It seems to me that each year longer I spend on this earth, the more complicated things get. For me, for you,...
How about making yourself a nice cup of tea and settling in for a lengthy-but-maybe-not-entirely-comprehensive photographic documentation of the House of Vans in Calgary for last weekend?
Words and photos by Jeff Thorburn
Arrived in Calgary to a fresh dusting of snow and a scenic view of the downtown.Met up with OG head Luke Callahan at the top of the 92. Luke is a ripping skateboarder, former Associate Editor of TWS, Norbeece loc, designer, comedian…Brunch, a perfect time for a chat and chew.On to the HOV, featuring a steady flow of familiar faces.Jake Kuzyk and Evan Hay.Tyler Warren.Leon Chapdelaine and Drew Merriman.Annie Guglia.It was Evan’s first trip out west, so he may have been pondering whether his Ontario money was taken at par in Alberta.Landon Avramovic.Cole, Tre, and Snarf.Vans visual heads Mike Strato and Dylan Fulford.Una Farrar, staying dry, for now…Jake and Evan engaging in a chill stretch.Ben Blundell.Ben and Cory McNeil acting tough, but some of us know better.Dustin Henry getting in the zen zone.
Ben sliding a back tail.
Snarf torquing a nosegrind.Dustin lapping a smith over the tub.Walked by the mini-mega booter and saw Colin Nogue tucking one up.Johnny Purcell standing up on a backside lipslide under the bright lights.Popped out to the race track to see Lee Yankou attempt some moves, but his efforts were thrwarted by altitude and security.DJ @dustykook, Tyler Warren.Riley Boland, waiting to roll in.Keeper of the sacred white hats, Drew Merriman.Vans squad.Conor Neeson, MC for the weekend.Riley, Leon, and a perplexed Joey Larock.Giovanni Vacca, Jake, and Landon.Jake and Landon.Dustin and Ben.Ben and Etienne Gagné.Dylan and Johnny.Johnny and Evan. Annie.Annie, Breana Geering, and Una.Una and Jay Howell.Lee Yankou and Dillon Ojo.The white hat pledge.Group selfie in effect.Dustin, always smiling.Evan.
Annie may have skated more than anyone else over the weekend. Nosegrind on the Clubgear box before the party started.Annie, successfully ollieing the mini picnic table while managing to catch her airborne hat upon landing.Annie again, flash ‘n’ roll with the flash poppin’.
When the day was done, the park went dark, but with true grit and the cowboy spirit, Dustin wrangled in a buck ollie.OG Calgary head with a ton of pop, Lyndon Strandquist.Ryan Witt and Glen Podiluk.Jed Anderson.Dynamic DJ duo, Tremaine Glasgow and Conor Neeson.AZN Chris made it out from Vancouver.Breana riding stampede style.OG Calgary tre flip master, Johnny Baylis.Cowgirl Una.Cowgirl Annie.Frisbee ring toss for free shoes. Harder than it looks.Fredericton heads, Ryan Lebel and Brandon Meehan.Sam Stuart and Tom O’Riley.Jason Gordon.View in one direction……and view in the other to end the night.Vistion Walk time with your humble narrator. Here’s Ben Fenton ready for his duck hunt.Liam Glass.Vision-walker.Calgary’s new public library, opening soon.Jake Kelly.Street scene.Activist at a city hall rally.Agreed.Brian Heinrich creeping in on Landon.Evan hitting a post-breakfast desert.Jed.Jay Howell was painting all weekend and welcomed kids to mark up his wall before laying down his trademark characters over top.Marc Tison, noting the parallels between Alberta and Texas.Riley Boland’s better two-thirds, Lysa and Kai.Ninetimes heads Jason Gordon and Dan Watson. Don’t know? You will soon…ET!There were free learn to skate clinics for kids and women both mornings, with support from The Compound YYC.Little girl, big drop-in.Great success. “I’m only 5!”So many little ones out there that don’t even know what they might be getting themselves into…A life of stoke, obsession, and shinners.A life of supporting, playing, and messing with your best friends.These girls are awfully lucky to have a gem like Annie there showing them the way.Rolling on the Saddledome manual pad.At this rate, skateboarding is poised to continue its takeover and grow exponentially.Lots of long hair and very few cares out there.It’s on.Marvelling at the scene under the bright lights.Jared Anderson of The Compound YYC.So many smiles, you couldn’t help but smile.Discovering the coolest thing in the world.The squad figuring it out together.Dave Beddome of The Source showing his daughter the way.It was really exciting to see how many girls were rolling.The Beddomes.5-year-old girl tossing a fakie ollie! The Clubgear booth.This Blackfoot dance performance was pretty emotional and mind-blowing to a lot of people.So heavy and colourful.The crowd was just feeling the whole thing.Kyle Young Pine, showing that he’s got power and style off a skateboard as well.Kyle Young Pine.Nevada, Phoenix, and Kyle.Lee was feeling it!Everyone squeezing in for a group photo.Crowsnest Pass loc and a favourite skateboarder of anyone that has ever seen him rolling, Jon Fearns.Kevin Lowry took some time off from Ninetimes to come roll around before his Best Trick judging duties.Bob LaSalle and Riley Boland.Style masters, Torey Goodall and Kevin Lowry.Evan Hay laying into a back smith.Kevin, backside nosegrind.We were debating whether or not the name of this trick is in fact ok to say… it really just references the noise it makes, but hey, how about we just call it a clink clink?It was interesting to see who was down and able to grab some air. Here’s Greg Papove tweaking one out.Riley prepares to smack down a post big-air lien to tail.The showstopper, Riley goes from the far right to the far left.Causing an eruption of shock and awe.Colour commentator Geoff Rowley was feeling it.Leon wallies over the whole Clubgear box.Joey slices a backside noseblunt slide across the top.Una goes full Lil’ Hot Tubsy to close out the session.