The event that everyone’s buzzing about out east is the 4th Annual Central Massachusetts Longboard Fest in Harvard, MA, and for very good reason. The last 3 years have been some of the best organized and most fun events for both spectators and competitors, even with the torrential rain that has become somewhat of a tradition. This year the event is getting even better by expanding to a whole weekend’s worth of fun, giving racers more time on the course and allowing event organizer Mike Girard to choose an even better freeride hill than the one used in years past. While we knew a lot of this,
more and more almost all the details have come about, so we figured it was time for an update post. It all starts on August 17 at 11:00am (you’ve got to register and go through tech inspection earlier, though) so get ready!
In mid-June Mike Girard announced that Wheelbase Magazine’s Marcus Bandy would be emceeing the event and helping to organize the slide jam, which means very big things to come for that event. Girard told me he wants a lot of features for people to take full advantage of, and with Bandy on the mic I can’t imagine everyone will be anything less than entertained by both the skating and commentary.
Mike also announced the presenting sponsors for this year’s podiums. There are going to be cash prizes for the winners this year (and I’m sure plenty of swag, too), so these sponsors are really putting their money where their mouths are and stepping up to support the scene. Providence, Rhode Island-based pads company G-Form is the general sponsor, putting up big to help hook up all the winners. Loaded Boards and Orangatang Wheels are also back in the mix this year as presenting sponsors for the Pro DH and Women’s DH podiums, while Bear Trucks got on board to sponsor the Pro Slide Jam. Together these guys comprise the “Harvard Heroes,” putting their money where their mouth is and coming out in a big way to support the scene.
A $4,000 prize purse will be split amongst the Pro & Women’s devisions in DH and the slide jam — that’s some serious change on the line! Mike has said that more sponsors will be announced in the near future, so stay tuned as that means there’ll be plenty of swag in the mix, too.
To put some icing on the cake, Mike also organized some live entertainment for the night of August 17th at the Billard Café in Ayer, MA and a shuttle to and from the hotel so that you don’t even need to figure a driving situation out. DJ Squnto aka Eric Roth (local shredder and legend) will be on hand to lay down some fine tunes, with others likely to be announced soon. You’ll also get to see some of the biggest names not only on the east coast, but in the industry throw down including Liam Morgan, Brian Bishop, Dane Webber, Norman Plante, Amanda Powell, Cindy Zhou, Josh Wright, Ed Neives, Steve Kong, Molly Lewis, Ethan Cochard, and so many more — honestly I’d keep going but I think you get the point. Henry and I will also be on deck, kissing hands and shaking babies, I mean, shaking hands and kissing babies, so find us and say hi!
Because of some mix-ups, registration is now starting on July 22nd at 8:00PM EST. You’ll be able to register over at EventBright by CLICKING HERE once registration opens for everyone. The pricing structure (which includes the EventBright fees) and size of the brackets (in parenthesis) are below:
DH – August 17
$60 – Pro (96), Women’s (32)
$50 – Am (64), Junior (32)
SLIDE JAM – August 18
$40 – All divisions (250)
*note: This may be different than on the SkateCentralMA.com FAQ page but is the most up-to-date and accurate as of 7/17
Subject to some last minute tweaks and changes, which I’ll post when we hear about them, Mike Girard released the schedule as the following:
8:00PM: Registration (See Registration Page for instructions)
12:00PM: Haybale volunteers – meet at Harvard General Store
7:00AM: Staff check-in and assignment
8:00AM: Rider check-in + tech inspection. T-shirts distributed in order of check-in
9:00AM: Road closes; First shuttles to top of hill for practice runs
11:00AM: First heats
1:00PM: Lunch break – 30 min
1:30PM: Racing resumes
4:00PM: Finals for each division
5:00PM: Road opens
5:10PM: Raffle drawing – Harvard General Store lawn
5:30PM: Podium ceremony – Harvard General Store lawn
6:00PM: Haybale volunteers begin bale transplant to slide jam hill.
– – Break – –
8:00PM: Shuttle from Holiday Inn Boxborough to Billiard Café, Ayer MA FEATURING LIVE MUSIC BY DJ SQUNTO (aka local shredder Eric Roth), with more to be announced soon.
11:45 PM: Shuttle from Billiards Café, Ayer MA to Holiday Inn Boxborough
8:00AM: Staff check-in and assignment – Harvard General Store
8:30AM: Riders meet at Harvard General store
8:45AM: Shuttle from Harvard General Store to slide jam hill
9:00AM: Road closes; Rider check-in, tech inspection at bottom of slide jam hill
10:15AM: Open softwheel slide jam
11:15AM: Women’s slide jam
1:30PM: Hardwheel slide jam
2:30PM: Pro softwheel slide jam
3:45PM: Longest slide
4:15PM: Built feature contest – TBA
5:00PM: Road opens; Shuttle to Harvard General Store
5:10PM: Raffle drawing
5:30PM: Podium ceremony – Harvard General Store lawn
6:30PM: Staff debrief; Takedown + de-haybaling
This is something you’ll want to get on earlier rather than later because there aren’t as many options in the Harvard area as one would like. Mike was able to set up a group deal at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough, MA for $89.00/night with 2 double beds. This is about
$20.00 $30.00 off the usual price. Split it with 3 friends and you’ve got yourself some cheap accommodations for the weekend. You’ve gotta use the code CEN in the “Group Code” box in order to get the promotional pricing (check out the image to the left for an example). Again, I’d do this earlier rather than later or you’ll be looking for a spot to camp and missing out on the fun that’s likely to ensue.
Finally, the event’s official website, SkateCentralMA.com launched at long last! It’s got lots of info about the event straight from the horse’s mouth including directions, more info about the hotel, and a detailed FAQ. Give it a look if you’re confused about anything or mosey over to their Contact page if you’ve got a question for Mike Girard or want to get involved by sponsoring or volunteering!