China: Hobo Daze 2016

All Good participated in this year’s Hobo Daze in Xichong, Beach, China with our distributor Eric Lai. Hobo Daze is a gathering of skateboarders, surfers and influentials from all around China to a super chill little beach village north east of Shenzhen for 3 days of skateboarding, surfing, hiking (sometimes camping) and the best vibes China has to offer. 

 

Mark Dillon (All Good marketing) and I made the journey from San Francisco to Hong Kong on a red-eye. Our van taking us over the border into mainland China didn’t leave until 11:00am so we checked our bags into a locker and made our way from the airport to Morrison Hill skatepark on Hong Kong island at 7:00am. Skating after 12 hours of sitting middle-seat-economy is challenging but the honest-to-goodness stoke of being at this well-known spot for the first time, minutes after landing got our blood pumping and made for an invigorating session that pretty much ignited our excitement for the weekend we had embarked on.

The next morning was our ride into Xichong Beach and Hesou village. This would be our home-base for the next few days. Hesou has recently transformed itself into China’s version of a Santa Cruz, Arcata, Sayulita, surf-village type vibe. The locals are super tanned, surf-bleached hair and it seems like most of their days are composed of riding a moped down to the beach to check waves, skate the local cement bowl or mini, eat at a restaurant called 1984 and skate some obstacles on a basketball court at night. Rent is cheap in the village, like super cheap, we were told by Eric that you can basically rent a hotel building and be a hotelier for around $4,000 for a year. This village has the potential to be the trailblazer for Chinese surf/skate beach town culture and it seems like the locals realize that and are focused on building the scene nice.

 

Saturday morning was the main event for Hobo Daze. 40 to 50 Hobo Daze participants converged at the Surf Inn in the center of town for what was meant to be a 2-hour hike to the top of Xichong mountain. For our sponsorship of the event we supplied promotional pre-season Jim Phillips x All Good re-usable trash bags and trash picker-uppers. The trash bags and picker-uppers were handed out and we set-off on our group hike. I was already aware of the litter issue in China and that was the main motivator for us participating in this project. When we got to the beach with litter on our collective minds, it just becomes an eye-opening realization of just how bad the litter problem is. Every single person on the group hike went full-steam into ridding the beach and trail of trash and it was truly inspiring for Mark and I to witness but I also believe that it was inspiring to the Hobo Daze participants. Honestly, we barely made a dent in ridding the beach and trail of litter but every single person that participated goes back to their daily lives with the experience of conservation and the desire to participate in more conservation. 

 

Ok, back to the hike… it was 90 degrees with 90% humidity, Mark and I estimate that the summit of the mountain is about 1000 meters’ elevation. We begin the ascent from the beach and the sweat just starts to pour. We maybe ascended around 100 steps, I look down and I’m soaked head-to-toe. It looked super chill from the beach but this hike was proving to be a bit more serious than we anticipated. An hour and a half later we finally make it to the top with all of Hobo Daze and pour celebratory bottled water down our backs, take panoramic photos and dread the descent back down to the beach. When we did finally make it down to the beach we come to learn that one of the participants was so moved by the sheer amount of litter on the beach that he opted not to go on the hike and stayed and cleaned as much as he could with bigger trash cans and some sort of motorized tricycle trailer motorcycle thing. He actually did put a dent into the beach litter and it was rad and humbling to see somebody take passionate immediate next-level action to the issue. The rest of the afternoon was spent chilling at the beach, riding some very small but fun waves and getting ready for the evening activities. 

 

Saturday night jumped off with a skate session at the basketball court in the middle of town. Arrow from Hong Kong, Johnny (Nike SB) and a really good Vagabond Skateboards rider from Guangzhou we’re keeping us all entertained with some pretty consistent skateboarding on some fun but less than stellar obstacles. The heat and humidity is relentless in South China at this time of year so skating with any sort of intensity is commendable. 

After the session we worked our way over (half of a block) to Surfer Inn for a video of local surfers, drinks and a prize giveaway. We gave away a brand new All Good “Fish Fillet” surfboard. The winner was so hyped, I’m sure he’s shredding it right now.

 

We planned to wake up at dawn and get some solid hours of surfing in for Sunday morning. We got to the beach around 6:30am and unfortunately the waves we’re leaving us with lots to be desired. Our objective was to get some clips on the All Good “Fish Fillet” for the Hobo Daze video, however mother nature’s plan was to deliver itsy-bitsy-tiny waves and tease us with the occasional knee-high set every hour and a half or so… We didn’t travel half-way around the world to complain about waves. Grabbed some logs, ditched the leashes and paddled out for some laughs. We had so much fun we stayed in the water for over 4 hours. Nothing to write home about but fun times and good little rides for sure. We worked up an appetite for reals and hit up Secret Spot Café for some beach pizza and beers. Nothing compares to pizza after surfing, it’s like hot chocolate after the slopes. As Sunday was winding down and Hobo Daze participants were making their departures back to the hustle-and-bustle cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Mark and I found it hard to leave this little surf village. So we didn’t. We decided to book another night, get another morning of surfing in and relish in the slow pace that’s so atypical for anything in China. 

 

Monday morning the village was crickets. Motivated to stack a few clips we got up at the crack of dawn, walked down to the beach verbally pleading each step of the way for good surf. We get to the beach and it’s “Welcome to Flatsville, USA” I mean China... So bummed, but the bright side is- we were the only ones paddling out and all of the waves were ours for our foreign enjoyment. Mark, Eric and I raked ‘em all in for a few hours. Super small but nobody’s complaining when it’s 83-degree water on a Monday morning. We ended the early morning session with a coffee at Surfer Inn and hit the road back to Shenzhen concluding our Hobo Daze adventure. Another epic year with Hobo Daze. This event continues to grow and inspire the rest of China to get outdoors and enjoy it. Coincidently that’s exactly what All Good is all about!

 

 

 

 

Words by: Jason Maggio

Photos by: Mark Dillon

Xichong is an area just north east of Shenzhen, China.

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