"It was a frigid winters eve, and 2 best friends were sitting at the local saloon drinking beer out of a cowboy boot as is tradition in Calgary Alberta, when they saw a commercial on the local television advertising cheap flights to Taiwan. “Where the fuck is Taiwan?” asked Ryan Spate, an under educated corn farmer from Taber, Alberta. Wes Fleming, a dickies wearing and hard working plumber from Cochrane replied “I think its somewhere in Africa.” The drunken bafoons looked outside at the horse carriages struggling to pull their moonshine carts through the piles of snow and ice, and without further hesitation said “Lets go.” and “Yee haw.” They purchased tickets, worked hard for a few months, and before they knew it were on their way to Africa.
Ryan and Wes arrived in Taiwan absolutely stunned. Neon lights, Chinese writing and local food carts as far as the eye could see, the smell of deep fryers cooking indescribable messes of exotic African food. Ryan and Wes purchased what one African local called “Shao lom bo.” Which they later learned were dumplings. For only $2 Canadian they were in heaven. It would be the staple food of the trip. Bewildered by the world of polar opposites that surrounded them, Ryan and Wes ventured out into the urban jungle that lay before them skateboards under their feet, cell phones in hand, and filmed for 18 days straight. Never before had they been presented with this opportunity to skate a land so foreign and filled with endless spots that seemed like they were built for skateboarding. Wes and Spate were determined to film a promotional video for their shop sponsor they were clinging on to by the skin of their teeth, Shredz skateshop. By some miracle of fate they met a friendly Taiwanese man by the name of Xaipai (Shapai.) stunned by the skill Ryan presented on his skateboard and bewildered by Wes’ struggle to land even the simplest of tricks, Xapai decided to follow on the adventure and film the video on a proper camera, and with skill. They met in Kaohsiung, and ventured onward through the cities of Taichung and Taipei. It was a blur of scenic beauty, unbelievably friendly and hospitable people, an incredibly frustrating language barrier, amazing spots, greasy food, and piles of dumplings.
Before they knew it their adventure was done and it was back to the land of prohibition and straw cowboy hats. Wes and Spate are now still happily sponcored by their beloved family at Shredz shop and await their return to Taiwan to film “shao lam bo, return of the dumpling.” The sequel to this epic adventure. Stay tuned....
A huge thank you to Xaipan, Juicy, Isun, Allan, Ales, and many others for making this video possible. Also, a huge thank you to Rollin, and Overlord for keeping the scene in Taiwan alive and thriving.
Words by Wes Fleming
Video Edited by Zach Creighton