Summer Tour 2016/2017, Report Number Two: The Micro-Camper

Summer Tour 2016/2017, Report Number Two: The Micro-Camper

 I’m not too sure if there’s ever been a skateboard tour that has featured, of all the crazy things in the world, a homebuilt micro-camper. But, this one will! If you’re not familiar yet with my micro-camper, I’ll give you a brief synopsis to get you caught up to speed:  I designed, and built, my little camper about three years ago now. It’s built on a Harbor Freight utility trailer, and is made of wood… much like a skateboard ramp would be. It weighs about 700 lbs (or so), features a queen-size mattress (with a memory-foam pillow top), and tows easily behind my little Toyota Yaris. The same Yaris, by the way, that I took out on my 2008 Tour. Back then, the Yaris was brand spankin’ new. Today, it has a compiled a lovingly reliable 187,000 miles. I just realized that, by the way, as I was writing this paragraph. My, how the time flies.  The camper has been through a few revisions, and has had some press over at Tiny House Listings… Google “Bud Stratford camper” to find the articles, and they’ll pop right up, three articles in total.  Since I built it, the camper’s probably racked up well over 30,000 miles, and has been all over the western United States. You could probably build one for about $2500 or so; of course, I have a bit more than that invested in mine, with all the various revisions and rebuilds over the last three (or so) years. But even then, I’d be shocked if I had more than $3500 invested in the whole project.   Given that the Yaris still gets about 28 mpg while towing the camper, this is probably the most fun, functional, relaxing, and enjoyable way to experience the vast, wide-open wilds of America, on a threadbare budget. Whatever “vast, wide-open wilds” that remain, at least. And trust me, there aren’t that many left.  I know, because I’ve been looking. The camper was originally designed and built with long-distance snowboard expeditions in mind. Like, to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for my annual pilgrimages to Mt. Bohemia. It didn’t dawn on me until quite some time later that this thing might actually work pretty well for summer camping, too. I can be a really short-sighted idiot like that, sometimes.  At first, I was a little disinclined to agree to, and follow through with, yet another overly-ambitious summer tour. I really didn’t think that I had it in me, and in any rate I suspected that the ‘ol knees would immediately protest and/or veto the whole shenanigans. But once I remembered the camper… all of a sudden, I was all about it. How much better could it really get, than to combine two of my favorite lifelong loves… skateboarding, and camping… into one big, epic adventure…?  I turned it over in my head a few times, and quickly realized that it cannot possibly ever get any better than that. The Tour was a go, and I was off like a herd of turtles.   

4 Questions Interview: Hawaii Surf

4 Questions Interview: Hawaii Surf

 

Hello Eric, you are the founder and owner of one of the first skateshops in France. HawaiiSurf has a huge selection of skateboards, longboards and other boards and this is a place you can’t ignore if you are looking to ride a board. We have four questions for you.

 

 

1 and 2 Why a skate and surf shop in Paris and how did it all start?

It started in summer 1976. I had missed my graduation. I was 17, I was on vacation in Biarritz where I rode my skateboard. I had to find something to do after the holidays. Studying was not for me. Meanwhile, I got more and more addicted to skateboarding!

 

Going back to Paris, I met up with an architect who worked with my father and it was here I decided to start my skateboard shop.

 

In the beginning it was called the Skateboarder’s House. In Paris and in all of France, it was at the heart of the skate scene. People rode for fun. 

 

I preferred to offer more advanced products coming directly from the United States. These include mythical boards from Gordon & Smith or Ampul for example. We also manufactured our own skateboards.

 

And then, one day, I left my surf board at the shop. The customers liked it, so I decided to diversify products by offering surfboards, and even Speed Sail and ​​snowboards! This is how the Skateboard’s House became HawaiiSurf. And it worked!

 

Paris is a hub and there is a very large community of all kind of riders: surfers, skaters and snowboarders. Hawaiisurf was the only shop to offer their toys for their passion! The only difficulty was to be located on the outskirts of Paris. We have invested a lot in advertising, leaflets and press. We were everywhere when it was about gliding and riding a board!

 

 

3- How does Hawaiisurf differ from other shops? 

Passion  –  without hesitation! This is the kerosene of Hawaiisurf! In the shop everyone rides: surf, snow, skate, longboard and rollerskates. We’re bad brats and welcome bad brats! This is what makes us strong! The difference between us and the other shops is that we created the trend and instilled it in France! We always were there vanguard! We were the first shop to import boards to France and to manufacture them. We were the first to market Burton in France

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We rummage around the world to find the pearls. These include trucks with a brake that are from Australia, or the Rio skates in England. The products come from all over and come to us before the trend starts. Our guideline is boarding makes you sweat.  This is carried by human energy and external elements: nature and the street! We made our choices based on that and the passion that drives us.

 

4- What is your best memory at the store?

Undoubtedly, the visit of Tony Alva! He is part of the guys who inspired me throughout my youth. In 2009, Ray Barbee and Paul Van Doren went down to the “cellar Momo.” This is the place in the basement of the shop where I store my collection of skateboards and surf.

 

They were like children! Their eyes shined from all the product I had collected. They found a Dogtown board I customized myself and they signed it. A unique space and a good time with brats!

 

Follow HawaiiSurf:

Facebook: facebook.com/hawaiisurf/

Instagram @hawaiisurfshop/

website: https://www.hawaiisurf.com/