Last month our Steaks Skater Helly Monster & her crew The Shred Sisters embarked on a skate journey to Spain. Their goal: skateparks and Skate Love Barcelona. We met up with her to talk, skate crew, road trips adventures, tour planning and obviously: skateparks!
The Shred Sisters
But first let us introduce The Shred Sisters: Helly, Cissy and Lielie are three French girls who met playing roller derby. Helly just recently retired from roller derby to fully concentrate on park skating. She had played for Nantes Derby Girls, where she met both Lielie and Cissy, who had transferred to Nantes from other teams (Paris Roller Girls, Les Silly Geez). Today The Shred Sisters are no longer league mates and live in different cities, making it harder to meet up. So they decided to plan a skate trip together and this is what they experienced.
The chief planner was Cissy, who mapped out the road trip that started and ended in Nantes. Some numbers of the tour:
- 3 skaters from 3 locations
- 10 days
- 3.322,80 km of driving, sleeping and eating in a van
- Shred sessions in 9 skateparks
- Sightseeing in 4 cities (Pamplona, Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid)
- 1 skate event: Skate Love Barcelona
The Skate Parks
The Shred Sister’s goal when hitting the road was: hang out and skate together! A highlight they had planned in was a visit to Skate Love Barcelona. With a ton of skate possibilities on the way there and back they had soon mapped out a proper road trip and adventure. The route of their trip was created by the skateparks they chose to visit. Chief planner Cissy selected 9 skateparks in total by consulting images and reviews on Google and the French website www.spotland.fr
The parks that made the list were:
- Skate Park Ripagaina (Pamplona)
- Skatepark in Saragossa
- Nevermind Bowl (Barcelona)
- Skatepark Mar Bella (Barcelona)
- Skatepark Gulliver (Valencia)
- Skatepark de Getafe (Madrid)
- Skatepark Rio (Madrid)
- Skatepark Galdakao
- Skatepark Algorta
Each skatepark had its own unique flavour and Helly was unable to decide on a favourite one. While some skate park had her feeling very comfortable (Pamplona, Getafe) others were iconic must-see spots (Nevermind Bowl) or left a great impression (Mar Bella) because they were very challenging and something completely new and outside Helly’s comfort zone: ”I’m more about ramp skating and not used to bowls, so I was totally lost in this one (Skatepark Mar Bella). I really want to go back when I’ll have more skills.”
The Instagram posts from the tour read like it was a successful one and that The Shred Sisters are ready for more. If you are looking to have a similar experience with your crew you are in luck! Helly has shared a few tips that will help you turn your Crew Tour into a successful one!
Plan your own trip
If you have been thinking about planning a skate tour road trip with your own crew but have no idea where to start, Helly has created this helpful list of expenses you should consider while preparing your tour:
- Van rental
- Gas money
- Toll expenses
- Crew Shirts (because you gotta look cool!)
- Event tickets (in this case Skate Love Barcelona)
The Shred Sisters managed to get some of their expenses sponsored. While it might seem super punk rock and adventurous to jump into a van, hit the road and fly by the seat of your pants it might just be worth to put some extra thought and time into trip planning if you are on a budget: with their sponsors covering a large amount of the costs The Shred Sisters managed to keep their individual spendings under 300€. Smart decisions were also a reason why they managed to keep their budget so low: they chose to travel in a van in which they could not only sleep but also cook in, while on the road, further cutting down costs.
Safety and Comfort
Depending on the country(ies) you will be visiting during your tour you might not be able to park your van just anywhere you please for the night. This might be due to laws prohibiting random camping or simply because the area you are in is kind of dodgy. So it is worth your time to check if you can find and maybe even book spots for the night ahead of time.
“We found very cool night spots for the van using the app park4night (worldwide spots). We slept in an abandoned village in the desert, in a spot just near the sea, in a sport near a little citadel, another near to the forest.”
In addition apps like park4night allow you to pick parking spots that also offer amenities like showers, which you might also want to plan in during your trip to get the skate stank out.
Pictures or it didn’t happen
A (skate) road trip is only fully complete if you manage to get images and videos of your adventure! The Shred Sisters documented their tour themselves and shared the images and video bits on their social media accounts – doubling as skaters and photo-/videographers. Depending on the quality of images and video footage you want to get out of this you should prepare for a bit of stress because you will have to share your shred time with photography time. Helly says: “It wasn’t easy during the sesh to skate and shoot pictures and video by ourselves because time was flying by so fast!”
Helly is still working on some of the footage and will have a video ready end of November.