Clem's Corner: Are We There Yet

Posted by Ryan Clements on Thursday, August 1, 2013

Originally posted on Street League's site, April 18, 2013.

Just when you think you have a handle on things, they change. How many Street League contests are there in 2013? Like seven, right? And now they’re all over the world?

First up, we have some crazy city in Brazil that I still don’t know how to pronounce; it seems a bit like a tourist trap with gorgeous waterfalls. Then Barcelona—can’t say I’m bummed on that trip and getting to finally visit as close as skateboarding has to a Mecca. Then Munich, which really isn’t at all far from Spain, but it’s pretty far when you have to take another flight from the States back over to Europe. I’ve never been to any of these places. And those are just the international stops.

As for the Street League stops on home soil, first we have Kansas City. I’m always stoked to visit middle America, especially anywhere there’s legendary BBQ. Next comes Portland, one of my favorite cities outside of my beautiful home of Tampa—maybe it’s the coffee. Of course there’s LA. Call me spoiled, but I can’t say I’m too excited about the smoggy Angel City. And finally, Street League goes to one of the filthiest places I’ve ever been: Newark, New Jersey. You can’t say Street League doesn’t bring it with regard to the dirty street element of skateboarding, with trash literally everywhere as you exit the highway to the Prudential Center. No disrespect to the Dirty South, but Newark and the “Dirty Jers” might just be dirtier.

Looking forward, I see a lot of work, a lot of flights, a lot of hotel rooms, a lot of partying, a lot of confusion, and potentially a lot of crappy meals. (Or it could be a lot of great meals depending if I’m able to mooch an invite to the winner’s dinner.)

My friends that aren’t fortunate enough to work in the skate industry tell me to suck it up. They constantly remind me about how good I have it. They’re a reality check that reminds me to stop complaining, and realize how amazing it is to fly all over the world and watch the best skateboarders doing their best, live and in person, right in front of my eyes.

Could be worse.

"I suggest we put the skate stoppers right here," said Clem to Joe C of CA Skateparks. Note Clem’s fashionable footwear.
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