Tom Leary, AKA Lom Teary made some moves up and down the east coast in 2014 and he just put out a solo part to prove it. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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!
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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
Metro is a skater owned company managed by none other than Buddy Carr. They offer four freeride wheels: the Motion, Links, Spyders and Micro Motions. I got the chance to get a hold of the set of 78a yellow Metro Motions to skate, and I can definitely say that they’re a killer wheel! I was able to skate them on a technical downhill run; smooth pavement; and some chundery, rough pavement, which they held up extremely well with no chunking or ovaling.
I tested these 78a motions on a fast technical downhill run, which consisted of smooth and rough sections.
The slide was more than predictable and consistent; They were not randomly icy or randomly grippy at any point at all. A really good thing about them was that they killed the right amount of speed — not too much, not too little.
On the opposite spectrum, the hookup was incredible! It wasn’t that hookup that grips up really quick and gives you a little wobble, or just doesn’t hook back up; It was a really controlled push-back that kept you right where you needed to be.
The release point on them was not hard, in fact, it was actually quite easy and forgiving. Not one time did I have a scary moment of near-highsiding. Now when you think of a slidey freeride wheel, grip probably does not come to mind, but don’t fret! I managed to grip some hard turns as well as a corner with “cat scratches”(little divots/strips left on the road from construction trucks) while going pretty fast.
The durability of these wheels were actually quite surprising! They do not wear too quick at all, yet they do leave some noticeable, yellow thane. I’ve been continuing to skate them hard at multiple sessions since first mounting them on my board and they still haven’t even touched the inner lip yet.
To conclude this little review of the 78a Metro Motions, I would definitely urge you to give these wheels a try if you haven’t already. Whether you’re just learning how to slide, or an experienced skateboarder, these 78a Metro Motions will definitely do the trick and stoke you out. From smooth pavement to rough pavement, the consistency of the slide, hookup, and release point were an A+.
– Mike Blackman
Thanks to Alex Liu for helping edit the above post.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series
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.
“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…
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.
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.
Tristan Burke, 21 years old of Umass Amherst is a shredder! Riding for Lifelong Longboards, Team Mids, Eden Racing, and perpetually down with all things East Coast, this dude can skate. Aside from skating, Tristan has always had a love for art as well and this has led to his new project called: T-Cat Designs. His artwork is made using low-grade markers and he describes it as “a cluster f*ck of colors”.
“I first got into this kind of stuff through prototyping decks for LifeLong. Wether a given deck had a graphic screened on it or not, there was plenty of untouched wood grain. At first I just colored on a few decks for myself and the fun of it, but everyone’s reactions to what I considered doodles really blew me away.”
Tristan has recently been creating custom board graphics for Eden Racing and plans for his artwork to be featured on the not-yet-released Mids Lids are also in the works. Tristan is now taking your requests to draw rad as f*ck sharpie designs on your deck, full face, t-shirt, instruments, pets and anything else you can think of.
For all artistic inquires, please contact Tristan here on his Facebook page. T-Cat Design aims to help sustain his skateboarding addiction, and all profits are going towards funding a skate trip for this summer.
“Eden Racing’s initial support of my designs was what really pushed me to take this a little more seriously and try and get my designs out there as much as I can. I really enjoy it, saw that I could make a bit of money from it, and saw the opportunity to combine skateboarding and coloring, which are the two things I actually give a shit about these days”.
If you like these graphics don’t hesitate to get yours custom!
How to get a custom graphic from Tristan??
- Like “T-Cat Design” on Facebook
- Message T-Cat Design with an idea of what you’re looking for in a graphic and agree on a price.
- Ship your gear to Tristan with the cash; Tristan will pay for shipping on the way back to you.
- Enjoy some gnarly custom artwork going to support a super chill skater
Again, for all artistic inquires, please contact Tristan here on his Facebook page. Also make sure to head over and like the Team Mids Facebook page and stay up to date with the rest of the Team Mids crew.
Rad Dad’s live among us. They created us, raised us, and have supported us through good and bad times. For some of the young shredders, your rad dad may even take you to events, help pay for gear, drive you to local sessions, and even hops on board here and there to prove he’s still got it from back in his day. Not all of us have the pleasure of having a rad dad; but hopefully many of you do. My dad is extremely rad and if you would like some proof look no further than this video:
Within the past year and a half I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Quentin LaChance and his Rad Dad Goosen or as many of us call him “the Goose”. I first met them at a freeride session in Providence, Rhode Island. Nowadays I often meet up with them in Portsmouth with the URI dudes for some really gnarly sessions.
Quentin is 14 and shreds harder and goes bigger every time I see him. He’s always having a good time and I anticipate awesome things for him in 2014. LaChance is from Mass., where he is currently attending middle school as an eighth grader. He started skating about two years ago and has since become a well-respected member of the east coast longboarding community. He has recently built his own longboard with the help of Stephan Vaast of Arson Longboards. When he is not skating he is painting during the long winter months but is super stoked to get out skating again this spring.
Quentin rides for Team Pup n’ Suds which vibes a carefree attitude. Having fun, skating to impress yourself and getting to the level you want to be at is the name of the game here.
Peep this summer edit of Pup N Suds:
“The raddest dad and most down to earth grom around” said Chris Rideout, Rhode Island homie and frequent host of the CT Wheelabrator event.
Quentin and the Goose are as stoked as they come about downhill skateboarding. These two with out a doubt have become a growing part of the east coast community. Having attended major east coast events such as Longboard for Life in North Andover Mass., Central Mass in Harvard and Wheelabrator in CT, these guys continue to hit rad sessions all over the New England area and are of course stoked for what the 2014 season has to offer.
Goose the dad is rad, just ask homeless Eric of Nelson Longboards “Goosen is the way, heed his words carefully.”
“Organized sports for our children have changed drastically these days, everyone wins a trophy and that sends the wrong message, that it doesn’t matter what effort you put in because at the end of the day everyone’s still a winner. In real life it’s not like that and when I grew up there was a competitive push to work hard to become better. The favoritism and politics involved in organized youth sports allows the coach’s son to become the quarter back, or allow for unfair amounts of playing time, these sports are often run by parents trying to find profit.
Skaters compete against themselves, reaching for their personal best. This has allowed kids to spend the day outside and put as little or as much effort into it as they would like. This sport is purely for fun, and the rider decides how seriously they would like to take it. They are their own coach and set their own goals. The community is extremely friendly. Skaters of all skill level skate together in peace and are always supportive of one and other. The most experienced riders are always there to encourage and support the less experienced, they promote progression, and don’t put others down. Skaters find achievement based on how well they feel after each run, and how their buddies react to the fat stand up you just threw down in front of them. This sport is a great hobby for my son, and I am happy to be apart of it. I believe there should be more father’s getting involved in the sport and recognize the positive attributes that skateboarding has to offer.”
If you are an east coast shredder it won’t be long before you meet the Goose. He is super stoked on the sport and can often be found filming the session on his GoPro, or giving rides back up the hill in his pick up truck. The Goose will hop on board occasionally but he’s really there to have a good time with everyone and watch the fun happen. Aside from being involved the in the skate scene, you can find him tending to his chickens, working on his garden, goofing around with his pet hound, out fishing, or picking his guitar.
Follow the Goose on his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/thegoosenspage
“After becoming involved with this community through my son, and after spending much of my time in organized sports with my older sons, I believe that the kids involved in longboarding are ahead of the curve for what it means to be truly alive and experience life to its full potential. They get out doors, stay healthy with exercise, and really appreciate sharing the camaraderie with their fellow man.”
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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
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.
It’s almost that time of year again; the days are longer, birds are chirping, and a skate event awaits at the end of every week. To kick it off right, the Ithaca Skate Jam is coming back again for its third straight year and is guaranteed to bring the heat back to the east coast. It’s going down on April 26th from 9AM-6PM, so mark your calendars now.
I think it’s safe to say that after the last two years, Ithaca has become the premiere non-race downhill skateboard event on the east coast. The guys at Comet Skateboards know their way around ramp building and have selected one of the most suitable roads for the event you could hope for, a perfect combo to see some gnarly tricks and skaters pushing each other to make every run better than the last. The event also brings some pretty heavy hitters out to show their stuff, with most of Comet’s team in attendance. While it’s changed a bit this year with the loss of Liam Morgan, we can still hope to see some of the crew like former east coaster Brian Peck, Jared Henry, Eric Jensen, “Big Dave” Tannaci, Nick Ronzani and others. Of course, you’ll also see familiar faces from up and down the east coast tearing it up and showing everyone how to mix it up from just the usual “go fast, big slide” style you see so often and make full use of the ramps and hills.
This year the venue for the hill is changing from Buffalo Street to Lake Street, adding a little right hand corner into the mix. It’s partially located in the Ithaca Falls Natural Area and is sure to make for a bit more spectator space as well as a beautiful setting to skate in. The hill is 0.29 miles long with an average grade of 10.79%; this means you’ll be able to pick up speed quickly and recover from slides fast, so you can link together a nice run.
As in years past, expect the run to be full of some great ramps, wall-rides, and pole jams to make things super interesting. If you haven’t had the chance to ride a course like this before, we suggest putting a few hours in at your local skatepark.
Here’s what the guys from Comet had to say about it:
The hill is steep and we’re filling it with shred-worthy goodness. We look at this hill every day and wish there were no cars on it. On April 26th that will come true and we are stoked to skate it with you and all of the features we’re going to build.
Registration is open now over in the Comet Webstore for $40. This gets you 9 hours of skating on the hill, a gift bag with free swag, 33% off discount code for gear after the event, prizes and give-aways throughout the day, and a chance to skate and chill with the Comet pros. If you’re under 18 you’re going to need a waiver signed by a parent or guardian, if you’re over 18 you can sign it yourself.
Check-in will run at the hill from 9AM-11AM, with the hill open to skating as soon as you’re checked-in.
There are a few options for lodging in the area, with the most popular one being camping at Robert H. Treman State Park. It’s the closest camping site, being just a few miles outside of town, and will be full of other skaters headed to the event. We’ll list the options, as outlined on the Facebook event, below.
Robert H. Treman State Park – Camping
Located just a few miles outside of town this is the best camping option. Each site can have 6 adults and spaces cost about $25-$30/night, with a discount for people who live in-state. Reservations can be made here.
Closest lodging option to the hill.
Just what you’d expect from an Econo Lodge. Amenities close-by and some cheap rooms.
“Close to the Ithaca Mall and a lot of food options and a few miles from the hill. Let them know you’re with the Comet Ithaca Skate Jam to get the discounted rates.
60 rooms available at $124 per night
Shuttle available to airport only
Complimentary Breakfast, WIFI, & Parking
Group name: Ithaca Skate Jam rates
Deal Expires:March 25th”
La Tourelle is a hotel/spa that sounds like a great option if mom is bringing a whole gang with her but doesn’t want to hang out at the hill all day. The organizers posted the below, note that these may have been deal prices for the event (the promotion was only good through the 25th of March – but you could still ask).
“La Tourelle is an awesome spa and the choice for you if you want to make the weekend a nice vacation for you while your kids skate all weekend. Accommodations and deals:
‘We offer the following room categories and rates available for your group:
Traditional King Rooms Up to 12 available $180.00 + 13% tax
Deluxe Fireplace King Rooms Up to 8 available $ 220.00 + 13% tax
Double King or Double Queen Rooms Up to 2 available $ 220.00 + 13% tax
Specialty Rooms and Suites TBA'”
According to the organizers the Argos Inn is “Located right in downtown Ithaca a short walk from the best coffee and food in town. This is another option if you’re looking for a nice weekend vacation in Ithaca.”
So – are we going to see you there? Where are you staying? Sound off in the comments and let us know! We’ll keep this post updated with information as we learn more.
Asheville Ganj Patrol provides us with some clips form the yesteryear that apparently didn’t make “the cut.”
Nonetheless, this here series of moving pictures is still worthy of viewing as they take you through the year’s bails and unused footage alongside a chill, funky tune to cap it all off.
Check it out, or don’t haha, either way these guys are having a blast skating down in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and when they aren’t there, you can catch them shotgunning beers and poaching runs at your local races. Cheers to skateboarding!