Thursday, 15 March 2012

COMUNE // Ben and Eric’s Super Non-Sexual Trip to Europe

COMUNE snowboarders Eric Messier and Ben Rice recently took a little trip across the pond in search of fresh snow and good times. Mission accomplished. See for yourself and check out Ben and Eric’s epic photos.

Eric and I had a brilliant last minute idea to go to Europe for the ISPO trade show to party and of course to ride some real snow in the Alps. It hadn’t snowed in Tahoe in months and there was zero snow in the forecast so we decided why not? Of course every good plan has it’s hang ups and predictably Eric’s passport was expired. After waiting in line for an eternity and a couple hundred bucks later we had it “expedited” and we were good to go. Three days later we were on our way to Europe and the ISPO trade show. No plans, no worries? The only thing that was assured was that we were getting picked up at the airport in Munich.
We had an empty flight to Heathrow and a small lay over. It was Eric’s birthday so of course we cellibrated in-flight with as many mini bottles as we could get our hands on. We arrived in Munich at 7:40pm after a relatively uneventful 24 hrs of straight traveling. Kerstin Rathmanner picked us up at the airport and took us to her hotel and let us sleep on her floor. The ISPO Trade show was huge. There were so many brands and gadgets and languages which made getting lost easy and finding your way around extremely difficult. The four days we spent in Munich for ISPO was a blur of tradeshow booths and alcohol. We went to some really good parties. One of which was hosted in this old World War II Nazi bunker. The door to the place was a gigantic thick slab of concrete similar to a safe or a vault but instead of being filled with priceless Jewels it was filled with drunk people. With free drinks all night and an art show going it was packed. Everyone got annihilated and Ryan Nixx (SABRE Designer) fell asleep standing against a wall. Sloppy debauchery went on ’till the wee hours of the morning. I took some questionable photos that I didn’t even remember taking until I got the film back from the developer.

The next day the hangovers set in and everyone at the show was hurting. Morale was low so naturally drinking was high. By the end of the day everyone seemed to be feeling better and looking forward to the next party that night. Eric was DJing the BATALEON/Method Magazine party. The place was jammed with people and free drink tickets were flowing. Once again it was a heavy Euro party that didn’t end till the sun came up. On the last day everyone saying their good byes and breaking down their booths. The party was over… We drove all night back to Amsterdam to stay with Kirsten at her flat. For the next two days we cruised all over the city hitting coffee shops and cool stores. We stopped by BATALEON headquarters and said hello to everyone and chilled out. After a few days of recovering from ISPO we were on our way to Mayrhofen where we stayed for the majority of are trip. We were just ridding the resorts, hiking and enjoying the scenery. We got to ride a lot of really cool terrain like tight trees, endless pillow lines, and open powder fields. This was all mind blowing considering it was our first powder of the year and we were in another country. On our last day in Europe we linked up with Lukas Lerperger and David Struber in Salzburg. This was the most amazing city I’ve ever visited. Lukas and David took Eric and I on a hike deep in the woods to this huge dam. We set it up so you could ride from this cliff and ollie into the face of the dam. It was such a fun to session. After we got some shots on the dam we headed back into town to mess around on some urban features at a university. There was a mellow down rail already set up so we had some fun on it for a bit. Before long it was time to catch a train back to Munich and head home to sunny California. - Ben Rice