Rob Wheeler: Faceplant Boardriders, Wheelrz, and Event Organizer

Rob Wheeler

Brothers Ricky and Rob Wheeler have been further progressing the longboard industry with Faceplant Boardriders, Wheelrz Wheels, and active involvement in hosting events. Passionately involved in skating, surfing, and snowboarding, these guys love to shred all types of terrain. Initially inspired by their passion for board sports, Ricky and Rob strive to get people stoked on shredding and to “ride the lifestyle”.

Ricky and Rob live by their motto “PAIN for PROGRESSION”. In the world of extreme sports, you are constantly paying for progression in the form of pain from wipeouts, but there is no better feeling in the world then stomping that trick and riding away from it.

Faceplant Boardriders

These brothers have been building and riding their own homemade longboards for well over a decade at this point and their construction is built to last. Offering 30 different board shapes, they offer something for all types of riding styles through their company, Faceplant Boardriders.

Rob Wheeler for Faceplant Boardriders

These boards are built to perform and are made with marine grade epoxy resins, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and premium grade baltic birch. Among the pre-built boards listed on their website they also take special orders for custom built boards at your request.

Faceplant’s current lineup is categorized into different series that include; The Agent Series, Freeride Arsenal, Surfer’s Stash, Hang Loose Cruisers, and Custom Classics.

Rob Wheeler throwing down

For more information check out their website and Facebook page.

Wheelrz

Aside from board building, Ricky and Rob Wheeler have also gotten involved in producing their own wheels under the brand name Wheelrz. After spending a lot of time testing different shapes and urethane formulas they have developed what they consider the perfect high quality wheels that don’t cost riders a fortune.

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These wheels are fast, smooth, predictable, and affordable. Wheelrz wheels have been designed by skaters for skaters and can be used for all skate disciplines. Their current wheel lineup includes the Wheelrz Diablos, the 70’s, and the Magic 8 Balls.

For more information on these wheels check out their website and Facebook page.

Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series

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Rob Wheeler, known for his goofular surfy skate style has been hosting regular east coast skate events since 2012. Rob initially recognized the need for sanctioned events when police began blowing a lot of the outlaw events he had been attending. Nowadays he has become super involved in event hosting and has super big plans for the future.

If you have not yet heard of Rob’s events you will be familiar with them soon as they are becoming more fun, more successful and more rad each time. This year he has helped in creating and will be hosting the first annual Mid-Atlantic Freeride series that includes 4 big skate events throughout the year; 2nd annual Skate for Peace, Bethlehem Freeride Competition, Rip the Elwood2, and Skate the Cape Shred Festival 3.

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“The big event that really turned things around for me was when I went to uncle funkys style session in 2011. That was the first event where it was organized, there were pro riders that I recognized and the energy was high even for being at 8 in the morning the day after the Broadway Bomb.  I remember seeing tech sliding for the first time and was blown away to see a whole another discipline of skateboarding. They were all stoked on me riding such a tiny board (Mini Stick link) and I actually got first place at that event. It felt good to win this event because there were so many good riders with completely different styles.  I was so surprised and pumped at the fact that the riders actually voted for who they thought was best at that session. That style of judging format eliminated the biased judging that you might find at a local competition where the host might choose their friends as winners. So the uncle funkys style session was when I really got inspired to get involved in hosting my own events and adopted the same judging system where the skaters vote who was best.”

The first annual Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series will have two divisions: Under 18 Division and an Open Division. This is a progressive series that spans over the year. Since this is a progressive series, there is also going to be a Progressive Payout Purse meaning that money from each participating event will go towards the Purse, and after the final participating event (Skate the Cape Shred Festival 3), the Freeride Series Winners will be announced and prizes and cash payouts will be handed out to the Top 5 riders in each division. We will be keeping track of the top riders on the Facebook Page for the Series based on a points system. Riders placing in the top 10 of any of the participating events will be awarded points.

Freeride Series and Event Judging System:

The Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series will be using an un-biased and proven judging system. Each participating event will use the same judging system to keep it fair across the board. Each division will be run separately and the Event’s judges will choose the top 10 riders that will move on to the finals. Those top 10 riders from the Under 18 and Open Division get put into a final heat. One (1) rubber band will be distributed to each participating audience member (family, spectators, and riders not in that final) before each division final. Then each rider gets 2 individual runs with their name called out before each run. After all the riders have completed their two runs, everyone mingles together to distribute their rubber bands to who they thought was the best rider of that final. The Rider with the most rubber bands wins, second most rubber bands is second, and so on…

Points System:

The top 10 riders of the Freeride Events will be awarded points for the series in the following fashion: 1st Place=10 points, 2nd Place=9 points, 3rd Place=8 points, and so on down to 10th Place = 1 point. Any Rider can accumulate points towards the Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series simply by participating in any of the Freeride portions of any of the Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series participating events, and you can accumulate points from each and every event meaning if you place 3rd in all 4 events, you will end the Series with 32 points.

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Rob has been not only been killing it in the board building and wheel producing scene but he has been a huge supporter in hosting and planning out successful skate events. The Mid-Atlantic freeride series is something fairly new to the east coast scene and his past events have been very successful so far. Since Rob’s first event involvement, Skate the Cape in 2012, he has gotten recognition and involvement from RedBull and they have been a big scene supporter of Rob’s skateboarding events. Recently Rob has gotten involved in helping with RedBull’s very own, first ever, and official sanctioned longboard event called the RedBull Big Drop. 

“This is huge and I am so stoked to be apart of it and to help host it. We sold out so fast on the downhill spots and there’s only going to be 60 spots for the slide event so that’s going to fill up really quickly. Everyone is really excited that RedBull is starting to recognize longboarding as an extreme sport because that’s only going to mean good things for longboarding. We hope that this event will bring more exposure and more legitimacy to longboarding being an extreme sport, especially the downhill/sliding realm. I think Redbull is starting to see that and hopefully they will really push to host more events like the Big Drop. So many big things happening this year with longboarding events on the east coast and really I am really stoked to be a part of it all”.

Click here to watch Rob’s “Rollin’ With Rob” Video Series:

Full Disclosure: Steve currently rides for Wheelerz. 

Spring Wheelabrator — 4/13 in Lisbon, CT

Photo Credit: Richard Barrett

Photo Credit: Richard Barrett

Attending Wheelabrator has become somewhat of a rite of passage among southern New England skaters having been going down twice a year for a while now. The emphasis with the event is that it’s not a contest, nor a nontest, but simply a gathering of skaters for a dope day on varied terrain. It’s going down again this Sunday, April 13th so read on and get ready for one of the most stoke-filled nontests (non-contest) of the season!

All levels of skating experience are encouraged to attend this event and no one should feel intimidated, the sole purpose of this event is to have #FUN. 

It’s a pretty cool spot that features a narrow and fast bike path with some killer turns that are super sketchy and terribly fun in packs, a straight downhill run for people to practice pack runs, and a straightforward slide hill; it has something for almost every rider at almost every skill level. The other dopest part: with the exception of other skaters coming to the event, there’s virtually no traffic.

Plug “Wheelabrator Industries” in Lisbon, CT into your GPS and you’ll clearly see where to go and where to park once you get to the hills.

Check out the official event description:

“The most fun longboard gathering in the area is going down again this spring at the same place as always!

Wheelabrator event is a gathering of like minded souls for the purpose of skating and having fun. There are 3 distinct hills:
The main hill which is a 30-35mph (max) 2 lane fairly straight forward hill, it’s a good place to practice your tuck, it’s 8/10th of a mile long and rewards a good tuck, it’s also fun to draftrain, get cozy and get silly. Then there is the slide hill which has a right and a left turn. Wide enough to slide softwheel or tech

The Bikepath is always the crowd favorite and is a narrow path 1/3rd of a mile winding through the trees you can make 30mph on it though the last 2 turns which can get pretty interesting in a tight pack on a narrow path.

Some really good sessions have happened at wheelabrator and as a location it deals with crowds very well which isn’t always true of skate spots. Runs will be taken, slides will be made and everyone is guaranteed a great time.”

What better way to start off the skate season then a stoke filled event like Wheelabrator? 

Check out some of these video links from previous Wheelabrator events:

Major Stok’em 6 – 4/19

Major Stok'em 6 Flyer

Plug Fort Lee, NJ into your GPS and get ready, because Major Stok’em is back again on April 19th from 9AM to 5PM for its 6th year running! Major Stok’em has become one of the best events for new racers to break into the sport and see what they’re made of, even giving them a chance go toe to toe with some of the Tri-State area’s fastest on a relatively mellow course. This is the race where some of the fastest east coast riders got their start – so if you’ve been looking for an ‘entry level race’ you might not find a better opportunity this season.

The Course

Taking place at the Palisades Interstate Park in Fort Lee, NJ the Major Stok’em 6 course is set next to the scenic banks of the Hudson River, just across the river from New York City. The course is known for varying in speed depending on whether there’s a headwind or tailwind, so you’re looking at speeds that could range from a cruising 22MPH up to around 39MPH, much more mellow than what you’ll find at some of the bigger races this summer.

There aren’t any extremely technical features to navigate or anything of the sort, it’s a pretty straight forward course all in all,  running about a 1/4 mile long in total. It does feature a crash corner at the end which seems to claim far more riders than necessary but also create some exciting last minute passes.

For parents bringing their children or for riders going to the course for the first time: There’s no real address for where to park and meet. Use Google Maps and look for the Ross Dock Area, the NJ State website might also help a bit (http://www.njpalisades.org/picnic.htm#Ross). Since it’s off-season when the race goes down, parking will be free!

Major Stok'em 6

Registration

This is important because it doesn’t go down like other events, so pay close attention. Registration will be on Saturday, April 12th – exactly one week before the race. Registration is capped at 100 riders, so don’t be too late in registering or you might miss out. Registration for the event is $40.01. On April 12th you PayPal $0.01 (that’s one cent) to majorstokem@gmail.com, which reserves your spot to race. On race day, when you go to sign-in, bring $40 in cash and your waiver to finalize everything.

It can be a little confusing, so head over to the Stok’em website and read how they describe the process.

Event Schedule

This is directly from the Major Stok’em website. I’ll do my best to update it with any changes as I become aware of them.

6:30AM-8:30AM    EVENT SET-UP HAYBALES AND VOLUNTEERS

8:00AM -9:00AM  REGISTRATION PROCESS (MUST BE A PRE-REGISTERED RIDER)

9:OOAM-9:45AM   PRACTICE RUNS (LIGHT RUNS AND GET TO KNOW THE HILL)  **END OF REGISTRATION**

10:00AM                   RIDERS SAFETY MEETING NEAR THE FINISH LINE. RACE OFFICIALLY STARTS.

5:00PM                      END OF EVENT/CLEANUP

Additional Information

Go check out the FAQ over on the Major Stok’em 6 website and check out the Facebook Event as well. Spectators and non-racers will be aplenty, so even if you don’t feel like racing come out and chill as the season starts to get underway.

Soldiers of Downhill Finals with Max Wippermann

Soldiers of Downhill Raw Run

One of the gnarliest races in the country, Soldiers of Downhill, went down this past weekend deep in the mountains of Bainbridge, Ohio. The race is known for being absurdly fast and unforgiving on good old janky, winter beaten, east coast pavement.

Since most people don’t get to experience this course first-hand, we’re stoked that Max Wippermann strapped his GoPro onboard for the finals, so we can see how the course is meant to be raced by some of the fastest downhillers in the country. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Max rides for Landyachtz and Motion Boardshop. Originally from Washington state, he currently calls the east coast home while he studies in upstate New York.

Max gives a perfect view for the Soldiers of Downhill finals, as he took home 2nd place behind George Mackenzie, fending off Matt Kienzle (3rd) and Louis Pilloni (4th) through the fast, and draftable, straights and sweepers.

Check it out as Max, Louis Pilloni, Matt Kienzle and George Mackenzie battle it out on this east coast classic. Pay special attention to the way G-Mac RAGES the last part, staying in full tuck through the 55 mph+ chicane. DAMN SON!

King of the Mountain Downhill – Oct 26 & 27

The 2nd annual King of the Mountain downhill race is going down on October 26th and 27th at the Camp Fortune Ski Resort in Old Chelsea, Quebec (that’s Canada for those of you who didn’t pass geography). This 2 day event is fully sanctioned on a gnarly closed road and includes free camping as well as access to the mini ramp, so it should be well worth your trip if you can swing it!

King of the Mountain Downhill

The Course

The course is on the access road to the Camp Fortune Ski Resort in Old Chelsea, Quebec. Joey Bidner, the event organizer, says speeds average around 70 kmh, or 43 mph for most of the half-mile long course. It features some tight sweeper turns but doesn’t require any drifting, meaning you should see some fast and tight racing the entire time.

Joey also says that because the road is usually super busy there’s no real ‘home field advantage’ for local skaters, meaning almost everyone will be on a level playing field to start with on the first day of practice runs.

Registration

It’s 80 Canadian Dollars (77.60 United States Dollars) to race both days, or $60 CDA ($58.17 USD) to freeride, which gives you access to the hill with rides up to the top. You can REGISTER HERE. There are 140 spots total for the Open Class, and 60 spots total for the Amateur Class, which will make for some pretty epic racing all around!

Camping is provided in the cost of registration, with showers, changing rooms, etc for your convenience. There’s also a mini ramp to skate when you’re feeling like a change of pace from the hill. Epic.

Race Format and Schedule

Day 1, October 26th will be for practice and qualifying races. Qualifying races will be run in predetermined, randomized heats of 4 with riders scoring points each round. This will determine the bracket for the elimination rounds taking place on October 27th.

Day 1 – October 26th
Registration: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Practice: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
First qualifier run: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Lunch: 2:00 PM-2:30PM
qualifiers: 2:30 PM-5:00 PM
Dinner:  5:00 PM
Mini-Ramp Jam- 7:00 PM
After Party 9:00PM-1:00 AM

Day 2 – Oct 27th
Practice: 9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Eliminations & Finals (also more qualifiers if needed): 11:00 AM-5:00 PM
Awards: 6:00 PM

Check out the official Facebook Event for any last-minute updates or changes and make sure to RSVP if you’re going. Canada came out to a bunch of our East Coast races this year and even cleaned up at a couple of them, so it you can make it, get up there and open a can of east coast American whoop ass haha! This event should be pretty killer.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

The Hubbub this past weekend in the skate community was centered in Ludlow VT, where nestled in the depths of Vermont’s dark woods and cozy towns with covered bridges lies Okemo Mountain, known by many for its skiing, and by few, until recently, for a road whose level of gnar few dare to attempt.   The 3 mile long, 3344’ tall run, with chicanes, hairpins, and a 50+ MPH straight away sounds intimidating enough as it is, but this king of east coast runs’ is gnarly, as many east coast roads are, because of its pavement.

The Course

2013 Silverheels Cup Sketch Factors

Sketch factor multipliers. | Original photo: Marion Ross

Cracks, pavement changes, and snowcat tracks litter the road from top to bottom.  While skating straight you may at any point find your board drifting sideways from vibrations.  While corning your puck is always at risk of getting swallowed by a crack or pothole.  Speed bumps and tree root humps are a fun intermittent feature.

One does not simply skate Okemo. But on September 14th and 15th a few brave souls did as they raced for the 2013 Silverheels Cup.

2013 Silverheels Cup

While some skaters opted for what they thought would be the safer option, luging that is, people from every group took spills and slams.  Thankfully no one was seriously injured, although there were scary moments, one can’t help thinking back to the legendary “Vermont Massacre” race that occurred at Ascutney.  Despite the injuries and some trips to the hospital, the overall tone of the weekend was great, and everyone who stepped on a board or sat on a luge or drift trike had a great time.  Event organizer Marc Dean once again pulled off a fantastic weekend of riding.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Some of the carnage. | Photo: Marion Ross

Marc, who works tirelessly throughout the year with the mountains event coordinators, sponsors, and skaters was happy with the way the event turned out, wished all those injured a speedy recovery.  “This was the most mentally challenging hills that I have ever ridden. Everyone who rode is due props for showing how good the east coast riders truly are.  A big thank you to Original Skateboards – Lindsay and Sean [Kolvenbach] for all of their help in making this happen,” Marc said.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Skaters coming down the hill. | Photo: Marion Ross.

Sean Kolvenbach, the team manager over at Original Skateboards, said the team “had an awesome weekend, filled with beers, good friends, and fast hills.  Unfortunately that hill had a few to many casualties.  Driving up that run first thing Saturday morning all I kept thinking was, they want people to mob this hill, while smiling in disbelief.  It’s the jankiest run on the east coast for sure. [Laughs] I feel like everyone who skated there this weekend up’d their game a few points for sure.  Stoked to get 2 of my riders on Am Podium though, they survived the hill and stood strong!”

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Riders headed back to the top. | Photo: Marion Ross

Despite the condition of the road, by the time pro racing reached its final heats skaters were attempting single slide runs while battling it out for a spot on the podium.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Kai Salam rounds at Turn at Okemo. | Photo: Marion Ross

Video

Team Mids filmed a follow run the day before racing so those who didn’t attend could see how the road is really meant to be skated. Check it out:

Results

Standings from Sundays racing:

Pro Skate:

  1. Niko Desmarais
  2. Tom Wilson
  3. Mac Holmes
2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain Pro Skate Podium

Some of the Pro Skate podium. | Photo: Marion Ross

Pro Luge:

  1. Chris Hicks
  2. Dave Aparicio
  3. Bob2 and Bob3
2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Luge podium. | Photo: Marion Ross

AM Skate:

  1. Will Schroder
  2. Andrew Licata
  3. Jared Beers
  4. Izzy Moreno

Women’s Skate:

  1. Cassandra Duchesne

Women’s Luge:

  1. Emily Pross

Butt Pirate King:

  1. Dave Aparicio

Other Press/Media

  • Article in the local Vermont paper, the Rutland Herald.
  • Special thanks to Marion Ross for letting us use the photos. Check out Marion’s work at her website.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival Wrap-up

The sun was out, spirits were high, and skaters out in full force at this year’s Central Massachusetts Longboard Festival. Unlike years past the event took place over a full two days, meaning there was plenty of time (and energy) for both the downhill race and slide jam — a welcome change that made Central Mass a can’t miss event not only on the east coast, but the entire country.

This year’s event saw 315 skaters and even more spectators from all over the world descend upon sleepy Harvard, MA for two days of relaxed longboarding fun with friends as well as some of the biggest names in the industry.

All in all, 208 people total entered the downhill event for the 4 divisions (Junior, Am, Women, Pro) and an additional 107 riders entered the slide jam – an epic turnout in a town of 6,000 residents.

The massive Pro Division bracket.

The massive Pro Division bracket.

The folks over at Resource Distribution (Riviera Skateboards, Paris Truck Co.) made some seriously fly custom banners for the event, including the Start/Finish lines and a huge race bracket that was updated throughout the day as heats were raced.

What was really awesome was seeing how many riders made the trip from far away places, a testament to the reputation of the event Mike Girard has managed to cultivate over the years. ‘Big name’ riders such as Liam Morgan, Dane Weber, Amanda Powell, Matt K., Ethan Cochard, Cindy Zhou, Levi Green, Brian Bishop, John Kruetter, Norman Plante and many more all came out to throw down and compete for not only pride and reputation, but a prize purse of $4,500, alongside some of the region’s gnarliest local rippers.

Day 1 – Downhill Race

With $2,200 in cash and more in prizes on the line, racers went hard in the paint no matter what division they were racing.

Junior and Am Divisions

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Jared Beers and James Fort duke it out. | Photo: Brian Babish

Jared Beers and James Fort duke it out. | Photo: Brian Babish

Both the Junior and Am divisions had some notable names and very fast racing. NYC and CT held it down in the Juniors division, with David Ramirez taking 1st place, followed by fellow NYC native Robert Burns in 2nd, and two of our grom shredder homies, Brendan Allen and Eli Healy from Colchester, CT, taking 3rd and 4th places respectively.

The Am division was comprised of a mix of riders with a wide range of skill sets, from first-time racers to fully sponsored riders who weren’t up for racing Pro but were too old for Juniors. A bit of a proving ground for riders looking to start taking their racing more seriously as well as a division for those looking for some good ole weekend competition the Am division ended up being a lot of fun to watch. Joey Nickell from NYC took 1st with Kevin Kang  (Charlotte, NC) coming in 2nd, Byron Idrovo from New Jersey in 3rd and NYC native David Yang in 4th.

Women’s and Pro Divisions

Despite having some great action in the Junior and Am divisions, the majority of the attention was focused on the big shows: the Women’s division and Pro division, both of which contained a mix of fast course locals, notable east coast skaters, and professional skaters which came together to make for some heated racing heat after heat.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Fest | Erica Pross and Amanda Powell

Erica Pross leads Amanda Powell in a heat.

The women’s bracket ended up being the most dramatic part of the afternoon, when in the finals Emily Pross went to pass Amanda Powell in the last turn. Amanda was in the lead going into the turn, when Emily went for the pass she used Amanda to pull herself past and take the lead. After the heat Mike Girard pulled together some folks with photos and video to make a final ruling that the pass was indeed illegal, and decided that instead of disqualifying Emily he would lock their positions from before the turn in, giving Amanda the win with Emily in 2nd, Monica Mejia in 3rd and Laura Nocka in 4th.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Fest finals

Dane Webber cruising through the last chicane for the win. Matt K, Daniel Fissmer and Levi Green trailing. | Photo: Brian Babish

The 64 man Pro division dwindled down to Dane Webber, Matt Kienzle, Levi Green, and Daniel Fissmer for the final heat of a great day of downhill racing. When all was said and done though it was Dane Webber far out in front to reclaim his title for another year on his hometown hill. Matt K came in second with Daniel Fissmer taking 3rd and Levi Green coming in 4th.

I’ll take a second here to note that while the Tri-State area represented well overall, the Pro Division of one of the best east coast events of the season ended up being dominated by 4 dudes from out west. While they’re all super nasty skaters it’s sad none the less; the east coast has got to step it up next season and come correct haha! The talent is definitely out here, it’s just a matter of time.

Downhill Results

Since  I know many people won’t want to read the paragraphs above to see the results, I’ll make them super easy to read along with podium shots courtesy of Khaleeq Alfred.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival DH Junior Podium

Juniors DH Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred

Junior Division (Presented by Paris Trucks)

  1. David Ramirez (NYC)
  2. Robert Burns (NYC)
  3. Brendan Allen (Colchester, CT)
  4. Eli Healy (Colchester, CT)
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival DH Podiums

Am Downhill Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred

Am Division (Presented by G-Form)

  1. Joey Nickell (NYC)
  2. Kevin Kang (Charlotte, NC)
  3. Byron Idrovo (Kearney, New Jersey)
  4. David Yang (NYC)
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival DH Women's Podium

Women’s Downhill Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred.

Women’s Division (Presented by Orangatang Wheels)

  1. Amanda Powell (Los Angeles, CA)
  2. Emily Pross (New Jersey)
  3. Monica Meija (NYC)
  4. Laura Nocka (Harvard, MA)
proDHPodium_khaleeq

Pro Downhill Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred

Pro Division (Presented by Loaded Boards)

  1. Dane Webber (Culver City, CA)
  2. Matt Kienzel (Los Angeles, CA)
  3. Daniel Fissmer (Los Angeles, CA)
  4. Levi Green (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

After Party

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival after party | Photo: Mike Girard

The Billards Café packed after Day 1. | Photo: Mike Girard

Mike hooked it up big time by setting up a live music show hosted by DJ Squnto (Eric Roth) at a local watering hole, Billards Café, with lots of pool tables (13 to be exact) and a shuttle bus to and from the hotel and bar. Good times were had by everyone, no one died, and there was a guy wearing a horse head mask for the majority of the night. Team Mids and Earthwing definitely won the party, killing it as usual, and providing some much needed antics to keep things just rowdy enough. Things got even more interesting when Earthwing’s Jean ‘Tazer’ Teaza ended up taking home the Team Mids Award by getting a stick and poke tattoo on his inner lip that read ‘Fiend’ in the bathroom.  Needless to say it was about as fun as event after parties get and was a great new addition to Central Mass.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Photo: Steve Kong

Like I said, a guy in a horse head. | Photo: Steve Kong

Slide Jam

This year’s slide jam took place on a new hill and added a number of features in the mix to make things much more interesting and fun. A pole jam, 2 kickers, wall ride and double roller dotted the hill daring people to take advantage of them, add in with the $2,300 prize purse  everyone was more than ready to take things to the next level. Tom Leary, Chris O’Brien, Finn Pounds, Liam Morgan, Kai Monroe, Billy Wilson, Ethan Cochard, and too many other people to name were going so hard run after run after run.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Chris O'Brien at the Slide Jam

Chris O’Brien getting steezy with me filming behind him. | Photo: Brian Babish

The jam was broken into divisions much like those of the downhill race — Open (Juniors + Am), Women and Pro Freeride — and went down in a series of mixed heats to allow riders more space on the hill and try to prevent the general chaos of riders that slide jams often become. There was also a hard wheels division and a longest slide competition for both the longest toeside and heelside slides which Liam Morgan and Josh Wright won, respectively. The turnout in every division was absolutely unreal with around 200 riders total entering – 60 of them in the Pro Division alone.

Judging was done by Mike Girard, Amanda Powell, Liam Morgan, Marcus Bandy of Wheelbase Magazine, and Brian Davenport of Push Culture News who took into account a whole number of factors to find the gnarliest riders in each heat and division.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival Photo Brian Babish

Josh ‘Wild’ Wright getting some big air off a kicker. | Photo: Brian Babish

Everyone went so hard and left absolutely nothing on the table, as evidenced not only by the skating, but also by some of the gnar crashes we saw throughout the day. At first people were a bit hesitant to hit the ramps and features, but once people got warmed up and Josh Wright, Billy Wilson, Kyle Reynolds and others started playing around with them more and more people realized just how awesome they were and started taking advantage.

The Open riders showed just how promising many of them are, making us super excited for what will happen as the younger guys and girls get a little more experience over the next couple of seasons and just how far they’ll be able to push things. The Pro Division was super fun to watch with the entire hill being utilized and the features getting absolutely shredded. Josh Wright and Will Royce were flying hiiiiigh coming off the kickers, keeping everyone in the crowd super amped.

Hardwheels was dominated by (surprise surprise) the gentlemen from New York, but other notable skaters were in the mix as well including John Kruetter getting back on hardwheels for the first time in a while. In the end it was Josh Wright, Steve Sanchez and Andriy Dash who threw down the hardest to take the podium.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Photo Brian Babish

Alicia Fillback getting gnar at the slide jam. | Photo: Brian Babish

The women threw down hammers as well, giving a lot of the guys a run for their money. New England local Micaela Wilson showed most of the boys how to go fast and throw some calculated, steezy checks, while Carmen Shafer showed them how to use the ramps. Laura Nocka was also going in, busting out some steeze on both hard and soft wheels. Check out some of our raw runs over on YouTube to get a better sense for just how rad the skating was.

Down at the bottom of the hill there ended up being so much thane that foot breaking to a stop when doing follow runs was actually really difficult, it was like putting a foot down on sand. Brian Babish and I were able to convince Mike Girard to make a thangel which ended up gnarly, if you look down at Mike’s feet you can see that he actually pushed around a bunch of the thane dust it was so thick.

Central MA 4 Longboard Fest organizer Mike Girard making a thane angel after the slide jam. Photo: Mike DiPietro, Idea: Brian Bishop

Girard making a thane angel after the slide jam. Photo: Mike DiPietro Idea: Brian Babish

Slide Jam Results

The Slide Jam was fun for everyone, but winners had to be chosen.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Fest | Open Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Open Freeride podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Open (presented by Dad)

  1. Parker Ciuzio, New York, NY
  2. Jordan Billingsley, Amherst, NH
  3. Eli Healy, Colchester, CA
Hardwheel Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Hardwheel Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Hardwheel (presented by Eastern Boarder)

  1. Josh Wright, New York, NY
  2. Steven Sanchez, New York, NY
  3. Andriy Dash, New York, NY
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival Women's Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Women’s Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Women’s (presented by Original Skateboards)

  1. Alicia Fillback, Portland, OR
  2. Micaela Wilson, Amherst, NH
  3. Carmen Shafer, Portland, OR
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Pro Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Pro Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Pro (presented by Bear Trucks)

  1. Will Royce, Tallahassee, FL
  2. Dax Pradarits, Sparta, NY
  3. Graeme Hystad, Vancouver, BC

Conclusion

The 4th Annual Central Mass Longboard Festival was an unbelievable success. Expanded to 2 days for its first time, the event ran smoothly at every turn and kept both skaters and spectators happy all weekend — something you rarely hear these days. The skating was so fun and the people even more so, we really can’t wait to get back to this event again next summer, theres a reason it’s our favorite every year. The turnout this year was incredible and a sign of how the east coast scene is growing and catching the attention of skaters from all over.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Team Mids MVP

A big thanks goes out again to Mike Girard for organizing such a world-class event, the volunteers, and the Town of Harvard for hosting us for the weekend! Without all their help the Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival never would have been as big a success. Big ups also go out to Brian Babish and Khaleeq Alfred for their photos that contributed in a huge way to this post.

Make sure to check out our gallery below for more photos from the event as well as the raw runs and video recap and leave us a comment below to let us know what you thought!

ACME Extreme Downhill: Port Jervis, NY 8/31-9/1

The ACME Extreme Downhill longboard and luge race will be going down in Port Jervis, New York on August 31st and September 1st (Labor Day Weekend 2013) and is shaping up to be one gnarly event. Presented by LongboardLoft.com and hosted by New Jersey native and Bergen County Bombers founder Tom Barnhart, the race is drawing some of the  fastest racers in east coast downhill to one of the gnarliest closed road courses.

ACME Extreme Downhill Port Jervis, NJ 8/31-9/1

The Course

The course is fast, fun, and technical, coming in at around a mile long and featuring speeds in the low 40′s and 2 technical hairpin turns with a nice and smooth surface. The event is broken into two days, Saturday (8/31) is Day One is for registration, technical inspection, and practice runs all day, while Day 2 on Sunday (9/1) will be the actual race. There are 150 race spots available, once those fill up you’ll be able to register to skate the practice runs, but won’t get a chance to compete for the cash prize.

You can see an outline of the course on the flyer above.

Cash Prize

Tom did a great job getting a lot of sponsors on board and put together a sizable CASH PRIZE for the winners. It’s a bit confusing, but it looks like if there are 150 registered riders it’s a $2,000 total prize purse to be split between stand up and luge. If under 150 riders register then it’s only a $1,000 prize purse. The prizes will be weighted accordingly to the number of riders in each cash-prize eligible race. Things will be more clear by race day, but there’s money to win. We’re not sure if there’s a cash prize if under 100 riders are registered…although Facebook has over 300 people listed as “in attendance.” We’ll check on this and get back to y’all soon. We’ve been told that it’s unlikely the 100 person registration floor won’t be met, but if that’s the case then prizes in the form of swag and gear will be awarded to the winners.

Registration Options

As always there are multiple options for registration. If you’d only like to skate the practice sessions you’re able to buy a pass for Saturday only (which should be pretty fun in and of itself) or you can choose to race in the luge race, or one of the stand up classes. All classes require you to wear a helmet, gloves, while AM classes will also have to wear knee and elbow pads. As of this posting (8/23) there are 40 registered riders, 20 of whom are making the trek down from Canada with many more riders committed but not signed up.

Practice Pass

  • Practice Only Saturday under 16 (1 day)
  • Practice Only Saturday over 17 (1 day)

Luge

Competing for cash prizes:

  • Lay Down Open (2 days, butt board, classic and street luge – leathers mandatory for all lay down even practice)

Stand Up Pro

These classes will be eligible for both the cash prizes and longboard gear/swag.

  • Stand Up Pro Open (2 days)
  • Stand Up Pro Women (2 days)
  • Stand Up Pro Junior Under Age 17 (2 days; leathers required)

Stand Up AM

These classes will be competing for gear/longboarding swag, not the cash prizes:

  • Stand Up Am Open (2 days)
  • Stand Up Am Junior Age 14 – 17 (2 days)
  • Stand Up AM Grom Under Age 13 (2 days)

Registration Pricing

Price/time…………………..………….Aug….Day-of
Practice Saturday Only Under 16…..$70…..$90
Practice Saturday Only Over 17…….95………115
One Class (Sat and Sun)…………….145……..165
Two Classes (stand up/lay down)…195……..215
(an additional processing fee applies not to exceed $10 applies across the board)

Hopefully this makes sense, but basically if you register in August, before the event, there’s a pretty significant discount. Head over to Active.com to register, there’s a processing fee that you’ll have to pay somewhere along the road that shouldn’t be more than $10, so factor that in to the prices above. In the end, to race one class it’ll cost you around $155 total if you register in advance, or $175 if you register day-of.

Schedule

The schedule for both days is as follows:

Day One – Saturday, August 31, 2013
7am – Sign In / Registration and Inspection
8am – Course is open for practice runs skate
12pm- Lunch Break
1pm – Resume Practice
7pm – closing day 1 and clean up.

Day Two – Sunday, September 1, 2013
7am – Sign in
8am – Course opens for practice runs
9am – DH Points Series for Stand Up and Luge
12pm – Lunch Break
1pm – Finish Points, Continue with Quarter Finals
5pm – closing awards ceremony day two and clean up.

Camping

There is group camping located at the Oakland Valley Campground in Cuddlebackville, NY. The cost is $5.50 per person per night with no minimum. According to Tom you can fish from your tent, and they’ve got a swimming pool and showers for you to use. Call them directly to make your reservation and tell them you’re with the ACME Extreme Downhill Race to get the special group rate (not advertised on their website).

Parking

Racers will park at the top of the hill and won’t be able to leave with the exception of lunch which will run from noon to 1.

Spectators will park at the West Beach and on Saturday. Organizers will be running a shuttle by radio from the beach to hill. On Sunday the shuttle will run every 20 minutes from noon to close.

Area Map

Tom put together this area map highlighting some of the key points you might need to know.


View ACME Extreme Downhill – The Venue in a larger map

ACME Extreme Downhill Course Preview

Make sure to e-mail Tom at tom@mortgagecom.com with any questions or call him at (201)470-GNAR. You can also leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to get you an answer, or mosey over to the Facebook Event.

Soldiers of Downhill 2013

The registration for Soldiers of Downhill 2013 is officially open! This is one of the fastest and gnarliest races in the country, so it’s not for the faint of heart to say the least.  To register head over to the Ohio Downhill Skate registration page and follow the instructions. Once we learn more about the actual race weekend schedule, we’ll update this post accordingly. 

Soldiers of Downhill 2013 going down October 12-13!

About Soldiers of Downhill 2013

Back for its 4th year, Soldiers of Downhill 2013 is a downhill race that taking place on October 12-13 in Bainbridge, Ohio. If you’re going to this race, make sure you’re prepared for the gnar, cause this course is one of the most steamy you’ll find east of the Mississippi, if not the entire U.S.

In order to compete your going to need a full body leather suit, a full face helmet, $130US, and some cojones.  Riders under the age of 18 also require a parent to handle liability waivers.  A description of the course is best described by the event organizers, the men over at Ohio Downhill Skate,

“The course starts on a moderate decline, quickly dropping around a long sweeping left. The grade increases to just under 10% accelerating riders into a 90 degree fast, sharp right. You speed up down a 10% straight and set up for the fast chicanes, followed by a less severe set of chicanes. Then it’s a battle of momentum and aerodynamics to the finish of this 1.3 mile long course. (top speed for stand-up riders is about 56 mph).”

Contact Info

If for some reason you need to get in contact with an event organizer for further details, they were nice enough to leave contact information on their website:

Soldiers of Downhill 2013 going down October 12-13!Dan Oliver, Event Coordinator
Email: manager1888@gmail.com
Phone: 330-618-2048

Jamie Reis, Race Coordinator
Email: jreis5173@gmail.com
Phone: 412-848-3381

Sean Graves, Sponsorship Extraordinaire
Email: seangraves13@gmail.com
Phone: 301-758-5321

Check out a raw run of the course below:

Make sure to like Ohio Downhill Skate and check out the official Event Page on Facebook. 

While you’re at it make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to stay current, ya heard? Are you going to be racing Soldiers of Downhill 2013? Sound off in the comments below!

Central Mass Longboard Fest 4: Updates, Registration Info and Lodging

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!

Updates

4th Annual Central Massachusetts Longboard Fest FlyerIn 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!

Registration

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

Schedule

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:

July 22:
8:00PM: Registration (See Registration Page for instructions)
August 16:
12:00PM: Haybale volunteers – meet at Harvard General Store

August 17:
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

August 18:
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
9:15AM: Practice
10:15AM: Open softwheel slide jam
11:15AM: Women’s slide jam
12:15PM: Lunch
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

Lodging

Coupon Code for the 4th Annual Central MA Longboard Festival hotel specialThis 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.

SkateCentralMA.com Live!

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!