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: UMass Downhill

Check out the UMass Longboard Club homies killin’ it with some DH runs just over the state line somewhere deep in New England.  Some serious packrunage goin’ down in this one. These guys are holding down our home scene in Western MA scene pretty hard right now; they’re going fast, having fun, and doing it right.

– Henry

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Soldiers of Downhill 2013

The registration for Soldiers of Downhill 2013 is officially open! This is one of the fastest and gnarliest races in the country, so it’s not for the faint of heart to say the least.  To register head over to the Ohio Downhill Skate registration page and follow the instructions. Once we learn more about the actual race weekend schedule, we’ll update this post accordingly. 

Soldiers of Downhill 2013 going down October 12-13!

About Soldiers of Downhill 2013

Back for its 4th year, Soldiers of Downhill 2013 is a downhill race that taking place on October 12-13 in Bainbridge, Ohio. If you’re going to this race, make sure you’re prepared for the gnar, cause this course is one of the most steamy you’ll find east of the Mississippi, if not the entire U.S.

In order to compete your going to need a full body leather suit, a full face helmet, $130US, and some cojones.  Riders under the age of 18 also require a parent to handle liability waivers.  A description of the course is best described by the event organizers, the men over at Ohio Downhill Skate,

“The course starts on a moderate decline, quickly dropping around a long sweeping left. The grade increases to just under 10% accelerating riders into a 90 degree fast, sharp right. You speed up down a 10% straight and set up for the fast chicanes, followed by a less severe set of chicanes. Then it’s a battle of momentum and aerodynamics to the finish of this 1.3 mile long course. (top speed for stand-up riders is about 56 mph).”

Contact Info

If for some reason you need to get in contact with an event organizer for further details, they were nice enough to leave contact information on their website:

Soldiers of Downhill 2013 going down October 12-13!Dan Oliver, Event Coordinator
Email: manager1888@gmail.com
Phone: 330-618-2048

Jamie Reis, Race Coordinator
Email: jreis5173@gmail.com
Phone: 412-848-3381

Sean Graves, Sponsorship Extraordinaire
Email: seangraves13@gmail.com
Phone: 301-758-5321

Check out a raw run of the course below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYosXz9653U[/youtube]

Make sure to like Ohio Downhill Skate and check out the official Event Page on Facebook. 

While you’re at it make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to stay current, ya heard? Are you going to be racing Soldiers of Downhill 2013? Sound off in the comments below!

Brake Test: Bike vs. Downhill Skateboard

It’s a common misconception in this sport that longboards are unable to stop or unable to stop in a reasonable amount of time. Often times no matter how hard you try, it’s almost impossible to convince non-skaters that we’re as in control, if not more so, than most bicyclists that ride the same roads and hills we do. Some of the guys from South Africa decided to put an end to the long-standing debate and put a bike and downhill skateboard against  each other to see who could stop in a shorter amount of time. This was a very interesting video done by fellow skaters comparing the two breaking mechanisms and giving some solid evidence to fall back on next time you find yourself in a debate about how in-control we are.


Video: Swervin The Left

That East Coast Yoke Crew Throwing Down.  If you don’t know about the YokeCrew, than you gotta get familiar cause they kill it.  This latest edit combines the skills of Eric Roth on the edit and Harison Hardig on the camera with Ed Garner’s gnarly as all hell skating. Check it out at least once, maybe twice then share it with your friends cause they’ll need to be on the loop with this one, as well.

Video: Moose Jones

Got this video submitted in and just had to post it.   Moose shreds with a passion and creativity that you don’t see in most younger shredders, while many groms worry about how long they can stand up slide, Moose is out there just having fun.  In this edit watch him style through the neighborhoods of upper northwest Washington DC.

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.