MELU – Vans Nordic Tour

Words: Nikolai Alin, Photos: Justus Hirvi

Skateboarding is all about having fun and being around the people you love. Some skaters are fortunate enough to have sponsors. Sponsors enable these skaters to do such a great things, like travel around the world and be on skate tours with friends. Vans Nordic is a solid group of good friends from crusty Scandinavia. They have some things in common: they experience snowy winters annually, all of them love to go to sauna and – of course – they all rock the same shoes.

Early this May we got an opportunity to go to Netherlands to visit our Dutch friends and so we did, without thinking twice. Some of the team hasn’t ever been in the country so stoke-level was rising rapidly after hearing the news that the trip is actually happening. Our plan was to stay at our friend Sebastiaans house in Den Haag and operate from there by using a 9-seat tour van. Netherlands is quite a small country and the distances between cities are short and the highways are fast to drive. So with this six-day trip we got to go quite many cities, like Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Den Haag and some smaller towns with the names too crazy to pronounce and remember. This is a photo-recap of our collaboration tour with Vans Nordic and Vans Netherlands – Alsjeblieft!

Rotterdam is simply the paradise for skateboarders. Smooth spots everywhere, friendly people and great architecture. We got kicked out once while in Rotterdam, but the cop was so friendly that I almost thought he was a fake one. But he wasn’t, he was just Dutch version of the angry officer – a happy one.

Aron Buzas, gnarly ripper from Gothenburg is constantly off the wall – literally. Utrecht DIY wallride and rusty bearings afterwards. Last spot of the tour before flying back to SNOWY Scandinavia. DIY-spots are usually the most fun to skate. Built by skaters, the spots often seems to be great not only for skating but also hanging out with the crew. Whether it is before the sessions to take some warm-up cruising or after the full day chilling, DIY-spots are the place to be. This place was just incredible to spend an evening, located in the middle of railroads somewhere in Utrecht.

Spot fixing is a daily routine while on a skate trip. There is always something to be fixed and you better have the fixing stuff with you. Duck tape and random metal plate will make your tour, believe me.

Netherlands can be a flat country, but never a ugly one. The whole country is filled with canals, the cities are modern but still timeless and architecture is just beautiful. Gotta love it, especially as a skater.

The feeling you have after a long day full of shredding is something really unique. Spending the summer day doing what you love with the people you call brothers is basically the reason why skateboarding is so great. The whole idea of a skate-tour is so simple it makes me smile: wake up, have a coffee, move your ass to the tour van, skate, film and chill with the crew – whole day. Repeat the next day. Guys chilling at the full pipe, resting the aching bones.

Skateboarder has always friends, they say and I can agree that easily. As a skater, you can meet different people so easily that it is almost ridiculous. Alex is our newest new friend, dude is so stylish that you won’t believe it until you see it. Dude is an animal, wild and free soul with the smile so wide it makes you feel better too. Ollie over the bar below the Singel. It was a pleasure to meet you, Lex!

Rotterdam has not only the biggest harbour in whole Europe, but also the best skatespots. Aron Buzas found this wooden wave right next to the sea and couldn’t stay away from it. Bs smith without hesitation.

All images were shot with the iPhone 7 and Black Eye Tele lens.

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