• Ispo 2014 – Party was had

    Longboard Embassy, ispo 2014

    They say time flies when you’re having a good time. Time at Ispo definitely goes by differently. For those of you who don’t know, Ispo is the biggest sports fair in Europe, gathering almost 3000 brands from all over the world in one place: Munich. The halls are divided in categories. Actions Sports halls are Disneyland for our kind but above all, Action Sports halls are party, real party.

    Two very important things were happening for me at this years’ Ispo. I was chosen to be a speaker at the traditional Women in Board & Action Sports lunch plus I was hosting a preview video of OPEN exclusively for Ispo’s assistants, but I’ll get to that in a min.

    Longboard embassy, ispo 2014

    This year’s Longboard Embassy. Pic source Ispo.com

    I’m not sure with what I should compare the first day at Ispo. It would be something like having an annual college reunion but where you actually like everyone. I’m loud and emotional so getting there and meeting with good friends from all over the world, some of whom I haven’t seen maybe since last Ispo made my loudness and emotions a bit outta control. The free booze didn’t help.

    ispo 2014, longboard girls crew

    longboard girls crew, ispo 2014

    Left: Tracey Miller, Tamara Prader, Gbemi and Spoky stoked. Right: Glori Fiziert, me lifting Patrick Switzer, Pablo Castro & Tamara.

    7sky magazine, ispo 2014

    The first night with the 7Sky Magazine family. I love this people!

    One of the many amazing things about Ispo is witnessing how all the longboard brands get along and how much love there is in our sport. I love seeing some of my favorite people together: Don and Pablo from Loaded Boards flew from Cali with their awful summery tans, Heiko from Concrete Wave Skateshop Cologne, Michael Brooke -Concrete Wave Magazine editor and Founder of Longboarding For Peace-, my brothers from Dasilva Boards Ben, Alon & Tom were there from Israel, the Sector 9 crew from San Diego and Hossegor, the Landyatch crew from Canada, Rayne riders from America & Europe, the adorable Tracey & Brad Miler from Rip Tide, the Arbor family lead by Bob Carlson & Gregor, Brandon Stewart -Caliber owner & Arbor Marketing Manager- with James Jordan from Caliber, Part of the IDF family, Daniel Gesmer from Seismic, Martin Siegrist, Axel Serrat, the Sickboards crew and most of the European brands and media were there including my Bastl Boards family and I almost fell hard on my knees when I was surprised by All Around Skate’s Gbemi Ogunkeye who was supposed to be in Africa.

    Some of my snowboard friends were there as well. Birgit Gruber & Ali Kenney from Burton always brighten up my day. My Austrian buddies Sebi Madlener & Sebi Geiger took a break between the Different Direction 2014 shootings to come to Ispo. Rad people i love.

    Valeria kechichian, michael brooke, longboard girls crew, concrete wave magazine

    Holsome, valeria kechichian, pablo castro, loaded boards
    Left: With our man Michael Brooke, editor of Concrete Wave Mag & Founder of Longboarding For Peace. Right: Adrien from Holesom Rider, me holding a drink with our beloved Pablo Castro from Loaded Boards.

    This year’s lady attendance included a lot of the European scene shakers and LGC ambassadors around the world: Tamara Prader, Marie Bougourd aka Spoky Woky, Fee Bucheler, Glori Fiziert, Dani Gaislerova, Janine La Franca, Alex Kubiak Ho-Chi, Daniela Schukalla, Lyndsay McLaren, Larissa Schweiger, Laura Godek, Lissy Felsberger, Josephine Blume, Valérie Vitousová, Luisa Hartung, Anja Schlegel and so many more. All these rad ladies together made my heart go faster.

    longboard girlsloaded party, ispo 2014
    Left: We’re so pretty. Tamara, Spoky, Valeria, Dani & Glori. Right: Much fun was had during the Loaded Boards tshhhhhhh! Party!

    Sunday was the first day and I tried to keep it together as my WIB speech and OPEN preview was happening on Monday. Just to clarify “keep it together” at Ispo means trying not to wake up in a booth/tree/car with a stranger in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other. So I did ok.

    Glori Fiziert, Adam Persson, ispo 2014

    Two adorable humans: Glori Fiziert & Adam Persson. Pic source: olsonphoto

    The Women in Board & Action Sports is an amazing movement created by Carmela Fleury and Dani Mey -two industry pros- that with the invaluable help of Coco Taché had made the movement one of the most powerful for females in action sports.

    This speech was very important to me. I wanted to talk about so many things that I’ve learned these past months about overcoming hard times, working for a greater good, our power, the amazing potential we have and how greatness comes to the makers and the thinkers and the ones that are not scared to fight for what they believe, even if that means fighting alone. The speech went great and I even screened our OPEN preview video to the ladies, hours before the official screening. The energy and feedback was amazing and I won’t stop saying that the energy we ladies have and create in these kind of events where we get together to support each other and get inspired in out of this world. Love all over.

    A short video of the speech will be released shortly.

    Women in board & action sports, ispo 2014

    Part of the new staff of Women in Board & Action Sports for 2014: me, Iker Aguirre, Jil Karl, Coco Taché, Dani Mey, Alba Pardo, Christine Waeber, Marlene Niemeier, Carmela Fleury & her little man after Iker’s & my speech.

    That same afternoon the official OPEN preview was happening at the Ispo booth. Ma pretty ladies Janine La Franca & Lyndsay McLaren, German and UK LGC ambassadors respectively helped me gather everyone for the event. After doing a short introduction of the project with an apple/vodka in my hand we screened the video and the feedback was amazing. Everyone loved it. Daniel Etura, the Director of the movie is doing such an amazing job with the edit of OPEN it’s blowing everyone’s minds. Thank you Daniel, your talent is one of our best cards.

    longboard girls crew, open preview, ispo 2014

    Big part of the Longboard industry gathered to watch a preview of our upcoming movie OPEN. Pic Patrick Switzer.

    Valeria Kechichian, Ispo 2014, longboard girls crew, open, preview

    Presenting the OPEN preview and thanking all our sponsors for their support. Pic Brad T. Miller.

    Ispo 2014, open, valeria kechichian

    All-star crowd in Munich. Pic Marie Spoky Woky.

    At this point and after the screening, I mostly remember the lovely people from 40inch Mag placing drinks on my hand every 20 minutes. Serious party was had and stupid drunk videos were posted. I do apologize for that. You can still watch some here and here.

    brandon stewart, caliber, caliber trucks, Valeria Kechichian

    IDF
    Left: Brandon Stewart, owner of Caliber and Marketing Manager for Arbor rocking our LGC t-shirt. I’m rocking my drink. Right: Damien Moragues from UD Mag & Peyragudes Never Dies, Cyrille Harnay President of the IDF & a monkey.

    ispo 2014ispo 2014
    Left: with Deen Mondt from Rayne & Sickboards and Gbemi from All Around Skate. Right: Adam Persson & Robert Reprissen making some noise.

    Next morning, after getting over the shame of finding myself in mostly every brand’s social media doing something embarrassing, we headed to the venue for more fun with my twisted sister in crime and Austrian downhill champion Glori Fiziert. Glori is boss and I lesbians her.

    As Glori & I don’t have a decent picture together I thought this one was close enough to real life to portray our love.

    It’s always sad to say goodbye and whatever happens in Ispo unfortunately stays on Instagram, so please try to leave your phones off while partying in Munich. Last night party included a massive coasters fight, which eventually lead to war. Patrick Switzer and Cameron Frazier are trouble and as said, ended up with all of us (almost 50 people from the scene) saving our heads from flying coasters, pieces of bread soaked in beer and mostly anything that was on the table or surroundings. Short clip of that night here

    ispo 2014

    Skateboarding & music done right. Volcom mini ramp was always party. Pic source: ispo.com

    Personal thanks to Coco Taché from 7Sky Magazine for being my fairy godmother. Big thanks to my Dasilva Boards brothers: Ben, Alon & Tom. I love you all so much, you’re family to me. Huge thanks to Fede Bosco and Carol Munz for all your help while getting everything ready for Ispo. As said, I couldn’t have done it without you. I don’t know the names of the people that let me crash on their house but thanks to them and Glori too.

    ispo 2014, dasilva boards, valeria kechichian, cameron frazier

    With my Dasilva Boards family & Cam Frazier from Rayne. Beautiful people.

    This years’ Ispo has been epic as predicted. I’m on my plain back home and already miss everyone. I love the longboard scene so freaking much. Shout out to the 40inch booth for letting me abuse of their generosity every day. See you next year my friends, thanks for the good times.

    Thanks for the pics Spoky, Brad, Patrick, Olsonphoto, Fionna & animalshugging.com

    Back to you Brian!

    Valeria KechichianValeria Kechichian


     

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