Getting a grip of skateboarders to Oktoberfest

Getting a grip of skateboarders to Oktoberfest co drink some beers and skate some spots seemed like a goddamn great idea the hung over morning the thought plopped down in my brain and started stinking up the place. The notion lingered in my mind like a sultry beer-soaked daydream, and I considered the plausibility of actually making it happen. I've never planned a trip, I only know a handful of people I could bring, and both my planning and social skills are a little lax to say the least, so I wasn't sure I could make it happen And, looking back, I'm not sure I did. In fact, I'm pretty sure I failed miserably.

Nestor Judkins Frontside buntslide transfer

Being that Nestor was the only member of our crew who spoke a lick of German, and that he'd been to Berlin a handful of times already, he was an ideal dude to have along on the trip. He's also a fan of currywurst (cut up, deep fried pork sausage seasoned in curry powder) and has been known to sing a lick of "Pour some curry on me," to the rune of a famous Motley Crue song as a celebratory jam while rolling away from a trick while fantasizing about picking up his self-reward.

Getting a grip of skateboarders to Oktoberfest

The questionable success of the trip crossed my mind the morning I was to fly home. I woke up alone, crumpled on a plastic bench in the Munich airport, cradling my backpack. Nestor was probably well on his way to Brazil, Louie and Zach had made it to Finland, 'and I imagine Coop and Viper were at least setting to the airport by then.. My neck was kinked to all hell, and I was thoroughly saturated in a day or two's worth of sweat and grease and a layer of-whatever my last flight's recycled air had already breathed into my pores. Certainly, I thought, I was offensive to all five senses. Sitting up slowly, I began to replay the events leading up to that point in my life and the 10 days that led directly to that moment.

With nine months of half-aborted plans coming together and falling apart, everything was still very much up in the air a week before the trip. Just a few days before we were supposed to leave, Skateboarder's resident film fetishist, John Bradford, and I weren't entirely sure who'd make it. The original crew of 15 or so ended up to be a solid seven: Louie Barletta, Nestor Judkins, Cooper Wilt, Enjoi flow-mosexual Zach Wallin (handling the talent portion of our group), Carson "Viper" Lee (who came along to capture some DV magic), and Bradford, who tagged along to take some photos. I myself was there to provide asinine., commentary and to collect details for this article. Chris Haslam also met up while we were in Berlin, but a bum ankle kept him from getting too outrageous on his board. The goal of the trip was to hit some of Germany's finest spots in Berlin, then mosey to Munich for the international beer festivities--including, but not limited to, fried food, Oompa bands, beer halls and many, many liters of beer.

It was September then, the first weekend of Oktoberfest. We'd been" in Berlin for a solid week, battling a few days' rain and the other standard adversities that are always lying in wait for skateboarders on public property.

We'd had a run-in with the police the first day I was in town that lasted around two hours. Germans are notoriously by the book, often to a fault. Look back about 60 years if you don't believe me. While we were skating this mechanical parking barrier, citizen hero spotted us misusing public property and reported us to the authorities, which walked up in very militant-looking attire consisting of cargo pants and tucked-in polo shirrs.

They sat us down and took our IDs, then recorded it on their official forms. After about an hour of handling all that, they radioed back to HQ and within minutes more cops showed up in a big-ass green van. I thought they were taking us in, but Das Pigs from the green van just showed up with some forms for us to sign where we could either admit our guilt or deny it with a quick check of a box. Guess which option we chose to go with?

The amusing part of all this was that you're allowed to drink beer on the streets in Germany, so the whole time Das Polizei were hard at work, a few of us were sipping away at a few tall bottles of Berlin's finest export. Despite the beers, the whole ordeal was a bit of a buzz kill and took the wind out of our sails, so we called it a day. We headed back to the apartment to recoup then back out to see some sights, which we'd generally do every day after skating.

LOUIE BARLETTA Frontside footplant

Sweet Lou's been in, out and all around Europe for the past 10 years and knows a lot of world history and a ton of other random shit. He was crackin' eggs of knowledge left and right and being that this trip was the first time I'd met the dude, I was sort of confused, like, where's the lighthearted goofball I've seen in the Tilt Mode videos? Then a girl in rubber pants would walk by arid he'd bust out a random intermittent gem, like, "Can you imagine how sweaty that snatch is at the end of the day?" and I'd think to myself, "Oh, there he is."

Zach Wallin ollie up

Zach probably skated more than anyone on this trip. Every spot we hit, he'd be the first one with tricks to try, and in general, he'd end up the last man standing. I imagine he'll he climbing the ranks at Enjoi soon if he wins the good graces of Evs. If you don't believe me, check out his part in Bonus Round. 

We saw the Berlin Wall, of course, and the TV lower, which is this big spire in the center of town. We ate schnitzel, bratwursts, streusel and even a German take on a burrito, which wasn't bad at all really. While meandering through town, we'd randomly come across things, that would catch our eye, and within a day somebody, usually Louie or Nestor, would have the full story of the spot. Like a train station made of red marble, which stood out since most of the other stations were pretty bland.

It turned out to be the proposed last stop before the underground headquarters of the leaders of the world once the Axis powers had won the war. It was eerie to consider, but an interesting aside to our otherwise lighthearted romp through Deutschland.

Another random spotting came while Nestor was working at this ollie up backside flip under a train track. To hit the spot, you had to basically start beside the block, and then do a U-turn, veering from an odd angle around the bend to get at the spot.

Most of us were trying to keep out of "the way and block foot traffic. I was sitting on my board near some grass a ways from the run-up when I noticed a hobo staring at me, smiling with teeth gray as tombstones and a pair of standard, crazy, glowing eyes. He seemed to be jangling something, so I looked toward the motion and sure enough, there was his best skateboards, red dick staring straight at me behind stream of piss.

Getting a grip of skateboarders to Oktoberfest

His stance and glare were so defiant it looked like a direct challenge. For what end, I'll never know, because I hung my head and tolled out of his line of sight and began trying to scrub my eyes and my mind of the memory.

At some point during the week, it became clear that I might be the only one making it to Munich. Because of the last-minute preparations, we had no hotel there and only few options as a result of the inflated rates hotels charge during the festivities. Nestor was the only one who seemed at all interested in going, but seeing how he had a 12-hour flight to Brazil in a few days, the risk of getting thoroughly thwacked at Okroberfest urged him to take it easy at the apartment in Berlin instead. Everyone else seemed resolved to go their own direction on their way home. I was on my own.

By some stroke of luck, I ended up making it to ground zero of Okroberfest without asking fort directions. After hopping on a train that looked like it might be heading in the right direction, I noticed people starring to filter in who were wearing Lederhosen, the traditional attire for Munich's beer fest. I ended up following them into town and spotted the glowing lights of some carnival rides and random food and drink stands. Continuing through the mass of people, I went in and out of a few beet halls in search of a drink.

All I'd had to eat were two apples, so I was hesitant to start drinking too heavily, but not drinking was obviously not an option. Not drinking beer at Oktoberfest made about as much sense as going to an orgy just to masturbate.

You still got to take in the sights but, really, why make the effort at all if you're not going to participate? Beer halls weren't an option, as you had to be part of a reserved table to get a drink in there, So I found a mellow outdoor bat and grabbed a mug. Soon, I befriended a man from Britain who kept trying To talk to me about American football, and somehow we both ended up back in a beer hall standing on a table alongside a big Swedish fellow, his lady friends and a smattering of young Krauts all hoisting mugs in the air singing along to the songs from the Oompa band that played a lot of popular American or English music in addition to the traditional German songs.

All I can say that being half in the bag in a room full of hammered people in goofy outfits shouting along to "We are the Champions" in heavy accents, was fucking hilarious and a great way to end the trip. If only the other guys had been able to see it. Maybe next year. See more: