The three-day window was a very thin timeframe with a lot of ground to cover, with no idea of any spots to even skate. The whole trip was at risk of being an indulgent bogan sightseeing tour. While Southland is known for below-average weather, we happened to score the only sunshine in the country, as the North Island sounded as if it had sunk below sea level. Thanks to Pavement and Irrom Distribution for making the trip happen and to the other sponsors, DEF and Collab Distribution, for keeping these guys rolling through the streets. Evidently, from the following, everyone threw down, and the trip was a total success!
Daniel Bridgman, gap to frontside five-0 grind, Invercargill.
Daniel has an authentic and relaxed skating style. Even Daniel’s slams looked comfortable and controlled. He hits the ground hard but shows no anger or pain. He just gets up and walks back to the top, ready and committed to rolling away.
Jack Byrne, crooked grind, Queenstown.
It was the last day of school break, and students were set to return to school the next day. We had one shot at this school, and thankfully no teachers were there preparing for the term.
Jack Byrne, ride-on frontside five-0 grind.
This spot isn’t a spot. It’s a bridge with an awkward curved ledge before it. We stopped here for a moment on our way to an actual spot. Jack was messing around with a quick ollie up and ride on five-0. Funny how the warm-up tricks en route to the spot can end up better than the destination.
Niwa Warner, switch flip, Invercargill.
After a dry run finding spots, we found this mirage. From a distance, what looked like the best set in New Zealand was actually a tricky beast that claimed three boards. Perfectly set up to skate with an undercover, downhill roll-up that flattens out before you pop. The brick landing was perfect except where you would make an impact — a half-inch rise between bricks made for the perfect skate-stopper. After enough attempts hanging up on the step, Niwa launched this switch flip well past the uneven bricks.
Josh Findlay, frontside feeble grind, Clinton.
In the middle of Southland, deep in dairy country, we discovered this small school with a perfect out-rail. A plethora of tricks were laid out in front of me. Daniel did a dozen different frontside grinds while Niwa matched each trick backside. Josh did his favourites over and over with perfection.
Jack Byrne, ollie, Gore.
When in the Dirty South, there is no avoiding Gore. This place really lives and breathes its well-deserved reputation. Jack had a Hilux, but without a mullet, he was just another yuppie from the city. With or without the power of a mullet, Jack pushed through Gore’s headwind to pop the wheelchair bump before too many rubberneckers gathered. This could have been the only skate spot in the entire city.
Thanks to Pavement and Irrom Distribution for making the trip happen and to the other sponsors, DEF and Collab Distribution, for keeping these guys rolling through the streets. Evidently, from the following, everyone threw down, and the trip was a total success!
Featuring Jack Byrne, Niwa Warner, Daniel Bridgman, Josh Findlay, Beach Thurlow and Josh Stewart.
Tour article published in Manual, Issue 70.