Dan Barrett | Russia
Check out my trip in detail below!
Thursday June 25th
Portland to St. Petersburg was my longest single journey I’ve taken yet, the first flight was 10 hours to Amsterdam for a layover and then a quick 2.5 hour second flight to St. Petersburg. When I arrived my bag was waiting for me along with Kassu, Roomet, Timur and Demetrius.. I couldn’t believe I was in Russia until the taxi driver and Timur started talking in tongues haha. After we dropped our bags off and had a quick bite to eat we went to the first spot next to the Neva river where we all got at least a clip and some photos.. Roomet did a back flip drop in from the ledge, which put the cherry on top of the session.
Friday June 26th
No matter where I’m at in the world the first thing on my mind when I wake up is a cup of coffee, it doesn’t even have to have sugar, cream or be hot I just want/need a cup of coffee, so Timur took us to a renowned coffee spot called “Coffee Shop Company”. After fueling up we started the day with a some longgg ledges outside of an apartment building, I pulled the camera out right away to film Roomet and Kassu, I wound up taking the longest to get my clip but damn I was stoked to get it.
Timur’s friend Victor organized a jam for us on a bunch of ramps at the Free Ride Fest, it was in the middle of St, Petersburg’s city center where there were basketball contests, dance battles, arts and crafts, food and tons of hot Russian chicks. We did a demo for about 10 minutes after a contest for the intermediates, it was sick & fulfilling to watch the kids in Russia throw down and then give the winners of the jam Phoenix product.
After the jam we seshed & filmed around the city until about 2am we grabbed some drinks and went down to the Neva River I ended up betting Roomet $100 to jump into the river and he quickly took me up on it haha, about 20 minutes later on our way back to Timur's house we found some ramps and Roomet ended up getting a clip at 4:20am soaking wet.
Saturday June 27th
4 shots of espresso and a shot of Rawr super foods mix later we pushed to KickMeat shop, Timur had stacks of posters and a line of kids waiting for us which was totally unexpected, I guess because we were still half asleep. I remember giving this one little shredder a hand full of stickers and his face was priceless, I mean he was more grateful and happy about stickers than a kid who I gave a hat and sunglasses in the U.S. to last week – it gave me a thought about no matter what the hell you have whether it was free or not you gotta be grateful about it because there’s people out there that get by with a lot less than you do.
About 25 of us left KickMeat shop and hit a bunch of spots around the city, I don’t think not one person went home empty handed that day. Timur surprised us with a boat ride on a few different rivers in the evenings where we got a history lesson from a hot Russian babe ;)
We finished up the evening with cruising a new outdoor concrete skatepark in the city, I didn’t ride much but I was behind the lens most of the time. After that we rushed back to Timurs, showered up, packed and caught the train to Moscow with 3 minutes to kill.. my scooter, 50 lb suit case and bottle of vodka made it on safe ;)
Sunday June 28th
I woke up on the train to a woman speaking Russian telling us we have an hour until we arrive in Moscow, who wakes someone up an hour before we arrive somewhere?
After we go through a bunch of security and ride about half a mile with our suitcases we finally get to the apartment we’re staying at which is this random ladies flat on the 10th floor, she was renting out the rooms pretty cheap so we crashed there for a few days.
After we were all settled in we cracked the bottle of vodka and celebrated a little bit before we hit the streets. We ended up taking a train to a small city about an hour out of Moscow called Solnechnogorsk where we met with locals that took us to their local skatepark, when we got to the skatepark they had a bottle of wine for us haha, of how I love Russia :)
Sunday night was too crazy and long to explain but to sum it up, we went to one of the locals small farm house which had a sauna as one of the rooms and had a bunch of homegrown food, we partied until the sun came up… well I guess the sun never went down in Russia.
Monday June 29th
Today was the only day we were riding with all the locals in Moscow, we were still an hour away from the scooters shop because we spent the night in Solnechnogorsk, after the train ride we mobbed back to our apartment real quick to grab all the product for the locals and then headed off to Kickmeat. There was a line of riders out the door waiting for us, probably because we were a half hour late but it was so sick, everyone was so humbling and they were definitely stoked.
After the shop signing we headed to a new concrete skatepark that was built in Moscow, Timur and KickMeat put on a bunch of little contests at different spots in the skatepark, we had a sequel complete, a pair of DB signature bars, a pair of Cooper Klaar XXL bars, grips, Phoenix wheels, Rogue wheels, Percept Sun Glasses, stickers, and a bunch of banners.. these kids were ready to throw down when we showed up with everything.
Roomet, Kassu and I judged the jam contests around the skatepark while Timur announced in Russian the whole time, after a few hours all the product was given out and we started to film as the sun was going down. The scene in Moscow was insane and I can’t wait to come back and shred the country again.
Tuesday June 30th
The day we all flew home, I didn’t get my bags until 2 days after I got home but I eventually got them, it was my moms birthday too so it was a good day.
I want to thank our Russian connect, KickMeat and especially Timur for the hospitality and being our tour guide. Our trip to Russia so we can ride with the locals and shred the cities was easy and smooth.
Hope you enjoyed the read! -Dan Barrett