Words – Byron Rhoda / Photos – Grant Mclachlan
Collabskate is an online skate shop that distributes Globe and Dwindle brands in South Africa. Skate brands such as Almost, Enjoi, Darkstar and Blind Skateboards. They also stock brands like Zero, Tensor, Andale, Killer and Verb. Sounds all-too-familiar right? Well, Collabskate took over the distribution after Revolution closed down. Clayton Prins, who is the co-founder of Collabskate, made use of my knowledge of the skate industry after I left Revolution and he decided to make me team manager of Dwindle in SA. I was more than happy to be a part of it, so after months of researching I finally made up my mind amongst many rippers out there and decided to put Karl Van Antwerp on Darkstar, Stefan Jacobs on Enjoi, Allan Adams on Blind and Tensor, Jean Marc Johannes on Almost, Tensor and Andale. I represent Globe, Verb, Tensor and Killer, which Clayton Prins offered me before he made me team manager. I chose the team because of their marketing experience and contest performance, as well as their confidence and positive attitude and thought they suited the brands very well.
We decided to have a road trip up the west coast. Stefan Jacobs drove his golf and carried Allan, Grant Mclachlan and I, while Karl and Devon Murphy (our close buddy) cruised along in the mini van. When we got to the crib and Jean Marc surprised us by having organized this 6-bedroom house with 8 beds and an indoor braai area, we already knew this was going to be an epic trip! We were up early on Saturday morning and ready to roll. A few spots later we came across this abandoned place in Saldanha Bay. All the boys were amped! We all jumped out and as crusty as the spot was, there was no stopping these guys. It was straight to business, an hour later, thinking that this place was abandoned, suddenly out of nowhere this guy slides open one of the windows from the building and starts cheering us on and starts filming us on his phone.
Stefan Jacobs crooked grind
Jean Marc Johannes backside lipslide
Allan Adams switch front blunt
Jean Marc Johannes backside noseblunt
We came across a school with stairs everywhere and with banks and all kinds of fun spots so we stopped to take a look and as we walked in we got bust by some teacher, so we decided to move on. About half an hour later of searching we came across another school in Vredenburg and obviously our first reaction was that we were going to get bust for sure, after what we just saw from the last teacher. But we took our chances. Karl pointed out this black handrail so we secretly parked the cars out of sight and decided to go and check it out. As we got closer to the rail we hear noise coming from the area and then noticed that there were people in the school hall. The rail was perfect to skate, but immediately we knew that we were going to get bust. The guys decided to ask the people in the hall if they could skate the rail. I see Grant in the distance give a ‘thumbs up’. The people in the hall were actually teachers from the school and to our surprise they let us skate the rail. The principal comes out and asked us, “hey guys would you like to see this other rail that we have in the school?” So in front of all these schoolteachers he takes us through the school hall and down this passage and there was this perfect nine set rail with all the run-up and landing needed, and we were just blown away! On our way out of the school Karl still wanted to hit the black rail outside the school hall, so we waited for everyone to leave and Karl hit it. With smiles on our faces we move on to the next spot and during a shop stop on the way we came across a quick manual spot that caught Jean Marc’s eye.
Allan Adams nosegrind
Byron Rhoda feeble grind
Karl van Antwerp crooked grind
All was going well until we suddenly had a few things go wrong. Firstly, we got hit with car troubles. Stefan’s car wouldn’t start so we tried to fix the problem ourselves, but about an hour later nothing had changed and we eventually gave up. Devon towed Stefan’s car, with all of us in it, all the way back to the crib. Then on the way one of our boards fell off the roof of Stefan’s car and we had to scramble to get it back. We also came across a farm where we decided to shoot some team photos and bring out the drone. As Grant flies the drone over us he loses control and for over 20 minutes of not seeing the damn thing in the air, we finally got it back. That was enough bad karma for one day. We finally got back to the crib and straight away we hit the beers and had a few laughs over how sunburnt Karl was. Then we all went to a local bar.
On Sunday morning we were all pretty hung over, especially Grant who lost his voice. We packed our stuff and used Stefan’s car as a storage room, but then noticed Jean Marc’s GoPro and Stefan’s wallet went missing too! We then decided to tow Stefan’s car to the nearest petrol station where he had one of the locals look after his car and we all hopped in Devon’s van to make a mission for the day. We came across this DIY half pipe spot that Grant knew. The crappy thing was that the bottom of it was covered in thick black mud and water, but I knew this spot had a lot of potential. I went to the back of the van and grabbed Allan’s spare Blind board and got down and dirty. Halfway through digging up all that black mud a local skater stopped by and saw that we were cleaning up the spot and said he knows someone with a spade, I told him we really needed that and that I would give them a board if they could fetch it. At first I thought we were never going to get rid of this mud, but I continued to move the mud and water. About an hour passes by and the local kid returned with a spade, what a legend! By that time Karl had bought a broom and then we all got into it. An hour later our hard work paid off and Stefan got to business, his massive frontside air made it all worth it! Not far off down from the spot Karl noticed an epic wallride and battled the wind for a clean roll away too.
Byron working for it
A local to the rescue
Stefan reaping the rewards
Stefan Jacobs frontside air
Karl van Antwerp wallride
With the wind picking up and time running out I found an 8-stair with perfect run up and landing, without any bust, but I knew that was the final spot of the weekend. Devon swung the van around and immediately Allan joined me for a stair session. Unfortunately the video camera battery went flat during the session, so after having a fierce battle with the wind I stuck my varial heel, but we didn’t get it on film. At least Grant got the photo though. Finally, we all hopped back in the van and called it a day.
Allan Adams switch flip
Byron Rhoda varial heelflip