Behind the scenes with 4Sqair at the G20 Escape Tour across Northern New South Wales

Jamie Sims with a styled out topacid around the extension.
The recent G20 conference in Brisbane brought the Queensland capital to a stand still, with the world’s top politicians in the Sunshine State and more police than you can poke a stick at. What does the Brisbane rollerblading community do in a time like this? Hit the road and get as far away as possible, of course! 4sqair Australia’s Nathaniel Rawlings gives rollerblading.com.au the lowdown on the G20 Escape Tour across Northern New South Wales.

Three days, a convoy and a plan to escape from the mayhem that was Brisbane’s G20 Summit and Back Sav our way through NSW’s northern towns and beaches. The 20Gs included Pauly Hackk, James Williams, Daniel Yoeman, Benny Granero, Dale Travers, Paul Williams, Rob Kellet, Jamie Simms, Glenn Payne, Chris Morris, Lachlan Burke, Levie Hicks, Josh Heathcote, Gerard Ahrens, Dave Wilcox, Luke Stonebanks, Sam Bradley, Craig Banks, Nat Ogden, Lui Burke and a cameo by Roger Cole… this is our story.

Sam Bradley ripping the bowl with a fishy all the way on the large quarter.

DAY ONE: NIMBIN

The bus was ready, the day was early and the juices were flowing. Not many of us got a good night’s sleep the night before, mostly due to the anticipation of finding that new bowl with perfectly set, winding pool coping, made from 1000 year old elephant tusks that slid faster than a hungry hippo squashing Jamie for his kebab.

We didn’t have long to wait, Nimbin was the first stop and gave us a swift reality check with an impressive snake run that started at the top of the park and led down to a 9-10ft bowl that flexed some real muscle.

This bowl was like nothing else, pool coping for days and after a lick of wax we were reminded why amateur skateboarders are amateur skateboarders. After it was explained that he wasn’t actually skating or even capable of skating the bowl, his life as he knew it was at an all time low, and we grinded the sh#t out of the bowl till we’d had our fill.

We then left Nimbin and made our way down to Coffs Harbour for the night where we managed to get 20 beds in the backpackers next door to the only nightclub in Coffs. Planned or coincidence? You be the judge.

Rob Kellet, Air. Fresh off his China demos, he was lovin' the smooth bowl.

DAY TWO: COFFS HARBOUR

It started earlier than anticipated with the park located just around the corner and everyone was keen to see what $1.5 million looked like as a skate park. We were not disappointed, with a cool little warm up street course, P-rail and a bowl.

But his bowl was nothing like the Nimbin bowl, it linked spines, vert walls, extensions, curved sub boxes, transfers and corners like they were planned by some autistic algorithm genius.

But we were not the only ones drooling over it that morning; a group of skateboarders that could actually skateboard, (yeah I know right? They could actually grind waxed coping and land tricks first try and sh#t) were tearing this bowl to shreds.

The G20 Escape Tour crew chillin' at Coffs Harbour Skate Park.
That’s when we spotted a curved ledge near the park that wasn’t designed to be skated. It was about 20-30 meters long in the shape of a C and slid like KY Jelly. If you are thinking you like a good curved ledge challenge go to Coffs and bring your A game, your B game and a bottle of rum to drown your sorrows. This ledge was hit about five or six hundred times, and still remains unconquered.

The few that came close were Lachlan Burke, Chris Morris, Rob Kellet and Luke Stonebanks, among others. It’s been affectionately named C#nt Ledge.

We then regrouped on the beach for lunch and a swim and went back for round two in the bowl. Having it to ourselves this time, Levi Hicks showed us why he is Australia’s most underrated roller, Sam Bradley is just SAM BRADLEY, Rob Kellet showed what skating every day for 6 months does to you and as for Benny G… well Benny G is back.

The second night was much the same as the first, 20 skaters, one club, on tour, fill in the blanks… But if Jamie Simms asks you for a high-five, don’t get smart…

Levi HIcks going big on the vert wall with a parallel grab.

DAY THREE: BALLINA

Day three was a little dusty… There were good intentions to skate some streets around Coffs, but after warming up at the park it was clear that it wasn’t gonna happen. We made our way to Ballina and realised the best thing about the Ballina skate park was the beach next to it. So after going a bit gorillas, provocatively, Dave Chappelle got in the bus and steered us home…

Shout out to Daniel Yoeman and Dave Willcox for sharing the driving duties, to Dale Travers for catching some nice snaps, to Jamie Simms for pointing out some exquisite picnic spots and to the Sydney lads, Lui Burke, Nat Ogden and Craig Banks, for making it a sick possie!

Heads up: There is another tour in development for July 2015.

Tour and Words by Nat Rawlings from 4Sqair Australia.

All photos by Dale Travers, except the one below by Gerard Aherns.

Benny Granero, alley-oop fishbrain.

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