Brunny Hardcore flew Ivey Wohl and I out to Australia to film a video for our signature slide blocks and to dick around Down Under for damn near a month, on a road trip, in an RV, from Melbourne to Brisbane with the two owners of the company: Rose Crooks and Garry Manfroid. The former is from New Zealand, the latter from Belgium, so our Australian tour guides aren’t even Australian. The name “Brunny Hardcore,” incidentally, comes from the name of a bowl in Brunswick, a suburb in Melbourne, called the Brunny Bowl. The “Hardcore” part is just a little extra added flavor on top. The Brunny snake logo is coiled in the shape of the bowl. I always wondered what the “3056” on the side of the slide blocks meant and it turns out it’s the Brunswick area code. It all makes sense now. But enough with the Brunny facts, let’s get to the shenanigans of our walkabout in Australia.


Our tour began with Ivey and I flying for nearly 24 hours straight. Our first flight was short and sweet to Vancouver so we decided to get drunk. Why not? We had the time. The second flight, which was nearly 16 hours, was a little less funny. I tried to pass out with that neck thing my mom bought me along with drugging myself with four Benadryl. After watching the original Bring It On, I turned my attention to a senile old man stumbling up and down the aisle. At one point, the old feller lost his balance, and grabbed the face of a sleeping man for stability and of course, woke him the fuck up. Imagine waking up to an old man palming your face? I understand having to stretch your legs out, but clearly something wasn’t right here. When he got to our aisle, Ivey made sure to set a boundary by snapping at him. Eventually the old man passed out, but it was in the wrong seat, and it took three flight attendants to pick him up and move him to his assigned seat. I had so many questions. After the flight attendants nonchalantly got him situated, we stayed up as long as we could to try to avoid any jet lag. Fuck, that was such a long travel day.

When we landed in Melbourne we were too excited to nap so we went to the park where it all started—Brunny skatepark. The best way to explain the jet lag that day is: you know when it is 4 a.m. and you’ve done one too many lines of cocaine? You’re shaky, anxious, and you know you should go to bed, but refuse to because you don’t want the night to end—or you might puke. That is exactly how I was feeling. Rib Let and Ruby Pilgrim came out to meet us and I wonder what their first impressions of us were. These two lovely humans are my Brunny teammates that I have admired from afar for a while. I wish I could session with them at least once a week.


Still suffering from jet lag, we went out to a karaoke bar that our pal Keeks bartends at, The Shady Lady. Even after a full day of street skating, there was only slight hesitation to stay in. Fuck that. Crooks always describes Melbourne as very gay, and The Shady Lady is the cherry on top of this very gay sundae. Crooks was also trying to convince me that night and throughout the tour that I’m gay because of my baggy clothes and grungy tomboy style. Crooks thought that this story, the one you’re currently reading, should be my coming out story. Don’t get me wrong, women are beautiful and sometimes I don’t know if I want to be them or fuck them, but, sorry, Crooks, I like dick way too much to be fully gay.

The board over the bar at The Shady Lady reads, “If your mate’s not here, buy them a beer! 90-day expiry.” Fucking adorable. Keeks bought Ivey and I shots that we will be drinking later in this article.

The energy in that karaoke bar was loud and proud—shame, embarrassment, caution, etc. was strictly forbidden. You were the odd one out if you were too shy or insecure to get up on stage and sing. Everyone who stepped upon that sacred stage was expected to belt out the most dramatic performance of their fucking life. I was kind of intimidated, but once we heard our names called for “How You Remind Me,” by Nickelback, there was no turning back. What a magical place.

Riblet doing a tabernacle in the deep end of the Brunny Bowl with an injured hand. Does everyone know that Rib’s bit is the color green?


It’s not unusual for Ivey to wake up irritated. She’s not a morning person and the 18-hour drive we had coming up in a small RV was stressing her out. She was scrambling to find someone to sell her enough weed for the two-week trip. That was essential for her—or else. And on this particular day we had to return a couple of bikes we had borrowed. It was only about a mile away, but it was pouring rain. We left Crooks’ place, but before we had even pedaled halfway down the street, I heard Ivey behind me yell, “FUUUCK!” I turned around to see her fighting with the gears that had eaten the bottom of her lime green pants. Pissed off, she dropped the bike in the middle of the road and walked to the shoulder to tuck her pants in her socks. Cars were honking as they drove around the abandoned bike in the middle of the street. I went back to help her, but since she was so angry and aggressive I only made matters worse. It was dumping rain so I suggested we head back to Crooks’ house and regroup. Andy, Crooks’ roommate, laughed at us as we walked back into the house soaking wet and explained what happened. Andy threw the bikes in his truck and drove them over to help us out. What an angel. That was not Ivey’s day.


The RV pulled up. Let the games begin. Right when we walked in, I knew it was going to be close quarters with zero alone time—what every skater dreams of. I had prepared myself for the long 18-hour drive from Melbourne to Brisbane, but we only made it one hour into our journey before learning the RV campsite on the calendar for that night was all booked up. Ivey and I discovered pretty quickly that the itinerary was very fluid and we never really knew what was going on. Communication was lacking, to say the least.

Thank god, Garry’s friend, Laura Issell, lived nearby in Torquay. On extremely short notice, and without hesitation, she welcomed us into her home for a dinner-party/sleepover. She was truly a ray of fucking sunshine. Everything in her house was decorated with roller skates and plants, it was like a hippie-disco-jungle sanctuary in there. As I was bugging out on all of Laura’s amazing skate paraphernalia, she explained that she started a company in 2019 called Surf Coast Roller Skaters that teaches lessons, hosts events, throws disco parties, and she runs a roller skate shop out of her garage. Naturally, we had to do some shopping. We didn’t need anything, but we support the homies in the industry [see sidebar].

While Garry cooked us pasta, we drank all the wine and smoked all the weed. At one point I was distracted by a pile of roller-skating books on the coffee table and I became infatuated with The Official Guide to Outdoor Skating by Frank Simcoe (published 1980). As I flipped through the pages, I learned they called handrails “banisters” and jumping stairs was a “bunny hop.” All I could think was, Holy shit I want to be just like Laura one day, hosting fancy dinner parties in my beautiful home. Laura was the most hospitable and selfless person I have ever met. I wished we could have stayed longer, but we had to be on our way the next morning.


Laura Issell is an Australian roller-skating queen. She grew up in Gippsland (near Melbourne) in the ‘80s, and started roller skating at an early age thanks to her father’s speed-skating rink. She hung up her skates for a minute—a 20-year minute—but laced them back up to help form “an eclectic performance art crew” known as Skate Odyssey that puts on roller skate performances and hosts roller-skating classes.

“There are eight of us,” Laura explained, “and we curate rolling art performances for festivals, bands, and community events. We love rolling as an art form! I have always loved hosting events and building community so it was a natural progression to start bringing skaters together in Melbourne for fun free events and performing. I grew up dancing, too, and my parents are dance teachers. I loved being on stage—which surprised me—and dressing up, rocking out with my skate family, and making new friends that have become such important parts of my life.”

Five years ago she left Melbourne for the Surf Coast “near Bell’s Beach where the big waves are,” but, like many others, the pandemic raised its ugly head and forced her to close her event and workshop company that she had been running for over 10 years.

“I was seeing a real need for non-competitive, self-expression fun-on-wheels in my area,” Laura explains. “There is such a need for more inclusive activities everywhere and I can’t stand the thought of people not fitting in or not finding connection with themselves and others.” When the restrictions were lifted, Laura started Surf Coast Roller Skaters in 2019, “the Surf Coast’s first roller skate school” that offers classes, private lessons, and the Skate Shack, a shop she runs out of her garage.

“I teach eight lessons a week now,” Laura says, “ranging from beginners to advanced classes for all abilities. It ends up being about 300 classes a year, plus all the events. So it’s a lot of rolling! We also host many big discos a year creating events that are focused on music, free community sunset skates, and workshop days. I’m so keen to see skating thrive and enjoy supporting other skate projects and businesses. There is never enough time in a day for all the skating I would love to do.”

Indeed, Laura skates so much that her feet are in her skates more than her shoes.

“I put them on when I wake up and wear them while shopping, managing events, teaching, and skating the streets late at night to wind down—they’ve just become my everyday shoes. I hate going out without my skates on. I’m so used to the freedom of movement now that sometimes I trip when I wear shoes.”

When Laura has time to skate for herself, she can be found dancing down the roads, shredding the streets, and bombing the hills of the Surf Coast, often in flamboyant costume. Laura really is a ray of fucking sunshine.

“I also love nothing more than hosting traveling skaters like your crew,” Laura says, “and traveling to Europe—Skate Love [Barcelona] the last two years has been out of this world because of all the rad humans I met. I have found my people, my thing, and I’ll skate till the day I die.”

To learn more about Laura Issell and Surf Coast Roller Skaters, you can find her at:
@skateodysseymelb, @goldiehighroller, @surfcoastrollerskaters,

Garry’s huge air—G-air-ry?—showcases how beautiful the Pro Hydra and Pro Blaze blocks look together. Maybe they should sell them as a set together... 


After having the honor of interviewing Amy Taylor of Amyl and the Sniffers in Fantom’s first issue, it only made sense to attend an Amyl and the Sniffers show in their homeland. We made our way to this little outdoor venue called The Dart and Marlin in Warrnambool, which was really nothing more than an alley in between buildings. We grabbed a shot and a beer just in the nick of time before they walked on stage. Amy was so small and powerful running around on stage. Pretty sure she smiled the entire set. She was exactly on brand with how I expected her to perform after our interview.

Garry, Crooks, Ivey, and I shuffled through the crowd to get as close as we could. I already knew it was a bad move when we posted up next to the stage-right speaker. My ears are so shot from working shows for the past 10 years. For a second I sort of blacked out and my ears were ringing so loud that I had to move more to the middle. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was even near a mosh pit since I’m so used to backstage access—not to sound like a dick, but that was my job. I stood so still and let the crowd take me like a wave as Amy screamed into the mic. At one point someone threw a shoe on the stage. When the drummer went to pick it up, the crowd was chanting, “SHOE-Y! SHOE-Y! SHOE-Y!” He grabbed a beer, poured it into the shoe, and chugged the beer out of the rando shoe that plopped on stage. We learned what a shoey is. Little did we know we would soon be enjoying shoeys of our own.

The crowd surfing started to my right. Instinctively, my Warped Tour, middle school, emo days-self took over. I looked at my friends and said, “Guys, lift me up. I’m fucking doing it!” Their mouths dropped, waiting for me to say I was kidding. I handed my shit to Crooks while Garry lifted me up. Then, all of a sudden, holy shit, there I was crowd surfing for the first time in seven years. I rode the wave all the way to the front of the stage. It became a trend and I got our whole gang to do it. Amy was stoked to see it and shook Ivey’s hand as she surfed by the downstage edge. I even went up for a second time, but a security guard pulled me down and said, “NOT AGAIN!” Sorry, rat bastard!

I was having the time of my life in Australia. I truly felt like I was 18 again, dripping sweat, and getting pushed around. Amy was flexing her muscles to the crowd and showing her ass under her skirt. “Did you know this place used to be a morgue?!” she screamed at the crowd. “When I die, feed me to a crocodile and burn me! Do not put me in a morgue!”


I kept laughing at this hefty guy in the pit who had to be nearly 50 and kept giving Ivey noogies. After the show he had the audacity to walk up and hit on her and even gave her a giant smooch. He went straight in after a minute of talking to her so she had no choice. There was an older woman, also in her 50s, moshing next to me. I was trying to be a good guy and apologize for continuously bumping into her. She looked right into my soul and was like, “For what? WOOOOOOOO!”

I turned around and there were two guys with their pants around their ankles. They were in a circle getting pushed around with their dicks flopping out. I was dying and pointed it out to Crooks. They said, “That is the first penis I have seen in 10 years!” Hot damn, Australian dicks right in front of me. I love this place!

Post-show, we hung around for a bit to catch the vibe—or, take a shot and smoke a cig, if you will. I talked to Amyl’s guitarist, Declan, for a while. Declan had a mullet that resembled this Chicago band boy whose virginity I took. He said he loved watching us crowd surf during their set. A couple months prior he toured Colorado and said he went to Hamburger Mary’s and took a jello shot off of a guy’s ass. After we chatted a bit, he invited us back to their hotel bar to continue the party. We polished off our beers and started walking to the hotel, but we passed a fun bar along the way. Why not stop in for a drink?

As we walked in—what do you fucking know?—the dick guys were there. One had long blonde hair and blue eyes—some might say, my type of dude—the other one was dead staring at Ivey. I went to the bathroom and came back to find them both talking to Ivey. We spent the rest of the night cry laughing at these fellas. They had this whole whistling bit going when they used their S’s. Similar to Mac’s wooden teeth in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. These guys, Scott and Joey, explained they were making fun of old Australian farmers. Of course I had to ask what the hell they were thinking when they pulled their pants down mid-mosh pit? All they said was, “We just thought it would be funny.” That’s good. They called it the “Windy Fruit Bowl.” Apparently, a Windy Fruit Bowl is when a guy pulls their pants down to show you their asshole, balls, and dick—all the fruits in the bowl. It’s “windy” because everything is flopping around in a mosh pit. What the fucking fuck?

Crooks, Gabs, and Ivey chugging Hard Solos before a street sesh, per usual. 


The two hot, dick-swinging guys appreciated Ivey and I’s sense of humor so they wanted to show us a video skit they made. These guys were full of surprises so we had no idea what the fuck we were about to watch. The gist of the video, titled “Dale and Evelyn,” is about a married couple (played by Scott and Joey) cleaning their house. At the end of the video, Dale (Scott) butt chugs a water hose and then sprays the shit water back out. Of course, there’s a name for that too: Spitting the Winkle. I learned a lot of things that night.

Everything is closed at 11 p.m. in that small town so the hotel bar was a no-go by the time we wanted to make moves. Crooks and Garry headed back to the RV. Ivey and I stayed back to have a final beer and smoke a spliff with Scott and Joey. They were like pull-my-finger type of guys—and I mean they quite literally farted when they made me pull their finger. We absolutely loved them. My stomach hurt the next day from laughing so hard. I capped the night off by talking early Soundgarden, Pumpkins, and deep-cut Melvins tunes with Joey. When anyone is as big of a nerd about music as I am, that is my ultimate weakness. Too bad we will never see them again, but I haven’t had that much fun in a long ass time. I promised the boys I would send them a copy of this issue and give them credit for the entertainment.


Ivey and I were at our wits end with the damn RV by the time we got to Byron Bay. Even after cleaning it every day, it still smelled like sweaty knee pads and pee. I get the chills thinking about the gross, sandy bathroom floor touching my bare feet. I wouldn’t even step in there by the end. I could feel an entire layer of filth over my whole body even after a campsite shower. Don’t get me started on how car-sick the back seat made everyone feel, swaying back and forth since it was so top heavy. We were in need of some sleep, space, and rejuvenation.

It wasn’t much of a step up from our campsites, but we stopped at a hostel that was basically a frat house orgy/brothel. The heat had all the 20-year-olds walking around half-naked in thong bathing suits. The best part was all of the turkeys and giant lizards surrounding the place. I spent way too much time following those guys around.

We met up with two beauty queens, Emerald and Indi, who were so easy to hang with. It was our first meeting, but it felt like we had been friends for ages. They gave us a beach day and night out on the town. I wish we got to skate with them, but our legs needed a little break and swinging from a rope tied to a tree into a watering hole was pretty sick, too.

Garry made arrangements for us to stay at a spa after that. Perfect. We needed to treat ourselves and our bodies. Too bad the actual spa part was not included in the price, the massage place was closed, and we got there too late to benefit from any of the amenities. Not worth it. At least we got to visit with some kangaroos at an animal sanctuary. FINALLY. One of those big boys was ripped. His whole arm muscle was as big as Ivey’s head. These roos were born and raised in the sanctuary so they were comfortable around humans. I know it’s super cliché, but who wouldn’t want to pet a kangaroo for a couple of hours while in Australia with adorable little joeys hanging out of their pouch?

Top-notch photography by Megan with her phone in the dark when Vashti landed her first handrail in the streets second try.


After driving 1,103 miles—sorry, 1,776 KILOMETERS—over the course of 12 days, and way too much time in an RV, we finally made it to our final destination, Brisbane. We warmed up a bit at Paddington Skatepark before street skating.

I was very excited to finally meet one of my personal favorite skaters, Vashti Rufus, and her boyfriend Nat. She is heavily influenced by blading, evidenced by her back royals, back unities, back savannahs, zero savannahs, etc.—you fucking name it and she could probably pull it out of her ass. We skated a couple of spots together and right before we called it quits, Nat took us to a nearby rail. It was a very girthy rail. I looked away for one second, and when I looked back there was Vashti attempting the rail. Vashti had never done a rail in the wild, but, second try, she landed her very first handrail—in the dark, I might add. First day I met her she did her first fucking street handrail? I was speechless.

I was not speechless.

I was running around yelling “FUCK YEAHHH!” I went over and was like “DUDE! Are you SoOo STOKED!?”

“Yeah, I’m excited,” she replies in the most humble, quiet voice. Her aggressive and strong skating style is not a reflection of her personality at all. She is so soft spoken and mellow. Being around that kind of humble energy was very refreshing to see. So I had to be stoked for both of us.

Crooks was most definitely listening to Creed while doing this invert in the deep end.
Hayley Wilson with Megan and friend.


If anyone knows Ivey, they know her birthday is a big frickin’ deal to her. Well, it was her birthday on this trip and she wanted to get her belly button pierced. And you know damn well who had to make sure that happened. Yours truly. We had to go to three different places before actually making it happen. Tears were shed, but after a doleful wait, the birthday girl got what she wanted. Unfortunately, I didn’t. My belly button is too small apparently? Who knew that was a thing. The poor piercing girl felt so bad for turning me down.

I was like, “I’m almost 30, don’t even worry about it.”

Obviously, that is the thing to do when you are 15, not 30. It was just going to go perfectly with the bleach streaks in my hair, puka shell necklace, Guy Fieri flame shirt, and gas station sunglasses that I got for $10.

You bet your ass we invited all of the Brisbane homies out for a karaoke night to celebrate the birthday girl. It was insanely fitting to buy Ivey a princess tiara for the day. After we sang our hearts out, Ivey tried to pull a fast one on the karaoke place by attempting to steal the tambourine. As we tried to walk out the door with it, the tambourine did what tambourines tend to do—it jingled—the bouncer heard it, and made us turn it over. We were rowdy that night so I am sure they were happy to see us leave.

Happy birthday, Ivey.


For the final leg of the tour we flew back to Melbourne from Brisbane. Home at last—home, as in Crooks’ granny flat in their backyard. We hit Fitzroy Skatepark, which turned out to be my favorite park of the trip. I loved the A-frame rail there.

Hayley Wilson, a skateboarder on REAL, was having a video premiere at Fast Times skateshop the following day. We went to support and I ended up winning a REAL skateboard in the raffle. I had to have Hayley sign it, obviously. Congrats to Hayley on her part, it was awesome. We headed over to The Shady Lady with the group for a last hang with the homies (and to slam those shots that Keeks bought us two weeks before).

Remember the stage shoey? That circled back so heavy to bite us in the ass. We were definitely feeling a little toasty from the beverages we had. Hangovers were no longer a concern since our days skating out there were over. We were just enjoying our drinks when all of a sudden Keeks walked over with two beers and put them in front of Ivey and I. And then she started the chant. You know, THE chant, “SHOE-Y! SHOE-Y! SHOE-Y!” We were sitting at a table of 15 people and they were all chanting. Then the entire bar started chanting it. Are Australians born knowing this song? Someone pulled out a camera with a fucking spotlight. The chant was for us. What other option did we have? The horror. I took off my shoe and Ivey did the same.

She looked right at me and said, “Are we really about to do this?”

I mean fuck it. With that kind of pressure we didn’t want to pussy out. Thank god I was a little buzzed so that dulled the taste of my sweaty, post-skate socks. I chugged as fast as I could so it would be over and done with. Who the fuck invents a ritual that forces foreigners to drink out of a dirty shoe? Australians are savage.

L to R, T to B: Vashti, Rib, Ivey, Jade, Gabs, Megan, Crooks, and Alice.


The final 30-or-so-hours were hell. We packed our shit and headed to the airport only to learn that our flights had been rescheduled for the following morning. We checked our phones, emails, and found zero notification of this change. Ivey had a bit of a meltdown with the airline people and I was so mentally drained that I just let it happen. It was definitely bullshit. As much as I don’t ever want to leave a fun trip, we can all admit that going back to your own bed always sounds pretty sweet. Especially after 21 days in a foreign country. Garry had to come back to the airport and pick us up. I felt like such a burden and all I wanted to do was doze off on a plane. What else could we do, but enjoy another final night in Australia?

We survived, though, and are safely back in the States. Talk about an eventful fucking trip. I made a lot of friends over there. Crooks was my therapist, dissecting everything I did, and Garry made me feel so important the whole time. They are 1000% percent my teammates and I am truly honored they believe in my skating enough to have provided this opportunity. Thank you to Crooks and Garry. I love and appreciate you both.