After a 15 hour plane ride, I finally made it to Sydney. It was pouring rain and there was talk that it might end up raining all week. Walking through the airport alone, having no service on my phone, no transportation or directions to the hotel, I was lucky enough to have ran into H-street legend Eddie Elquera so I was able to hitch a ride with him to Manly. The streets were crazy crowded and everyone drives on the wrong side of the road. All the skaters got to stay at the Stayne Hotel which was filled with tourists and locals. There were 5 bars inside, beautiful women everywhere, and the Australian open of Surfing was going on at the beach across the way, so needless to say I probably wasn’t going to sleep for awhile.
WCS, associated with the Australian Open was putting on an event called the Beach Bowl which was a portable ramp that they built right on the beach! Between scheduled practice, the scorching sun, and slippery bowl of 50 skaters all trying to skate at the same time, I still managed to place in the contest! After the event was over we stayed in Manly for the rest of the weekend relaxed and chilled on the beach.
Then we headed to Bondi. The vibe was mellow, the coffee houses were the best, great local music seemed to be playing everywhere, there were tons of fresh markets and topless beaches! Between waking up every morning at 7 am to go skate, swimming, and the night life, I still managed to get some sleep. The bowl was a lot different then I’d seen from watching videos and seeing pictures of it back in San Diego. It was definitely one of my favorite bowls with its small and quick transitions and worn down coping. On Thursday morning, fellow Osiris team rider Josh Rodriquez and I were set out to practice at the bowl when we were told by some guys that we wont be able to skate today. It turned out that someone the night before had poured motor oil inside the bowl. So we went to the bowl to check it out and sure enough the whole deep end was covered in it. It was one of those moments when we all just looked at each other and shook our heads. After hours of soaking, cleaning, sanding, rinsing, and repainting by the evening the bowl was cleaned up and ready to skate.
I had skated so good all week long and when it came time for the contest I started out great, going through some lines and landing tricks, but then would fall on things I land all the time…go figure. By the time my heat was over I knew I didn’t make it to the finals. I worked so hard and I know I didn’t make it this time. But rather than dwell on the past, I’ve realized now that it’s about the drive I have to kill it next year.
This trip was so much more than just skating a contest, I had such a great time getting to know some of the other skaters. It was about the experience to try something new and go somewhere I’ve never been before. For me the friends, the experiences, and getting to skate one of the raddest bowls of my life was the win. Thanks to all my family and friends, Osiris, H-street and all my sponsors that made this possible, can’t wait for next year
– Mike Owen