I Love Downhill Grand Prix: Everything You Need to Know

I know I haven’t mentioned it yet, but if you’re on the East Coast and haven’t heard about the I Love Downhill Grand Prix going on at Windham Mountain in Windham, NY this summer it’s time to listen up. Since details were a little lose earlier on I decided to hold off on talking about the event, much more is clear now and registration is actually open so let me catch you all up.

What is the I Love Downhill Grand Prix you ask? Set to take place on June 23rd and 24th I Love DH will be the biggest downhill racing event for both longboards and luge on the East Coast, period. When I say biggest, I mean it in ever respect: number of racers, course, speed, and prizes. Surf-Rodz is throwing up some major cash along with other East Coast manufacturers such as Bustin’ Boards and PhatDeanZ for the pro’s and tons of chances to walk away with gear for the amateurs. Only 2.5 hours north of New York City and 3.5 hours west of Boston the race is going to attract the fastest skaters from all over the Northeast and will draw pros from the far reaches of the East Coast and beyond along with some of the larger crowds of spectators we’ll see this year. The course itself is over a mile long with 5 technical hairpin turns and speeds reaching well over 50mph for longboarders and into the 60’s for streetlugers, with such a fast and technical course this could end up being one of the best races we see in the U.S. period, especially in future years!

So what’s on the line? Marc Dean, the event’s organizer, sent out an e-mail telling potential racers a little more about the prizes and sponsors today and I have to say, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it in downhill racing yet — especially not on the East Coast. East Coast companies are supporting hard, and we’re so happy to see it. Surf-Rodz is putting their money where their mouth is and putting up $1,500 in prize money to be split between the men and women pro events and a ton of trucks going out to the winners of the amateur events. Bustin’ Boards is also putting up some big money, offering $500 for both the first place in the men’s and women’s pro events and Phat DeanZ throwing in another $200 in prize money. Kebbek skateboards is also contributing by making some (what should be) sweet event t-shirts. All of the sponsors listed on the sponsors page are donating some sort of gear, so rest assured even if you don’t podium you’ll have a great chance of walking away from the event with some killer swag.

Registration is now officially open and costs $135.00 to register for one class or $165.00 to register for two (Luge/Pro Skate, Luge/Am Skate, Luge/W’s) Skate). Unfortunately there’s no way to tell who has registered yet and who hasn’t or how many are signed up like there has been in races past, so we’ll just have to play it by ear and keep you updated as we hear more. If you want to race make sure you have both a full face helmet and leathers that are in good repair as both are required, along with slide gloves, to race. All racers will be required to undergo a pre-race technical inspection for all your race gear and safety equipment so be sure everything is in good condition as no refunds will be given on race-day due to you being unprepared. Check the rules for all the information.

Beyond all the serious racing and prizes at the end of the day this is a race in the true spirit of longboarding and will offer some fun events to meet other racers and enjoy the company of a bunch of like-minded individuals. The last two runs on Saturday will be a classic luge/butt board race that’ll change things up a bit from the rest of the Grand Prix. The race will be open to both men and women and will require a $5 entry fee to be paid right before the race. Heats will be of 10 with the top 3 advancing to the next round and will feature a Les Mans (running) start. It’s a skate what you brought type race which means if you run it on your downhill setup it’ll be kosher, including your 10mm Surf-Rodz! Then Saturday night, after the first day of warm-ups, racing and butt-boarding, the I Love Downhill masses will be taking over the Cave Mountain Brew Pub in town for some great burgers and great brews along with great company — sounds like a fun time to me.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more but so far this is shaping up to be one of the events of the summer for sure!



UPDATED: Guajataka Downhill 6 — Quebradillas, PR 1/20-1/22

You asked for it, so we’re giving it to you — more downhill news and events. Over in the categories you might (or might not) notice that I added two new categories, one under the “Events, Competitions & Group Skates” category relating to Downhill Events and competitions here on the East Coast. The other new category is simply “Downhill.” It will focus on the East Coast downhill scene as a whole, not just events and competitions. Of course we’ll also be adding a category for Freeride, Freestyle, and LDP when articles come about, something we’re really excited about. RSS feeds are available, if you still use them, for both of these new categories in case you really only want to hear about DH on the East Coast! And, as always, if there’s something you’d like to see here on the blog, shoot me an e-mail at mike [at] skatetheeast.net or comment on our Facebook Page and I’ll do my best to get back to you quickly!

If you’re in the Southeast, especially Florida, in the middle of the month (January) then you’re in the sweetspot for the two biggest downhill competitions in taking place all season. Starting a new year of downhill off right will be the always exciting King of Clermont race in Clermont, FL on January 14th and 15th, followed quickly by the 6th Guajataka Downhill Race in Quebradillas, Puerto Rico on January 20th, 21st and 22nd.

Both of these races will showcase some unreal East Coast talent and give people a chance to see what the downhill scene is looking like in some far-away places. Guajataka, which has gained quite a name for itself since it’s inception in 2006, already has 100 racers registered and is filling up quickly! I’ve reached out to event organizers to find out what the registration limit is, but I can’t imagine it being much higher than 150 racers which means spots are VERY limited and are likely to fill up quickly as the race looms closer. If you want to enter online you must e-mail rstack9669@aol.com to get a race application and waiver, I’m not sure what the entry fee is but they can tell you when you e-mail them.

UPDATE: We got some more details about the race and wanted to share them with you. There are 200 spots for registration total this year which means that at the time this was first posted, around 6 days ago, the race was already half full. Registration is $30 for the Downhill Race Amateur race, $60 for the DH Open Pro race, $80 for the DH + DH Open, and $20 for the Slalom/Slide Jam (WITH LIMITED SPACE!). Rob (one of the event organizers) told me that last year they had 10,000 people show up for the festivities — THIS IS SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!

Because it’s the biggest downhill event not only in the Southeast, but in the entire Caribbean as well, it’s not just your average race, but an entire weekend of stoke-filled fun and sun with not only some great longboarding, but also some cool music and get togethers with other skaters.

It all begins on Friday the 20th with an  Event Briefing and Welcome Cocktail followed by a big party being put together by the fine folks at Sector 9, since it’s a thing in the works we’re still waiting to hear more details as to what exactly that will entail and what times the Event Briefing and Welcome Cocktail will begin. We aren’t sure if the course will be open for practice runs earlier in the day, but again, are trying to find out. So far it appears that Friday has the loosest schedule of the weekend since Preliminary Heats start at 9AM on Saturday.

Saturday the 21st begins at 9AM sharp with Preliminary Heats expected to run until about 4:00PM. While those heats are running, starting at around 2PM the Graffiti Contest, Slide Jam, and Slalom Events will begin and run until around 5:00PM, at which point skating for the day will close and the afterparties soon begin…at 8PM the music show will begin (unsure about what or what type of act) and run until around 1AM, although I have a feeling most people skating Sunday will be heading to bed a little earlier than that.

Sunday the 22nd marks what will most likely be the most exciting day of the competitions as the Quarter Finals, Semifinals, and Finals will all be held back to back starting again at 9AM and running till approximately 4PM. Some of the fastest skaters from not only the East Coast, but across the entire country and Caribbean will be going balls to the walls in the first international race of 2012, looking to take home the crown and the second set of DH bragging rights on the East Coast this year.

The sponsor list is of course swag and stoketastic with names such as our friends at Surf-Rodz, Loaded Boards,  Orangatang and Rayne as well as other heavy hitters such as Randall Trucks, Venom Bushings, and Sector 9. For more information you can also check their Facebook Page or e-mail them at guajatakadownhill2012@gmail.com.

This is an event I really wish I could make, it’s going to be an unreal weekend with not only some of the best skaters in the world, but lots of fun and warmth for everyone. Bustin’ rider and friend of Skate The East Solomon Lang will be making a trip down to the isle to compete, so hopefully we’ll be able to grab some updates from him as the weekend wears on. He’s also looking for a place to stay still, so ladies, let him know ;-). In all seriousness though a bunch of the guys and gals from the Bustin’ Boards Crew including Jeff Vyain are looking for places to stay so if you can accommodate, or know of someone that can get in touch with them and let ’em know!

Also, check out the video from last year’s Guajataka event if you need any more convincing about how sweet it should be:

King of Clermont 2012 — Jan 14-15

It’s a good couple months to be in Florida if you’re a longboarder living on the East Coast. As the weather gets colder and the rain starts to turn into sleet and snow skate season is quickly fleeting for many of us here on the Right Coast but Florida is here to the rescue. Not only is the South Beach Bomb 2011 going down in Miami this weekend, King of Clermont will be back a few months earlier this year to get you psyched for the competitions that will pick back up in late March/April and prove that you haven’t lost those skills since the summer. This year they’re adding more hay bails to the course (which was a problem last year, apparently) and they rented a U-Haul truck to get everyone back to the top even faster, as Charlie Sheen would say, “#winnging.”

This year’s competition will feature two full days of absolutely gnarly skating. Day one will feature a slide jam with prizes for Biggest Air, Best Trick, and a game of “Kick the Can,” in addition to a Gnar Slalom event. Day two will be the fastest day of racing in Florida as the 3 division Downhill Race takes place.

Registration is $30 for 1 day and $50 for both. There is a strict cap of 125 riders so register early, once the event fills up there’s not much you can do about it and you’re not gonna wanna miss out. The race will be held at the Hampton Golf and Country Club on Sugarloaf Mountain  (1455 Mountain Club Drive, Clermont, FL 34715) with camping nearby at Bee’s RV Resort.

Sponsors are nearly endless since this is the only downhill competition in Florida and has proven to be quite awesome. Bustin’, Rayne, ABEC-11, Vicious Grip Tape, Bern, Gullwing Trucks and many more have signed on — meaning you’ll have a good chance of winning some sweet gear in raffles if you don’t end up placing high enough to win.

Of course, a helmet is required and you must have a signed waiver to skate. If you’re seen without a helmet you’ll be asked to leave — so don’t be that guy! More information can be found on the King of Clermont website.

Check out the full race schedule below which we found thanks to Bustin’:

Saturday January 14th 2012
9:00am – Rider meeting and registration
11:00am – Hill opens for freeride (MUST be registered before riding)
12:00pm Gnar Slalom
2:00pm – Hard Wheel slide comp (30 min Jam Session)
2:30pm – Soft Wheel slide comp (30 min Jam Session)
3:00pm – Kick the Can AKA Longest Slide
3:30pm – Biggest Air
4:00pm – Hill open for freeride
6:00pm – Hill closed

Sunday January 15th 2012
9:00am – Rider meeting and registration
10:00am – Hill open for practice (MUST be registered before riding)
12:00pm – First heat begins
3:00pm – Finals *Hill closed for riding after finals*
4:00pm – Awards

Registration will be as follows:
Open (17 and above)
Grom (16 and below)

If you pay for single day freeride you are registered for ALL events but are not obligated to participate in every event.