You know Les. He’s the Papa. We have a nice chat about the Rayne video series – ”All the Pinche Way”. Features photos from the awesome bearded Will ”Taller Than He Looks” Edgecombe. Totally PG… or near enough.
How many dry days do you get in a year there?
You don’t count them… skate the rain and learn to skate transition. Vancouver has some rad dry spots; Flatspot Wok, some local DIY spots, a secret covered mini ramp in the woods. And there’s always escaping to more summery lands when you get the chance.
How did you decide who to take?
Well, Papas holds the cash, so I get to go. Claudio Uribe was the Mama to keep us safe, so he gets to go and then we count Van (La Migra) seats and work it from there. We all travel pretty well together on the #Rayneteam so it was a matter of who was free, who had never been, who was scheduled for a trip this year. That kind of thing. We try and get on one trip a year with the UK homies, Mark, Will and George. Last year was Puerto Rico, so this year they opted for Mexico when they heard about it. Levi absolutely rips and he was living with me for a lot of last summer, so he was still lurking about. Aaron is actually the Rayne Sales Rep for Mexico and fluent in Spanglish. He was working with Onboard Distribution who helped make the trip possible, so he joined us. Most people know Aaron from Long Treks on Skate Decks, but they might not know he shreds everything. He was doing kooky stuff on wheelieboards of all kinds before a lot of us realized there even was a ”scene” for downhill.
Let’s see… that covers Mark, Will, George, Levi, Aaron, Claudio…. Fer Bailleres is a local for Mexico and OG really for their community – he busted his leg during El Tigre on the first weekend – huge bummer – but he bossed it up and made Monterreal and Monterrey happen for us all. Same with Dan Favela. He crushed La Migra the whole time, played gnarvigator, showed us spots, called everyone to come skate and gave us his home. Couldn’t have done the trip the same without the Mexico family. These guys and our little ferret Dan Caro and all their friends in every city took care of us and showed us the spots, gave us their homes. Huge hugs to everyone really!
Haha looks like Levi won from this first video!
Winning and losing is sometimes a matter of perspective. Levi won at a lot of Mexico, but there’s always a cost, ha ha. Levi basically shred a Catalyst and 62mm soft Envy’s everywhere, but I doubt he went through as many wheels as he did shotguns. I doubt the skating hurt him as much as the partying! What else do you do when you’re on a mountain side, in a small town (or no town) and camped out until the next day of skating… sun goes down early in October… crack some kool-aid, break out some dice and turn up the music.
How did you get the RV out there?
HA… Tiffany… she almost killed us at the Salt Spring Slip and Slide, but that’s another story. We couldn’t bring that beast. Even if she made the trip down the coast to Mexico, there’s no way the Feds would let us in.
Claudio knows how to get things. He has this group Van he knows about and rents for events in Mexico already. I think he took it on ”Get Them Stoked” I think with Fer and Punk Rocker and Gerardo once. Anyways, he got this 15 seater Van, we called La Migra. We took out a row of seats for gear, stickered it up and off we went.
Is this the first video of this kind you guys have put out?
It’s not the first trip video, but it is the first focused tour with shop visits, events, specific hills and a goal in mind. We typically just go and always have cameras with us. In the past, we’ve done event trips regularly and we did the Maryhill to Menlo series driving down the West coast, but never an explicit tour of a country.
That was just it, we wanted to go to Mexico with a goal and get to meet as many people as we could… as Dan Favela likes to say, ”Respect da people.”
Where did you guys spend time over there?
We started in Guadalajara and drove all around, Ciudad Guzman, Leon, Mexico, Monterreal, Monterrey and back, ending in Guadalajara.
What was the goal?
As I was saying before, respect the people. We wanted to get out of Vancouver and down to Mexico to skate with the homies, meet their friends and families, skate their roads and just bring us all a little closer together.
Did visiting Mexico on this trip feel different to when you went for MILF?
Yeah, for sure. MILF was an event trip. An awesome time for sure, but a limited one with a focus on getting to a race and racing. During the season, a lot of our riders are moving all over to hit races, MILF was an IGSA event for instance. So we got to meet some people, and see some spots, but that hardly reaches the heart of a community. Not everyone races or can even afford to travel to an event, doesn’t mean they’re not having an incredible time skating or have rad spots… you gotta go all the way for that.
“Not everyone races or can even afford to travel to an event, doesn’t mean they’re not having an incredible time skating or have rad spots… you gotta go all the way for that.”
Did you guys organise events or just turn up?
We did not organize everything, but we had a vague idea and the internet. We jumped in with some planned events that were happening, we inspired some and we planned some.
El Tigre was thanks to guys like Claudio, Gerardo Moreno, Fer Vega and sponsors like Otang, Treee and of course Rayne. The local jams were organized by the riders and in some cases their shops. Shops are a great gathering point, hills don’t always have an “address”, so local shops are key. NoNeed4Lube and THC helped organize the Monterreal and Monterrey events. So we really couldn’t have done this without local riders and shops.
Are there any parallels between the community there and Canada?
Absolutely. Skating around the world is connected and has a lot of the same fun and same hardships. Skateboarding is a great leveler… it doesn’t matter where. Canada is big, Mexico is bigger, but the community in Mexico is still smaller and really just starting to hit it’s stride with events and shops, I feel. In BC we’ve just had a longer go at it.
Is there anything that won’t make it into these 3 episodes?
Well, if it’s not in the video’s then it didn’t happen? or maybe that should be “!” The videos are for a TV audience… pg-13 mostly. It was a Van trip for 2 weeks… a lady never tells. Even between us girlfriends Gbemi, ha ha.
Where did you have the most fun skating?
Tough question. El Tigre might have to be my favourite because I really like Freerides. It was the biggest group of people on the trip and brought a lot of people we hadn’t seen in a minute all together for a weekend.
“Hills are a scarce resource and if you find them, show up unannounced and blow them… well, that’s just not groovy. Forget about the fact you’re blowing someones local spot, you missed a huge chance to meet some great people and really get to experience the local culture where you’re visiting.”
Do you have any advice for anyone reading this planning to go skate Mexico?
Get in touch with locals. Hills are a scarce resource and if you find them, show up unannounced and blow them… well, that’s just not groovy. Forget about the fact you’re blowing someones local spot, you missed a huge chance to meet some great people and really get to experience the local culture where you’re visiting. Reach out and skate with someone.
What should we look out for in upcoming episodes?
It’s out… this interview took me a week to do, go watch ep 2 out now!
Big thanks for being a good friend. Was fun hanging out, need more bacon next time. Biggest hugs. Stay rad and Bangarang!
Always stoked to interview with you Gbemi. Gotta get planning the next tour!
Any last words?
Skate and DIY.
Hit me up on Insta @the_pap_les http://instagram.com/the_papa_les
Thrill Magazine – bangin photo editorial from Will Edgecombe
Skate Slate – never seen before inside the tour pics and some fun words by me
The Rayne Youtubes for all the edits
Kitties and Titties – what’s not to love? Just don’t get why they go together.