In the summer of 1999, a team of four skateboarders and two bands embarked on a life changing tour. The goal was to inspire kids in rural areas by exposing them to skateboarding and music they wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to see in person. Everyone on board grew up in small towns themselves so the tour was affectionately dubbed “Hicks On Sticks”.
The Hicks on Sticks tour was the brainchild of Ian Comishin, former owner of PM Skateboards, a grassroots Canadian skateboard company. Ian currently owns and operates Kebbek Skateboards out of Montreal, Canada.
Towing a 5,000 pound portable skateboard park behind an old van with failing brakes, the young team traveled nearly 3,000 km through the mountains of Western Canada putting on eight shows. The only financial sponsor dropped out shortly before the tour began but plans went ahead. Longstanding friendships were inevitably tested by the long hauls and lack of money.
The film features the skateboarding of the late Canadian legend Josh Evin, along with Eugene Voykin, Mike Evans, and Shane Wallace. It also tracks the dramatic peaks and valleys of Comishin’s skateboarding company. Combining original footage of the tour with old home videos and recent interviews, the film spans two decades in the lives of these young men.
“Hicks On Sticks” is the second feature film by emerging Canadian filmmaker Soren Johnstone. He has been working on the project since 1999, when he traveled with and documented the tour. In 2006 Johnstone received a grant from the BC Arts Council to help continue working on the film, following up and conducting interviews with all of the key players.
“It’s not just a film about skateboarding, music or the tour. This film is an honest documentation of the most pivotal 20 years of thier lives.” said Johnstone.
“Hicks On Sticks” took home the award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking’ at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival. The film features an original score composed and performed by Canadian artist, Aaron Read.