Our tour began long before it actually started. After Street Fighters was completed, I started planning the next video immediately. I knew I wanted the video to be a tour so that we could all be together instead of filming parts separately. I also wanted to have a crew of women that were dedicated to street culture: Luz Alen from Argentina, Megan Shaffer from Denver, Kayla Klinkhammer from Long Beach, Ivey Wohl from Colorado Springs, Barbara Maldonado from Chile, and myself from Chicago.

The tour got pushed back several times due to skater injuries and funding issues. I became quite worried that some of the girls would drop out and start to believe I was full of shit about the whole thing. To my surprise, everyone’s commitment and excitement never wavered. We raised money from sponsors and even had a donation bucket at Quad Cup for Luz’s travel. I felt so blessed to have the crew and community believe in me and the mission. So many people threw money in that bucket and said, “We need more skate videos!” Despite all the roadblocks we encountered, I did not forget this. It helped keep things moving because I was ultimately putting this whole project together for street culture. I wanted to somehow express to the community that you don’t need a big media team or deep pockets to create a video. Not one of us was paid to skate in this. We wanted to skate. We wanted to share something with all of you and inspire others to do the same.

We started out in Chicago with just four of us: Megan, Ivey, and I picked Luz up at the airport—first time meeting her. Conversations were flying and it felt as though we had all been friends for years. We stopped at Target on the way to my house to get some groceries. First thing Luz did was stock up on cream cheese. We were a little confused as she shouted, “I love this!” She went through cream cheese at an astonishing rate.

After a few days of filming in Chicago with friends Cedric Tippett and Yandriel Silverio, we road-tripped it to Denver. We convinced Kayla to meet us there and we were almost a full crew. Almost. Because one small detail we had not figured out yet was the filmer. We had none. I can film, but it’s not super ideal when there is only one skater in the group who can film because that skater quickly becomes the designated filmer. We got over this problem on a rainy day in Denver that had us skating a parking garage. A couple of dudes we didn’t know who were interested in the video we were making wanted to meet up. I don’t even remember how or why that even came about, but next thing I know we are meeting two strangers in a parking garage. One of them, Spencer, approached me while I was filming and said he films too so if we need any second angles or anything he would be happy to help. Holy shit. Serendipitous timing, I would say. Spencer ended up showing up for us every day that we went out to street skate. He didn’t ask for anything or seem burdened at all even though I kept reassuring him he did not have to film for us if he didn’t want to.

A week later we wrapped up Denver. Our next plan was to all reconvene back in Chicago in a couple months with the addition of our final tour member, Barbara. I also had finally nailed down a filmer, Taylor Kobryn, who none of us had ever met. As we were gearing up for this next phase of our tour, Spencer hit me up to ask if he could join as well. So my friend Matt and I are driving an RV to the airport to pick up Megan, Ivey, Spencer, Barbara, Luz, Taylor, and Kayla who were all meeting each other as a crew for the first time outside of O'Hare Airport. The expressions on their faces when we rolled up in our home for the next week were priceless. The sleeping arrangements in the RV were pretty tight, but we made it work. I had a couple of rules for the trip: first, a standard, no #2s in the RV, and the second, no spliffs in the RV. The second rule was broken within 20 minutes. Here are a few highlights from the trip.

We ventured to Lafayette, Indiana and camped out at Schmidty’s Ramp N Camp. If you’ve never been there, it's a skater's dream surrounded by nature. For our first time filming together as a complete crew, we went out for a night sesh on some yellow flat rails. It was super fun and I knew then that all my fears over building the right collection of people for this video had been allayed.

Taylor loved to stay up late, really late, walking the grounds of Schmidty’s having some brews. At around 5am one morning he was loudly playing music and spilled a beer on Juniper and I’s heads while we were sleeping. Taylor still denies this. His RV driving skills made up for it though, thankfully. As punishment, he had to sleep in the storage compartment under the RV with all our skates. I can only imagine how pleasant the aroma was under there.

After a few days in Indiana, we headed back to Illinois. We stopped at Walmart for some road snacks and this is where I stumbled upon a goldmine. I’ve been collecting plastic pumpkin pails over the years, but most of the brands that made them discontinued production and so they’ve become difficult to find. All of a sudden I found myself surrounded by plastic pumpkin pails in the aisles of this Walmart. I bought as many as I could fit in the cart without considering the lack of storage space we had in the RV. We had to pile them in wherever they could fit. I still get asked by the crew sometimes whatever happened to those things. Oh, you’ll see.

I had a couple of rules for the trip: first, a standard, no #2s in the RV, and the second, no spliffs in the RV. The second rule was broken within 20 minutes.

During this leg of the drive, Ivey and Megan were singing karaoke on their little portable microphone. It dawned on me that it was Thursday, which so happens to be karaoke night at Chicago Street Pub in Joliet. I knew what needed to be done. We were three or four road sodas in, plus whatever drinks we ordered from the bar, and we were making our presence known. We stayed until the very last song, shut that bar down, and then we kept the party going on the drive home. Taylor was screaming Rob Zombie songs while I head banged and sang along, Megan was cry/laughing, Ivey was rolling spliffs, Kayla was over it, and poor Spencer had to drive the RV for the first time at 2am because we convinced him to be the DD, and somehow through it all Luz and Barbara slept. Back at homebase, we introduced Luz and Barbara to the magical experience of s’mores over a bonfire. That night ended while doing yoga in the pouring rain during a thunderstorm.

Our final leg of the trip was Madison, Wisconsin. We had a tiny Airbnb that we thought would be a little better than sleeping in the RV, but it turned out to be equally terrible. One night Matt and Taylor stayed up late chatting and inadvertently ate all the snacks in the house. The next morning, when Ivey discovered all the snacks were gone, she rose HELL. Apparently she had developed an addiction to a particular brand of chips that the boys had devoured. We decided as punishment for Taylor that he had to wear Kayla’s 8-Lives tank top for the entire day. It ended up not being much of a punishment at all for him because he seemed to enjoy it. He’s too good of a sport.

We spent our days and nights filming, drenched in so much sweat from the Midwest heat that we could wring it out of our hair. We fought hard for our clips, but we were always having fun. We each had the occasional meltdown over tricks, sure, but we vibed so well as a group that it was easy to pull each other out of whatever bullshit we were feeling.

I don’t look back on that tour and think about the hard-fought battles for clips like I usually do on trips, because that’s not what stood out to me. It was the non-stop laughing, shit talking, celebrating, and pure fucking fun that we had. I didn’t realize I was creating core memories at the time, but this tour was one of the top-five experiences of my life. I will always be deeply grateful for that crew and all the support that was given to us from sponsors, the community, and friends while making that video happen.

That night ended while doing yoga in the pouring rain during a thunderstorm.