Free Ride: Compliments of Monster Energy – Video and Photos

You know the saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is?” Well Monster Energy was able to disprove that. Back in May, Monster hit us (Skateboarder Magazine) up and told us they were driving their multi-millon dollar bus from California to Kansas City for the first stop of Street League. This bus includes two lounges, large flat screen TVs, satellite television, wi-fi, marble floors, luxury couches, 8 bunks with personal TVs, a full bathroom, a kitchen and more I’m sure I’m forgetting about. Monster simply offered us the fully equipped bus, gas included, for us fill it with some of our bros (no Monster affiliation required). The best part was that Monster would even provide a driver to take us where ever we want to go. Surprisingly enough, there was no catch. We would sleep in the luxury bus (which just got done driving the Guns N Roses around the US) and Monster would pay for everyone’s plane ticket back home. So naturally we said “Yes!” and off we were to Kansas City with some bros. Check out the video and photos below that document our trip from Long Beach to Denver and finishing in Kansas City from Don Luong. – Aaron Smith

Make sure to check back this Friday for Aaron Smith‘s photos from the trip!

Filmed and Edited: Don Luong

Words and Photos: Don Luong

The Monster bus attracted a lot of attention from people when we would park to skate or get food. In this parking lot in Denver a group of curious teenagers pulled up to me and asked me what band I was in or what companies I was sponsored by. I answered. “I’m just a filmer.” They drove off in disappointment.

Jordan Taylor, man of mystery.

T Spliff living up to his name.

Dan Lu and I were told not to run the showers on the bus for too long because there was a limited supply of hot water on the bus. Once we had found out no one had showered in the past few days that meant there was an excess of hot water right? We decided to treat ourselves with a nice long shower and shave sesh. Separately of course.

The cool thing about being on the bus was when you’re sleeping the bus is still trekking miles across the country. We woke up to our usual coffee and smoke thinking we were still in Vegas. What we didn’t know was our bus driver drove through the night and we were almost in Denver, Colorado.

Dan Lu mandatory Buffalo Wild Wings stop. Coffee and hot wings. Bubble gut here we come.

This was our home away from home for 2 weeks. One would think staying on a lavish bus would be easy living, but being stuck in close quarters with 8 other people, cabin fever began to develop and we were stoked to get outside whenever we could.

The stash pile.

Aaron smith. The mastermind that rigged up this entire trip for myself and the bros. It was rad for Aaron to take us around Kansas City to spots he grew up skating. Tour guide, team manager and photographer, Aaron does it all. Oh yeah, and he rips on a board. Thanks for the good times.

Downtown Kansas City was where the bus was parked for the last few days of the trip. While on the way to get some food one morning we stumbled upon this bump to bar. J-Tay gets up on a fs 50-50 before breakfast.

Taylor Smith. Cool cat.

The NBA playoffs were going on during this time and with Jordan Taylor being an avid Celtics fan, we’d find ourselves at this sports bar almost every night. Here Nick Zizzo and Taylor enjoy a post-dinner smoke while Jordan stresses during the 4th quarter.

Jordan Taylor and Ryan Spencer enjoying the night life of downtown Kansas City. This might have actually been on our way back from a very disappointing strip club experience. The signs said “Nude” but once we were in there it turned out to be a bikini bar. Dakota paid for a lap dance and mid song the stripper asked “Do you guys skate? Do you know Sean Malto?”

The Crew.

Its always cool when you get to go to spots you’ve always known about as a kid. We were all excited to go to the “Koston Rail” but it turns out the spot is always a huge bust. We got kicked out but the block the building is on is so big that it takes a few minutes for security to circle around again. Once he left Taylor and Ryan got their tricks in before the security guard could kick us out again.

Taylor Smith cool cat pt. 2.

Everyone listening in on this man telling us things to do to better our lives. I forget what he was preaching but it seems like he has everyone’s attention.

This double kinker is no joke. Here Dakota sizes it up while hittin’ up some girls on Instagram I assume.

Ryan Spencer and Taylor Smith showing me their love.

Taylor enjoying the leisure life.

This KC local showed up at one of the spots curious as to why all these cameras were out and what we were filming for. He then asked if it was cool if we shot photos of him doing backflips off the wall.

We happily obliged.

Dakota and Taylor. Bro style

Daniel was originally not supposed to go on this trip because he was in between moving houses. Literally 30 minutes before departure time he decided last minute to Bro Style it with us to KC. This was on the last day of the trip when we were all a bit burnt and tattered. Daniel was always keeping the morale high and skating every spot we went to. Any trip with D-Lu is guaranteed good times.

We couldn’t take the Monster bus around to spots because getting it around and parking is a whole process in itself. Aaron had to rig different homies everyday to take us around to spots. One day all we had was a pickup so we all hopped in the back and took it around town.

Jordan and Taylor enjoying the truck ride around Kansas.

Mandatory booze stop before we are stuck on the bus for another night.

Taylor Smith. Cool cat pt. 3.

Dakota Servold. After getting worked on the double kink he had no choice but to chill and look on as other bros ripped.

Ryan Spence feeling the toll of the road. Pun intended.

Dan Lu laughs, smiles and good vibes. Always.

Enjoying all the fine things KC had to offer.

Christian Senrud, the man behind a lot of the Skateboarder interviews. We thought it was cool how much Christian looked like Caswell Berry. A very easy goin bro that was down to go with the flow at all times.

The only photo I have of our bus driver, Carl. He’s been in the bus driving business for a long time and he drove us around like a champ with no complaints. He had millions of stories tell from driving Guns N Roses around to getting girls naked in the back room while waiting on shows to finish, but he said he had never driven skateboarders around before to spots and was stoked to get out and watch us skate. Thanks for the ride, Uncle Carl.

Glad to be flying home. Everyone getting in their last minute meals before boarding the flight back to LB.

Bro Style is going big.

The only photo of me. Thanks for all the good times Skateboarder and Monster. We had a blast.