Dedicated to Ben Devine, forever in our hearts.
“When I think of all the good times that I’ve wasted, having good times”
I’d like to think that the majority of folk reading this will immediately think about the outro to Baker 3, but I have come to the sad realisation that not everyone cares about ABD music supervision from videos that are almost two decades old. I guess that’s a story for a different time.
I suppose every trip ultimately ends up getting summarised by a single phrase or song. This Carve Wicked trip to Mallorca embodied Eric Burdon and The Animals’ classic track; maybe that was from Skinny singing it every morning, or maybe it was from all of that boozing in Arthur’s Bar.
Trying to organise a trip of any size is a lot like herding a bunch of blind cats, trying to chaperone 14 absolute helmets is another story. Good job we had Carve Wicked’s esteemed Assistant to the Team Manager Jake Collins on board to book the Airbnb, drive, act as tour guide and make sure everyone was up, fed and showered in the morning. Hey, wait a minute. He did none of those things.
He did, however, make sure that the rental car’s handbrake was applied when it needed to be, which is something I can never seem to remember to do on trips. He would also always make sure we were never more that 10 feet away from somewhere selling lagers, with ‘Better to be looking at them, than looking for them’ his motto of the week.
Harking back to old Blueprint trips of the early 2000s and the whole ‘We Skive on Cold Winters’ tagline, trying to do our own version about 20 years later saw us dipping our own cold winter only to swap the damp, dark and dingy UK weather for a Mallorcan thunderstorm. Getting off the plane in Spain to torrential rain isn’t the best start to a trip. Then, while having to drive to the opposite side of the island, Harry Deane pipes up from the back; “Boy’s, its fucking snowing.” We replied that he must be seeing things but, lo and behold, a few moments later we were in the thick of it. The snow got pretty high in places, and seeing so many cars binned off the side of the motorway along with countless warnings made for an interesting first journey for sure.
Along for the ride were Carve Wicked CEO Sam Pulley, his Danish twin brother Dannie Carlsen, Jake Collins, Tom Bailey, Lloyd Houston, Dean Greensmith, Daniel ‘Skinny’ Hill, Benjamin ‘Bummo’ Morris and Paul ‘Fackin Paul’ Jenkins, alongside Harry Deane on filming and cooking me breakfast duties. Cheers Haz, I’ve never had better eggs than the ones you made mate.
Completing the already heavy crew were cheerleaders Kevin ‘The Passion’ Barry, John ‘Beanhead’ Beanhead and Will ‘Maggot’ Muxworthy, each adding their own unique charm to proceedings.
Waking up on the first morning to the sound of the thunderstorm continuing its rampage from the night before, everyone came to terms with the fact that bog all was happening that day and we’d better figure out how the TV worked and what the WiFi password was. Cabin fever started to settle in and I started to think finding an Airbnb with a pool was rather pointless. As the cabin fever almost got to boiling point, Bummo had the great idea (possibly fuelled by anxious panic) of going for a walk. Armed with just a couple of cans each, a few of the brave ones decided to follow our fearless maverick into the suburban wildness.
It was upon this walk we came across Arthur’s Bar, the only bar still open for what seemed like miles in the off season. I say Arthur’s Bar, I have no idea what it was actually called but it was kind of half a bar due to most of the place being mid-renovation. Tools and paint were left over everywhere, one of the pool tables was being used as a workbench, and the whole thing was run by one baked legend called Arthur serving 2 Euro pints. We had found our place in the world that night, and would go on to frequent the bar every night. Thanks Arthur, you really came through for us on this trip!
After the rather flakey, dismal and wet start, the next day proved more fruitful. With Pulley’s tangerine Golf taking off to the other side of the island to collect Beanhead from the airport, the rest of us took slightly longer than we should have mincing about the villa and slugging a bit into the other cars. We set off to link up with the rest of the crew but got distracted by a skatepark along the way, deciding it would be worth it to nip out and shake off last night’s hangovers. Instantly everyone started pinging out of the little banks to the top ropes, while my hangover came into full effect and I started to get junkie shakes.
Once the damage had been done at the park and everyone had managed to sweat out the booze, there was only one place left on the agenda; Aqualand. It feels like this waterpark has had quite a bit of coverage in the past few years, with the Quartersnacks crew hitting it and more recently the Cardiff Skateboard Club’s Bug Vs Snake trip. You could probably spend just a week at the waterpark, it’s pretty wild how much stuff there is to skate there. The boys tackled the checkerboard halfpipe slide first, in short order too, with Lloyd thinking it would be a good idea to drop in on the sucker.
Then it was on to the big blue slide. This kind of resembles a double roll-in, with the middle bit being kind of like a faux mini ramp, but raised about 30 feet off the ground on stilts. As impressive as it was seeing everyone have a bash at this, it almost wasn’t fun to watch. The slide would wobble so much and, as Bummo (who does something to do with structural engineering in his day to day life) pointed out, “There’s a reason they only let you go down the slides one at a time.” Trying to shoot the pic of Pulley’s incredible front blunt did not make my hangover feel any better, but you know that Pulley never misses a front blunt. Thankfully the worst thing to happen on the slide was Dannie’s board slipping out and landing in the drink. Arguably it was this the moment that the session died, and it was time to get back to our side of the island and to Arthur’s Bar.
I want to say that day three of the trip was the worst for how late we managed to get out, seeing as I’m pretty sure we only made it to the one spot that day. You’ll know the one, the long white banks that I always referred to as the Lost and Found banks. After a quick, intense clean up of all the tree crap that had covered the spot, while pelting Jake with stones, it was straight down to business while myself and Harry almost froze in the very un-Spanish cold. Everyone managed to rattle off a few bangers here, one of which was Dean pulling out a pretty heavy backtail 360, which I’ve never seen. This was the only night we didn’t give Arthur’s a visit, he probably thought we had died or something.
Day four finally saw the sun give us a sneak peak as we geared up and made our way across the island once again (note to self, if going to Mallorca think of Tupac and book a place on the west side of the island), this time thinking that, as the sun was out, it was time to hit that drained fountain with the small-ish banks next to the beach. While ditching the cars down the road we headed past that well gnarly wall drop to bank spot, the one matey boy in the Quartersnacks clip bomb drops into. Lloyd was scaling the wall to get his own drop in when a very angry expat came out of the building kicking and screaming about her brand new Range Rover, thinking that Lloyd was going to damage it. Shit got a bit tense, with everyone slowly slinking off in search for the fountain spot while Pulley and Lloyd managed to kill the woman with kindness and somehow Ricky from Trailer Park Boys her. These Jedi mind tricks had her change her tone and tune so much that she then offered to let Lloyd skate it with no worries as long as we stuck our heads into the expat letting office and let her know first. We let her know that we would be back in a few hours, after having a dip in the fountain and trying to feed a club footed pigeon some cheeseballs.
Upon our return, we found a pretty large van blocking most of the run out. At first we thought we’d been double crossed on our promise of a stress free time, however Lloyd made it work without any hassle and weaved around the van for a smooth roll out.
We must have been on a roll that day, as we managed to hit another spot in our convoy. Admittedly the three spots we hit were all within walking distance, but I’ll take it as a win. We went for what we originally thought was just going to be a look at the massive Smithy nollie heel noseslide / Paul Shier “Oh feels so nawsty man” hubba. This immediately turned into another Carve Wicked demo, with Bummo and Dannie rattling off tricks back to back, Pulley lipsliding it in a line first go, Dean taking the road less travelled and Lloyd doing a pretty good Lizard King “For Satan right here!” impression. After a heavy hammers sesh, the attention moved across from the hubba to the smaller set, where PJ and Dannie battled out lines and Dean somehow managed to pull out a Jumpman-esque no comply. Check Kev’s insta edit of the trip for that one.
Did I say that we hit three spots that day? Because it was actually four – on our way back we checked out that famous mosaic spot, the blue tile one, Plaza Bellver I believe. Pulley and Jake could not contain themselves here, after wanting to skate it for years and both being kicked out just looking at it on previous trips. This trip would prove a lot more fruitful, with both of them getting their tricks. I on the other hand was slightly anxious, as I’d read in pretty much every article about the spot how the police really hate anyone skating there and we all know that Spanish police are not really to be trifled with. After being informed that the police were on their way by a very irate restauranteur, I figured it would probably be a good idea to move the rental car next to the spot before he could get photos of the plates. While I tried to make my getaway, my phone had auto-connected to the car speakers and started blasting Creedence’s Fortunate Son. While this sounds pretty awesome, it was diminished a bit by the fact that I stalled twice getting out of there. After a loop around the block to do a drive-by pick up, my eyes were greeted by the sight of a load of blue flashing lights and everyone lined up with police checking IDs. Time for me to John Peel out of there once again, hole up in a car park and wait for a phone call I guessed. It turned out it was all fine and everyone got let go without a fine or having to spend a night in the slammer, just a stern warning to stay out of Palma. We got away with that one, so it was a direct drive to Arthur’s Bar to celebrate Bailey’s birthday and not having to go to the big house.
You can probably see a pattern emerging here; with every morning starting the same, shaking our Arthur’s Bar hangovers off, battling for kitchen space to cook breakfast and fighting over the coffee beans. Our penultimate day for skating wasn’t much different. After the run in with the law the night before we thought it would probably be a good idea to stick to our side of the island. We headed to the block spot in the middle of some park-cum-concert event space, where we enjoyed Dannie coming through with the visual treats.
Then it was time to head south to a plaza spot, the place where Shier does the crook into the steep bank for his ender in Make Friends. Big ups Shier for that one, it’s actually insane. Dannie managed to crook one of the other out ledges there before getting robbed and doing his knee in the process of nosegrind backside 180. Next time mate! Meanwhile Lloyd had managed to find himself another insane drop in that only he could do, rolling off the roof of a bin shack into the super steep banks and doing it twice because he wasn’t happy with the first. Can you believe that we went to Arthur’s again after this? This time I recall PJ wearing some flippers and Kev trying on some water skis for size.
Our penultimate day, and last day to stack clips, we started the day off at the old abandoned nightclub spot. That place is pretty crazy, a must visit if only to wander around in there. It’s wild to think it’s been abandoned for more than 20 years now. Pulley made short work of a FS bash out of the DIY quarter to the remaining framework of the entrance stairs, then proceeded to follow it up with a dragon grind. Lloyd once again pulled out his bank card to go off the same stair set into the bank below.
After a quick stop off at the odd plaza spot in the middle of what seems like nowhere, the one with all the crazy banks which have no back to them, seeing as it was our final night we headed out to get mega in Maga. Maga in the off season is a very different place to when it’s summer; I’d compare it to Barry Island, but not as good. The one benefit of the off season (apart from the lack of horrendous Brits) is that a lot of the spots become open. We got a couple of bangers on the out ledge there, and Pulley re-did all the tricks he had filmed for Killcity’s Rookies video some ten plus years ago for a laugh.
Just as nightfall started to set in, we hastily made our way to a bump to bar outside a clothes shop. We’d wanted to skate it earlier in the week, but had timed it wrong with the shop being open. This time, however, with the store fully shut it was Lloyd and PJ’s time to come good on the goods, with both getting clips quicktime. Of course this meant it was time for some well earned food (with myself and Bummo dropping some silly money in a Maccies to try the menu), and to pay Arthur one last visit. He sure was sad to see us leaving. I guess it’s time to book another trip just to see how he’s doing.
Carve Wicked – OLD SKOOL NOKIA
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