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. 

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)
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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!

Wrap-Up: 2013 Ithaca Hill Jam

The 2013 Comet Skateboards Ithaca Hill Jam (a.k.a. Ithaca Skate Jam, a.k.a. Ithaca Slide Jam) went down on Saturday April 27th in Ithaca, New York with over 160 registered riders and close to 250 people total attending.

View of all the action.

View of all the action.

To say the event was a success would be one of the understatements of the year, as it proved to be one of the the best non-race events hosted on the east coast ever, and raised the bar for what’s to be expected in the future.

By the time we parked and got to the race it was about 9:15AM, the bottom section below the funbox, was full of skaters warming up as the Comet crew on the top half of the hill were putting the finishing touches on the ramp setup. Everything came together and people started skating the entire hill by 10:00AM/10:15AM; from that point forward it was ON! Once people warmed up and got a feeling for the ramps and the pavement things escalated quickly, with everyone clearly feeding off the energy from the crowd and other skaters.

Comet team rider and Toronto native Eric Jensen was really working the hip and launch ramp all day. So gnarly. Ithaca Skate Jam 2013.

Comet team rider and Toronto native Eric Jensen was really working the hip and launch ramp all day.

The entire Comet team was in attendance, including our good friend Brian Peck, Liam Morgan, Jesse Breiman, Anthony Flis, Big Dave, Jared Henry, Eric Jensen and a slew of other well known shredders like MuirSkate owner Scott “El Beasto” Lembach, Eric Roth, Ed Garner, Josh Wright, and too many more to name.

The top half of the hill was definitely where most of the action was centered around as they contained the majority of ramps and features. A spine/rail jam along with two hips, two smaller kickers, and a launch ramp made for an exciting and fun downhill skatepark that pushed people to go bigger and be more creative than usual. Below that a fun box stayed chillin with most choosing to avoid it after watching at least one person launch over the entire feature straight to flat ground, instead of the landing ramp.

Brian Peck and Skate The East's Mike DiPietro getting some follow run footage.

Brian Peck and Skate The East’s Mike DiPietro getting some follow run footage.

Those that chose to keep 4 wheels on the ground found plenty of room to get sideways and go big, without getting snaked too many times. It was hella dope to see hardwheel shredders like Steve Kong going faster and bigger than I’d ever imagined, taking full advantage of the closed road and 13.5% grade.

The photos and videos speak for themselves and tell the story better than I can. The vibe was great, the weather was perfect, and the city of Ithaca was a real sport by letting a bunch of skaters shut down a road and play for a day. So many props and thanks go to Comet Skateboards for putting together such an unreal event and raising the bar for what’s to be expected at east coast events in the future. People pushed themselves hard, got pitted, and showed just how motivated the east coast scene is these days. I’m so stoked to see how the rest of this season will turn out, as I think this is just the tip of the proverbial talent iceberg out east.

Brian Peck pops an ollie, starts sweatin' uhhh.

In Brief: Ithaca Skate Jam 2013

Wow. That’s all I can seem to keep thinking as I reflect back on what a rad weekend the guys at Comet Skateboards put together out in Ithaca, NY. There’s so much to say, show, and share with you guys between one of the gnarliest events ever seen out east and the epic pre and post sessions. I’ve got 5.5 gigs of photos alone, never mind the amount of video we took, too.

We’ll start with this photo series of Brian Peck popping an absolutely chiller ollie off the kicker and onto the hip to whet your whistles a little. Stay tuned for tons more soon.

Brian Peck pops an ollie, starts sweatin' uhhh.

Brian Peck pops an ollie, starts sweatin’, uhhh.

 

Toronto Board Meeting 2012

Last Saturday Waaaayyyy back at the beginning of September, nearly 1,200 people gathered in Toronto to attend the tenth annual Board Meeting. For those of you that aren’t familiar, Board Meeting is unlike many of the other mass-rider pushes through major cities because it’s not a race. Unlike the Broadway Bomb, Shoekill, South Beach Bomb and many others, the Board Meeting is a gathering of skaters to celebrate just that: skating. Riders all dress in button-down shirts and ties (usually white) in a tradition that dates back to the first Board Meeting. Originally Board Meeting was meant to not only celebrate skating and the skate culture, but also raise awareness about pushing to work, while also mocking Toronto’s business culture.

Last year’s Board Meeting brought about 900 racers from across Canada and different parts of the world to take place and this year was no different. Despite some whack weather forecasts and morning drizzle skaters came out in numbers to this years Board Meeting to skate together. All in all it ended up being around 1,200 people from what we’ve heard and could tell. Cops were super cool and worked with us to shut streets down, and big names like fellow east coaster Brian “I’m A Street In Toronto” Peck, Patrick Switzer, Mike Girard, and Anthony Flis came in from far while locals like Matt “McLovin” Livingston and John Barnett helped lead the pack and keep things moving.

I’m going to wrap this post up quickly, since I started writing it over a month ago and really just want to have SOME record of Board Meeting 2012 on the site despite the fact that I never fully finished my write-up of it, nor did I get to Slide Fu 2012. That’ll all have to come another day…All in all Board Meeting 2012 was super super fun and was an awesome gathering of skaters from all over. I had an absolute blast and was super super impressed, as well as super jealous, by the scene that Toronto has going on. Shout outs to Loaded’s Cindy Zhou for hosting me for the weekend and the whole Skate Invaders crew for showing us whats up.

Peep the album below that I took on my iPhone for some of the action from the event.

Wrap-Up: 3rd Annual Central Massachusetts Longboard Competition

A few weeks ago now, August 12 to be exact, the 3rd Annual Central Massachusetts Longboard Competition went down in Harvard, MA. If you were one of the 500 plus people there to either skate or spectate the event is anything far from memory still, as it once again took the top spot for the best organized, run, and most fun competition I’ve seen in New England this season.

In what seems like a tradition for the event at this point, the day started off with an unreal amount of rain through warm ups and the first couple of heats, causing some unexpected riders to advance and some big wipe outs to happen (although nothing quite like last year’s collection of crashes). As the day carried on and the course dried out, the race got faster and more competitive, keeping the crowd at the edge of their seats through the final rounds of the downhill races. 128 riders in total competed for the Open Downhill podium, with Dane Webber, Luis Marrero and Steven Sanchez pulling out the top 3 in the end. Mixed in between the serious downhill heats was a Chinese Downhill event organized by Passion Skateboards, making for some fun and wild runs and making Connecticut Downhill’s own Victor Tu a very happy boy after he finished first. There was also a 32-person Grom bracket, with Brett Ciabattini taking first, Tucker Bishop coming in second and David Yang rounding out the podium in third.

(from L to R) Luis, Dane, and Steven celebrate on the Open Downhill podium. Photo credit: Mike DiPietro/SKATETHEEAST.NET

Once downhill was over the cones were cleared and the slide jam began. Ed Neives, Steve Kong, and Mason McNay all threw down hard during the hardwheel competition, finishing in that respective order. Friend of the site Norman Plante was also a notable entry into the hardwheels section, mainly because he doesn’t own a techsliding setup nor does he practice it. Norm still managed to throw some impressive lines, showcasing his raw talent on a skateboard. The softwheel competition didn’t leave much on the table, either, as Brett Ciabattini took home first place followed closely by friends of the site Chris O’Brien and Eric Roth. All three of these guys managed to weave their way through two very crowded heats of riders (which in and of itself was very impressive) to still throw some super entertaining lines and gnarly tricks. A sperate division was thrown in for groms in this event, as well, with Jordan Billingsly taking first followed closely by David Yang and Hughie Allan, respectively. I think a few separate heats to space people out and reduce the congestion would have helped a lot, so hopefully that’ll be the case next year.

Ladies weren’t left out of the fun, either, with the fight for the podiums in both Lady’s Downhill and Lady’s Freeride being vicious ones right to the end. Paige Mariscano surprised much the field with her first place finish, followed closely by former east coaster Amanda Powell and Cordelia Welch. All three of these girls duked it out on the hill and were very fun to watch race. When it came to the slide jam Molly Lewis threw down some fun combos and techy tricks to take the top spot on the podium, with Amanda Powell coming in second. Friend of the stie Laura Nocka rounded out the third place position.

Overall this event was surely the most fun of the summer and as usual was amongst the best organized.  Huge shout outs to Mike Girard for making it all happen from the stressful stages of planning to the constant, unplanned emergencies that happen during the event Mike kept his calm and cool and made it an unbelievable day for everyone that attended. One thing to draw attention to as well is the prize packages Mike put together. Instead of just letting everyone walk off with a piece of gear, Mike stepped it up another notch (the theme of this event, it seems) by putting together a $2,000 prize purse split amongst the winners. Original Skateboards threw in $300 for the softwheel winner and the rest came out of Mike’s pocket — “NEXT LEVEL GAME CHANGER!” as Eric Roth and Lil B would say.

Rumor has it we might see two days next year, a change that I think everyone would more than welcome and would extend New England’s best event for even more fun and excitement. I for one, cannot wait until next year!

As always make sure to Like us on Facebook, Subscribe on Youtube, and Follow us on Twitter for exclusives and news!

In Brief: 2011 South Beach Bomb Goes Off in Miami

The 2011 South Beach Bomb in Miami, Florida went off Saturday with around 200 riders storming the most famous beach in the world, riding 6.7 miles down the coast. While I couldn’t make it myself (and oh man did I want to) I did my best to imagine I was there by cranking up the heat in my room and patiently watching Twitter updates from some of the Bustin’ crew who made their way down as well as the Florida skaters that were representing hard.

Before the race Salomon tweeted that traffic was sketchy and Florida skaters were out in numbers which sounded like a mix that would be sure to make for a fun event. One of our fans on Facebook tipped us off to some great photos of the event, which I’m reposting below. They were originally tweeted by Lacko Illustration‘s Twitter account Lackostration and all copyright credit goes to him, props for sharing with us though!

If you were at the South Beach Bomb and have a more pictures, video, or a more in-depth write-up that you want to share e-mail me: mike [at] skatetheeast.net along with a short blurb about yourself.

And for those of you who haven’t heard…we’re getting ready to announce our first give-away as soon as our Facebook Page reaches 450 likes! Make sure you’re a fan of us on Facebook and share our post with your friends, the sooner we hit 450 likes the sooner we can announce the contest and get it started. Who doesn’t want a chance to win some sweet gear? Spread the word so we can help spread the stoke!

Bustin's Will Royce and Cami Best pre-race

Nice sized pack!

Miami Khauna swag, pushing isn't for everyone

Another shot of the pack from behind