Dispatches: Arbor in Minnesota

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words: Sean Black
photos: Sean Black, David Sutton, Stephan Jende

We shoved grown men into the back of a U-Haul cargo van with sparse heat and no seatbelts. We slept six to a room at the Minneapolis Airport La Quinta Inn. We weren’t comfortable, but there’s something about a lack of personal space mixed with a casual disregard for safety that really brings out the best in people.

The Arbor crew consisted of Scotty Vine, Erik Leon, Brandon Hammid, Sammy Spiteri, and myself. We had traveled to the rail mecca of Minneapolis with the noble goal of filming a bunch of bullshit tricks on a bunch of played-out spots and releasing it in the fall for your viewing pleasure. What a novel idea! We arrived on February 10th to some of the warmest temperatures of the winter. We’re talking a balmy ten degrees Fahrenheit. The Minnesotan girls were walking around in bikinis, sipping mimosas and eating deep fried cheese curds. It was beautiful.

Our trip got off to a fantastic start, if you ignore the rep rider who met up with us on the second day, snowboarded for fifteen minutes and completely blew out his left knee. That wasn’t beautiful. It was gut wrenching. He screamed like a baby mule being castrated with a set of rusty hedge trimmers. I’d never heard anything quite like it. Except for that one time I castrated a baby mule with my father’s old hedge trimmers.

After the castration, we went and shoved our faces full of buffalo tater tots and hamburgers stuffed with cheese. The local Minnesotan cuisine is not only delicious, but also nutritious and it provided us with the energy necessary to completely decimate La Quinta’s ill-prepared bathroom the following morning.

The five days following the bombing of La Quinta harbor were filled with some phenomenal and groundbreaking snowboarding. Scott Vine invented two brand new tricks that we respectively dubbed the “Vine Swing” and the “Rit-ard flip.” Erik Leon sang to the streets with a style and grace unseen by the world since Michael Bolton released Time, Love, and Tenderness in 1991. Brandon Hammid charged everything in his path like the rabid, genetically mutated Buffmoose that he is and Sammy Spiteri proved yet again that a slinky isn’t the only tall, lanky object capable of navigating and traveling down a flight of steps.

After nine days of street rails and rope tows, we were homeward bound with shots gotten and thanks to give. Big shout out to Mike Liddle for helping with anything and everything! Big things to come from that Liddle guy in the future! We’d also like to thank Stephan Jende, Aaron Becker, Ryan Taylor, the Trollhaugen crew, Hyland Hills, Elm Creek, Viktor Simco and everyone else that made this trip one for the books. Enjoy the photos and keep your eyes open for Arbor’s Postcard Series V2 dropping this fall.

Watch Arbor’s The Postcard Series Volume 1.