We just want to give a huge thank you to the people from Ryders Eyewear. They hooked up the office with some really awesome computer/gaming glasses. These glasses have been developed to help enhance your vision, but at the same time protect your eyes from harmful high energy blue light. If you are interested in getting yourself a pair head here. They are perfect for people that spend the majority of their work week in front of a computer.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Friday, December 20, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
In the spring of 2013, Landyachtz purchased a 15 seat van, and what not a better way to break it in, then a mission down the pacific coast. The trip consisted of Nick Breton, Travis Craig, Dave Rudgers, Kyle Martin, Jon Huey taking photos, and Dave Leslie on the video. Some of the photos you see below are those that were featured in the Breaking in the Van artical from the SkateSlate early summer edition, plus a few extras that weren't included. The footage captured on this trip was injected into different product videos, but there was still many hours of behinds the scenes footage, that had yet to be edited and seen by the public. Check out this awesome 10 minute video that shoes the chaos and awesomeness that goes on during these road trips!
Breaking in the van SkateSlate Article- Here
The Breaking in the van crew.
Photo: Travis Craig.
Travis and Dave not wasting anytime.
Photo: Jon Huey
The boys taking advantage of the remote back country roads.
Photo: Jon Huey
Kyle Martin made this corner his slave!
Photo: Jon Huey
Here is why.
Photo/Gif: Jon Huey
Dave Rudgers and the Loco in their natural habitat.
Photo: Jon Huey
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Michael Brooke, has created a movement, which he hopes one day will help bring joy and happiness to some of the most volatile and dangerous areas around the world. Whether it's the ongoing geopolitical war in the Middle East or if it's the rough neighborhoods of Houston, Texas, he has found a way to help kids in these communities become more confident, and has given them an opportunity they would not otherwise have.
The foundation is called Longboarding for Peace. Michael first started off by flying to Israel with $10000 worth of gear for the local children to use. The major goal here was to help show this younger generation within these areas that there was no differences between Arabs, and Israelis and that we are all human beings and we should all get along. By having everyone working together, without the bias of religion, the children eventually learned to balance and also roll around on these boards, all with each other's help. Michael saw this amazing transformation and ever since has been on a path, sharing the importance of harmony and understanding, throughout the entire world. By giving these types of opportunities to less fortunate people around the world, Micheal hopes to decrease the amount of pain and suffering that goes unseen in parts of the world.
This is just one of many missions that Michael Brooke has accomplished recently, and we just want to say that we couldn't be happier to be involved with such an amazing cause. Longboarding for peace is only possible from donations so please go show them some support and e go follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Read more about Longboarding for Peace HERE
Here is a manifesto from the man himself.
Longboarding for Peace is a movement forward.
We embody the spirit of all that is good and pure about Longboarding.
We empower people to step on, step up and make great things happen in their communities.
We strive to increase joy and happiness, and decrease pain and suffering.
Our goal is to build a global Peace Army of 50,000 people.
Each of us will commit at least one act of kindness every single day.
This will generate over 20 million acts of kindness per year.
Through kindness, camaraderie and the true spirit of Longboarding,
we'll make the world a better place.
Check out some of the pictures of recent Longboarding for Peace trips.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
So how was your 2013 season?
2013 was great! I started the season knowing I didn't want to be overly competitive and just do the events I wanted to do. I also wanted to skate and get involved in some cool projects that would have more of a lasting effect than a World Cup Season would, I think what I mapped out worked great!
What were some of your favorite events this year?
This was my first year at Guajataka in Puerto Rico and that was a wild event! I've never seen a race course with that many people scattered on it before. Ponce in Puerto Rico was my kind of road too. One of those places where you’re just on the end of traction, hauling ass but not quite drifting. I even got to go back to Puerto Rico a second time in April to compete at a smaller event and get a better local feeling in San Juan, which was super cool too.
Back in North America, I had a blast at the 2 Maryhill events I attended, both the Festival of Speed and the She Ride. I also had an undeniably good time at the Mayhem of Danger Bay and Brittania. My favorite trip, hands down though was the road trip from Vancouver to Southern California and back for the Catalina Classic. Catalina is already on my to-do list for next year!
Did you go on any awesome trips?
Yes, aside from all the madness I just mentioned, the highlight from this year would have to be my trip to Israel with the Longboard girls crew!
Israel? What was happening there? How long were you there for?
I was there late August/early September with 13 other female riders and a production crew filming OPEN. The movie is directed by Daniel Eutera who was documenting our experiences exploring and skating throughout the country. There are a lot of fantastic downhill runs there, I had a blast and I skated pretty good when it was my turn on camera, so I'm excited to see how the video comes out.
What was your favorite part of that trip?
My favorite part of the trip was just the general van life that I am so accustomed to. I ended up driving quite a bit which is awesome, because I am a race car driver at heart. I get a lot of satisfaction in not only mapping out the skateable roads, but the ground I cover behind the wheel as well. We had some really cool locals showing us some great spots, I think the road that led to the sea of Galilei was my favorite spot to skate. Another cool thing about driving around living the van life, is that you get to see and hear a lot of history that way. I wasn't raised in a political family nor do I have ties to a region so it was interesting to see firsthand what was actually happening in Israel.
Also, on the way home I had an 8 hour layover in Rome. I was lucky enough to meet up with my new friend Mary, who happens to be an awesome Facebook fan. She picked me up with her brother and gave me an amazing tour of the Vatican City at midnight. That was quite the experience.
Did you smoke lots of shisha?
Lots, no, but on our day touring old Jerusalem a pack of us went to go get some coffee in the Arabic quarter and the guy there hooked us up with a hookah of his own special blend, it was delicious!
Did you enjoy all the prayers on the loudspeakers?
Enjoy? Not really, but it's not like it bothered me either. Being from Vancouver I'm pretty exposed to a wide range of cultures so it was just background noise even though come to think of it, I did have a rooftop moment with multiple loudspeakers and bells chiming that was rather epic.
What was the weather like there? Did you get a little sweaty in the leathers?
It was beyond hot! I flew straight to Israel from Southern California so I was pretty heat adjusted upon arrival, especially since the van I was driving around in got double as hot as the Israeli sun.
Plus, those who know me, know that I'm pretty much dressed head to toe in black all day, every day, so I was cracking jokes that I had been training for the heat my whole life. I tried to put on some lighter colors for filming though. When I wasn't skating I spent a lot of time in board shorts and tank tops; I won't skate anything serious without jeans and a t-shirt or my leathers, I guess it's a comfort thing but I also don't skate slow roads. You should have seen how much road rash all the other girls were getting on their hips and bodies. That’s what happens when you hit the pavement in short shorts and a small girly tee. I like going out and dressing up but when I'm on the roads I'm dressed for the occasion. The only leather skate I did we had to be at the hill around 5am so luckily it wasn't too hot yet. That was the desert run in the south, there's going to be some good footage there.
Did you go float in the Dead Sea? Do you float really well?
Yes!! The Dead Sea was awesome! With that road rash on all the girls I just spoke of it was quite the feat for most of them to get into the water. I just jumped in and watched them flinch as they entered the saltiest water they'd ever been in. Truth be told, all of these girls are all tough as nails and they turned out to be fine with it. I was expecting some screaming. You really do float there, it was an amazing experience just kind of hanging in the water and moving around wherever you wanted to go with very minimal effort from your arms or legs. I made the mistake of wiping my eyes with my hand very briefly and had to walk back to shore doing the blind walk where your eyes are closed and your hands are in front of you making sure you don't hit anything, it hurt so bad! We were there at 9am and the water was already so hot, I couldn't imagine what it would be like in the afternoon. I can tolerate insanely hot baths and showers but I don't think I'd want to be in mid-day.
Any sketchy moments while over there?
On board, the worst was when Marisa was filming a shot and there was a car slowly approaching her while she was bombing at high speed. We screamed and begged for it to stop because she was on course. No joke, this guy just straight up accelerated into Cami as she stepped in front of him. Luckily she didn’t get hit, but she was serious about stopping the car in its tracks. I've never experienced anything like that before. I guess the reason why the guy wasn’t going to stop was because it's 'common' for terrorist groups to use females in distress as a disguise on a roadside attack. Once the car stops then the real bad guys jump out of the bushes.
Still though, the sketchiest thing was the actual fact that we were there right when Obama was threatening to strike Syria, the neighboring country. In return, Syria warned they would 'Put Israel in flames' if the US Army did go forth with an attack. We were in the south while that was going on and we could hear the fighter jets practicing and monitoring the area, it is the loudest sound I have ever heard coming from the sky. It's like a drag racer beside you, but you can't see where the noise is coming from. Once you even hear the first whisper of the jet it is safe to say it is absolutely nowhere in your field of sight. After that you have this minute or so long hiss that just progressively gets louder and louder to the point of pretty much shaking the ground and then gradually declines again. Hearing something faster than the sound barrier was an unbelievable experience and a little frightening at times. I remember whispering to Amanda in our room one night, no matter what happened we would get home together, even though as a rule of thumb no matter where you are, you follow the vibes of the locals. Fortunatley for us they weren't really all that worried.
What did the locals think of you guys skating?
I think they were pretty stoked, they have a fairly big scene there. Funny thing is, when a bunch of girls show up to your local spot and shred it so hard, probably harder than anyone else, you’re going to have a good time watching it. Aside from skate locals, I don't think there were really any problems with citizens minus that one ordeal with Marisa, usually people just want to watch because they are curious what you are up to.
Did you go check out where Jesus was born?
Nope, but we did go to the western wall in Jerusalem where many travel to say prayers and leave a page of prayers behind for their loved ones. We did get to hang out in the sea of Galilei (which is actually a fresh water lake) where Jesus walked on water. Foreigners are forbidden there but skateboarders are forbidden in a lot of places. We saw a beautiful sunset there.
Did you skate with Jesus?
No, unfortunately he didn't appear while we were in the country. I did however, have a couple really good soul jams, where I just skated on my own in my mind and enjoyed every minute of it.
Did you shotgun any beers while you were there? Did you shotgun beers with Jesus?
Oh man, I didn't really drink on that trip so I didn’t really have the opportunity to hit a shotgun, the boys might be a little bummed to find that out. We only really went out drinking one night there and I was the driver so I wasn't drinking anyways. We did however, get Michaela, the sweet little grommet of the trip wasted that night, and her shy little attitude disappeared a little bit after the fact calling the evening a great success.
Did you skate in any place that you really shouldn’t have been skating?
Swimming in the sea of Galilei was the actual only forbidden place we entered. The dancers and freeriders got to skate on a rooftop in old Jerusalem that had the most amazing view of the city behind them, the New York Times used that roof top for their future Israel piece and as far as I know, no skateboard has ever been up there before.
Who had the worst bail on the trip? What happened?
The worst bail that I saw with my own eyes was Jenna Russo from Australia, she is one of the coolest chicks ever, seriously. Anyways I was shuttling a run at a downhill spot we had been filming at all morning so when the second van of girls showed up wanting to skate I had no problem getting behind the wheel for them. Jenna just kind of miscalculated how fast this one left was and smacked the pavement with her t-shirt rolled up resulting in a gnarly belly rash, her belly button looked like an eyeball on a face after that. Another super bummer bail was Amanda going down on one of the first shots of the first day when someone took a bad line shutting down in front of her. She was wearing jean shorts and hit some gravel on the side of the road basically eliminating the skin from one of her thighs, it's a good thing she had her G-forms on to protect her knee caps. She absolutely killed it for the rest of the trip considering what was lingering on her leg, you'd never know by her performance how hurt she was.
What was your Israel set ups?
I brought 2 boards with me. My go-to downhill set up is a Wolfshark on medium wheelbase, precision grizzlies, biggie hawgs and yellow barrel venom bushings top and bottom front and back. For cruising around the streets I had my super stock, super awesome ripple ridge with me.
If you could sum up your Israel trip in one word, what would it be, besides awesome, cool, amazing.
It might sound corny, but OPEN. Going to Israel meant I was going to confront situations and ideals face to face and potentially uncover information that could turn me into a believer or holder of faith or an activist or who knows? Anything. There was just a potential to turn me into something vs. all the other places I've gone to skate before that were just hills with no real century old underlying issues conflicting the roads. It was truly a rewarding experience. Obviously I didn't see Christ and maybe I didn't get to see some major issues of humanity up close, but I think the message that lays here is just that I was ready to see some things if I had to. Hard to explain.
We, or at least I live a blessed life via faith in my family and because of this I've never really felt threatened by anything, nor felt the need to look for that faith in someone or something else. For example, I can call home and MY Father is always there for me. To willingly place myself in a situation that could become uncomfortable was confirmation that I really did some growing up this year.
What’s in the future for Katie Neilson?
Who knows. I'm a family girl at heart and skating will always be with me but I'm getting old, my clocks starting to tick on occasion. For now I'm just trying to develop a solid base for that future and the first layers of that base are really starting to come together.
Who is your favorite girl skater?
Ooh tough one. Amanda Powell is an all-around hill killer. Another rider I really like after the Israel trip is Cindy Zhou she rips! On that note, I'm so freaking stoked Elena jumped on board the EH TEAM this year because she killed it, obviously, and totally has the right attitude to deal with everything. There aren't many girls on the Landyachtz team so I am super stoked that she is a part of it.
What are you most looking forward to, for the next season?
Um, just a continuation of what I am up to right now. One of my main goals for this season was just to have a good attitude amongst all the other girls. A lot of them are getting really fast but don't have a lot of competition experience yet. I just want to make sure that everyone maintained the awesome attitude that they did throughout this last season. The girls I started racing with aren't racing anymore for that exact reason and I think it's important for me to keep showing up to races and showing my support. I've gone plenty fast down plenty hills and I'm not worried about my capabilities, in fact I'm more comfortable with myself than I ever have been. It's just that I'm finally getting beat off start lines now and the women's field has reached a point where the start is really important. More than anything I just want to stay on my board and preach 'slow down before you are going to fast' so that as these fast girls get into heavier racing, they do it safely. I've been at this for a while now, I'm not going to fall in a race heat anymore and I don't want anyone to take me out either, that's why I'm a little selective with the events I participate in or how heavy I push off the start line. I've had some injuries that these girls haven't, and hopefully won't experience. Don't mistake me though, just because my interest isn't in being seen as the fastest doesn't mean I've lost my touch ;)
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Canadian Wilderness Expedition Day #1
Woke up at 7:30 am to Nick grinding some coffee beans in the kitchen. Still drunk from the night before, I staggered out of bed and began packing immediately. The Eh Team van swung through at 8 sharp to pick me up. Guff, Jacob, Yatesy, and Frankie all greeted me with an excited “Goodmorning Cunt!”. We ripped over to Charlie's place to pick him up before heading over to the legendary Bon’s for an awesome, cheap and delicious breakfast with crappy coffee. After Bon’s breaky we split and began the long voyage north on the Sea to Sky Highway. It was my first time on the gorgeous Sea to Sky and there were some of the most beautiful views I've ever seen! Mountains meet the ocean in the most spectacular way. The dense, low slung clouds seemingly consumed the mountain tops giving off a vibe of mystery.
Making a quick stop in Squamish to buy some flats of beer (Fuck man! Canada charges an arm and leg for booze. What the hell is the deal man!) and some brooms from the local hardware store and we are back on the road! As we approached Whistler I thought it was about time for a shotgun, this sudden “Shotgun!” call became a standard on the trip. Beautiful sights = Shotgunnism. We made a quick stop for a quick beer and a piss then back on the road!
Yatesy is the man when it comes to keeping on schedule. A short drive after the shotgun stop we make a detour at Ben Dubreuil’s to say “What's up!?”. Yup, that means another beer or three. While at Ben’s the sky opened up a little and wet the roads down. So we took a ride up this rad gnarly highway road and my ears kept popping around every hairpin. Fuck man this road was righteous!! Steep as fuck with tight hairpins. About half way up the road we entered those still low-hanging clouds. Fog all around, cold damp air engulfing us.We rip up this mountain and after a bit we stumble across a rad river with a massive log jam spanning the width. We burn out into the turn off, kick our shoes and socks off, roll up out pants and sprint to the water. A solid 13* Celsius and we are freezing in the pissing rain trying to make our way out onto the logs.
After a few minutes we decided this was too awesome of a place to not shotgun a beer. We throw back a beer, take a leak and run back to the van to blast the heat.
After a good time climbing and descending we enter a small mountain town that I can’t pronounce the name of. This town was in a valley surrounded with breath taking mountain views and a big raging river tearing through the heart of it.
The weather cleared and the sun started peeking through. We hit up the market to get dinner in order. After the market we split to find Charlie's mystery cabin in the woods. We got a little lost but Yatesy's internal GPS held it together [because our phones had zero service] and we found the way here. A delicious pasta, garlic bread and salad dinner was whipped up by Frankie and Yatesy [Thanks guys it was delicious!]. A few beers later, we were all nice and relaxed and enjoyin’ the view.
Guff was trying to nail down his knife throwing skills and Jacob and I attempted to fish in the lake (to no avail). The sky cleared briefly and we got a short view of the stars as the sky darkened. The temperature dropped with the setting sun and the Fireball kept us warm late into the night.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Start the day with a stroll through the streets waiting for Shan. When he turns up, he takes us for some food. Funny cause in the meantime while we waited for him, Jacob went and got bulk food and had a mini feast. On the menu, thanks to shan, was lamb hot noodle soup in a sweet little ally kitchen. Best way to start the day eh, big feed of good food.
Meet everyone in this place that's geographically the center strip of Beijing. We are starting our way towards the forbidden temple from the north. It's a killer hot day and everything is sticky! We set off and head south along the promenade and the sites of the Olympic Park and all it's stadiums are amazing. There's the Media Tower, the Water Cube, the Birds Nest and the accommodation built for all the high profile business associates comprises of 5 high-rise buildings, the 1st of which is twice the size and is oddly shaped. The 5 buildings together are meant to resemble a dragon swimming toward Tiananmen Square. The architecture is off the hook. It's been super busy as its a long weekend to celebrate the "Mid Moon". There's people out flying kites and riding bikes. It's great to see how passionate these people are about their culture.
We skate for what seems like kilometers. Hours pass. We pass the Drum Tower, The Emperor's Garden and end up at The Forbidden City. Back in the dynasty period women weren't allowed to leave the city to find a soulmate, they were considered the property of the emperor. If he wanted them, they had no choice. If he didn't, they spent their lives in solitude never to be wed. At the end of the period there was around 1000 women and girls living like this inside the walls. Most of them chose suicide or murder if they had fallen pregnant by the emperor, to protect their newborn daughter of living in those conditions.
We didn't get to Tiananmen Square because it's getting dark and we still had to visit the first longboard store in Beijing. This is where it started to get really interesting. As if it wasn't busy enough already on the roads, it's getting dark and there seems to be even more traffic, cars, susses bikes, carts and humans that just pop out for behind parked cars! That's another thing, car parks? Not likely! Wherever there's room, there's someone trying to force a spot, most times not even being off the road???? All this aside we belt into a shitty little alley and went right down the end. It was at this stage I would've felt uneasy if it wasn't for the company. The Longboard Store is a tiny little outfit with a shit load of gear. It's got a great variety of all boards, wheels and trucks. It was this that concreted the seriousness of the local scene here in Beijing. Great shop, great crew, great city!
Dinner is on the cards and its become part of the norm to expect something different. On tonights menu, Donkey! Fair dinkum. We were asked if we wanted to try organs or meat. Both Jacob and I were keen on meat but thought we'd sample a bit of donkey organs as well. We had Donkey meat soup, rotten egg that was cured in mud as a side, some beans, radish and slaw and a Donkey Intestine burger. Surprisingly, it all tastes pretty nice. I'd definitely try it all again!
More skating is on the cards after dinner and we head back toward the Olympic Park. They built an access road and a tunnel right in the middle as a means of accommodating the excess traffic for the Olympics and presently don't use it at all. This is Beijing's “secret” session spot as the locals put it. It's cool. Outta the way from prying eyes, and u can play longboards all night!
Get back to the hotel at 2am and after 3 days of skating in the longboard.cn Festival 2013 and some kilometers traveled turning wheels, we’re both cactus. Shower and hit the sack. Goodnight Irene!
Final day in Beijing and I'm thinking that I haven't seen this country to its full potential. There's so much out there that's assumed to be undiscovered gold. I hear of random stories from one group to the next of the surroundings of their individual cities. Good thing for me, I've made their acquaintance and we are now good friends. Offers have been thrown at us to come and visit them in their respective cities. Now it'd be stupid of me to share these places, I guess ya'll gonna have to see it as it gets uncovered by LY. I'd like for this to be the case anyway.
As I lay here in bed, listening to Jacob snore, I can't help but think of the good times that we've had here in Beijing. Joe and Shan from XWing distribution are throwing bulk dollar into the community of long boarding, spurring growth within the country, growth such as longboard.cn which is primely ran by our man K (Haohan). He represents both these brands well and together with a great support network, China's longboard scene is on the way to great things. It's already achieved so much in such a short time. It pays homage to its people, hard working at sustaining a lasting culture. These guys are the newest in this massive family of people that share a love of longboarding and its an absolute privilege to have spent this short but very intense look into their scene, their language, their culture, their country. Already lookin forward to the next time I get #dragonpitted with these guys.
Till then, it's been Niu Be!!! Xie Xie, zai jian! (...it's been awesome!!! Thankyou, goodbye)!
Photos by: Jacob Lambert
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Photos by: Jacob Lambert
After 20 hrs of traveling I arrive at Beijing International airport. The size of the city was hard to depict from the air as the pollution was the worst I’ve ever been witness too. I'd have to say the visibility is in the range of 150 meters, not an inch more. The thorough work that went into planning for a visa I was expecting a pretty full on time passing through customs. The first sign of how intense it was gonna be was the Heat Transfer u have to pass through, for what I don't know? The lineup is off the hook and it’s got to be in 85-90% humidity. Peeps everywhere. Guess it’s just a small look at what’s to come, at least this is somewhat organized!
Joe from XWing Distribution picks us up from an incredibly busy terminal. It's so spread out between the place you land and go through customs to the place you get your bags, then it's another massive hike to the car park. You wouldn't want to be late!
Is no so much of a drive to where our accommodation is for the night.One thing for sure is that the city is busy and is massive. There's no real structure of where to drive or who to follow. More of a case of every man for himself and to have eyes in the back of your head!
We meet some of the crew from the Chinese Downhill scene and with them is K, a young fella who really has his shit on lock down, the one behind longboard.cn. He takes us to some little, on the street, BBQ and we chow down on some of the local delicacies. He calls himself the "ordering king"! I’d say it’s a pretty fair assumption with the quality that's been laid before us.
Full and eager to hit the sack after a belly full of eats and beer, it's off to bed and tomorrow can't come soon enough!
Quality!! What a sleep! Really helps sleeping with a full belly! Comatose! Today we were to check out of our hotel and catch the train up to the Olympic Forest Park. The weather has unfortunately come across wet with a few more showers planned to set in over the course of the day. You'd think with some rain it’d cool things down. Quite the opposite. Moist and needing water we jam into the train. Epic, it's got AC! Winning. We rode the number 8 line that was new for the Olympics and the reasoning behind using the number 8, it is in fact a sign of fortune and wealth, I guess they thought the Olympic Games was going to be good for their economy. For us it was the case that we were fortunate to have our fair paid for and ride in air conditioned comfort north to Olympic Forest Park.
The scene here is lively. Everyone is interested in who these two white boys are! Jacob and I jam around the park in the wet while crew sit undercover and wonder why? They soon caught on that it was all turning wheels, wet or dry! There was a small presentation to introduce the start of the 3 day festival. Next thing ya know, K has called me and Jacob up to be introduced. We even had our own interpreter!
The events that were on the cards for today are the push race, flatland freestyle and the hippy jump. Punters lined up at the start line for the push race. Jacobs deep on the startling getting the shot and I was on the edge of the road further up waiting to see the carnage. Crew threw down and as with any Chinese style start, I'm pleased to say there was carnage. Boards and bodies flying everywhere! I kicked in from the back of the field and felt the need to haul, not far behind the lead, finishing in 5th. Jacob had a joke and said" dawg, u shoulda entered"!
Foods been on the cards all day and its finally time to eat. The Chinese eat big and skip breakfast apparently! By 1pm I'm munging and I'm finding it harder to hold Jacob from tearing his limbs off and consuming them for substance! Tasty little rice box with different treats came at the perfect time, a little late but perfect nonetheless.
After a little lie down and re hydrate it was time for the hippy jump. Never really appealed to me but as it is with most of the different peeps u skate with around the world, u support those who do and get ya stoke on watching them do what they do! No haters here! It started at a pretty mellow 400mm. No surprise that everyone made it threw the first few rounds. As it crept toward 1000mm peeps be dropping and by the time it was at 1200mm there were only 3 punters left. The winner jumped a height of 1300mm his name converted was "light" from the Tiger Surf Shop team from Taiwan. He was riding the 2013 Tomahawk. Nice one bra!
To finish up the day it was the flatland freestyle. I was asked to judge? I was down and good thing for me I've been touching on my Mandarin cause the score sheet was hectic to say the least. These guys really get down on their flatland stuff. No wonder when the whole of the Beijing area is mondo flat! It was pretty cool seeing what tricks they all had dancing, spins, manuals, finger flips, u all get the point, they were getting tricky! The girls who competed where stylin and could have competed against the guys! The girl’s final was run and there was one that stood ahead of the rest in her abilities. The guys, not so much. 4 riders got thrown in to an elimination game of Skate. The winner was last year’s champ. He skated damn well, flowing and fast.
That's the day’s events done. It's time to party. The crew have been talking this up since we got here. On a bus and travel 90 minutes NW into the mountains. Accommodation, dinner, beers and the bus ride is all covered! I can't thank Joe and the crew from Xwing enough. U guys know what’s up! Thanks.
Wow. Epic party. Epic accommodation. Epic crew. These guys really know how to throw down right. The hospitality since we have arrived cannot be faulted. Dinners, Transport, Accommodation and in the case of last night, all the hard liquor ya need for night of good times. We taught the Chinese how to Shot-gun with the fridge full of local beer. Needless to say there were some sorry heads at breakfast in the morning. Full buffet brekkie asian style. The food here is totally different to anything I've ever sampled around the world, very interesting and full of flavour.
Today’s event is the slide jam and longest slide comp! Yeah, finally were hitting some hills. The hotel we stayed at was at the foothills of the mountains to the north of Beijing. Its beautiful. Its peaceful. The green and the air is fresh. Now this is what id imagined the outer areas to be like. Its gonna be a great day! As we meander over to the hill with all the days goodies, the road impresses me right away. Its not at all the steepest hill but the pavement was perfect blacktop. Not a fault. Smooth uber butter was here in the middle of the mountains. It looked brand new! The spot we were to jam was a small section that was around 200 meters long and the viewing was easy from anywhere on the edge.
There were some really different styles. Some crew got down on the hard wheels. Some hands down. Some faster standees. There was a great mix of it all. Some of the guys from the flatland comp where showing they could also throw down on the downhill styles. It was really fun just jamming with all these different styles ya know, everyone was their own, doin it their way. Thats wat i love about this sport. Freedom of expression.
We skated for the best part of 5 hours before crew sat down to have lunch. Meals here are an occasion and the time is spent bonding with either your family of your friends. Its a respectful time thats part of the culture. Same as yesterday, ricebox's were the treat. Joe brought Jacob and I over ours and we sat down and chowed down with everyone else. After lunch it was the longest slide comp. The way they run things is very regulated here. Nothing like a slide comp of the US or Canada. There's a system they do things here and it must work for them. Its 1 rider at a time, they introduce the rider to the road and then he/she will mob in and jam a slide. Didn't really matter whether u did it hands down or not, there was a different score for each. As with any of the events over the last day and a bit, we are here to support the scene and sk8 with the riders. We're not gonna just show up and take all they're prizes. Its funny because longest slides went to me and Jacob. Jacob got me by a lousy meter sliding his way to peoples hearts with an impressive 17 meters on the flatter part of the hill. The longest slide was actually awarded to "Light" from the Tiger Surf Shop Team from Taiwan. He now has won two of the weekend's events, doin it all on LY gear!
Best trick came next. Again, 3 runs to showcase your trick, one at a time. There were some really interesting tricks being attempted and also being landed. Cross step slides, Hard Wheel, Shov-its, crazy foot off board action? Its like some of them are doing martial arts of some sort while they are rolling down the hill. Epic. It was hard to pick a winner as the different styles made the individuals tricks epic in their own right. I had to give best trick of the girls to a hands down 360 spin. For the guys, a fella named "onion" won it with a super stylish toeside skid into a shov-it, again to the guy that won the flatland event. Apparently, he skates street real good? Another great day nearly over, time to head back into the city.
As I've mentioned, the hospitality has been second to none. The Xwing Crew have gone out of their ways to make sure Jacob and I have everything we need and more. Dinner tonight is at a Beijing Duck BBQ that is over 600 years old. That's right, they been cooking duck for 600 years and believe it when i say that its been the same fire that's been burning for the whole time! Hows that for cultural belief. That's doing it right! Shan asked us if there is anything we won't eat. NANANANANA was the response and when the food came to that table I could see the look on Jacobs face was one of intrigue. What are we about to eat? All parts of the Duck done different ways, nothing to waste. There was Duck Head, brain and all, tongue, kidney, liver, stomach, egg, wing, and yeah there was some normal breast and leg meat as well, to go with the pancakes. These are all delicacies of the Beijing area and its a privilege to share this meal with our new friends. Chinese Rice Wine at 42% accommodates the meal cleansing the palate to get the most out of all the different flavours! It was HEAVY! Its an epic feast as always!
Back to the room for a few more beers and an interview that was sorta funny as the translation at times can be a little weird, especially after a few brews and that bloody Rice Wine. Tomorrow, we skate through Beijing and see the sites!
To be continued...
To be continued...