The summer of 2015 saw a crew of Sector 9ers including Jackson Shapiera, Louis Pilloni, Marc Ferullo, and Nick Sacks, traveling to Russia for a few days of skating and culture with long time Sector 9 Skateboards distributor, Capital Distribution.

“When we first arrived to Moscow we did some exploring before finding a late lunch. We then headed to the historic Red Square for some flatground skating before boarding a midnight train headed to St. Petersburg. When we got on the train the Capital Distribution guys welcomed us to Mother Russia with multiple glasses of Jim Beam and apple juice. When the train arrived in St. Petersburg none of us had gotten nearly enough sleep, a theme that was maintained throughout our entire time in Russia!

It was then off into the city of St. Ptersburg to visit Traektoria Boardshop and Quiksilver Russia crew before heading to a biathlon track on the outskirts of town. They had some runs on a smooth, curvy, and closed road that ended up being really fun. Our wheels were shredded so the crew went out into the town for a nice dinner and a few drinks. As it occasionally does, a few drinks turned into a night of drinks, and skating around the historic city center. A group of local skaters took us for a tour through the city which started at the Church on Spilt Blood, a church built on the site where former Tsar Alexander II was killed in the late 1800’s. As the story goes he was riding along in his carriage when an assassin threw a grenade at him. The grenade only stopped the carriage and didn’t hurt the Tsar, who got out of the vehicle to confront and reprimand the anarchist conspirator. While this was taking place, a second assassin took the opportunity to detonate his bomb, killing himself and mortally wounding Alexander II.

After barely any sleep again, it was off to the train station to head back to Moscow. Once we got back to Moscow Jacko and I got the chance to head to a local ski jump hill called Kant, that has a t-bar to bring you back to the top. The local skaters showed up in force and rallied runs until it was time to head to the next session. Next stop was the famous Gorky Park! Gorky Park contains various lakes, fountains, carousels, grass fields, flowers, miles of trails, a skatepark, and more. The park stretches for miles and has chairs set up all along the river bank for people to lounge and enjoy summer. Once everyone showed up for the instructional freeride, so did the weather. It started to rain buckets with thunder and lightning sending skaters fleeing for dry land. Lots of people were disappointed so I decided to show them that a little rain never hurt anyone, and is actually the best way to learn how to slide! Within a few minutes of Jacko and I taking runs in the pouring rain, the rest of the Russians followed suit and were soon skating, smiling, soaked and stoked!

After the group skate, we headed to a café in the park that had been rented out so we could party. We had way too much fun with all of the locals, various Sector 9 videos were projecting on the wall, and to top it off there were prizes and giveaways for all of the local crew. Jacko also challenged, and beat, all-comers in an arm wrestling match. This concluded what was a short but spectacular trip to Russia. The Russians were some of the friendliest and most outgoing people I have run into during my travels. The culture we experienced was amazing, and the cities were beautiful. Sector 9 ????? ??????! ! (Sector 9 loves Russia)”

-Louis Pilloni