Filling The Void
Next in-line is Number 8, Board Basement friend Paul Borkowski aka "Bullet". Paul and his brothers have been Board Basement customers for a few years now. Paul is a local boy through and through, growing up in Devon as a skateboarder. Paul has ridden for various teams and sponsors over the years and is currently riding for Skullcandy and Hype energy. He started snowboarding dryslope and now all these years later he is trying to get to the mountains as much as possible. Paul works for Skullcandy as a DJ and gets to see and do some really cool stuff within his job role.
The Board Basement stocks Skullcandy headphones. With the backing from professional snowboarders like Travis Rice, Eero Ettala, Arthur Longo, Mark McMorris, Aaron Biittner and Silje Norendal it makes perfect sense to stock the Skullcandy products here at The Board Basement. The quality of the Skullcandy products is so much better these days than it used to be.
That feeling we are all so familiar with when you are at the top of the last lift for the last run of the last week of your time in the mountains this season, you stand and soak in the view for one last time wondering when it will be that you get to see it once again? Wanting this last run to be epic, and leave the smile on your face that cannot be removed for hours, if you are lucky enough for this last run to be in the deep stuff, you will hopefully still have the muscle memory powder turn feeling lingering in your legs long after you have left apres! You strap in and relish the last click click click of your binding ratchets, give your boys some knuckles...........And then drop!!
The run goes perfectly, you and your boys crush it, smash every hit, turn and lump exactly how you wanted. The final dash into the resort consists of a flat out sprint to the lift in the hope that the lifty hasn't closed the gate yet and you can squeeze one more, even if it is just from the mid station, you never want it to end! But he is weathered from a long season spent in the same draughty lift station and it is Friday after all, he is keener to get to the bar than you! So as you ride by, the gates are closed and that is you done! For me, I am lucky enough to have two of my Brothers as keen for snow as me so this moment usually involves us hugging each other and welcoming the fact that we have managed our time one more winter in one piece, and have all got down safely! This is almost definitely followed by a large final slice of apres and some good food. Then the task none of us like, we have to pack up our stuff, and make the journey home!....
AND THEN WHAT??
Even if it was only one week away it leaves you wanting to return and feel the hit of adrenaline that only snow can deliver! But the season is over and no matter what, we have to return to whatever it is we do to fill our lives until the next time we can re unite with the mountains, everyone has their own story as to what they do to fill the void, here is mine...
The things that I do mean that very rarely two weeks are the same. Working for Skullcandy can throw up some pretty crazy stuff for me to get involved with, and last year was no exception!
THERE WERE TWO THINGS IN PARTICULAR THAT REALLY STUCK IN MY MIND
Two years ago a deal was done between Skullcandy and Sahara Force India Formula One to supply all of the paddock and pit crew with their headphones, Skullcandy also get their logo on the car which is very cool! My role within Skullcandy has many facets, I am a brand ambassador, which involves an ever changing array of tasks, but firstly and foremost I am their main DJ and presenter for the UK. This role coupled to the deal with Sahara Force India makes for some really cool gigs, I had always joked from the time the Formula one deal came about that the pinnacle of my DJ career would be to DJ at one of the legendary Yacht parties in Monaco for the Grands Prix, this was going to be the "stick a fork in me" moment that would be the point I metaphorically hung up my headphones as it would never get any better?
I have become great friends with many of the guys at Force India, with Formula One budgets getting ever tighter and tighter, R and D becoming ever more costly, my suggestions that they fly me around the world with them as their DJ always seemed to fall on deaf ears! And I mean, what a way to spend the down time from the mountains...
The two seasons dovetail almost perfectly! Every year Force India have a dedicated area at Silverstone for the British Grands Prix, their factory is actually at Silverstone so they consider it very much their home race. Skullcandy and myself play a big part in this area and I will get to that later but suffice to say on the months leading up to it I find myself up at the factory quite a lot for meetings to arrange things, Every meeting consists of the meeting, and then the important task of reminding the hospitality team that I am available for Monaco if they need me! This year I was only home from the meeting for a day when i received an email from Victoria at Force India asking if I was available for....you guessed it, Monaco, not only Monaco, but a party on one of the crazy super yachts right in the harbour, obviously this took me all of about 2 seconds to reply to, And that was it...
I WAS IN!!!!!
So super early on Saturday morning I was flown to Nice and collected from the airport by a suited and booted very suave chauffeur, and taken to Monaco! The thing with Monaco is; when the Grands Prix is on, you can't actually get anywhere near the town as it is on lockdown due to various racing activity. So everyone has to commute via boat from Fontville, which is a new part of town around the corner so to speak, Jean Pierre drops me off and I sit and wait for the tender to collect me. So far things are a little strange but nothing too nuts, with this Jeremy Clarkson and friends just casually stroll past me, If you have ever been to the Cote d'Azur you feel that you are among "the beautiful people".
My tender arrives and myself and some others get onboard and begin to make our way out of Fontville and around the headland to Port Hercule which is the Monaco everyone would recognise. We weave our way through an array of what can only be described as very posh ships until we find ours!, In the grand scheme of things our yacht is fairly small but Oh MY God it is still massive!! It is perfectly positioned for viewing the track and as a Formula One fan I feel like I am in some kind of trance, I am shown around, the hospitality is in full swing and a glass of Champagne is never far away so naturally I have some haha.
I have several hours to fill before the party, during the day the yachts are used as 5 star viewing areas for guests, also they have to move about ten metres or so away from the dock for health and safety as the dock becomes the track, this means that I am "stuck" on the boat until about 6pm when they move them back so the day visitors can leave and the party guests can arrive, I while away this time by standing on the jacuzzi cover up on the top deck watching the qualifying and GP2 races, and also making sure I call anyone I know to tell them how cool I am!
6pm comes around and it's time to do some work, the A.V guys turn up as soon as the boat is back on its dock, we get set up and sound checked, and wait for the guests. Some of the first guests on board are Sky Sports F1 and two F1 drivers to be interviewed, they are followed by lots of very well dressed guests ready for the party, Once the party starts I am in familiar waters and things go amazingly, all around me is the most incredible scenery, I am on the third deck of this boat, in balmy Mediterranean air DJing this crazy party, I glance to both my left and right, there are similar parties going on all over the harbour, the boat next to us had a full Bavarian oompah band in full swing on it, the boat the other side has a massive fashion show taking place...
HOW DID I EVER MANAGE TO END UP HERE??
By this time some of the pit crew had finished their days and had come to the boat so I had some guys I knew to chat with, the party finished around 1am which was pretty early for Monaco, the pit straight becomes a line of crazy pop up clubs and parties that all blend into one. We wander down there for a few "wind down" drinks, realistically there is no such thing as a "wind down" this weekend. The pit crew guys are on duty pretty early so we cut our night "short" and I head back to the boat around 3am to pick up my things and wait for Jean Pierre to take me back to reality! I spend as little time in my hotel as I need to before going back to the airport. It is more than fair to say that when I got home I spent quite a bit of time wondering what the hell had just happened? Whilst I was there nobody did "stick the fork"in me so I chose not to hang my headphones up!
My year carried on in a similar vein, I did loads of cool stuff and events, I also managed to get lots of skating in throughout the year which after all of the craziness still remains one of my first loves, I still have a couple of events every year that I go to and do some demos for the organisers.
Throughout the year Skullcandy always had plans for the UK launch of The Fourth Phase film, Travis Rice is a Skullcandy athlete and general nice guy, so when the autumn came we received details of how the premier would go, The Crusher has always been one of my favourite products. The Sensation Driver delivers bass in a special way that is in a class of its own, so when it was announced that a new Wireless Crusher and the Crusher VRA were coming out along with some signature Ink'd Wireless to coincide with the film and Travis being over, and that Travis had played a big role in the development of these products it was an exciting time!
We were hosting the premier with Travis's other sponsors and the venue was to be in The South Bank in London. Skullcandy had came over from Europe with an Ice Cave VRA stand, I had never had much dealing with VR (Virtual Reality) before and when I got there was BLOWN away by the experience that the Crusher VRA delivered, along with the headsets and the 360 degree filming that Travis and friends had done it really is something special! We spent the day doing demos for passers by which was fun, then when it was time for the premier we all took our seats, I had been given a tip that we could possibly get Travis to come to the Ice cave for some photos etc, If you have seen The Fourth Phase you will know how off the hook it is both in terms of its production, and the next level of riding in it!
The film goes down a storm and the party is getting going nicely, my eyes are still on getting Travis over to us for some shots. He comes over and we have a chat about the film for about 15 minutes or so, as much of a superstar he is, he is also a real normal nice guy, he is super stoked on the way the film has been received, and we have a good chat about how much input he had into the new range that bears his name. At this point I'm stood here with this guy who I have always been in awe of as a rider and we are chilling as two like minded people, snowboarding and skateboarding are amazing in their ability to unite and level people who are into them, if you ride, you are a member of the club, doesn't matter if you are a once a year dry sloper, or Travis Rice!
YOU ARE IN!!!!
I casually suggest that he should try the VRA experience, so there I am in the Cave with Travis, Lando and Delarue watching the footage that they filmed with them, It was a really surreal few minutes, but good fun.
Once again, as so many times this year I find myself in some sort of disbelief at what just happened! The great thing about this particular occasion is that the time of year is October, The people I have spent the day with are some of the world's best, and it has really given me the feeling again that I want winter to hurry up so I can get back on the snow, and there we are....almost back to square one and "that feeling"...what a year!
See more on Paul's Instagram Account
If you are reading this and would like to be involved, please do not hesitate to contact Gus. We would love to have you involved with this, as long as you have got something to do with Snowboarding or there is some kind of link there... That is fairly relevant... Get in touch!