY Trip Photo5 750pxWe had a bust-free hour at this double-set but TJ only needed a few minutes to roll away from this fakie heel

SOTY Trip PhotoSeq1 750pxNollie varial heel during our dream session—Nak’s got the knack!

SOTY Trip Photo6 750pxKevin Bradley, mojito-powered frontside 360 ollie, no hot pockets

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Bar Hopping
The LA crew made it to Miami and our spirits were high. Our little boutique hotel saw us rolling up and welcomed us with mojitos—a good way to set the tone. We had a few hours to kill before our NY counterparts arrived, so Rowan decided to get a pack and we hung out at what would become our new regular spot, the stoop in front of the hotel. We all settled in and then Tyshawn pulled up, wanting to go skate. None of us were really prepared to roll out, but who were we to stop the man from doing his thing? We all ran up to our rooms, grabbed our boards and within minutes were on our way to a perfect bump to bar. Tyshawn ollied it once and then started trying nollie frontside heels. Not only did he land it, but he did three of them just to be safe. KB joined in and pulled a perfect-ass frontside 360. Usually people get some weird wheelbite/hot pocket on this trick and slow down when they land, but Kevin somehow rolled away with more speed. Then 20 minutes later, TJ landed a straight nollie heel over it. Twice. Has that ever been done over a bump to bar? Regardless, six hours in and the trip was off to a hell of a start.

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SOTY Trip Photo9 750pxFirst day, first trick—Tyshawn set the pace with this frontside nollie heel. SOTY don’t play!

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Miami Heat
There was only one single day when all of the skaters on the trip were together—the day we decided to skate spots around downtown. Driving two big-ass 12-passenger vans from spot to spot and trying to find parking is a jam up anywhere you go, so we opted for the ol’ put-on-your-hazards-in-an-almost-parking-spot approach. The first place we hit was a stage gap by the water. The session was heating up when we saw a head poke over a wall, checking us out. Val snuck off to investigate and then we saw him run away with someone else’s board. We were confused until we realized it was the cops. There was a mad scramble, everyone started grabbing their shit and took off running. We looked back and the police were chasing us through a crowded area—in their car! What the fuck was wrong with these guys?! We got lucky and a bus blocked their way. We regrouped at the vans and decided to go to Jungle. This double set is usually an immediate kick out, but we got an hour or so without any trouble. Kevin White was walking back up the stairs and looked at us with the strangest facial expression I’ve ever seen. He very calmly said, “There’s three cops on the other side of this building and they’re running towards us.” Another mad dash ensued as we all sprinted for the vans. We got there only to realize that Ishod left his trucks at the spot. I pulled some covert shit and grabbed them while the cops were still there. Recovered and safe, we got the fuck out of there.

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What are waves?
It’s a flow through your head with your hair in a certain motion, you know what I mean? It looks like a wave, feels like a wave. You have to see it to believe it, honestly.

Why would you want them?
Because only wavy niggas got waves. Get the hoes—it’s different. Honestly, you can only get the waves if you’re born with it or put the work in, so when you get them, it just feels good overall.

How do you get them?
First step, you get a brush. I recommend a Crown brush or a Hardies brush, coming soon. Second Step, you need hot water. It’s the key. Everybody thinks it’s grease, soap and all that. Nah, hot water, brush, du-rag. If you got nappy hair, the hot water is needed. It loosens it up, makes your hair soft. Sometimes throw a little conditioner in that shit. Honestly, that’s it. You just need to put the work in.

What is the brushing technique?
Everyone got a different head shape, brushes their hair in a different way. Myself, the front of my hair I brush forward; the sides are brushed in a curved direction. It just depends on the rotation of the spins. My crown is right in the middle. I got friends where their shit is on the side. You can place it wherever you want, it just depends on the curve of your head.

How do you maintain them?
Put a du-rag on every day until your shit is in. My hair naturally like this now. I can go to sleep with it and my shit will still be good when I wake up. But you still want to keep a du-rag on at all times.

What is a du-rag/wave cap?
First of all, it’s not called a wave cap. It’s a silky. If your shit isn’t silky, no bueno. Polyester? No bueno. Silkies only. What the du-rag does is that it keeps everything in one place. Once you brush it and you have the wave form in your head, you throw the du-rag on and it stays. You wake up and your shit is wavy. If not, there was no point.

How long does it take to get waves?
To the point I’m at right now, it took me a few years. My shit has been like this since high school. It took me like a good year to really get some waves. You gotta really brush, not just on the front but the full 360. Side, back, anywhere. Any angle you look at it, you see my shit’s hitting.

Who’s got the most hitting waves?
Tyshawn, he’s getting them. Ishod got’s some work to do; I’m not gonna lie to you. I seen his progression, though, and it’s getting there.

SOTY Trip Photo12 750pxRight after Rowzone put down the switch frontside flip, the cops tried to run us down with their car. Chill, Miami Vice!

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SOTY Trip Photo14 750pxA long way from the Bronx, Whokid is hitting the road with the crew and living the good life. That shit wavy, Lonzo. Kickflip

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SOTY Trip Photo16 750pxOnly on the trip for the Miami leg, Ishod made good use of his time and front heeled this rail twice ’cause that’s how SOTYs roll

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TJ Goes (Coco)Nuts
Tyshawn is fucking nuts. He’s pretty mellow around strangers, but when he’s with his friends he plays around way too much. I got food poisoning one day (which everybody swore was a hangover from two mojitos) so I was sleeping in the back of the van instead of driving. I was in Tyshawn’s vehicle, so I knew the shenanigan risk was high. Splash! TJ dumped a bottle of water on me (which actually felt pretty good since it was so hot out). I woke up and took in the scene: we were stuck in traffic, sandwiched between Dom’s van in front and Bill’s rental car in back. Out of nowhere, Tyshawn opened the passenger-side door, jumped out, threw a banana and some water at Bill and then jumped back in the van. Strobeck hooked a left and took another route to the spot. You could see TJ’s angst building up, needing to be released. Next thing you know, the door flies open again and he gets out with a coconut in his hand. He realized Bill’s car was no longer behind us so he fixed his mental crosshairs on Dom’s van. We all watched in horror as he threw the coconut full force at the rear window. BOOM! Direct hit! The glass exploded as if it had been struck with a bowling ball. There was dead silence for about five seconds, followed by a wave of unstoppable laughter. When asked what his end goal was, TJ replied, “I didn’t think it would take out the window.” What the fuck did you think was gonna happen? God bless collision damage waivers.

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SOTY Trip Photo20 750pxBusiness up front, party mom in the back—Rowan goes the distance on a tropical boardslide

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Dymond & the Rough
It’s pretty unorthodox to bring your girlfriend on a skate trip. I’ve only seen it once before with Lucas Puig and his wife, but I’ve learned there’s nothing really wrong with it as long as they can hang. Enter Dymond, Na-kel’s girlfriend. She was on the entire trip with us, never complained and was always down to roll wherever. We’re skating from spot to spot and she had to walk a few miles? No problem. We had to drive three-and-a-half hours to get to the next city? Cakewalk. When we got chased by the cops in Miami, she bolted with us and outran more than a few of the crew. Actually, the only time I heard her complain was lamenting that she wished she could contribute more to the sessions, like helping us set up boards or something along those lines. She definitely gets the green light if she ever wants to come on another trip.

SOTY Trip Photo22 750pxHis hair was calling for a 50-50 but Na-kel went with the 5-0 instead

SOTY Trip Photo23 750pxThe tallest staff and the highest drops, Kevin raged on and off the board the whole trip. Ollie for the locals

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SOTY Trip Photo26 750pxNot even a flying rat could distract Kevin from this kickflip front blunt

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Donnelly Almost Dies
We woke up early one morning to check out the cliff jumps at the San Sebastian waterfalls. There’s a bar in the parking area where you had to pay ten bucks to have a “safe” parking spot, then you head down a path with some sketchy-ass stairs to get the falls. Garshell immediately climbed up and jumped in. Rowan followed suit. One by one we all summoned our courage and took the leap. After a few jumps, we see Jake poke his head over the big jump up top. This shit was HUGE! He looked like an ant on a boulder. He was shouting at us, asking if he was good to go. We were yelling at him, telling him that he was in the wrong spot but he couldn’t hear us over the noise from the falling water. Our guide Papo rushed up to tell him where to jump from but it was too late. All I heard was, “Oh no!” from one of the locals as Jake leapt from his perch. He hit his heels on the rocks at the bottom, but luckily the water broke most of his fall. We were all staring in horror, waiting for him to resurface. His head popped up, all smiles with his mouth leaking a bit of blood. We all thought he was for sure going to die, but apparently death didn’t want his Coors-Light-consuming ass just yet.

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SOTY Trip Photo29 750pxQuick-snap to gap in a high-traffic zone—impossible? Not for Troy Stilwell


SOTY Trip Photo30 750pxDJ Kadow drops the needle on a ride-on 5-0 gap out

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SOTY Trip Photo32 750pxTJ blasted this backside flip on the way to the waterfall. Work hard, play hard

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After 14 days and countless shenanigans, the trip had finally come to a bittersweet end. We were all happy to cross the finish line, but we knew we’d miss the pranks, wizard staffs, waterfalls, beaches and amazingly warm January weather we had grown accustomed to. This SOTY trip was a rager and I can’t think of a crazier crew to spend such quality time with. And with all that being said—where are we going next, TJ?

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SOTY Trip Photo37 750pxRecreational marijuana is illegal in San Juan but Kevin White sparked this blunt regardless

SOTY Trip Photo39 750pxPeep the paint chips in the street—TJ put in some work to lay down this back Smith. Congrats, SOTY 2018! This is just the beginning

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