It is almost time people – the 10th Annual Hippie Mike’s Tour de Surrey starts on July 6th at Cloverdale Skate Park on 64th ave. This series of events is a huge part of my life, and the lives of many kids in Surrey, Delta, Langley and wherever else they travel from for the comps. It melts my heart to recognize the joy that I have brought to so many individuals over these last 10 years by running this series. It all began in 2004 with me asking the question to someone in Parks and Rec “What do I need to do insurance wise to be approved to run a series of skateboard competitions in Surrey?” This began a conversation throughout the Youth Functional Table and came back to me with an answer of “Why don’t we partner with you and make it a City run Event…” I said sure, and look where we’re at – 10 years later…
This year we’re hittin’ all the original parks on the map and finishing at Bear Creek just like we did the first 7 years. The reason I started Hippie Mike’s Tour de Surrey in the first place was because at that time we had 5 skate parks, which was more than any other municipality, yet we had no big competitions happening. Coastal Riders and Substance Sk8 Shop were having the occasional event, and Kevin Kelly had tossed a couple contests at Bear Creek Park. Other than that it was Board Kennel utilizing the South Surrey/White Rock Park for contests but not necessarily advertising them to everyone. We needed something consistent, not just for the kids to have, but for the skateboard community to recognize and a series that hit every park we had in one city was how to do it. So I made it happen.
With the help of so many others sponsoring the contests, kids were showing up in flocks. There are a ton of local skateboarders that I can think of right now who I may never have met if it weren’t for these competitions, but instead built a family style relationship with. I still remember JR Barron and his cousin Nick Logan coming out to Cloverdale contest 7 years ago. It was JR’s 5th birthday that day and him and Nick were so tiny and they were just bouncing around on there skateboards together trying whatever they could even though neither of them knew what they were doing at all, and I can still remember the noise from the crowd being a roar of mixture of laughs and cheers. It made the day so awesome, and it made me realize how young some kids were that were coming to my events – I had to create a special Mini Category just for kids 10 & under. And now JR is turning 12 years old and kick flipping big gaps and hitting rails and stuff, and me and him are still great friends, he’s a Hippie Mike’s Tour de Surrey die hard who comes to every event. And there’s all the Langley crew that I watched grow up into the amazing skaters they are today – Dustin Locke, Hashbrown, Jordan Repin, Zaz & all that crew. And Magnus, the Decenzo’s, John Hanlon the Man Child, all these guys used to hang at these contests too back in the day, and Drew and Stu and Jay Mykyte – Cisco Goding, Jeff Cole and Jon Irvine, Andy Anderson, Jaden Easton-Ellett, Brad Muscat, so many friends… They were a great place to learn how to compete and to have a great time with friends, and that feel is still there. The generations change each year a little bit, but the majority of regulars still come to every single stop on the tour. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about the milestone we are reaching this year. 10 years!! If anyone had tried to tell me 10 years ago that the world of skateboarding would be accepted in the way it is today by now, I wouldn’t have believed them. And in fairness, I think that this series has had a lot to do with that acceptance that has become reality in and around the Lower Mainland with competitions and skate parks in general. I work hard every year to make this happen and I thank everyone who has been and will be a part of Hippie Mike’s Tour de Surrey. We have taught safety, we have taught freedom, we have taught style of competition, but most of all we have built a family of skateboarders who love to have fun together…
See you at Cloverdale Skate Park
July 6th, 2013
For a recap of last year’s Tour de Surrey 2012 check out the link below