POSTPONED: Superstoker- Sanctioned Downhill and Freeride

 

Photo: Valerie Lioudinouskova

Photo: Valerie Lioudinouskova

EDIT: EVENT IS POSTPONED

Message from Event Organizer:

“Hey Guys I have some really bad news. I just got off the phone with the director of the parks and rec board. Despite granting us the sanction permit to use the roads for this Sunday, the Parks and Rec board has today decided not to let us proceed with the event until after their October First meeting when they will vote on and impose a fee for us to use the top section of the hill. We are all extremely frustrated and it seems the only way to circumvent this obstacle is to postpone the event. I deeply apologize for any inconveniences or let-downs. We, the organizers, are still reeling from this decision (myself especially, as I have already purchased a flight across the country to host the event. All paypal pre-registrations will be refunded as promptly as possible (most likely in the next few hours). Again, I am very sorry.”

 

 

WHAT: 

  • 2 hours of Open Downhill
  • Maximum of four hours of racing
  • 4.5 hours of Freeride (at least)

WHEN:

Sunday, September 21st, 2014 10AM

Photo: Valerie Lioudinouskova

Photo: Valerie Lioudinouskova

WHERE:

Located in North Park, Fall River MA. Parking will be available on Highland Ave. which runs
next to North park, registration table will be visible from 712 Highland ave. 

WHY:

The legacy of the 2013 Massachusetts event dubbed the “Fall River Bomb & Slide Jam” has birthed “Superstoker,” and it’s truly something to get super stoked about!! Located in North Park, Fall River MA will be hosting a 1 day gathering of skaters from all around the east coast. This sanctioned event will include a slide jam, hours of downhill runs, and racing. Don’t miss out!

Click Here to find out more information on this event and to RSVP yourself a spot

Click Here to see the Facebook Event page

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Matt Burke: Blue Sky Longboards

Matt Burke, founder of Blue Sky Longboards, located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania has been skating since before you were born. Active in the skate community since 1971, Matt has been heavily involved in skateboard related charity fundraising and has spent the last four years growing his board company with the help of his son Noah.

“Pushing Wood and Doin’ Good”- the motto of Blue Sky does exactly that by taking skateboarding and using it to give back to the community.

The concept is simple. Host a 10-mile long push event that consists of 10 riders. Each rider gets 10 people to donate 1 dollar for every mile they push. 10 x 10 x 10 = $1,000.00. This concept allows the chance to raise good money while having a blast doing it. The money collected is donated to hyper local charities to directly impact the immediate community.

Matt, his family, and his skate team have also been active in helping out with other notable charities and foundations such as The A.skate Foundation and Stoked Mentoring. The A.skate Foundation is a non-profit that allows children with autism to be a part of our social world through skateboarding and Stoked Mentoring aims to promote personal development, academic achievement, and healthy living to under-served youth through action sports culture.

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Skate: Giovanni Lategano

What is new with Blue Sky and what are your plans for the future?

“In addition to our existing decks the Lotus and the Contrail, we have just released our newest deck the Chakra. This board was designed by our team rider Leon Vincent aka Leon the Lion. The shape is a single kick, directional top mount for downhill and freeride. The board features a healthy, rear-offset W concave for a nice locked in feel. In the past we have had a lineup of several “entry level” decks that have since been discontinued. We have decided to go with a new direction, take our time, and develop what we like to call our ‘Timeless Lineup’”. Our goal is to have 8 permanent shapes that will range from a push deck, a traditional popsicle stick street deck, to reintroducing our Beefy old school pool deck, among others.”

Leon Vincent skating the all new "Chakra". Photo: Ross Earhart

Leon Vincent skating the all new “Chakra”. Photo: Ross Earhart

Can you explain more about your “Timeless Lineup?”

“I want there to be boards in our line up that beginners can gravitate towards and feel comfortable right away and I also want boards that the highest quality professionals are going to want to step on as well. I don’t feel like you need a massive line-up of 30 plus shapes to accomplish that. Ultimately its all going to boil back down to a couple of shapes that are meaningful, that work, that are going to stick around for the long haul and everything else will pretty much fall away. Skateboards are getting bigger and longboards are getting smaller and it’s all converging.  In the end, there are only going to be a couple shapes that really last”.

What were you involved with before you started Blue Sky?

“I had previous experience pressing and shaping wood for a snowboarding company called “Summit” when I lived in Breckinridge, Colorado in the late 80’s. At the same time I was very involved in teaching snowboarding. I must have been one of the first 20 people in the world to get certified to by the Professional Ski Instructors of America, and I was a part of the first clinics to teach people to teach people to snowboard. Later in life, my career path had been in marketing for high tech companies to help bring brands to life at tradeshows. Eventually I ended up with a firm that did most of their work for pharmaceutical companies and I hated it, I hated the pharmaceutical industry and just decided to leave the firm I was with. At that point I decided it’s now or never, if I want to pursue my passion I needed to do it now.”

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Matt Burke after winning his first skateboard competition at 8 years old

Tell me about your team!

“We have a team of 20 riders that are managed and coached by Luke Ayata. He is on the board of directors for the IDSA and is a founding member of the Concrete Kings and the Shralpers Union. He is also an ex-professional basketball player who has since become and integral part of the NYC longboard scene.”

“Our team includes some great skaters and some of the fastest pushers in the world. They have reached podium at events including the Broadway bomb, Central Park Race, Ultra Skate and Adrenalina. Some notable team riders include Colleen Pelech who previously broke the world record at Ultra Skate in 2013 and was also one of the first two women to accomplish skating across the United States. Clio Sherman and Daisy Johannes are two very talented skaters who I am stoked to have on the team. Giovanni Lategano and Cameron Luke Wilson make up our international team members and are doing what they do best in Argentina and South Africa. Max Allesandri is a very talented freerider who is currently in 1st place in the Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series. Miles Evans took 3rd place at last years Broadway Bomb and has done very well in many other push races”. Joao Pineiro is an amazing push racer from Peru that now lives in NYC but goes back to Peru at least once a year and helps stoke out the community down there with a big push event. Jason Quinn has a dancing style like no one else I have seen. I hope to do a dance board and edit for him very soon. I am just really proud of everyone on the team. They are super chill and just fun to be around.

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Skate: Daisy Johannes Photo:Christian Barnard

You have some very talented Push Racers, don’t you?

“We are basically “based” in NYC and because of the strong push scene here, yes we have developed an incredibly strong push team. Long distance push racing is a form of extreme athleticism. It’s growing; the IDSA is working hard to create a collegiate level series. Most colleges have a longboard club and every one of those clubs have been doubling in size and now the colleges are funding the clubs and more skaters will be able to attend these events. It’s a more serious athletic approach to skateboarding. A lot of strategy and preparation is involved, you can’t just jump out there with a red bull and go do it. You’re training, you’re eating, you’re prepping for weeks and months in advance for it.”

Colleen Pelech Photo: Grace Moon

Colleen Pelech
Photo: Grace Moon

What is the Blue Sky Mile Challenge?

“When we first started the company, we produced an event called the “Blue Sky Mile Challenge,” and it brought out riders from everywhere.  The thing I am most proud about in that event is that we paid the women the same amount in prize money as the men. We gave out an equal amount of money and prizes regardless of gender. About a year later we exhibited at Surf Expo and some members of the largest company in the industry approached us. They told us that what we did by offering equal prize money changed their outlook on how to treat women in the industry. That in itself was a huge accomplishment for me. Women need more support, and now more events have been honoring equal prize money. If you are going to separate the sexes, then why is the top of one group any less valuable then the top of the other group.”

#Showmeatrick is blowing up on facebook, what’s that all about?

“This page is a personal thing and not a Blue Sky thing. It is devoted to sharing the skateboard camaraderie with short boards and longboards alike. If it helps bring the short and long board communities together, then that’s something really special. I am very happy with how #showmeatrick is going. It helps keep skateboarding fun and helps promote progression. Very notable old school legends as well as modern day professionals have gotten involved, too. This page isn’t about sponsorships, branding, or companies. It’s as simple as show me a freaking trick and challenge a friend to do the same. That’s all any of us really want to see anyway.”

Max Allesandri skating the all new "Chakra". Photo: Ross Earhart

Max Allesandri skating the all new “Chakra”. Photo: Ross Earhart

Can you tell me a secret?

Blue Sky and Pantheon Longboards are joining forces to create a single distribution alliance. This is something that I’m very excited about. Jeff Vyain is one of the most authentic and creative people I know in the industry. What he’s been able to do with Pantheon in such a short period of time is truly outstanding. Jeff and I share the same enthusiasm for collaboration. We are excited to work under one roof and focus our strengths for the good of both brands and the skate community. We are discussing ideas that entail everything from complimentary products under the alliance to event planning. The partnership will allow us to simplify our sales and distribution processes, making it easier for shops to order and more efficient for us from a business end. The goal is to continue to keep both businesses family run and to get better at it!

Skate: Jason Quinn Photo: Christian Barnard

Skate: Jason Quinn
Photo: Christian Barnard

Zach Viele: The Pucks

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Zach Viele, Team rider for Faceplant Boardriders and Wheelrz is 21 years old from Lake George, NY. He has been actively manufacturing his own slide pucks for almost 2 years now and has gained a tremendous following. “The Pucks” are created from UHMW polyurethane and are backed by some of the gnarliest team riders around including Mike Fitter, Dejaune Jones, Rob Wheeler, Justin Ellsworth, Cody Baker, as well as many others.

Rider: Zach Viele Photo: Ross Earheart

Rider: Zach Viele
Photo: Ross Earheart

When did you decide you wanted to start your own puck company?

“I started The Pucks about a year and a half after I started skating, and it just took off from there. I had ordered a set of pucks online, and in the time it took for them to ship to my house I decided just to go ahead and try and create my own. I never ended up using those pucks I ordered, and have been using my products ever since. We are having problems in sales right now because our pucks last so long that people don’t often need a second set. They’re extremely durable and wear down really slowly.”

Rider: Dejaune Jones Photo: Marion J Ross

Rider: Dejaune Jones Photo: Marion J Ross

What’s it like to have pro riders using your products?

“It’s a surreal feeling to have someone who I look up to like Mike Fitter of Abec 11 and Rayne Longboards become a team rider for my company. He is like the tony hawk of downhill skateboarding for me and I feel honored that he chooses to use my products. It shows that even the big people in the industry care about the small people. Even though you’re a small company they don’t sell you short, they give your product a chance.”

Rider: Mike Fitter  Photo: Spencer Adams

Rider: Mike Fitter
Photo: Spencer Adams

How did you start the production?

“The plastic we use for our pucks has actually been apart of my life for the last 10 years. My dad uses the plastic for his work and we have used it for a number of different things. It never occurred to me that same plastic could be utilized for the longboard industry. I wanted to create a thicker puck to help prevent people from ripping up their gloves and was going to last longer than the other pucks in the market.”

Rider: Justin Ellsworth Photo: Quentin LaChance

Rider: Justin Ellsworth Photo: Quentin LaChance

What was the original purpose of the plastic and why is it so durable?

“This plastic was originally designed to be wear resistant and hold off heat for the machines that manufacture paper. We are using that same plastic as pucks for when you’re steaming down a hill. The amount of heat and friction that is created when used for longboarding is absolutely nothing compared to what it is usually meant to withstand at a mill.”

Rider: Cody Baker Photo: Randy Flewelling

Rider: Cody Baker
Photo: Randy Flewelling

Help support Zach and the East Coast by picking up a set of his slide pucks. The Pucks will last you a very long time and are trusted by some of the best riders in the industry. Plans for gloves are in the works too so keep an eye out for those as well.

Click here for more information and to buy your set of The Pucks

And here to follow their Facebook page

Rider: Rob Wheeler  Photo: Andrew Collins

Rider: Rob Wheeler
Photo: Andrew Collins

 

Video: Raw Run-Mike Girard

Mike Girard, A.K.A Dad, went real fast on his skateboard the other day, in fact, nearly triple the posted speed limit. Mike is the organizer of the beloved Central Mass skate festivals and as you can see here he not only talks the talk, but he most certainly walks the walk. Watch here as Mike reaches speeds up to 70 miles per hour down this Western Mass gem.

-Connor

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. 

Pantheon Embryo: What You Need to Know

Pantheon EmbryoThese days you’re hard pressed to find someone doing anything really unique in the game. Loaded regularly employs new materials and techniques, Never Summer has integrated some of their snowboard technology into their longboards, Comet produces green boards and Earthwing has recently changed the game with their NLS lineup; beyond those though I feel like we see a lot of  board companies copying each other and putting a slight twist on the end product.

Enter Pantheon Longboards. New for this 2014 season, Pantheon is headed by Jeff Vyain, the former board designer for Bustin’ Boards and the brains behind some of the most popular deck designs over the last couple of years.Pantheon Longboards This fall Jeff decided to venture off on his own and left Bustin’ on great terms, moving his family and new company up to Pennsylvania to get things rolling. After a few short months Jeff has unleashed the first deck in Pantheon’s lineup, the Embryo.

Pantheon, as Jeff described to me, is meant to be a no bull sh*t approach to skateboards, paying attention to the details and the finer points of design to bring you the best feeling skateboard possible. To quote Jeff himself:

My focus for Pantheon really isn’t on innovation for the sake of innovation, but creating stellar, practical designs with innovative (or non-innovative) features that just work. No bullshit. No hype. Just an awesome skateboard that combines with that awesome hill or path or whatever that gives you that awesome feeling.

What I’m super stoked about with the Embryo is what they’re calling the “W-Bubbles” concave. Instead of having the W run throughout the length of the board like you usually see, the Embryo has a flat standing surface in the middle for comfortable distance pushing (Jeff’s former specialty) and W concave towards the ends to lock you in during slides and in a tuck. [UPDATE 3/3/14: Jeff sent me an e-mail and Will commented below letting me know that the Madrid Nessie also featured a similar concave before, apologies.] Feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve seen this “W-Bubble” concave on any other decks before, but it sounds pretty dope.

The "W-Bubbles" in the Pantheon Embryo

The “W-Bubbles” in the Pantheon Embryo

The deck is asymmetrical and the concave changes a bit throughout it, as well. As you can read in the graphic below, one end has a gradually tapered concave, while the other sports some gentle 3D concave — a “Funnel Concave” if you will. While the deck is asymmetrical, Jeff assures me that it can be ridden either direction depending on what your preference is. So while it’s technically a directional board, its directional in whichever way you choose — pretty unique and very cool.

To top it all off the graphic is dope as hell. Eddie Kihm came through and did the dopest job designing this graphic, setting the stage for a lot of other companies to step their game up come 2014. Just like we mentioned with Earthwing’s NLS lineup, we’re stoked to see that Pantheon is manufacturing their decks right here in the USA – that’s what’s up!

Length: 36.5 in
Width: 10 in
Rocker: 0.25in
Wheelbases: 25.5-29 inches

You can pick one up from Pantheon themselves for $130.00, helping to support a small and local east coast company! Sound off with your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Pantheon Embryo

Jared Henry in Asheville

Jared Henry in Asheville

Comet Team Rider Jared Henry just dropped a new edit of him shredding in his new home of Asheville, NC. Check out his dope style mixing it up between city and the mountains. Jared has been big on the come-up since making a name for himself at the Ithaca Hill Jam this spring and is absolutely killing the scene like nobody’s business so expect a lot more gnar in the future.

Also take a second and check out his interview with Thane Magazine.

Is that Steve Kong Going Fast?

We had to do our research and double check, but it turns out this is actually a legitimate video of Steve Kong going fast. I’ve never seen this much of Steve’s butt in one video in my life, and never thought I’d be so OK with it, either, but I’m stoked to see him going fast and killing it.

I love when skaters break free from their usual discipline and skate something new, experience a new ride, and end up having a blast while doing it. It looks like Steve got to do just that and had a steezy ass time in the process. Hopefully we’ll get the EW guys up here to Western Mass to skate some gnar and get some ill footage in the near future!