Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Championships & Interview with Jeff Vyain

Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Championship trophy.

The biggest names in both men’s and women’s push racing will be making their way down to Hallandale Beach, Florida this Saturday (11/5) for the  fourth and final leg of the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Series. The course for Saturday features longer laps, requiring the racers to only complete 4 of them, as opposed to 12 in New York and 13 in Puerto Rico. Bustin’ Boards’ Cami Best had said in an interview with Adrenalina after the Plano, TX race — which also featured long laps — that fewer laps “makes it seem more attainable,” and allows you to focus on skating more rather than what lap you’re on. While the weather looks like it will be in the high 70s and sunny it’s not going to be just another day at the beach for competitors.

As with the previous legs of the ASM a whopping $30,000 prize purse is on the table, half of which (yes, that’s a full $15,000) goes to the first place male finisher. In addition to the prize money, the winner will be crowned the first ever Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon Champion and hoist the 20 pound trophy (which they unveiled 4 days ago) on the podium alongside the women’s ASM champion. In the previous 3 legs of the ASM we’ve seen three different winners: Jeff Vayin who won in New York City, his teammate Kiefer Dixon who won in Puerto Rico, and Paul Kent who won the last ASM in Plano, TX. Not only has every race seen a different winner, but the top 5 changes dramatically from race to race — for all intents and purposes this is really anyone’s game on Saturday. Favorites, of course are the previous three winners alongside Robin McGurik and Enrique Cubillo, both of whom posted impressive finishes in other recent push races. While there doesn’t appear to be a clear winner one thing is certain: Saturday is going to be one of the most exciting stops on the ASM this season.

I had the opportunity to talk to Jeff Vyain of Bustin’ Boards, and winner of the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon in New York City earlier this summer, via e-mail and asked him a few questions about the race coming up. Check it out below:

STE: What, if anything, have you done differently to train for the Championships on Saturday? If you didn’t make  any changes, are you wishing you had?

JV:” I have done a few workouts, so I guess that’s a change from the past two races anyway. I’ve also started drinking distilled water. That’s more of a lifestyle thing, though…not sure if it’ll have any impact on my racing. Been drinking a lot of Smoothies and I’m taking a suppliment powder that Paul’s been on since day 1, so I’m cutting that variable out of the mix! I wish I got a couple more workouts in but I’m going in mentally prepared, and that’s what’s most important.”

STE: Do you have any traditions or superstitions you try to abide by before a race?

JV: “I’m not superstitious in the sense that if I don’t get to do something, I don’t think it will impact my performance. I try to get decent sleep, though before Adrenalina NYC, I got about 2 hours, and that’s the only race I’ve won this year, so I can’t say that that matters all too much either. This is a mental game more than anything, and I don’t like to rely on things I may not always have control over. I’m always ready to race.”

Jeff Vyain, right, battles against Paul Kent, left, on his custom Bustin' Board

STE: With the Championship title and all that cash on the line, whats the atmosphere between competitors like  going into the race?

JV: “Kiefer is always quiet and kind of serious. Paul and I are always joking around, playing up our “rivalry” but talking strategies and trying to push each other to get better. Cami and Sara are always partying it up and endlessly bothering me with setup questions. I think everything’s pretty normal.”

STE: What’s the first thing you plan on doing if you win in Hallandale Beach?

JV: “I’m probably going to pay my dad off on some college loans he helped me out with a couple years ago. He’s been very patient with me :) Thanks Dad! And I’d like to take Maribeth on a little vacation sometime this winter, maybe hit some slopes out west or something. And maybe one day I will build a pyramid.”

STE: So what comes next after the Championship? How do you plan on training through what looks to be  another harsh winter in NYC?

JV:” I’m going to get as deep into board building as possible. I’ve been happily put in charge of doing a lot of the prototyping for Bustin, and I’m having a really good time with it. I’m still learning, but it’s coming quickly. My goal for the winter is to get as deep into my work as possible and release some really sick boards next year.

Most of my training will probably be cross training. I’ll skate whenever I can, but I really want to get into a climbing gym and get my body back into shape. I’ve suffered from back problems ever since the NYC race, and the racing schedule has been so tight that all I’ve really been able to focus on is recovery rather than strengthening to prevent injury. That’s my main goal physically–to get as strong as possible so I can train a lot harder next year. New York was the only race I’ve really been able to train for, and at the time, I thought I was just getting started. Hopefully that is still the case and that it’s all just on a bit longer timeline than previously expected. I want to break some records next year. I still hope to do well in Florida, though. I’m not counting myself out!”

If you’ve ever seen Jeff’s custom Bustin’ Board that he designed with Subsonic (which he is riding in the image above) you know you should be extremely excited to see what he comes up with during the off-season! We’ll cover more of that when it comes time, until then get ready for what looks to be a very exciting race weekend in Hallandale, Flordia!

Best of luck to all the competitors, especially the East Coast constituency that has been doing so well!