Cypress, California: April 28, 12PM
There’s Only So Much To Do In A Parking Lot
The late-morning sun’s beginning to cook the black tarmac outside the Vans headquarters in Cypress, where we’ve spent the last hour or so practicing flip tricks, trying stalls on un-waxed curbs. A shiny ‘84 Cadillac Coup de Ville, white and silver, pulls into the lot, a smiling toe-head sporting vintage, oval-shaped sunglasses behind the wheel. It’s longboard style-maestro and Tommorows Tulips’ frontman, Alex Knost: Always fashionable, usually late.
Along with Knost, we’re joined by Aussie Wade Goodall, Kauai native Leila Hurst, San Clemente’s Tanner Gudauskas, and Venice Beach’s Chad “Nightsnake” Marshall. We’ll be heading north, surfing and skating our way through California, Oregon, and Washington, eventually making our way to Tofino, British Columbia, for the Duct Tape Invitational. It’s an eclectic lot, to be sure. Well-traveled, too. But even amongst Gudauskas, Knost, and Marshall – all California natives – no one in the group has ventured north of Marin County.
Knost parks his whip good and crooked in the last remaining parking spot, grabs a skateboard, and starts pushing around the lot, hucking flip tricks. Members of our caravan had already made casual introductions and small talk, agreed upon the afternoon’s itinerary, and strapped surfboards to the roofs of the two Ford E-350 passenger vans we’d call home for the next week.
Knost stomps the heel of his skateboard and snatches its nose, casually moving toward the vans. “You guys ready to go?” he says, smiling. “What are we waiting for?”