Unless you’ve been living under a rock in BMX lately, you’ve noticed that Tip Plus all of the brands under its umbrella (Primo, Lotek, and Federal to be specific) have been really stepping their game up. There’s been several major names added to the Primo pro team (Ty Morrow and Shawn McIntosh to name two), Federal team (Tammy McCarley) and there’s been guys like Cult team rider Andrew Castaneda being added to the Primo and Lotek programs–really giving the Long Beach distribution a major presence after years of creeping moving out of the BMX spotlight. A couple of weekends ago, Serenity Rideshop threw their second anniversary jam and Tip rented a couple of vans, packed ‘em up to the max, and set sail for a weekend in Arizona.
As would be commented many times on the trip, the crew was insane–pretty much a who’s who of street riding today. Shawn McIntosh, Alex Kennedy, Ty Morrow, Tammy McCarley, JJ Palmere, Tony Neyer, Steve-O Croteau, Andrew Castaneda, Dakota Roche, and Iz Pulido were all present on the trip and rest assured, the mix of personalities was as diverse as the mix of riding styles. We were also accompanied by Tony Ennis, who was to film the whole thing, John Warren from Tip, and new employee of Tip, Aaron Brennar. Shooting for Cult was Veesh and rounding the crew out was John Richard, the new brand manager at Tip, who even brought his wife and kid along–lil Henry rides and learned how to grind on this trip, courtesy of “Uncle” Tony Neyer. I have a feeling this was as much of a test of John by the riders as I’m sure it was a test of the riders by John, but everyone came together as one big unit throughout the trip without much issue. About an hour into the trip, laughing the entire time, Steve-O commented that this “was going to be the best trip ever, or we’re going to kill each other.” And while there may have been an instance or two of the latter, the trip was flawless overall.
After 10 hours in the “church van” and not-so-church van, we arrived in Tempe for dinner and nightlife with the AZ locals. A no stress wake up policy led to a pretty loose night but still managed to get us to what was referred to as “Dak Park” by the crew (or at least in the Fiend/Primo/Deadline van). It’s basically a gigantic skate plaza, made famous lately by a large amount of footage filmed there over the past couple years by Dakota. John Richard and his family were out and about, and kicked back for a day of relaxing at the spot. Highlights included Ty getting a sick line for the Deadline DVD, Tammy pulling a marathon of a line, and of course, the numerous wild locals on hand. At one point, two of the locals were ready to tangle with the entire crew, but ended up just going on their way after a few words with Steve-O and Ty. We also nabbed Bobby Simmons, who was getting the hell out of Ohio just as cold weather was descending upon the state. The day ended with another huge dinner with the crew prior to another late night in Arizona–AZ knows how to have a good time. Day three meant another casual wake up time and the Serenity Rideshop Jam.
Check back for part two of the Tip Plus Arizona Roadtrip.