See what we did there!? Almost half an hour Skateboarding from UK’s Palace Team starting off strong with one of the two new pros Kyle Wilson and ending it with the other one Charlie Birch. You do not want to miss this one.
First off, let us start with some facts about this tour.
- On this trip, we had Vincent Huhta, David Jakinda, Hugo Corbin, Santiago Sasson, Marc-A Barbier & Juan Saavedra.
- It was a nine-day trip.
- We had one full dry day.
- Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Lille were the places we traveled to.
- In Holland, we stayed on a houseboat.
- We spoke a lot of our own little twisted Brazillian influenced Portuguese (or that was what we were thinking).
- Obrigado, irmao, vagundo, caralhao, poa, valeu, todo, junto, vagabundo where the words of choice.
- I got to wear that sweet ass Palace Avirex Jacket for a hot minute and flex for a bit.
- Juan Saavedra uses beard oil to keep his shit looking correct.
- Santiago did the best line we have ever seen from him. It was like a stripper jumping out of a birthday cake.
- David & Vincent are like brothers from different mothers. The only difference other than the obvious being that David packs like a Kardashian & Vincent packs like a 1920’s train-hopping blues singer.
- Marc-A Barbier really loves to facetime with his girlfriend.
- Both filmers have very similar names Petr and Peter. They also shared a bed which was easy when we needed to wake them up.
- Scandinavians are simply better at life than the rest of us.
- Hugo Corbin got injured on day one and had to go back home.
- Bringing a Nintendo Switch was necessary even though I was skeptical at first.
- Juan’s phone got stolen 🙁
- Barabakaa is a Russian street spy and he will capture anything weird going on in the streets. Trust me watch the video!
- Belgium has the best fries, Holland has the best-fried food and France thinks they have the best cheese! (I can already hear Santi, & Marc-A protesting)
- We played a lot of bar sports but surprisingly didn’t drink that much.
- Marc-A Barbier is the best house guest ever, he cleaned the boat every morning. Marc-A “Tu es bonne à marier!”
- Santiago ordered way to much Nike stuff to the house so all of our guests ended up getting a nice pre-Christmas present.
- IT RAINED 8 OUT OF 9 DAYS!
So basically this tour was preceded by some of the best weather Europe had seen in a long time. Like the year before it seemed like we would be having an almost endless summer. But as luck would have it, as the tour grew closer so did the clouds. As soon as we all arrived in Amsterdam (our meet up point) the signs weren’t good.
What was good though was the food, we went to:
- A Dutch-style snack bar. (also known in some regions of the Netherlands as brown fruit)
- We ate Surinam food.
- Iranian food.
- Indonesian food (must have).
- Belgian fries.
- Traditional Chinese food (fried pork belly!).
- Had some German meat-heavy food.
- Thai-French fusion.
- And every morning someone made sure we had fresh eggs, some juice, coffee, toast, yogurt, and Nutella.
During this trip we traveled by train, which to be honest is still the nicest way to trave because nobody is forced to drive, we didn’t have to go through security, there is enough room for all the bags and you can still buy coffee in the vehicle without stopping. Also, Greta Thunberg travels that way so…
We also have to give it up for all the great parking garages inside of the cities of Rotterdam and Antwerp. The security guards also let us have our fun so an S/O is in place!
We also had some great guests in both of those cities Pascal Moelaert, Aaron Tiekink, Sneep, Ziggy Schaap, Alex Raeymaekers, Yannick Gores & Wallem. You guys really helped guide us through the raindrops to the right spots at the right time. Without really ever complaining, chapeau!
Vincent Huhta and David Jakinda have been best friends for a long time. How far back? Well, David told me his mom used to grip Vincent’s board when he stayed over at their house when they were young.
This was their first tour together and when we asked them they both said I’ll go if he goes. Vincent even cut short a London trip just so he could come skate with David. Obviously they roomed together the entire trip and it feels like they motivated each other a lot as well not only verbally but also by actions.
When one would film a trick and was having a hard time the other usually skated the spot with him just to back him up and keep the vibe right. Which often resulted in us getting way more tricks from both of them at spots that weren’t typical. They would often make it a little sesh together and all we had to do was point and shoot.
Because of their bond, they also were at ease at almost all locations and truth be told just fun and easy to be around their friendship also extended and made us all as a group become a bit closer as well and that is worth a lot.
Last but not least all the skate shops, Ben-G, Skatestore Rotterdam, Lockwood & Zeropolis are all places that helped us and help their scenes on a daily basis. We all know that with the current situation things aren’t easy for them so don’t forget them and show them your support in both easy and hard times.
In Cooperation with Nike SB.
Photo & Video by Barabakaa.
Additional filming by Peter Buikema
This article was written by Roland Hoogwater.
Palace first went to Japan and then introduces a new guy on the team back in Britain. Good concept. Now, you might wanna see who it is, right!?
Feat.: Lucien Clarke, Juan Saavedra, Rory Milanes, Dany Brady, Benny Fairfax, Chewy Cannon, Jamal Smith, Heitor Da Silva & Evan Mock.
It must be nice for a filmer to film a small team with such major talent and style. But above all the team really gets along and as such the general vibe of this video is pleasant, to say the least.
Juan Saavedra, Santiago Sasson, Karl Salah and Oscar Candon.
What do you do when your last video marked the end of a VHS era? You run straight to the competition Betamax! When both VHS and Betamax were launched it was obvious that the latter had the better quality system. Unfortunately for that system VHS had better marketing and thus Betamax died a slow death until Palace managed to revive it.
Enjoy the whole man dem including Arto skating Hawaii.
The year is almost over and we are looking back to one hell of a crazy year. Talking about crazy we have to mention our last summer’s French Intern Augustin Giovannoni who just dropped is 2017 mixtape featuring Franz Grimm, Joffrey Morel, Auguste Bouznad, Juan Saavedra, Yann Garin & us. Loye you, Noni <3.
The Bronze 56K crew recently did a little trip to Berlin and Paris for a week. A Bronze video is not a Bronze video without the crazy editing by Peter Sidlauskas. For those of you who have been around for a while, might recognize some references to classics like the Adio One Step Beyond video. Featuring Adrian Vega, Nick Ferro, Juan Saavedra and Kevin Tierney.
“We like to skate, we are having fun.” – This is all what Romain Batard has put as video describtion for his newest full length. And after watching it, I feel like I don’t dare to add anything more to that because sometimes saying less is saying more. However, you definitely should get your own impression!
Featuring: Joffrey Morel, Glen Fox, Santiago Sasson, Marc-Alexandre Barbier, Victor Demonte, Joseph Biais, Juan Saavedra, Oscar Candon, Steve Malet, Alexis Jamet and Hugo Maillard.
Juan Esteban Saavedra is Colombian. He now lives in Paris, but he was born on the other side of the planet, right at the foot of the Andes. Later, as a child, he grew up in France and received his education in Florida as a teenager. In other words, without his choosing, Juan Esteban has become a citizen of the world that doesn’t really belong to a specific country, region or neighborhood. If anywhere, he feels at home on a small maple board with wheels on which he has already spent more than two thirds of his life. And if the skateboard can be regarded as a passport to freedom and travel, no doubt that Juan will not end up stuck at a border post… Confessions of a story out of the ordinary…
From Colombia to Paris…
I was born in Colombia, in a city called Cali, on the 17th of March 1992. I lived there until I was six years old. In 1998, I had to leave the country with my parents. They had some good jobs there, but they’d become a target for the FARCS and the cartels, groups that wanted to kidnap them for ransom. I have to say that Colombia is a country where violence is rampant, especially in the 90s. Around that time some bad stories started to happen, involving some friends of my parents who got kidnapped. Scared by all this, they decided to leave before it was too late for us.
As my mum really like the French culture, we managed to go to France and live in Paris. My cousin, who was into synchronized swimming, had already been living in Paris for a while. She was swimming for the Racing Club of Paris and she’d arrived in France with my Grandma. As my mum is also a synchronized swimmer and coach as well, this was an opportunity for us to come here.
So at six years old, I kind of started a new life in the 18th arrondissement of the French capital – without knowing anything or anyone except my Grandma and my cousin. It’s a big culture shock but at the age of six it’s actually quite easy to manage. You don’t realize what’s happening; you barely start to be aware of who you are and what you do, so it’s pretty okay. And yet, it was still a huge change in my life. I remember, for example, the first time I arrived in class at school and that the teacher asked for my name: I did not speak a word of French and I gave my name Juan Esteban Saavedra, and then all the other kids started laughing, nobody understood anything…
So I quickly abandoned “Esteban” and simply went by “Juan”, it was easier for everybody. In fact, I spent only one year in Paris. Then we moved to the suburbs, in the 78 (Les Yvelines) at Fontenay-le-Fleury, not far from Versailles, and I grew up there. It was much cooler for me, there was the forest, and the quality of life was generally better compared to the center of Paris. Another important point, there was a skatepark not far from my home…
I started skating there just before I turned seven. It’s a funny story: I remember I was playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, I finished my game, it was in the summer, and I suddenly discovered that there was a hidden video at the end of the game. Actually, when you finish the game with a character you can see a real video. I remember very well, I was playing with Koston and so I discovered his part!
It was a huge revelation, this was the first time in my life I saw real skating, and I thought, “but it’s too damn cool that thing…” In fact, at the time I had a friend who owned an old skateboard but up to that point we’d only cruised down slopes, sitting on the board, that was all… After seeing the Koston part, I decided to try skating and I haven’t stopped since.
From Paris to Miami…
I finally spent seven years in France. One day, when I was 13, my mum told me that we were going on a vacation to Florida to visit an uncle. So I went there with my parents, and after a couple of weeks they returned to France and I stayed there to finish my holidays. At the end of August, it was in 2005, my mum called me: “How do you like Miami?” I went like: “Yeah it’s pretty cool and fun, I like it…”. After that, a few days later, my parents went back to Miami with all our belongings. They had decided that we were going to live there.
At the beginning I thought, okay, it’s going to be perfect here, I’m going to be on permanent vacation, sunshine, beach, skating, etc… but then again, I had to really live there. A new life again, and I hadn’t even said goodbye to any of my friends back in France; they all believed that I was just on vacation in Florida, but I actually never came back. So at 13 years old, I had to build a new life in Miami. And 13 is a tough age to change everything in your life, especially when you come from Europe to America, and especially to Miami, which is America on steroids! It’s an insane, crazy place!
After that, I went to middle school for a year and then did four years of high school in a good international school in Miami. Again, upon arriving in Florida I could hardly speak any English at all, I just had some basics, like any 13-year-old, I guess. It was quite hard at the beginning; it took time to adapt. On the other hand I was lucky because there was a large Spanish community in Miami and so I was able from the start to make myself understood.
I soon realized that I had lost all my friends in France, and I must admit that I initially hated Miami, the people, the superficial side of a lot of things… It was definitely strange for me. Being Colombian but also speaking French, no one really understood who I was, and even for me it was a bit confusing at times. Anyway, I soon focused on skateboarding, because it was pretty much all I had to escape to during that period. I was going to skate everyday, all the time, alone, skate, skate, skate!
I really did not talk to others, and it stayed like that for at least two years. On top of that my parents wanted me to go to the best public high school in Miami, which was a good thing in itself, but it also had its downside because it was located on the opposite side of town. My high school was on the 152th south west and I lived 174th north east, so around my home I had no friends, I knew no one… and to go and see my friends in the south of the city, it was a real mission. Especially when you have to take public transportation.
I had to take three busses, one train and one metro mover for each direction. It was a nightmare! To give you an idea, I finished school at 2:30 pm every day, and when I had to go by metro or bus I sometimes arrived home at about 6:30. Up to four hours transit! It was the best school in town, but it was just too bad to get there. Every morning I had to get up at 4:30 because my dad dropped me off at school at 5:30, and then I had to wait till 7:30 for school to start. I often brought a pillow and slept in the cafeteria; times were pretty hard…
Then, when I was 16, I started to get more used to the culture, I understood better how things worked, I spoke perfect English, started to party with friends, started to have fun like a normal teenager. Plus, I had my skate crew, the LFT (Lift For Today), some good friends I filmed my first-ever video part with. So it was finally okay for me. I stayed in Miami until I was 18.
From Miami back to Paris via Colombia…
At 18, when I finished high school I had to make a choice. I was supposed to attend a major university, something everyone pushes you to do in the States, because if you don’t study at a great university you are considered a loser, a piece of shit – which is especially true when you come from a school like my high school, with geniuses in every corner. Anyway, I was going to live somewhere else – again. For me to go to university in the States was probably the most depressing thing ever, so I decided to leave for Colombia after graduating.
I think at that time I really needed to return to Colombia. I am Colombian but I hardly knew anything about my country and my roots, and I guess I had something like an identity crisis: I couldn’t really say what I wanted to do with my life. Well, I went to find the rest of my family back in Colombia, where I stayed for almost a year. I was really well received, it felt good to just be by myself without anyone around me telling me what to do. I think it was very beneficial for me and I also realized that the one thing I missed the most during my stay was skateboarding.
So I decided to move back to Paris, just to see how things were in Europe, and in 2011 I started to study Cinema at La Sorbonne. The bad thing was that just a week after I left, my Grandma, who I’d spent most of my time in Colombia with, died. It was really a bad blow for me, especially at that point when I was restarting a new episode of my life in Paris, alone again, pretty much without knowing anyone.
I really like Paris, and after those years living in the States I have to admit that the way of life, the culture, the attitude, the relationships between people are really different from what I have experienced in the US. It’s pretty much the same with skateboarding: you can feel the difference. I am much more receptive to how people skate here in Europe, much more instinctive, less focused on technical performance stuff, whereas in the US the only valid way to stand out is to always go bigger and more technical.
What’s more, here in Europe you also have all this ancient architecture, which influences your approach to skating. It’s not like in the States where everything is square, flat, smooth, well balanced, with perfect run up and landing. Here you have to deal with the imperfections, the unique nature of each spot, and I think you can feel that in the way a lot of Europeans skate. So yeah, I really enjoy skating here in Paris. Back in Miami I used to jump down a lot of stairs and stuff, but now I don’t really enjoy that anymore; now I’m happy when I do a hammer just because I won’t have to try it again. That’s a big difference.
I realized that this type of skating, jumping down big shits, is not fun for me anymore, and I want to have fun every time I skate, which means I do pretty much everything except stairs and rails. After a while in France, luckily I found some sponsors and I started to travel a bit through Europe, for example to Barcelona, London, and Berlin. I guess if I didn’t live in Paris, I would probably live in Berlin, I really love the atmosphere in that city.
I remember one time I went to Berlin, and on arrival at the airport, my skate bag was the last on the mat, so I went out the last and the customs guys immediately stopped me. They asked me if I had anything to declare, like narcotics. I told them no, absolutely not, and when one of the German guys from the customs saw the nationality on my passport (Colombian), he called all his colleagues and they all started to get excited, digging through my stuff like crazy.
After a while, they took my coat and passed it through the x-rays, and in fact I had a pack of Fisherman’s, and the guy got fully crazy and ordered me to open my pocket and present what was inside. All the guys around me were in a too hot mode, like “this one, we’re gonna catch him,” and when they all finally saw the pack of candies, they were all so jaded, it was crazy, really – thanks for the welcome! A lot of stories like that happened to me because of my nationality, but that’s life, I’m kind of used to it by now.
I just quit my studies of Cinema and switched to “Langues Etrangères Appliquées” which is way easier for me as I already speak three languages. So it’s pretty convenient for me because I don’t really need to go to class every day. I can go on any trip I want, I can skate every day, and I just need to go to the exams. Besides that, I can earn some money doing translation jobs for scripts and movie clips, which is pretty cool too. I can do it at home and it’s quite good money. Now I’m 22, and I just want to keep skating as much as I can for the next few years, enjoy everything and see where it will bring me…
Photography: Kévin Métallier
The only Constant is change – mit jeder Ausgabe versuchen wir PLACE weiterzuentwickeln. Ausgabe 52 markiert einen Wendepunkt in unserer Historie, denn es ist die erste, die komplett auf Englisch erscheint – in Zeiten der Globalisierung ein logischer Schritt: Kids sprechen heute besser Englisch denn je… Das erwartet euch in der neuesten Ausgabe aller Zeiten – wir wünschen viel Vergnügen!
Das neue Heft bekommst du wie immer im Skateshop, am Kiosk oder bequem online in unserem Store.