Nike goes all out on their trips to China every year and this year was no different. Eric gives everyone a sneak peak into what it's like riding for one of the biggest corporations on earth who sponsor some of the greatest athletes on earth. All you haters out there can talk about Nike all you want but you know what? They don't give a fuck. And tell me you would say no to a trip like this. Yeah, that's what I thought.
I remember talking to Rob Dyrdek on the phone as we both simultaneously watched on our computers Felipe Gustavo's winning run at Tampa Am. It was quite evident to both of us that things were changing very soon and very fast. With a few years time there would be an entire new crop of skaters doing things within a few tries that even the best guys for that time would spend hours on. Little did we know when we were watching that winning run the story behind who he was, how he got there, and how important he would become. There are few people I got to know better in 2012 than Felipe Gustavo and his family and I don't think there was anyone I've been more inspired by this past year. If you don't know his story, well, here's your chance to catch up on one of the greatest living skaters today and tomorrow.
One of the best looking guys on and off the board is without a doubt Austyn Gillette and Colin Kennedy put into motion with him a project he had been talking with me about for at least a year. The result was one good looking dude, one good looking style and one damn fine looking video project, QUIK.
Grant Yansura interned for us a few years back. It was during that time Cold Case did an episode at the old park, in fact, both he and Burt Wooten played early 90's Love Park extras in the episode and were spot on despite being from Florida. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure Grant was still in high school because 2 years later he was looking to come out here and I was looking for him to come out and in order to do so I had to write a job offer letter to his parents that was convincing enough to agree to him dropping out of school and coming to that great skate paradise known as California. I went over to Ashton Kutcher's house and took a photo of myself in his driveway and attached to the email letting his parents know he could stay with me any time. Which wasn't a lie. He could. In my one room studio with no hot water or microwave. Thank me later, or now if you'd like, because had I not done what I had to do you never would have seen "Somebody That You Used To Flow."
I don't think there are many people better, if anyone, than PJ Ladd when it comes to flat ground. Shit, when it comes to skateboarding in general. But this past year Trent McClung almost from out of nowhere gave him a run for his money that cemented him into one of those faces to look for in the future. He didn't win, but he kind of did. Anyone that gives PJ that much of a challenge wins even when they lose.
Luis Tolentino and I did a Coke Burn commercial a few years ago in Mexico City. It was just after we launched the first YOUnited Nations and I had just seen their entry. I quickly forwarded it to the production company, who needed help casting the commercial, and they called in and ended up casting quite of few of the Distreeto crew. I'm not sure if they knew they were going to be lit on fire and skate through the streets of Mexico City, but I don't think after it was all said and done they cared very much because we had such a fun time and became without a doubt friends for life. Well, they didn't win that year but they ended up winning in 2012. Why haven't you seen them at the Berrics yet? Well, I didn't want them to come to the old park so we waited, and waited, and waited until the new one was finally done. Now... I think they get out here in 2 weeks. Here's their winning entry for YN2012.
I'm a big fan of people doing good things. We try to instill that in everything we do here at the Berrics. A sense of community, the pride of a job well done, those are things I think all of us strive towards. When Medicine Hat hit us up to get involved with their trip down to Mexico to help build some houses there wasn't any way we could say no.-- sb
His artworks are some of the greatest things I've ever seen. He makes everything out of recycled skateboards. When he reached out to us and offered to make the trophy for the winner of BATB 5 there was no way on God's green earth we could say no. I don't even know how much time and effort Haroshi put into making that trophy but I do know PJ Ladd came up on a work of art that's probably worth $50-60k. Watch Haroshi and his Process on this incredible Aberrican Me that Colin Kennedy put together for him.
Many of you know Ethan's older brother, David, but this year we wanted to introduce skaters we thought and still think are going to be big contenders in the future. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but a year, two, three maybe guys like Ethan are going to be the ones ruling over these Berrics airwaves and you'll get to say you saw them here first.