I may use the term deep very loosely and very very often but i never use it lightly, I respect it for it's versatility and scope of emotive possibilities and I find myself using it here for almost possible derivatives. It's been over a month since I've submitted myself to this white rectangle of text editing and introspection and that has been shitty, I honestly feel like I've never been as busy as I was last month than in my entire life. It had it's pro's ofcourse, mainly earning bulk dollars as the entirety of my daytime was consumed working at Goodtime, which got immensely hectic after the passing of Judy Anderson the Lovely, and then I end up being too cooked to be physically able to skate plus being quite content anyway so that desire for stoke seemed far less demanding. But yes, I guess you could say i'm making excuses but no one needs to be excused here, we're all on the same page (because i make them muahahah) but more importantly December draw to a close and things always go down. I for one had a victorious time as I went down to see my family for xmas, as they just moved there (oh yeah you may have read of my tears regarding having to move house, well that happened and it was sweet and i got a noice little pad in the part of New Farm that is probably blank in most peoples mind- because it's as suburban as NF gets, still got no transport though...)
yeah so Melbourne for xmas day and then my longtime buddies Jack and Lachlan brought me furiously back with a vip for Falls in Lorne which was epic, I'll go into more detail on that later as our luxury requires much recounting...
this post is some sort of cap-off per se, to 2013, and I feel like I say this everytime, in fact if went back through this I'm sure i could quote 'best year of my life oh lawd' 4 times, actually probably 3, 2012 was far too deep and I wouldn't have made such audacious claims. I was a sad clown and spent the entire time sending myself away, in the tears sense, but it also taught me some real things, helped set me up a victorious return to self in 2013 and I guess the contrast of smiles and frowns made 2013 all the more enjoyable because I had the time of my life this year. In 2013 I was luckily enough to find myself in a position better than I could've ever dreamt and it's that situation that is really deterring me from doing a proper recount of the year because I feel like I wont make any points or provoke anything meaningful or generate something positive but recount the multitude of experiences that trumped all previous and i have no desire for envy. Positivity is a personal game and all you need to know is I was smiling a lot, and that when Adam Yates brought Landyachtz into my reality tunnel I knew all the tears, skin, dollars and sense i'd lost chasing dreams/being stubborn was worth it. Luck is great so make as many opportunities for yourself to get lucky as you can.
so what i'm going to do is post some pictures frmo last year, most, maybe all have already been on here but they're more important than any autobiographical rant will ever be.
this is my favourite photo from this year, maybe ever. Her name is Gail Austen OAM and she's my boss, heroine, mentor, idol and friend of 9 years. She's tougher than all of you and when I write this, i realise i was just bitching about the heartbreak i had last year and feeling pity, yet this lady (without bitching) spent the entire year, and a good portion of 2012, fighting/kicking the shit out of breast cancer with a smile and a level of self-control that blows my mind. After fighting for her life she was finally cleared but it was a short lived sense of control as on Novemeber she lost her business partner, lifelong best-friend and soulmate Judy and she's still smiling, it's fucked.. I don't swear much on this blog but this paragraph should be riddled. she's epic.
king breet finds the promise land
i reckon this photo is pretty sweet, it's from a little trek that almost the entirity of this little entity that sprouted into existence called DGM. It stands for Downgrade Magazine and is a printed collaboration between myself and 4 fantastic filmers/photogs/general dudes within the downhill scene, it's not a typical magazine but thats all I can really say... This was the first time I met most of them and we spent 2 days trekking around some gnarly scrub trying to get access to the hill that lays down there, it's skate mecca and is the location that made downhill skateboarding what it is today.. which is awesome because the hill is fucking gnarly and rad, hence why the sports so good hahaha.
early days on our Japan voyage, a trip that will forever remain deeeeeeeep in all the important bits about me. This was true adventure. 2 Aus, 1 French Canadian and and American converged on Tokyo where we collected a little stations wagon which I drove for roughly 15000-20000kms around what is easily some of the most majestic scenery I'd seen up to that point, and to this point. Japan is so great, everything about it is just epic and is definitely my no.1 place to visit, ignoring the friends and opportunities that exist in other nations. The culture was so deep, the bathouses so luxurious and the hills so riddled with stoke. Such a good trip, such a rad bunch of dudes.. the perfect mix of GSD and chill. I even got to skate through forests full of actual doges. This photo was taken after getting lost (we never knew where we were just maybe, roughly, where we were going.. usually we'd just follow mountain ranges.) I shot an article for Concrete Wave which has apparently just come out yesterday, i feel it's got some nice shots in there so check it out if possible.
this shot i took on Mt. Ruapehu in New Zealand, on the N-tense D-centz tour and is essentially the reason why I now work for the best company i've ever dealt with in my life, be it with photos or 9 years of dealing with them at Goodtime. But more importantly it's got yatesy in it!!! He's easily one of my favourite humans ever, so fun, so happy, so stoked, so keen for everything and just one of those dudes that we all want to be around. I'm so lucky to have met him and the thought that I now get to adventure into far off lands and explore everything on offer with him at the helm excited me beyond belief. Talk to any downhill skater of the last 10 years and they'll all tell you how rad he is, unless they're blowing it... because he tells them off, because they're blowing it, but some people are far too serious... Anyway, I love this man, I owe him much and to know I make him smile is such a lovely feeling.
in the same vein as the previous paragraph's preaching there's this dude called bobby (dude at the back) and he was also one of the dudes that helped make this year such a good one. Together we explored and conquered with an overriding desire for getting shit done, which was lucky for me because his GSD based determination helped us gsd too this day! I haven't had a chance to bro out with him in a while as our tunnels have rerouted but there's always times to be had. also, the dude in the foreground is Gabe, a fellow whom i've been blessed to know for quite some time now... he was the first dude I met outside of the Brisbane scene and ever since that day has been the loveliest travel partner, skater, friend and someone who's idealism appeals to me more than most people i am lucky enough to encounter. lovely dudes, I guess thats the message and for that I couldn't be in a better industry.
losing Judy was shitty but every moment is a gamble for all of us, of varying risk, and in this instance there's no single shred of anger, just remorse and love so it worked out alright i guess. I miss her in my everyday dealings, when I'm in Brisbane, but the preaches must continue.
also, losing my car/independence/freedom at the end of the year was terrible. I've still not rectified the situation but my course of action is determined but I've not had the consistency or planning to figure out if i even need transport during the winter as i'll probably spend the whole thing overseas.
that was the sad bit out of the way, now for a 4 picture overview of my life as of the end of the year, and 2014 by the looks of it. I've caught wind of a quick USA stint at the end of January and there's a Landy approved skate and explore trip through South Africa for the month of FEB. wooo preaching max stoke.
The messages of each picture, respectively:-
1. skating downhills is epic, be it in mountain roads in far off lands or your flat street, the potential is endless. skin heals quick, bones not so quick but stoke and contentedness will make you feel better than you've ever felt before.
2. go and explore, there's much to see and you might see these foreign forays and get envious but I can honestly say that my backdoor (brisbane/coasts/hinterlands) is one of the most beautiful and rich places that i get to visit.. don't get me wrong, there are endless beautiful places out there, i'm just saying that use that bubbling restless to explore whats right next to you, it'll surprise you.
3. sleeping on the ground is fine
4. being able to drink with your workmates while working was an unforeseen perk of my job.
finding and skating stuff, this shot is from Hakuba, taken in March. Bobby getting suuuuper pitted on one of many roads that lay around the place, all with worse pavement than ever predicted, still fun though as you crash into snow :D (but also have to skate with patch levels through the roof)
whilst shredding north to BC from LA we covered much ground and on any given day we'd see multiple things of beauty, this day in Idaho was one of the more memorable ones as we got to go on this sand dune, it was surreal being that high in a desert... seeing no water except for the windsheltered side of the dune was rad.
camping on the ground is a thing, i've probably slept on the ground for an unsettling number of times this year. On the 60 day North America trip i knowingly slept on a bed or a couch a total of 4-6 days. But it's fine, the ground is actually great and if you give yourself a few days to wear it in, you'll be frothing.. in my opinion, a bed is a comfy as it was last night, in the sense that we get used to bedding and after a few days you stop caring.
shotgunning beers with Guff in beautiful locations is an emerging hobby in my life that will be taken to a new level in 2014 as we work together documenting the fury that accompanies international adventures into downhill documentary.