Tea, Tapas & Tres – etnies UK & Spain Tour

October 17, 2016

Words and photos by Sam McGuire

It’s a beautiful, hot and humid summer evening as we are all breathing in that weird familiar mix of jet fuel and cigarette smoke that is the arrival terminal of just about every airport around the world. The crew has surprisingly all managed to arrive in London without any hiccups: no lost luggage, no missed flights, no delay, we’d all magically made it. So we waited to get our rental car to head to central London.

It was the beginning of a two-week tour throughout the UK and Spain: two days in London, a few more in Bristol a few more in Manchester, then off to Bilbao, Madrid and Barcelona. It was a heavy crew, lead by no other than legend Photographer Chris Jones with Chris Joslin, Ryan Lay, Silvester Eduardo, Trevor McClung, Willow, and UK legends Barney Page and Mike Manzoori.

We started off London with a visit to Studio Spaces for the etnies 30 Year Photo Exhibition. While there, we managed to squeak in a bit of skating and ending up at a spot that I’ve been to a hundred times before, but always seem to forget the name. After a few goes at the brick bank to wall, it was pretty clear Barney was going to land this massive Wallie to Front Blunt but he’d also turned twenty five the night before and so was nursing quite a nasty hangover. Defeated, we vowed to return the next day before heading out to Bristol.

The next day, we woke up, checked out of the hotel and headed back to the brick bank for Barney’s Front Blunt. Once the trick was secured, we headed off to beautiful Bristol. With a nice demo under our belts at Dean Lane Skatepark, we headed out on the streets to film a piece for The Skateboard Mag’s “Day in the Life of Skateboarding.” We woke up to rain, but lucked out as the skate gods parted the clouds and we ended up logging more tricks that day than any other on the trip.

After a few days in Bristol, we headed north towards sunny Manchester for a team signing at Note Skateshop and a demo at the Pump Cage. While we managed to stay dry for a good portion of the UK leg of the trip, the weather had finally caught up to us and we got stuck in endless rain towards the end. Manchester, Bristol and London had treated us very well—but it was high time for the sunny Spanish skies so we took off for Spain.

Joslin headed back to the states and along the way, we were joined in Bilbao by none other than international skate sensation, Ryan Sheckler. It was many peoples first time in Bilbao, but I think we all absolutely loved it. The rolling hills, the inspiring architecture and just a plethora of incredible skate spots. If you were thinking of going anywhere for a skate trip, I’d say Bilbao should be high on your list of places to go. After Bilbao, we headed off to the magical metropolis known as Madrid where the Welcome Skateshop greeted us. We asked for sun, and boy did we get it! The brilliant weather allowed us to skate some amazing spots. With the sun shining upon us, were able to throw down one of the most crowded signings and demos I have seen in a really long time. Madrid was all around incredible, well done everyone!

You can’t have a skate trip through Spain without a visit to the incredible city of Barcelona: endless spots, beaches for days, cheap beer and great food. Life doesn’t really get much better than this. We spent a solid four to five days in Barcelona filming for the upcoming etnies video and the crew killed it! Everyone got tricks and big ole Trevor McClung managed to shut down a famous double set right as the sun was setting on a beautiful evening, and a beautiful trip. The Tea and Tapas tour is a wrap!