It’s always nice to receive a phone call asking if I (Nick Stansfield) would represent The Black Sheep to go to Amsterdam for the weekend to witness the Mountain Dew Am Series to Europe for the first time…. so of course I said yes! At first it was a bit of a dream and I really thought it wouldn’t actually happen but as the date of the event grew closer so did the information so lets just say I was on a hype!
I was allowed to bring a guest to help so it was obvious that The Black Sheeps mascot Stu Reynolds would be perfect for the job, plus he’s a herbalist so could get on an ‘Apple Hype’ whilst he was over there which he certainly did…. So the mission began.. on the 29th of August me and Stu got a coach down to Heathrow for 3pm to meet the rest of the team from Freuds agency to collect our boarding passes and expenses for the trip! On arrival to Heathrow we realized that there was quite a few of us going, Laura and Danielle from Freud to make sure things went to plan, couple from Rollersnakes and Route one, Jordan Waller from FHM, competition winners Ben and Henry who were so sound then other competition winners Nobby and his guest… After meeting and greeting the next thing you know we’re in Amsterdam….. BUZZING! Not sure if you’ve ever been yourself but flying from the UK literally takes no time at all, just enough time to relax with a beer then you’ve landed.
We arrived into Amsterdam at 7 pm local time and as you arrive you are greeted with with one of many ‘I AMsterdam’ signs which starts the trip on a high from the start. The first job we had was too get to the Marriot hotel and drop the bags of and as soon as that was done Stu insisted we went to a coffee shop called Bulldog which was round the corner so he could stock up. Eyes slightly red and stocked up Stu was ready to head back to the hotel to meet everyone where we decided to check out the night life Amsterdam had to offer! By this time it was slightly late so we hit up a few bars close to the hotel so we could get as much booze in our system and stumble back to the hotel which is exactly what happened! As me and Stu arrived back at the hotel Laura was stumbling around the hotel with an empty pizza box in her hand with a trail of slices she had dropped leading us too the lift. She had dropped it everywhere and there was that much around the lift that door was unable to close….. the next morning we found out that she didn’t manage to even eat one slice as she managed to drop it all apart from the box aha! Amazing!
It was pretty clear to say that heads were very sore the next day but Mountain Dew is a really good cure for a Hangover as we found out. After a few bottles of the bright green fizz we were back on track so we headed over to the skatepark which Mountain Dew had put on especially for the event. I’ve not seen a tempory park which had so much flow and variety, it was mint! I really wanted to have a cruise myself but it was packed and I didn’t want to get in the way as skaters were warming up for the qualifiers later that day.
During the qualifiers the standard of skating was incredible! Which was expected in my eyes as the winning prize was a free trip to New York. People that impressed me were Nassim Guammaz who is a really good friend of our Black Sheep team rider Rob Smith, Nick Bax who was from the Netherlands which was nice to see someone local tearing it up and was a really genuine guy then Hermann Stene who was a real treat to watch skate since he tore the park apart! By this point the excitement grew as Boo Johnson, Keelan Dadd and Theotis Beasley showed up. All 3 are really nice guys and they showed there love to the crowd and skaters socializing and giving away freebies which definitely got them going as the noise increased by the second! Not only was there a skate comp going on but there was also live bands playing. I would have to say the amount of noise coming from the skate event wasn’t far off the sound of music ! Qualifiers over and it was time for me and Stu to meet and greet Keelan, Boo and Theotis which was amazing!
It’s very surreal meeting some of your favorite skaters but it was so relaxed and easy to chat to them. We spoke about what Mountain Dew were doing and what their thoughts about the event and they all thought it was great! Theotis said he was a huge fan of Europe so it’s amazing that Mountain Dew had branched over seas and brought the event here. Obviously he was a huge fan of the Black Sheep Store too…
Once we had a chat and chilled for a bit it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for an art exhibition that was happening later that night. Showered and raring to go we had a brief walk down to Green Label Gallery. As we entered the gallery we were given a flyer which had 2 green sticky labels attached to it which was pretty strange but after looking around it came too us that the labels were for us to vote for the piece of art that we liked the most! Next to each artwork there was a name of the artist then the name was also wrote in a list besides them and you place the label next to the name and at the end the person with the most labels was the winner! What an amazing idea! Here’s @buddyvertstrepen the competition winner with his extremely detailed drawing behind him…. congratulations dude!
Mountain dew had also sponsored the exhibition and they don’t do things in half measures. There was loads of little snacks to attack and countless bottles of Heiniken to quench your thirst. They also came up with a cocktail which had Mountain Dew in which I was a bit dubious of at first but after the a taste I was taken by surprise! It was peng! It did get really hot in the gallery so we spent quite a lot of time outside sitting on the canal and making the most of the free booze! Stu must have smoked zoot after zoot which eventually hit him hard and he was put into an apple hype coma from laughter thanks to the Apple Haze. Don’t think I’ve laughed so much at someone else being zooted! Fun times.
After making most of the free booze we decided to hit up a few bars on the way back to the hotel as everyone was slightly merry by this point! We started of by wandering through the red light district which was mental! Can’t believe how open it all is and the amount of horrible old men coming in and out of the rooms was gnarly! Very strange place! Stu was keen to got to the other districts but we decided against that idea! After a few more drinks in a number of different bars on route back to the hotel it was time to call it a night. I don’t think Henry or Ben could handle it anymore anyway since they bought a pipe earlier on in the night and were slowly smoking away on it until there heads turned to mush. Plus it was the final of the skate comp the next day and didn’t want to miss that for anything which turned out to be a good idea because as soon as we arrived at the park the next morning it was going off. You could tell it was going to be a good competition and the standard of skating would go through the roof! You could feel the nerves of the skaters competing in the air! All thinking about that trip to New York. Check out Mountain Dews youtube page to see highlights of the finals and much more. Let’s just say Hermann Stene took a well deserved 1st place because he absolutely smashed it on both days… here he is nose-grinding too first place.
Overall it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time and I can see Mountain Dew putting the event on again next year. I would keep your eyes peeled if they do and get down because I can guarantee you’ll have a mint time. I would like to thank Mountain Dew and Laura and Danielle at Frueds for taking me and Stu from The Black Sheep Store to this great event. It was a huge success and I hope they are more events like this in the future that I will be able to witness and be a part of…. Cheers!