2nd Rock Creek Picnic & CaliFlorida Grom Race – 2/26

In addition to this being the 2nd Rock Creek Picnic of the year CaliFlorida is getting behind it and helping Marc to organize a Grom Race for riders 16 and under, a concept that I’m stoked to hear about and wish was a bit closer to home. It’s all going down on February 26th and is starting at 11:00AM for those young groms that want to race and should be open to riding for everyone by 1:00PM.

The idea is to allow younger riders to get a taste of organized downhill racing before the season starts on a safe but fun hill with other riders that also have little to no race experience. There’s a $5 buy in for each rider who wants to race which will be split between the top 4 riders of the day in addition to some swag that CaliFlorida has donated, making me wish I were under 16 again.

For those racing 11:00AM is the time to be at Sherril Drive in Rock Creek Park for registration, if you’re not on time you’re not racing so make sure to give yourself a little extra time! After registration there will be enough time for a couple of warm-up/practice runs with heats to follow immediately after. Heats will be normal 4 man heats with the top two racers advancing to the next round. Of course a helmet and gloves are required to race, did you expect otherwise?

The idea is to have the entire race over with by 1:00PM so the normal Picnic and Grab-a-Grom can start. While I’m not exactly sure what Grab-a-Grom we’ll soon find out…For those over 16 come out and support the younger, less experienced riders while they learn the ropes of racing and get ready to skate as usual around 1:00. Over 50 people have already responded to the Facebook Event and I’m sure will gain more attention as the event draws closer.

Sounds like this’ll be another super fun time at Rock Creek Park and a great opener to the race season. For those of you that didn’t get to make it out to the season opener check out the video below — looks like it was a super fun time!

Vote for Skate The East in the Concrete Wave Readers’ Choice Awards!

If you haven’t heard about it yet, Concrete Wave Magazine is currently running their 3rd Annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Winners are being announced in their annual buyer’s guide that hits shelves this Spring. While we aren’t sure what the finalists get as an award, we figure we’d ask you, our readers, to show us a little love and support by taking a second to fill in “Skate The East.net” in the Favorite Longboard Website field. You don’t have to fill in all the fields, just the ones you feel like, then hit submit. They’re saying only one submission per person (or computer), so make sure to tell your friends and get them to vote as well!

Voting ends February 15th so spread the word quick! Embedded below is the voting ballot.

Again, all you have to do is fill in the categories you’d like and then hit submit. Enter “Skate The East.net” as your Favorite Longboarding Website and we’ll love you forever :).

Videos: Two for Tuesday’s Back Again

It’s Tuesday so why not give you 2 videos instead of one? Just like before it’s officially a Two for Tuesday with two videos from some of our favorite East Coast skaters shredding in both Massachusetts and New York/Southern CT.

Nelson Longboards’ Jake Wade and Lifelong Longboards’ Chris O’Brien released their new edit tonight showing them shredding in New York and Southern CT. Battling the cold weather we’ve had lately these guys managed to act like it was nothing and pull out some absolutely steezy moves. I’m excited to see what Chris can do once he warms up to his Lifelong and starts getting at those kicktails a bit more. It’s quick at only around 1:30 long but shows some gnarly skating and smoooooooth standies. As usual the editing and camera work are well done — make sure you watch it in HD.

Lauren Suchocki and Douglass Schmidt are at it again with another edit putting together all their stray footage from 2011. Set to a Busta Rhymes remix in my opinion it’s one of the best videos ever — but that might be my rap fanboy in me talking.

10 Things You Can Do While It Snows or Rains to Stay Ready to Shred

1. Clean and inspect your gear.

With the nice weather we’ve been having it’s been pretty easy to keep skating and not take the time to properly clean and inspect your gear. We’re all guilty of it but with winter finally here for the East Coast it provides the perfect time to clean your bearings, get the dirt and sand out of your griptape, and rotate those wheels. It’s also the perfect time to inspect your gear — make sure you’re not riding a dead bearing, your bushings aren’t thrashed to hell, and your deck isn’t delamming or cracked. If you notice anything out of the ordinary it’s time to move onto #2. Fix or build something.

2. Fix or Build Something

Now that you’ve cleaned and inspected your board and gear, you’ll either have nothing to or you’ll most likely have something to fix. If this is the case go about taking the proper steps to fix what you can or start searching the interwebs for places you can buy replacement parts or gear (East Coast Core Skates what’s up?!). Many problems have solutions and there are great tutorials out there for just about anything- just run a Google search. Many problems with decks can be fixed with some epoxy while things like flatspotted and coned wheels can be fixed with a lathe or Dremmel.

If all your gear is in great shape and you don’t have much fixing to do then try your hand at building something! Nose and tail guards are always a great option if you’re not looking to get too down and dirty, otherwise go for something a bit more challenging like a launch ramp or kicker.

3. Balance board

If you own a balance board then jump on it for an hour or two while you watch TV or a movie. The more time you spend on it the more you’ll improve your balance which will translate to smoother skating and allow you to push your limits even further. Check YouTube for useful videos and exercises. Adam Colton did a great one a couple years back.

4. Edit that old footage from the summer

If you’ve got a camera and have ever filmed more than one session then there’s a good chance you have some old, leftover footage that you meant to come back to but just haven’t. Go back into your external hard drive or the deep depths of your “Movies” folder and pull out some of that old footage and edit it together for a “Frankenstein” edit — bring that footage back to life!

5. Start clearing a path to skate and plan your next session!

The earlier you get to clearing off the path you want to skate, the earlier it’ll be ready to. Make a couple trips out to your favorite skate spot and shovel or brush off some of the snow, especially if its a bike path or seldom used sidewalk. The earlier you get to clearing it off, the less you’ll have to do in the end and the faster you’ll be back on four wheels spreading stoke. It’ll also make the snow melt more completely and the road dry evenly, so you won’t have those awkward and painful times where you get highsided or ice out thanks to half the road being wet…

6. Scour Google Maps for new downhill runs and freeride hills

Take some time to get down and dirty with Google Maps (turn the “Terrain” setting on) and find some new downhill runs with sweet hairpins and sweeping turns or that perfectly steep and straight freeride hill that you’ve been looking for. Google Maps makes the hunt much easier and if you give yourself enough time searching, you’re bound to find a new spot to try in your own back yard (or at least within a reasonable drive).

7. Find a New Trick to Learn

Go back to that crazy video you saw or slide jam footage we posted and look for new tricks you can incorporate into your skating. Chances are theres a variation of a trick you can already do or something you’re close to pulling off already that you just need to dial in — watch how the pros do it and try to pick up some tips for the next time you get back out there. Loaded’s YouTube channel, LoadedNewsletter, has produced some of the best trick tip videos for longboarding over the years, so take a look over there too!

8. Catch up on any of the videos we posted but you might have missed

We’ve been posting a lot of high quality videos featuring East Coast skaters, events, and locations. Take a trip through our Videos Category to catch up on anything you might have missed. It might help out with #7 Find a New Trick to Learn, too.

9. Pray for warm and sunny days

This one goes without saying. Pray, channel, meditate, dance — whatever you do try to encourage that 60* F weather to come back and bring us a skate-able winter again.

10. GET STOKED!

Another one that goes without saying. Get stoked for your next session so when it’s finally time you can shred it full force!

Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for pictures, videos, and links that don’t make it to the blog!

Video: Nick Burkus and Mike Girard Stay Sane During Finals

This is a video that really hits home for me as it’s a reality that I lived (well, sort of) for my last two semesters in college. When it’s exam week and you’ve been studying non-stop for hours days on end, you need to do something to maintain your sanity. What better than a nice session of steeze to take your mind off things? Mike and Nick do just that in this well done “study break” themed video.

The editing is well done and the concept adds a little depth to videos we don’t see all too often with quicker videos. To change it up a bit Nick is featured doing a whole slew of freestyle tricks in between Mike’s slides, making for a really well balanced, fun video to watch.  Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

Wrap-up: King of Clermont 2012

This year’s King of Clermont event went down this past weekend in Clermont, Florida, a longboarding haven just north of Orlando where Floridians gather for some downhill action. Being Florida’s only real downhill event of the year, it attracts skaters from all over the state as well as up and down the East Coast. It’s a prime spot for riders looking to get out of the cold and into the sun to kick the season off right. Fortunately for us the Bustin’ Boards Crew packed their bags once again and headed down to the race, giving us an idea of what was going down despite the fact that we couldn’t be there to give you some on-site coverage.

From photos and video I’ve seen so far the event looks like it had a HUGE turnout, not just from riders but spectators, too! Both the slide jam and downhill event looked like they had some gnarly skating, with Original’s Brian Bishop tearing up the slide jam’s kicker and the Bustin’ Boards crew taking 4 of the top 6 spots in the downhill race — talk about domination!

Open Downhill Podium:

  1. José Guzman
  2. Jorge Garcia
  3. Drewski Mercado
  4. William Royce

Bustin’s Jonas Richter came in 5th place for the downhill event and also took first for the “Kick the Can”, the longest slide competition held at the slide jam. Sarah Paulshock took 2nd in the women’s downhill and 3rd in the freeride (waiting to hear the full women’s results).

While nothing can compete with actually being there, Duval Board Company and Duval Wheels released a pretty sweet edit showcasing all of the gnar that went down along with another edit showing some of the better bails that happened. I’ve posted them both below so you can get the full experience:

Clutch Buy: Windproof Boxers

I’m filing this one in the Downhill section since it’s extremely pertinent here. Male longboarders listen up as I have found what may prove to be the most clutch buy this season: windproof boxers. No, I didn’t mistype that, and yes, they exist. There comes a time in every male longboarder’s life when even the coldest of temperatures cannot keep him off his longboard, and no matter how many layers you throw on the cold wind whipping at 30+ mph is enough to stop anyone dead in their tracks…I don’t think I have to elaborate much more as to why…

Enter the windproof boxer. I first remembered these puppies earlier this year when an unusual cold spout at the end of October (which lead to the snowstorm that left most of the Northeast knocked out of commission for 9 or 10 days) but couldn’t find them on the racks at my local Eastern Mountain Sports (where I saw them the year before). Lo and behold when I went in a couple of days ago, there they were, offering a windproof paneling right where you want it most and their TechWick material to wick away moisture and keep you dry and warm. Through Tuesday you can get the EMS brand for 50% off online or in the stores, making them only $12.50 instead of $25. If you want to go a little more fancy, and trust me — it’s worth it, SmartWool also makes a set that are on sale for $44, down from $55.

Want even more options? A search on Amazon yielded a couple more results including a pair made by Craft that incorporate the use of Gore’s Wind Stopper fabric that are selling for between $32-$42 and a set by Terramar that sell for $14.95. I have to say though, the Terramar don’t look nearly as good as the other options.

(Full Disclosure: While I’m a part-time sales associate at Eastern Mountain Sports this post was in no way endorsed by or affiliated with the company.)

Video: Freezing Flannel Freeriding in CT

I won’t lie, I’m very excited to be posting this video as it’s one of the first videos that I’ve had a major hand in helping produce. Credit really goes to Original rider and friend Billy Wilson, though, who had the vision for most of the shots and did all the editing to make this video come out as well as it did. I learned a ton about filming through this process and can’t wait to keep working on videos in the future. Most of the riding is done by me (Mike DiPietro) and Billy with Jake Uterstaedt making a couple brief appearances as well.

I’m so stoked this edit came out so well and think it showcases how gnarly Billy is at mixing freeriding and freestyle  to make for some steezy tricks and all around amazing riding. Also a quick side note: Billy doesn’t wear slide gloves. Just something to keep in mind as you see him bombing fast and doing huge standies… For him, failure is not an option.

Setups and such:

Billy: Original Apex 40DC w/ Randall 45* trucks and Abec 11 Flashbacks
Mike: TR Custom Blitz w/ Surf-Rodz 45* RKP trucks and Orangatang 80a & 83a Stimulus wheels
Jake: Earthwing Hightailer w/ Caliber 50* trucks and Cult Classics (I think…)

Big shout outs go to our supporters at Original, Surf-Rodz, and Orangatang.

I Love Downhill Grand Prix: Everything You Need to Know

I know I haven’t mentioned it yet, but if you’re on the East Coast and haven’t heard about the I Love Downhill Grand Prix going on at Windham Mountain in Windham, NY this summer it’s time to listen up. Since details were a little lose earlier on I decided to hold off on talking about the event, much more is clear now and registration is actually open so let me catch you all up.

What is the I Love Downhill Grand Prix you ask? Set to take place on June 23rd and 24th I Love DH will be the biggest downhill racing event for both longboards and luge on the East Coast, period. When I say biggest, I mean it in ever respect: number of racers, course, speed, and prizes. Surf-Rodz is throwing up some major cash along with other East Coast manufacturers such as Bustin’ Boards and PhatDeanZ for the pro’s and tons of chances to walk away with gear for the amateurs. Only 2.5 hours north of New York City and 3.5 hours west of Boston the race is going to attract the fastest skaters from all over the Northeast and will draw pros from the far reaches of the East Coast and beyond along with some of the larger crowds of spectators we’ll see this year. The course itself is over a mile long with 5 technical hairpin turns and speeds reaching well over 50mph for longboarders and into the 60′s for streetlugers, with such a fast and technical course this could end up being one of the best races we see in the U.S. period, especially in future years!

So what’s on the line? Marc Dean, the event’s organizer, sent out an e-mail telling potential racers a little more about the prizes and sponsors today and I have to say, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it in downhill racing yet — especially not on the East Coast. East Coast companies are supporting hard, and we’re so happy to see it. Surf-Rodz is putting their money where their mouth is and putting up $1,500 in prize money to be split between the men and women pro events and a ton of trucks going out to the winners of the amateur events. Bustin’ Boards is also putting up some big money, offering $500 for both the first place in the men’s and women’s pro events and Phat DeanZ throwing in another $200 in prize money. Kebbek skateboards is also contributing by making some (what should be) sweet event t-shirts. All of the sponsors listed on the sponsors page are donating some sort of gear, so rest assured even if you don’t podium you’ll have a great chance of walking away from the event with some killer swag.

Registration is now officially open and costs $135.00 to register for one class or $165.00 to register for two (Luge/Pro Skate, Luge/Am Skate, Luge/W’s) Skate). Unfortunately there’s no way to tell who has registered yet and who hasn’t or how many are signed up like there has been in races past, so we’ll just have to play it by ear and keep you updated as we hear more. If you want to race make sure you have both a full face helmet and leathers that are in good repair as both are required, along with slide gloves, to race. All racers will be required to undergo a pre-race technical inspection for all your race gear and safety equipment so be sure everything is in good condition as no refunds will be given on race-day due to you being unprepared. Check the rules for all the information.

Beyond all the serious racing and prizes at the end of the day this is a race in the true spirit of longboarding and will offer some fun events to meet other racers and enjoy the company of a bunch of like-minded individuals. The last two runs on Saturday will be a classic luge/butt board race that’ll change things up a bit from the rest of the Grand Prix. The race will be open to both men and women and will require a $5 entry fee to be paid right before the race. Heats will be of 10 with the top 3 advancing to the next round and will feature a Les Mans (running) start. It’s a skate what you brought type race which means if you run it on your downhill setup it’ll be kosher, including your 10mm Surf-Rodz! Then Saturday night, after the first day of warm-ups, racing and butt-boarding, the I Love Downhill masses will be taking over the Cave Mountain Brew Pub in town for some great burgers and great brews along with great company — sounds like a fun time to me.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more but so far this is shaping up to be one of the events of the summer for sure!

 

 

Video: Mike Girard Brings Some East Coast Swagger to Europe

At this point I don’t think it’s a secret that we like what Mike Girard does on a skateboard and the videos he produces. He’s almost constantly producing new edits showcasing him and friends (such as Norman Plant, Eric Roth, and Graham Fedderson) throwing down hard and repping Central MA like no one else. Mike traveled abroad to study in Dijon, France for the spring of his junior year at Colgate University where it appears he not only kept his head in the books, but his feet on his skateboards as well. Released in two parts Mike edited more than 15 minutes of footage showcasing some awesome and mouthwatering downhill runs, juicy freeride and downhill freeride spots and some great freestyle moves. Part II isn’t just freestyle, or dancing, however, as Mike also got some great shots ditch skating in what looks to be one of the more spots I’ve ever seen.

While Spain might be getting most of the attention when it comes to longboarding in Europe, Girard did a great job showing that France has some rising stars and unreal runs.