TEXT: STUART GOMEZ
The idea of sending five skateboarding city boys to the wilds of South Africa has the faint whiff of a fish out of water story. But dropping their North American riders into unfamiliar lands is something that CONS does regularly, giving them a crash course in culture as they sample the best local spots.
CONS continued this tradition with a trip to South Africa—although the team assembled is more famously associated with getting down and dirty in the urban jungle (untamed concrete in a landscape of metal and more concrete) than the predatory savanna. The five travelers—Mike Anderson, Bobby De Keyzer (his first official CONS trip), Al Davis, Aaron Herrington, and Jake Johnson—visited Cape Town and Johannesburg, among other locations, returning with a fresh perspective and a wary respect for cats (Johnson received a non-lethal love bite to the gut from a lion cub, but a few inches lower and it would’ve been “bye-bye, Johnson”). With Luke Jackson, a knowledgeable local, as their guide, the team was fully immersed in history. If the team had any concerns of “third world” sketchiness, they were dashed by the natural beauty of the oldest inhabited territory on Earth.
Bobby, dewing it.
Their African experience included the sorts of eye-opening exotic excursions that tend to stick with you long after touching down in your home country: chillin’ with wild penguins on Boulder Beach, the southernmost tip of any continent save for Antarctica, had the team of high-flying skaters marching among the flightless; a safari in Johannesburg as the team rolled through the wild in a cage while the big cats were free to roam in their natural habitat.
Click the furocious creature to watch the complete "South AfriCONS" trip edit.
The safari itself was populated by lions with a deadly history. “Two of the lions definitely killed people before, but it’s not their fault. It’s in their nature,” photographer Jon Coulthard says. The pride is out there licking their chops, just waiting for you to slip. Given the opportunity, they will kill again. Sound familiar? Observing these fearsome hunters, it almost seems like the CONS team stumbled upon an analogue to every skateboarder’s mentality. Everything, right down to our aggressive terminology, is suggestive of animal instinct. It’s not our fault, though, it’s just in our nature.
Grab a copy of issue 152 for full commentary and captions by Aaron Herrington himself.