Back in 2015 I was lucky enough to tag along with the Birdhouse team while they were on their European Vacation Tour. After the team flew into London, we explored the city that night before we hit the road bright and early the next morning. Before getting to NASS, we were able to do some sightseeing and street skating in Bristol. I recently caught up with Aaron “Jaws” Homoki to hear about his experience on the road to NASS. Check out Part 1 of the Birdhouse European Vacation tour, via Ride Channel here.
The UK was the first stop on the 2015 Birdhouse European Vacation Tour. We hit up Bristol and Bath before we made our way to the NASS festival in Somerset. What did you think of the street spots we hit up in Bristol before?
I remember the street spots out in Bristol were amazing. Lots of good spots that were close by each other and no one was kicking us out of them. Everyone was hyped and getting tricks.
We also checked out Stonehenge on the way to NASS—any thoughts on that experience?
I never thought I would see Stonehenge! I remember looking at them in books as a kid and always wanting to go there. When I saw them they were bigger than I expected but I also thought it was cool we could drink beer and hang out there.
Tell me a little bit about the Royal Crescent.
So some of the perks of riding for the Birdman is that we get to be fancy sometimes! Tony hooked us up with a amazing hotel in Bath that was like a 16th century castle. They had a crazy garden and the best tea ever.
For a lot of the young British scene, contests are a big way to gain exposure/sponsors and jumpstart their careers. For you, what role did contests play in your career? What are your thoughts on the growth of current contests like Street League or the X-Games? Thoughts on skating in the Olympics?
I think contest are a great way to get your name out there; if you do well in a contest then people will take note. Contests definitely helped me get to where I'm at and after doing well in a couple I was able to skate in the X-Games; that’s the biggest contest I have done and I have [placed] 2nd and 3rd in them. I’ve never won one but I'm happy with how I have done in them. I think that with the growth of contests and skateboarding being in the Olympics there's gonna be a lot of new kids that "train" for that. But in the end, it’s just gonna make skateboarding even bigger and that's a great thing.
In terms of the course itself, what did you think about the overall layout? A lot of the ramps were also catered towards BMXing. How does the experience of skating bigger ramps with massive roll-ins and flyboxes differ from a more traditional “street” course?
I loved the layout of the course. I enjoy the big fly boxes and doing fly outs and all that. It's a lot more fun to me then skating a ledge or manual pad. That course was a lot different than a normal "street" course but that's what makes it fun!
What about the vert ramp session? For those people out there that haven’t had the opportunity to see Tony skate a vert ramp, how would you describe it? Thoughts on Ben Raybourn taking a guest run in the middle of the chaos?
For the people that did not get to see the vert session, watching Tony Hawk skate it is like watching a magical horse running through a field gracefully. It's amazing. And when Ben dropped in with the blue mask and a beer....that was a sight to see. Made us all laugh!
Overall, what were your thoughts on the festival and what would you highlight about it?
I think NASS is one of the funnest events to go to! With the music, the skating, the beers, all in all it was epic. My favorite part though was the vert session!! Watching Ben skate with the mask was amazing and the highlight for me!
Catch Aaron and the rest of his buddies in Buster and Hunter O’Shea’s new independent film, A Happy Medium 4, coming out soon!
Words: Elliott Wright