HAMLIN DEHART LEWIS BMX SUMMERMEMORIES PHL 1 RD
23 Jan 2015

etnies Summer Memories: At Home with Chase Dehart

Dehart, Hamlin and Benny L. reminisce about their summer exploits...

etnies

Words and photos by Rob Dolecki

Being that it’s currently the middle of winter throughout the northern hemisphere, and polar vortexes seem to be a weekly occurrence, now is as good a time as ever to reflect on last summer and all the action that makes the season so good. Six months ago, when the solstice pendulum was swinging on the warmer end of the seasonal spectrum, Tony Hamlin and Benny L. spent a week chilling at Chase D.’s in the NJ ‘burbs of Philly, while taking care of some filming duties for the upcoming etnies ‘Chapters’ full-length video. The following interviews are a little reminiscing about all the barbeques, traveling, and of course, bike riding during that time and the entire season.

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Benny, cooling off with an over ice in Center City.

Benny L

What was your favorite summer memory from 2014?

Chilling in Tokyo with the #abovebelow crew. We were riding this perfect ledge spot on the top of a bridge at sunset with a few beers while the skyline became lit up around us.

What was the least favorite?

The last day of the Mongoose jam at Woodward. I'd been completely sober for five weeks until the last day, when Pete Sawyer convinced me to celebrate! The eighteen hours traveling home was horrendous, but thankfully made easier by Kyle Baldock's very generous offer of sharing a chill-out sweet in Philly airport!

Was this summer more of a vacation or a working summer?

Always a vacation! I travel a lot with "work" but it very rarely ever feels like it. I love what I do and the people and places I get to see!

What did you like best about summer when you were a kid in school?

Riding all day, every day! I started off riding trails, so we would spend all summer digging, riding and then having BBQs before riding street in the night.

Now that you're older, what’s changed?


A lot less trails, ha, ha! I have a gift for knocking my teeth out on them. Pretty much everything is the same for me; just some of the faces on bikes have changed.

Would you have the best summer ever but then not be able to remember any of it, or have an ordinary summer and be able to remember everything you did?

The summer I could never remember! A lot of people tell me to keep a diary as I will forget the things I do. But I feel living in the moment and letting things fall where they may to be the best option. Besides, who knows how incriminating that diary could be a few years down the line!

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Benny, alcohol-free crooked 180 in Dirty Jersey.

"I love big cities, and to be able to explore two of the busiest this year has been a dream come true!"

-Ben Lewis

You've been on the road non-stop this year. How many days did you spend home last summer? 

In the summer, very few! Maybe a couple of days a month at most, and they would always be spent getting myself back in shape for the next trip. I rarely get a chance to ride or enjoy my favourite things about Liverpool in the summer.

What's been your favorite destination?

New York! Staying in Brooklyn for the first time and getting to explore the city every day with the Animal Bikes crew as our tour guides was an amazing experience.

Was this past summer the time of year you traveled the most or least in 2014?

This was my busiest ever, with 'Holy Fit', #abovebelow and the Etnies video all going on. As well as my personal projects such as #thefullcab and various contests around the world too! Shit got hectic real fast! I'm looking forward to taking it a bit easier at the start of this year, but can't wait for another busy summer!

What were the best summer BBQs? 

I think my favourite was one in Nashville at Corey Martinez's. It was the last #abovebelow trip and I'd just fucked myself that day on a switch crank, so I knew I was done for the trip. I was having a carefree evening with lots of beers and meat whilst sitting round a fire with me mates! 

Anything on the summer bucket list you got done riding, and non-riding-wise?

My three favourite where:

-Travelling round Europe on trains for hours upon hours. I got to travel across Poland a few times and down into Bratislava on various comfort level trains, ha ha! Cheers to Mycek and Catherine for making those two happen.

-Swimming in a lake in Nashville. There are not many days in England when it's warm enough to actually go for an outdoor swim! And when you're on a trip it's rare to actually get the spare time to go and relax!

-Just chilling in New York City in the evening. I love big cities, and to be able to explore two of the busiest this year has been a dream come true! Thanks to all of my sponsors and friends for making it possible!

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Just chilln' down by the river.

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Ben, floating in a sea of Jersey asphalt while probably dreaming of swimming in a Nashville lake.

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Chase D keeping the patching skills sharp.

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"You got no lady fingers, fuzz buttles, snicker bombs, church burners, finger blasters, gut busters, zippity do das, or crap flappers?" Chase, post-Fourth of July celebration with a new line at an old local spot.

"I'd be a carnival ride operator, like Joe Dirt."

-Chase Dehart

Chase Dehart

What was your favorite summer memory from last year?

Being there for Dak winning Silver and Hawk winning Gold in X-Games.

What was the least favorite?

I got a gash across my retna real bad mid-summer. Doctor said he couldn't guarantee it would be 100% again; just had to wait it out. I kept it low key; I couldn't see out of it for like two months. It was just a blur, then all of a sudden it was back to normal.

Was last summer more of a vacation or a working summer?

I traveled a good amount and stayed home a good amount; a few times I had people come into town for a week or so, like the etnies team. Then had the etnies East Coast Scout It Out tour, so even when I was home I was trying to work as much as I could, if you can even call it work- you know what I mean, though.

What did you like best about summer when you were a kid in school?

Just having no school. I dropped out of school when I was 15; pretty sure every kid's favorite part of summer is having no school, so I gave myself a permanent summer.

Now that you're older, what’s changed?

Everything has changed; if nothing changed that'd be pretty bad, ha ha. I didn't really ride bikes when I was younger; I started riding when I left school. When I was in school I was real young, so at the time I'd just run around with my friends, do stupid shit walking around the neighborhood at night, skateboard, play hockey and other sports; can't remember much else. Actually who am I kidding- I still do all that.

Would you rather have a job working as a lifeguard or have a job working as a carnival ride operator?

A lifeguard at the beach, or like the local pool? The local pool I wouldn't mind, I guess, because I don't like to go in the ocean. But I mean both jobs suck; you're just sitting around watching people have a good time. I'd be a carnival ride operator, like Joe Dirt.

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Dehart making William Whipper proud.

Would you have the best summer ever but then not be able to remember any of it, or have an ordinary summer and be able to remember everything you did?

I'd like to remember; I don't even ever get black out drunk because I hate the feeling of not knowing what's going on or being in control of what happened. But really, I have a bad short memory anyway. I don't remember shit most the time, so I guess it doesn't matter; might as well have the best summer.

Travel anywhere good last summer? What was your favorite destination?

This is what I mean, ha ha. I can't really remember where I went this summer; for like two months I was traveling non-stop and I can't remember where to. I'm sure California; that's usually the best place I go. I like home and the East Coast, so nothing comes to mind that was my favorite other than Cali.

Was this past summer the time of year you traveled the most or least?

I'm not sure if the most, but I definitely traveled a lot or had people stay with me the whole time. I feel like this year a lot of people traveled to the East Coast, so I was home for that. But I also remember getting home from trips and then having to leave right away a lot; Woodward, Austin, the etnies tour, L.A., Tennessee. I can't think of what else right now, but it was busy for a few months.

Best summer BBQs?

I didn't go to any BBQs this year; I was pretty low-key this summer as far as partying goes. I moved this summer, so I was busy doing that when I was home too; if I partied, I just went to a bar for the night. Actually, yeah I did- on the 4th of July I went to a BBQ. It wasn't the best; tried fighting some dude pretty early in the day and was in a mood after that. I played can-jam and washers though; those games are awesome.

Anything on the summer bucket list you got done riding, and non-riding wise?

Riding-wise, I just did my best to ride as much as I could and especially on trips and do anything needed, just to stay focused. That's always my goal; my eye set me back a bit like dead in the summer, but it was so hot anyway i wasn't missing much. Non-riding-wise I just am a father, honestly. I don't mean to sound boring, but if I'm not riding or doing other hobbies, I'm being be the best father I can be and making sure my son has a nice place to live and anything he needs. It doesn't come easy and is constant work, but it's the most satisfying feeling you can have.

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Tony blessing two Philly residents with some summer entertainment.

"I've been on summer vacation for the last 7 years!"

-Tony Hamlin

TONY HAMLIN

What’s your favorite memory from last summer?

I'm going to say my favorite part was the Kink Bikes "Turndown the Suck" tour. The whole crew was together and it was reckless.

What was the least favorite?

Probably how mild it was temperature-wise. This was great for riding, but it didn't feel like summer. I love days of just cliff-jumping and the beach, which there was minimal this year.

Was this past summer more of a vacation or a working summer?

I've been on summer vacation for the last 7 years!

What did you like best about summer when you were a kid in school?

Riding all summer with my friends with no obligations, which is basically how I am still living. Ha, ha, ha.

Now that you're older, what’s changed?

The crowd of close friends I ride with is dwindling fast, and I now have to wait till around 5 or 6 PM for people to ride with.

Would you rather have a job working as a lifeguard or have a job working as a carnival ride operator?

Lifeguard all day! Dude, you get to kick it on the beach and look at babes; thats way doper then a carny. Plus I'd have to take a hammer to my grill in order to pull the carny gig off.

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Line closer by Tony; you'll have to wait for 'Chapters' to see the wizardry in its entirety.

Would you have the best summer ever but then not be able to remember any of it, or have an ordinary summer and be able to remember everything you did?

Best summer ever for sure, because that just sounds like a classic blackout, and with all blackouts you don't remember what you did but you know you had a good time.

Travel anywhere good last summer? 

Brighton, England for Brighton Ain't Ready was my favorite place traveled to this summer. Even thought this was my fourth time there, I think this was definitely the best. Everyday was 75 degrees and sunny, the locals were amazing, the flat was amazing, and I made a lot of new friends! Perfect trip amongst a bunch of debacles.

Was last summer the time of year you traveled the most or least?

The most traveled for sure. I feel like I was never home and that makes summer fly by.

Best summer BBQs?

Fuck, everyday is a BBQ in the summer. If you ain't throwing something on the grill with friends, you're fucking up. Any Sunday on Shawna and Ryan's porch was always the best and a good end to a weekend.

Anything on the summer bucket list you got done riding, and non-riding wise?

Kept the dream alive and had fun while doing it. I'll take that is check.

Which is better, surfing the Jersey shore in July, or December?

December! My 5mm suit is nice and warm and the lineup is usually pretty thin. Seriously, winter surfing is the best; now if we could just get some more damn waves.

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The things people do for Instagram clips- Tony getting a real taste of some real Philly DIY 'crete.

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Slattery coppin' some FDR Insta-shine.

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"Your camera can make phone calls?!"

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"Wazzup!"

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Just cruising the mall during our summer vacation.

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Mr. Geoff Slattery, making the most of the couple of days spent riding with the crew.

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