words, photos, and video by Danny Kass
After many years and many events this dream came to me on my orange Zumiez couch: why not give the winners and most radicals of Grenade Games a trip together? This year it wasn't about prize money, but prize memories.
One of my favorite things in snowboarding is the journey. These trips bring people together from all over the world. I wanted to make this a virtual vacation for some and film it all with a handy 8mm camera, since I like to take virtual vacations often on my laptop. That's where I found a little spot called Negril in Jamaica. I was a little worried to take a group of 9-12 people into the jungle without ever visiting and no contacts there.
The next stop was Orbitz, where I found myself and Braydon Szafranski going on a recon trip to get a lay of this foreign land and find the perfect place. Through in a friend-of-a-friend in New York, I got a number to this guy named "Eddie." We stayed at the Negril Escape, a very quiet rock-laying hotel with a massive lighthouse diving board. It's a sleepy, huge concert venue for once-a-month parties. After searching the island with Eddie, it was set. We would take over the Travellers Lodge in Negril right on the long, beautiful beach and he would be our guide with his company No Limit Tours.
The countless phone calls and missed phone calls, miscounts, mind changes, and random demands would make Eddie and I close over the next 2-3 months. Let’s just say, my Jamaican was getting decent and loud. Not to mention, at this point, I was now just figuring out who's winning Grenade Games 9 trips on April 27th-28th. Two months later would be one of the most savage, relaxing, eye-opening, craziest, best, insane, and mental group vacations I may ever be a part of. The crew that was capped at nine soon became sixteen. I went down a few days early with long-time friend, "The Artist" and cameraman for the #Grenaduh piece, Timothy Karpinski, aka "Pinski," and Best Handplant Winner Scott Blum. We then got ready for party platoon showing up following us.
After checking out the farm and making the best trip, we purchased a goat in order to have an offering for the best trip and to feed the hungry army. At the Travellers Lodge, we all came together at a big, private pool restaurant and a piece of Caribbean Sea that had the best sunset with clouds rolling deep into the ocean moving like old ships sailing onto the Americas. I’d planned a trip to the waterfalls and a very special place, the Pelican Bar.
It was a long bus ride through the farms and jungles, but a few current top 40 rap songs and some reggae made the journey enjoyable. Zach and Dingo went hit for hit, and in the end I think Robin Thicke and Appleton won the bet. After some of the world’s best (or worst) karaoke, it was time to see who would take the diving challenge. Dingo impressed with a belly flop heard around the bar and Pinski went a bit mongo to tribute Braydons Szafranski’s leap of Jah.
After several days, bonfires and multi-floored twerk shops, the crew was running low on steam. We ended the trip at a big family dinner with the crew at the must-stop Three Dives in Negril, with a sunset that would knock your swim trunks off. Pinski hosted a epic game of spin the bottle and I think Rip Zinger kissed everyone at the table. One lucky guy said he had the best night of his life.
After this amazing adventure, we are ready to go plan the next radical dude excursion and Grenade Games 10, which is just months away and sure to be an event not to miss. The whole family and crew are buzzing. A lot of people made this trip special and in true Grenade fashion, we needed to congratulate the winners and the crowning of the Most Radical Dude and Queen. So with out further ado:
Thank you Eddie and the No Limit Jamaica Tours team for helping make this the best summer ever. Thanks to all the shredders out there and everyone who has helped make Grenade and The Games what they are.