Memoirs of a Team Manager With Lance Conklin

Lance Conklin

It is quite possible that there will be a moment in your life where you will be forced to rise to the occasion and become a hero. If you find yourself in the position of team manager in charge of a couple of vans full of skateboarders, that moment might come sooner than you think. This issue Lance Conklin tells a harrowing tale of being in such a situation. Lance was team manager of 88 Footwear at the time of the incident.

Lance Conklin: I was team manager for 88 Footwear at the time and we were going on a tour in Canada for No Limits Distribution. On that tour was Kris Markovich, the Don Nguyen, Corey Duffel, JT Aultz. We flew to Toronto, and No Limits had set us up with this RV. The RV was delivered to the hotel first thing in the morning. It was a little older; it was like your family style RV. They also hooked us up with a Ford Bronco as a chase vehicle. We went and did one demo in Toronto and the next day we started on our way to do another demo. We were just outside Toronto and I was driving the Bronco behind the RV. I saw this puff of smoke. When they pulled over they were like, “Ah something happened. “ I got into the RV and I saw a flames coming up under the windshield. I’ve been working on old cars and I know quite a bit about cars and I knew that if this thing was on fire, I had to get everyone the fuck out of there real fast because that thing will go up. This was really early in the morning so these dudes weren’t moving too quickly. I was like, “Oh shit! Get the fuck out of here! Get the fuck out of the RV!” They didn’t realize how fast that the thing was going to burn. In an elapsed time of about 5 minutes this thing was engulfed in flames. Flames were shooting up like 20 feet in the air. I was grabbing everyone’s bags and throwing them out and grabbing people and pushing them out”. JT was still sleeping. He was like, “Whaaaaat, I’ve got to move?” I was like, “GET OUT”. He is one of those guys who’s not a morning person. The cops had to shut the whole highway down. There were cops, fire engines; you name it they were there. And you had all these skateboarders on the shoulder with all their bags, all their equipment. When the thing was burning, Corey Duffel was going into this frenzy; he was doing this rock and roll thing, “YEAH BURN TO THE GROUND!” He didn’t have a care in the world. We got everything out, in, tops, two-minutes. This was the start of our tour. The only thing we lost was all of our beer. They stocked the thing full of Molson; we lost all the best Canadian Beer. That was the biggest loss, that and the RV. The whole thing about being Team Manager when stuff like this happens, everyone looks at you. You’re the guy. You may be the guy partying with everyone and hanging out but you are still the guy that is in charge. “Hey man, when are we going to go eat? Hey man, where’s our hotel? Hey man this place sucks!” Every fucking two minutes you’ve got to deal with that shit. I am like, “I am responsible for all you assholes.” Anyone who wants to be a Team Manager, you are going to be an adult baby sitter. It’s not just the young ones, I’ve dealt with cry babies that are in their thirties.

Lance Conklin

Lance Conklin Single handledly saves the entire 88 Footwear Team

Lance Conklin

Photo: Lance Conklin

Lance Conklin

Lance Conklin

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