13 skaters, two photographers, two filmers, a tour guide, two houses, two minivans and a city full of spots of all kinds … Ladies and gentlemen, here is a recap of the first week of the #EmpirePortugalTrip!
Photos: Dan Mathieu / Cody Cormier / Phil Lajeunesse
It was Monday December 3rd that our skate team took off for Portugal. Lisbon to be exact. Our squad is epic: Zander Mitchel, Kyle McDonald, Fred Lanteigne, Phil Dulude, Andrew McGraw, Charles Deschamps, Phil Lajeunesse, Alexis Lacroix, Jake Cormier, Cody Cormier, Pierre-Yves Frappier, Gabriel Galipeau and JS Lapierre on their skateboards as well as Dan Mathieu, Eric Lebeau, Ryan Lebel and Brian Shannon behind the cameras.
With such a diverse crew, no doubt the trip would be very, very productive. After five days, we can confirm that this is the case! Read on to follow our skate team through the first week of the #EmpirePortugalTrip 2018!
We landed at the Lisbon airport early Tuesday morning after a 6 hours overnight flight. It was pretty mellow … When we landed, we met Alexis Lacroix and JS Lapierre who were both arriving from California and we headed to our homes, located right on the beach in the suburbs of the city in a city names Costa de Caparica. We were all a little tired, but we still went skating as quickly as possible to a flawless ledge spot located right on the edge of the sea. Zander Mitchell proceeded to a massive destruction of the ledge with the rest of the team. Then we went back home to rest a little bit. The next day was going to be our first big day of skating and we wanted to be on point!
Despite the jet lag, everyone managed to sleep a little bit during their first night. One way or another, we were ready to go skate on the next day. Our first destination: the small town of Almada, which has more spots within one square mile than the entire city of Quebec. While all the guys were busy destroying a flat gap in the center of a sweet marble plaza, our veteran skater PIF took care of the big stunts by skating a MEGA hubba that nobody even touched before. Everyone was a little scared for his life, but PIF got away with no scratches and an insane trick in his pocket. Everyone landed tricks that day. We headed back home early and happy of this busy first real day of skateboarding.
The third day of the trip started a little later, but also ended a little later. After a relaxed awakening with all the boys, some good cafes and a Portuguese chicken dinner that would soon become our “go to”, we took the road to downtown Lisbon. If you have never visited, know that this city is completely magical and packed with marble plazas as smooths as each other. It was the first time in downtown Lisbon for the majority of boys and they did not disappoint.
Castles, lights, passers-by, choirs and Christmas lights, not to mention the spots. We ended our day at a bench spot surrounded by small cafes, terraces and restaurants. After everyone managed to film a trick or two, we boarded our minivans and crossed the bridge to the house. Another really productive day!
The 4th day of the trip started early. We visited a small town not too far from the house called Baixa da Banheira, where our guide Pedro knew many spots, including an old abandoned skatepark from the 80s in which throned a bowl filled with old, holes and slime. Phil Dulude, the youngest member of our crew, proceeded to the destruction of the spot along with Jake Cormier. The session was cut short when Jake, not expecting the bowl to be so steep, flew to the bottom of the transition and fell directly to his head.
Luckily he had a hoodie and a beanie on to protect his head and got away without too much damage. More fear than harm as they say. We continued to skate the spots around there until night time, still in shock of what had happened at the bowl. The danger is part of the skate life and Jake managed it like a chef. The next day, he was back from his board, getting clips.
Another Super productive day in the city of Lisbon. The weekend is the perfect time to go skating downtown. No traffic, stores close sooner and the Bust factor is much more mellow than during the week. We once again crossed the bridge to the city and started warming up at another perfect bench spot where Zander landed about 75 tricks and 20 lines.
After a good warm up and a full on show given by Zander, we headed to the Lisbon ghetto, a place where it’s important to watch your back and your stuff, but where there is an incredible amount of spots. We skated around the neighborhood for a few hours until a resident of the surrounding apartment complexes started throwing glass bottles at us from his window. After a few glass explosions on the floor, we decided not to take any chances and to get out of there. It was already night time, so we decided to go home.
The first couple days of our trip were really busy, and it’s not about to stop! keep following the adventures of our skate team in Portugal through our social networks, our Instagram stories and in the second week’s blog recap of the trip, Sunday December 16th!