We know how much you loved this story in our September 2013 issue, so we figured we’d do a favor to those who didn’t get their hands on the print version. Follow the Fox team as Danny Harf, Reed Hansen, Bob Soven, Dieter Humpsch and team manager Todd Hicks travel from the United States to Europe. Check out the photo gallery and story by Ian Reid. Enjoy!
The Land of Spanish Cowboys, Beautiful Women and Futbol
The Fox Team rips through Europe | Words: Ian Reid | Photos: Ian Reid
I was skating through Barcelona looking for a bite to eat and passing girls cleaning up garbage on the streets who would be considered supermodels back in the States, and I said to myself, “I could live here.” I joined the Fox team, consisting of Danny Harf, Reed Hansen, Bob Soven, Dieter Humpsch and team manager Todd Hicks, and made the long trek from the United States to Europe for some events and grand openings and to hit some spots.
Our first stop in Europe was Montpellier, France. It’s a college town, where the event Fise is held. Apparently, slack-lining is really cool, because those guys bouncing and balancing on a strap tied to trees drew one hell of a crowd. The number of people at this action-sport event was similar to what you would see at a music festival, with the same aroma in the air every 20 feet. From the Fox crew, we had Reed, Danny and Dieter until we made our way over to Spain.
From my experience, Spain has a completely unique vibe; it’s different from the rest of Europe. The weather was similar to central California, but the people are much different. They’re laid back, taking it easy, and no one was trying to outdo one another. The food is good, and futbol, public transportation and historic architecture are ways of life in Barcelona. Bob met us over there. Winching in Barcelona is incredible, to say the least. There are a ton of spots in the city that have more than likely never been hit, and I was reminded of the reputation that the city has for skateboarding — tons of perfect spots, with law enforcement that’s mostly indifferent.
I believe the best part of traveling somewhere you have never been before, whether it be in your home state or on the other side of the world, is exploring and, hopefully, getting lost. Dieter and I decided to get lost one night in Montpellier, and it made for great memories, new friends and a solid hangover. Meeting new people and making friends is particularly special in a foreign country, because everything you learn about people and their way of life is interesting, because almost nothing about you and your new friend is stale. You share no mutual friends, barely a mutual language and every story is something you have never heard. Traveling and opening your mind to other cultures is the best thing a person can do for personal growth.
One of my favorite moments of the trip was when Reed and I went on an early morning adventure and found a black cat roaming the streets of a town near Sau Lake. Reed carried it around and held it up to the gods like Simba until we came across an elementary school, where students at recess were playing futbol. We had a blast just hanging out with them, and they obviously start them young over there, because these little kids were better at futbol than most people I know in the States (which, granted, isn’t saying much). The language barrier is always a factor when visiting a foreign country, but we rolled with the punches. In our case, we had Danny and Bob combining their high-school Spanish knowledge to make the equivalent of one 3-year-old Spanish child, so needless to say, it was very entertaining watching the locals try to understand them. All in all, this was an awesome trip, and I can’t thank the guys at Fox enough for allowing me to be a part of this journey with such an amazing crew!
“Barcelona was definitely the mecca of our trip; we were the grand-opening kings in that city. From the Fox Europe headquarters grand-opening party to the Olympic wake park opening weekend, we killed the openings!” — Bob Soven
“Barcelona is a such a beautiful city with a rich history. It is so easy to find good places to skate, winch or just to be a tourist.” — Reed Hansen
“Spain is winchy. Barcelona being the skateboard capital of the world led us to believe we were in one of the most exotic spots for winching with the crew, photograph-wise. It was just a matter of getting the in-and-out process down to a science and beating out the cops. Playing dumb was our approach with the coppers. I guess the ol’ saying ‘Ask for forgiveness later’ was our theory.” — Todd Hicks, Fox wake team manager
“Unbelievable, talented athletes, the spots we hit, all dominated and photographed by Ian drove our team to make the world’s best imagery come true. It’s amazing what hanging out with a group of dudes for 17 days will do.” — Todd Hicks
“The funniest part of the trip was watching Reed avoid getting taken to the police station in Spain for winching in front of a public library! We thought we were in the clear, but the cops tracked down the Fox van we were driving and hit us with a pretty big ticket. Reed smoothed it over by showing them some photos and signed some autographs.” — Danny Harf
“Ibiza. Well, for starters, it’s pronounced ‘Ibitha,’ and all of us gringos pronounced it as ‘Ibeeza’ the entire trip. Aside from that, Ibiza was windy as shit!” — Bob Soven
“Ibiza didn’t pan out on the riding front, because the winds kicked in really heavy that day, but we still had fun. It’s hard to have a bad time in Ibiza.” — Reed Hansen
“Some random place in Spain that Tommy “the Spanish Cowboy” took us- “Those spanish cowboys are loco!” — Bob Soven
“After Fise we went to Vic to ride on Lake Sau — a really good place to ride some boats and also a great place for some cliff diving.” — Reed Hansen
“This European tour was one of the first of its kind for Fox. Myself, I haven’t traveled out of the country in over 20 years, and the last time I did that was with the Fox brothers, Pete and Greg. They were professionals to the game. I dove headfirst into something that I could vaguely remember from my past. Either way, I was looking at 13 hours total seat time to get to Barcelona from San Francisco.” — Todd Hicks
“Bob and I decided that our Spanish knowledge combined was about equal to that of a 2-year-old! I’m pretty sure that I contributed to about a year and a half of that, however.” — Danny Harf
“The most clutch maneuver of the trip was Dieter jumping into a spillway to save Tommy ‘the Spanish Cowboy’ from a seriously dangerous undertow. The situation quickly went from fun to funny to extremely real! Dieter, being the true waterman he is, went in after Tommy and swam our amigo to safety! Needless to say, we all came out alive, thanks to the Bru.” — Danny Harf