We all heard stories about Ispo but I guess you don’t really understand what’s all about until you go to Munich and live four days in a row inside a fair, working and partying with almost no sleeping hours to the point of exhaustion but, for some reason, you can’t have enough.
Ispo is one of the biggest Sport Fairs of the world. More than 2,400 exhibitors present the latest trends from the Outdoor, Ski, Action and Performance Sports segments to the 81,000 visitors from 109 countries. So yeah, it’s big.
The five Longboard Girls Crew staff members (Carlota Martín, Monica & Jacky Madenfrost, Chus Asensio and myself) plus our lovely friend -amazing rider and photographer- Noelia Otegui headed to Munich to attend the Ispo. Jacky and Noe couldn’t confirm their attendance until two days before the event, which made buying a flight ticket impossible. The solution? A 30 hour bus ride from Madrid to Munich. Yeah, that was fun. The unbelievably awesome Ishtar Bäcklund was staying with us as well, so party was assured in our house.
Inside Ispo, most of the longboard brands got together and rented a big common space in the Fair called “Longboard Embassy” that we used as camp base. The Longboard Embassy bar had a wall made out of 5,415 wheels with a graphic inspired in our 2012 Zaragoza’s Girls Meet poster by Oscar Carrasco. Crazy!
The first day (Sunday) was not good. You can get excited about free beers early morning quite easily, and our Sector 9 friends didn’t make this easy for us either. They had an Ispo 2013 special edition beer. Lots of it. Plus, our Bastl Boards friend’s booth was sponsored by Sternburg, a local Leipzig beer and this just made it impossible to make it through the first day with some dignity.
All this was happening while we were working and meeting some of the most important people in the longboard industry. Pro riders, brand owners, international marketing managers, press & media… I’m not sure we gave the best impression, but I guess we were all doing the same? I do remember Carlota and I chasing Cami Best like groupies and getting really exciting when we met downhill ladies Spoky, Glori and Fee or reunite with old friends like Sonso, Janine or Esther. At some point all these longboard ladies were together and it felt so freaking special.
After the official closing of the fair we all stayed in the Longboard Embassy area and partied. Kind of hard. In an embarrassing way. Near us GoPro and Red Bull were throwing this huge party with free drinks… so that was it. After that we all went for dinner. I got in the restaurant and saw something I wasn’t expecting: The same brand owners, marketing managers, distributors, shop owners and riders sitting on the same gigantic table and having a laugh. Rayne, Landyatch, Loaded, Bustin, Airflow, Bastl, Riviera, Paris, Seismic, Pogo, Fibertec, Madrid, Arbor, Rey, Triple8, RipTide, G-Form, Sickboards, Barek Nuckle, Olson & Hekmati, Cult Wheels, Concrete Wave Shop, Lush, Concrete Wave Magazine, Heelside Magazine, Spots N Locals… everyone was there, with some amazing vibes having a good time. How awesome is that?
Second day (Monday) was as crazy and intense. I reminded myself that drinking at 11am was not a good idea and try to stick with it until 4pm. We had laughs with all our new friends while running from one meeting to the other. We met Misho Erban, Martin Siegrist and Erik Lundberg and basically forced them to wear our new LGC t-shirts designed by Alvaro Yuste and Daisy Johannes. Yes, we’re Latin and loud, we can’t help this kind of behavior. We also did it with our Berlin friends Ian Joe Dutch and Peter Markgraf from the Bastl Boards team and you know what? Everyone looked sexy with them. Word.
We also attended the Woman in Boardsports luncheon. Women in Boardsports (WIB) was founded to create opportunities for women in snowboarding and all boardsports to network, share resources, and inspire each other to progress in work and life. We will post more info about this in the next weeks. We feel extremely close to this initiative and were very inspired by Donna Carpenter’s –Burton President- speech.
That night 25 of us got into the Spots n Locals van (it was a regular 8 people van, we just travelled Indian style) and went to a Bavarian restaurant to have one of the most hilarious dinners of the trip followed by some booty shaking in some random bar-house that only played rap. Lisa from Sickboards, Cami and Ishtar showed us how it has to be done. Booty shaking all night long.
This is 20 of us getting off the Spots N Locals van that drove us to dinner. That 15 minutes ride was one of the highlights of the week: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=550856611604936&set=vb.100000418064023&type=3&theater
Third day (Tuesday) was going to be, again, very long and full of fun. Lovely talks with Daniel Gesmer from Seismic, fun times with Martin Siegrist, big fights with Chris Hart from Airflow (haha), laughing at Ian Joe Dutch cause he had lost his voice (just like our Chus, but for different reasons), great times with EG and Maui from Sector 9, laughing with Emile from Sickboards, messing with Mike from G-Form and the usual fun in the Bastl Boards booth. So many amazing things happened all the time.
Our friend Franky Sommer from LongboardZ.de interviewed us shortly
That was the last night and we all went to have dinner at the same Bavarian restaurant we went the night before. Conversation got inappropriate pretty soon. I wish I could publicly tell more about that night, but I can’t. On our way to the bar someone started a snowball fight and we were 30 people fighting against each other, running, laughing, screaming and having a blast. That was until Les from Rayne decided to throw me into a garbage can while everybody else was cracking up. Not funny, you idiot. Still, it was one hell of a night.
Last day (Wednesday) was a tough one. We barely had voice, energy or even some life left but we still managed to do most of the things we needed to do before catching our flight back to Madrid, and I think we made it thanks to all that amazing energy flowing those days in Munich with all our new friends in this f*cking awesome longboard community.
I always say that we’re in a sport that still welcomes newcomers with open arms. You can travel worldwide and be sure you will have a couch to sleep or people to hang out or skate if there is a longboard community, I just didn’t know this also happened between brands. Of course everyone has their own business to look up to, but seeing the way brands behave between each other makes me have even more confidence that this sport is here for good. It’s up to us to keep working the positive vibes while rolling in this life.
We came back with our hearts full of love. Thank you all so much, we’ll see you soon amigos!