2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

The Hubbub this past weekend in the skate community was centered in Ludlow VT, where nestled in the depths of Vermont’s dark woods and cozy towns with covered bridges lies Okemo Mountain, known by many for its skiing, and by few, until recently, for a road whose level of gnar few dare to attempt.   The 3 mile long, 3344’ tall run, with chicanes, hairpins, and a 50+ MPH straight away sounds intimidating enough as it is, but this king of east coast runs’ is gnarly, as many east coast roads are, because of its pavement.

The Course

2013 Silverheels Cup Sketch Factors

Sketch factor multipliers. | Original photo: Marion Ross

Cracks, pavement changes, and snowcat tracks litter the road from top to bottom.  While skating straight you may at any point find your board drifting sideways from vibrations.  While corning your puck is always at risk of getting swallowed by a crack or pothole.  Speed bumps and tree root humps are a fun intermittent feature.

One does not simply skate Okemo. But on September 14th and 15th a few brave souls did as they raced for the 2013 Silverheels Cup.

2013 Silverheels Cup

While some skaters opted for what they thought would be the safer option, luging that is, people from every group took spills and slams.  Thankfully no one was seriously injured, although there were scary moments, one can’t help thinking back to the legendary “Vermont Massacre” race that occurred at Ascutney.  Despite the injuries and some trips to the hospital, the overall tone of the weekend was great, and everyone who stepped on a board or sat on a luge or drift trike had a great time.  Event organizer Marc Dean once again pulled off a fantastic weekend of riding.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Some of the carnage. | Photo: Marion Ross

Marc, who works tirelessly throughout the year with the mountains event coordinators, sponsors, and skaters was happy with the way the event turned out, wished all those injured a speedy recovery.  “This was the most mentally challenging hills that I have ever ridden. Everyone who rode is due props for showing how good the east coast riders truly are.  A big thank you to Original Skateboards – Lindsay and Sean [Kolvenbach] for all of their help in making this happen,” Marc said.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Skaters coming down the hill. | Photo: Marion Ross.

Sean Kolvenbach, the team manager over at Original Skateboards, said the team “had an awesome weekend, filled with beers, good friends, and fast hills.  Unfortunately that hill had a few to many casualties.  Driving up that run first thing Saturday morning all I kept thinking was, they want people to mob this hill, while smiling in disbelief.  It’s the jankiest run on the east coast for sure. [Laughs] I feel like everyone who skated there this weekend up’d their game a few points for sure.  Stoked to get 2 of my riders on Am Podium though, they survived the hill and stood strong!”

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Riders headed back to the top. | Photo: Marion Ross

Despite the condition of the road, by the time pro racing reached its final heats skaters were attempting single slide runs while battling it out for a spot on the podium.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Kai Salam rounds at Turn at Okemo. | Photo: Marion Ross

Video

Team Mids filmed a follow run the day before racing so those who didn’t attend could see how the road is really meant to be skated. Check it out:

Results

Standings from Sundays racing:

Pro Skate:

  1. Niko Desmarais
  2. Tom Wilson
  3. Mac Holmes
2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain Pro Skate Podium

Some of the Pro Skate podium. | Photo: Marion Ross

Pro Luge:

  1. Chris Hicks
  2. Dave Aparicio
  3. Bob2 and Bob3
2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Luge podium. | Photo: Marion Ross

AM Skate:

  1. Will Schroder
  2. Andrew Licata
  3. Jared Beers
  4. Izzy Moreno

Women’s Skate:

  1. Cassandra Duchesne

Women’s Luge:

  1. Emily Pross

Butt Pirate King:

  1. Dave Aparicio

Other Press/Media

  • Article in the local Vermont paper, the Rutland Herald.
  • Special thanks to Marion Ross for letting us use the photos. Check out Marion’s work at her website.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival Wrap-up

The sun was out, spirits were high, and skaters out in full force at this year’s Central Massachusetts Longboard Festival. Unlike years past the event took place over a full two days, meaning there was plenty of time (and energy) for both the downhill race and slide jam — a welcome change that made Central Mass a can’t miss event not only on the east coast, but the entire country.

This year’s event saw 315 skaters and even more spectators from all over the world descend upon sleepy Harvard, MA for two days of relaxed longboarding fun with friends as well as some of the biggest names in the industry.

All in all, 208 people total entered the downhill event for the 4 divisions (Junior, Am, Women, Pro) and an additional 107 riders entered the slide jam – an epic turnout in a town of 6,000 residents.

The massive Pro Division bracket.

The massive Pro Division bracket.

The folks over at Resource Distribution (Riviera Skateboards, Paris Truck Co.) made some seriously fly custom banners for the event, including the Start/Finish lines and a huge race bracket that was updated throughout the day as heats were raced.

What was really awesome was seeing how many riders made the trip from far away places, a testament to the reputation of the event Mike Girard has managed to cultivate over the years. ‘Big name’ riders such as Liam Morgan, Dane Weber, Amanda Powell, Matt K., Ethan Cochard, Cindy Zhou, Levi Green, Brian Bishop, John Kruetter, Norman Plante and many more all came out to throw down and compete for not only pride and reputation, but a prize purse of $4,500, alongside some of the region’s gnarliest local rippers.

Day 1 – Downhill Race

With $2,200 in cash and more in prizes on the line, racers went hard in the paint no matter what division they were racing.

Junior and Am Divisions

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Jared Beers and James Fort duke it out. | Photo: Brian Babish

Jared Beers and James Fort duke it out. | Photo: Brian Babish

Both the Junior and Am divisions had some notable names and very fast racing. NYC and CT held it down in the Juniors division, with David Ramirez taking 1st place, followed by fellow NYC native Robert Burns in 2nd, and two of our grom shredder homies, Brendan Allen and Eli Healy from Colchester, CT, taking 3rd and 4th places respectively.

The Am division was comprised of a mix of riders with a wide range of skill sets, from first-time racers to fully sponsored riders who weren’t up for racing Pro but were too old for Juniors. A bit of a proving ground for riders looking to start taking their racing more seriously as well as a division for those looking for some good ole weekend competition the Am division ended up being a lot of fun to watch. Joey Nickell from NYC took 1st with Kevin Kang  (Charlotte, NC) coming in 2nd, Byron Idrovo from New Jersey in 3rd and NYC native David Yang in 4th.

Women’s and Pro Divisions

Despite having some great action in the Junior and Am divisions, the majority of the attention was focused on the big shows: the Women’s division and Pro division, both of which contained a mix of fast course locals, notable east coast skaters, and professional skaters which came together to make for some heated racing heat after heat.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Fest | Erica Pross and Amanda Powell

Erica Pross leads Amanda Powell in a heat.

The women’s bracket ended up being the most dramatic part of the afternoon, when in the finals Emily Pross went to pass Amanda Powell in the last turn. Amanda was in the lead going into the turn, when Emily went for the pass she used Amanda to pull herself past and take the lead. After the heat Mike Girard pulled together some folks with photos and video to make a final ruling that the pass was indeed illegal, and decided that instead of disqualifying Emily he would lock their positions from before the turn in, giving Amanda the win with Emily in 2nd, Monica Mejia in 3rd and Laura Nocka in 4th.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Fest finals

Dane Webber cruising through the last chicane for the win. Matt K, Daniel Fissmer and Levi Green trailing. | Photo: Brian Babish

The 64 man Pro division dwindled down to Dane Webber, Matt Kienzle, Levi Green, and Daniel Fissmer for the final heat of a great day of downhill racing. When all was said and done though it was Dane Webber far out in front to reclaim his title for another year on his hometown hill. Matt K came in second with Daniel Fissmer taking 3rd and Levi Green coming in 4th.

I’ll take a second here to note that while the Tri-State area represented well overall, the Pro Division of one of the best east coast events of the season ended up being dominated by 4 dudes from out west. While they’re all super nasty skaters it’s sad none the less; the east coast has got to step it up next season and come correct haha! The talent is definitely out here, it’s just a matter of time.

Downhill Results

Since  I know many people won’t want to read the paragraphs above to see the results, I’ll make them super easy to read along with podium shots courtesy of Khaleeq Alfred.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival DH Junior Podium

Juniors DH Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred

Junior Division (Presented by Paris Trucks)

  1. David Ramirez (NYC)
  2. Robert Burns (NYC)
  3. Brendan Allen (Colchester, CT)
  4. Eli Healy (Colchester, CT)
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival DH Podiums

Am Downhill Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred

Am Division (Presented by G-Form)

  1. Joey Nickell (NYC)
  2. Kevin Kang (Charlotte, NC)
  3. Byron Idrovo (Kearney, New Jersey)
  4. David Yang (NYC)
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival DH Women's Podium

Women’s Downhill Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred.

Women’s Division (Presented by Orangatang Wheels)

  1. Amanda Powell (Los Angeles, CA)
  2. Emily Pross (New Jersey)
  3. Monica Meija (NYC)
  4. Laura Nocka (Harvard, MA)
proDHPodium_khaleeq

Pro Downhill Podium. | Photo: Khaleeq Alfred

Pro Division (Presented by Loaded Boards)

  1. Dane Webber (Culver City, CA)
  2. Matt Kienzel (Los Angeles, CA)
  3. Daniel Fissmer (Los Angeles, CA)
  4. Levi Green (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

After Party

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival after party | Photo: Mike Girard

The Billards Café packed after Day 1. | Photo: Mike Girard

Mike hooked it up big time by setting up a live music show hosted by DJ Squnto (Eric Roth) at a local watering hole, Billards Café, with lots of pool tables (13 to be exact) and a shuttle bus to and from the hotel and bar. Good times were had by everyone, no one died, and there was a guy wearing a horse head mask for the majority of the night. Team Mids and Earthwing definitely won the party, killing it as usual, and providing some much needed antics to keep things just rowdy enough. Things got even more interesting when Earthwing’s Jean ‘Tazer’ Teaza ended up taking home the Team Mids Award by getting a stick and poke tattoo on his inner lip that read ‘Fiend’ in the bathroom.  Needless to say it was about as fun as event after parties get and was a great new addition to Central Mass.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Photo: Steve Kong

Like I said, a guy in a horse head. | Photo: Steve Kong

Slide Jam

This year’s slide jam took place on a new hill and added a number of features in the mix to make things much more interesting and fun. A pole jam, 2 kickers, wall ride and double roller dotted the hill daring people to take advantage of them, add in with the $2,300 prize purse  everyone was more than ready to take things to the next level. Tom Leary, Chris O’Brien, Finn Pounds, Liam Morgan, Kai Monroe, Billy Wilson, Ethan Cochard, and too many other people to name were going so hard run after run after run.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Chris O'Brien at the Slide Jam

Chris O’Brien getting steezy with me filming behind him. | Photo: Brian Babish

The jam was broken into divisions much like those of the downhill race — Open (Juniors + Am), Women and Pro Freeride — and went down in a series of mixed heats to allow riders more space on the hill and try to prevent the general chaos of riders that slide jams often become. There was also a hard wheels division and a longest slide competition for both the longest toeside and heelside slides which Liam Morgan and Josh Wright won, respectively. The turnout in every division was absolutely unreal with around 200 riders total entering – 60 of them in the Pro Division alone.

Judging was done by Mike Girard, Amanda Powell, Liam Morgan, Marcus Bandy of Wheelbase Magazine, and Brian Davenport of Push Culture News who took into account a whole number of factors to find the gnarliest riders in each heat and division.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival Photo Brian Babish

Josh ‘Wild’ Wright getting some big air off a kicker. | Photo: Brian Babish

Everyone went so hard and left absolutely nothing on the table, as evidenced not only by the skating, but also by some of the gnar crashes we saw throughout the day. At first people were a bit hesitant to hit the ramps and features, but once people got warmed up and Josh Wright, Billy Wilson, Kyle Reynolds and others started playing around with them more and more people realized just how awesome they were and started taking advantage.

The Open riders showed just how promising many of them are, making us super excited for what will happen as the younger guys and girls get a little more experience over the next couple of seasons and just how far they’ll be able to push things. The Pro Division was super fun to watch with the entire hill being utilized and the features getting absolutely shredded. Josh Wright and Will Royce were flying hiiiiigh coming off the kickers, keeping everyone in the crowd super amped.

Hardwheels was dominated by (surprise surprise) the gentlemen from New York, but other notable skaters were in the mix as well including John Kruetter getting back on hardwheels for the first time in a while. In the end it was Josh Wright, Steve Sanchez and Andriy Dash who threw down the hardest to take the podium.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Photo Brian Babish

Alicia Fillback getting gnar at the slide jam. | Photo: Brian Babish

The women threw down hammers as well, giving a lot of the guys a run for their money. New England local Micaela Wilson showed most of the boys how to go fast and throw some calculated, steezy checks, while Carmen Shafer showed them how to use the ramps. Laura Nocka was also going in, busting out some steeze on both hard and soft wheels. Check out some of our raw runs over on YouTube to get a better sense for just how rad the skating was.

Down at the bottom of the hill there ended up being so much thane that foot breaking to a stop when doing follow runs was actually really difficult, it was like putting a foot down on sand. Brian Babish and I were able to convince Mike Girard to make a thangel which ended up gnarly, if you look down at Mike’s feet you can see that he actually pushed around a bunch of the thane dust it was so thick.

Central MA 4 Longboard Fest organizer Mike Girard making a thane angel after the slide jam. Photo: Mike DiPietro, Idea: Brian Bishop

Girard making a thane angel after the slide jam. Photo: Mike DiPietro Idea: Brian Babish

Slide Jam Results

The Slide Jam was fun for everyone, but winners had to be chosen.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Fest | Open Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Open Freeride podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Open (presented by Dad)

  1. Parker Ciuzio, New York, NY
  2. Jordan Billingsley, Amherst, NH
  3. Eli Healy, Colchester, CA
Hardwheel Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Hardwheel Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Hardwheel (presented by Eastern Boarder)

  1. Josh Wright, New York, NY
  2. Steven Sanchez, New York, NY
  3. Andriy Dash, New York, NY
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival Women's Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Women’s Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Women’s (presented by Original Skateboards)

  1. Alicia Fillback, Portland, OR
  2. Micaela Wilson, Amherst, NH
  3. Carmen Shafer, Portland, OR
Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Pro Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Pro Freeride Podium. | Photo: Mike DiPietro

Pro (presented by Bear Trucks)

  1. Will Royce, Tallahassee, FL
  2. Dax Pradarits, Sparta, NY
  3. Graeme Hystad, Vancouver, BC

Conclusion

The 4th Annual Central Mass Longboard Festival was an unbelievable success. Expanded to 2 days for its first time, the event ran smoothly at every turn and kept both skaters and spectators happy all weekend — something you rarely hear these days. The skating was so fun and the people even more so, we really can’t wait to get back to this event again next summer, theres a reason it’s our favorite every year. The turnout this year was incredible and a sign of how the east coast scene is growing and catching the attention of skaters from all over.

Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival | Team Mids MVP

A big thanks goes out again to Mike Girard for organizing such a world-class event, the volunteers, and the Town of Harvard for hosting us for the weekend! Without all their help the Central Mass 4 Longboard Festival never would have been as big a success. Big ups also go out to Brian Babish and Khaleeq Alfred for their photos that contributed in a huge way to this post.

Make sure to check out our gallery below for more photos from the event as well as the raw runs and video recap and leave us a comment below to let us know what you thought!

Wrap Up: Major Stok’em 5

majorstokem5signMajor Stok’em 5 went down this past Saturday under the George Washington Bridge  in sunny and warm (I’m not kidding, it was a beautiful day) Fort Lee, New Jersey. The race course was simple and sweet and made for some great racing for skaters of all skill levels. A quick aside: the finish line’s back drop was the George Washington Bridge and Downtown Manhattan’s skyline, with the yet-to-be-completed Freedom Tower looming large — very surreal for a downhill skateboard race.

Photo Apr 06, 12 55 41 PMThe race ran smoothly all day and the points based bracket system seemed to work very well for keeping the preliminary heats moving steadily. There were some gnarly crashes and good racing had by all during the early heats, with both skilled and novice racers being mixed in together to duke it out and see who’d be left standing. The Crash Corner lived up to its name once again, and despite new and improved custom-fitted pads the curb still laid claim to more than one knee/shin/body part that hit the gap.

Once the preliminary racing was over the Bustin’ Boards High Ollie Competition got underway. While it wasn’t run quite as smoothly as the race was, it was a ton of fun and should be a nice addition for the years to come. Towards the end it started to drag on, but Dave Aparicio sealed the deal with a 32″ ollie on a borrowed YoFace 32″ to end the competition and take home $300. Props to him, it was unreal to watch him ollie that high. Our boy Josh “Wild” Wright also put on a good showing and made it deep into the competition so props to him.

After the High Ollie Competition finished everyone was called together and the top 16 riders were announced for the final heats of racing. Our very own Connor Bewighouse made it into the top 16 on his Tutone Skateboard which we were ultra stoked about. Due to an unfortunate bump-draft incident with Anthony Flis he got taken out in the first heat of finals, but we’re proud of him and stoked none the less. In the end it came down to a super exciting race between Dejaune Jones and Rolando Martinez with Dejaune coming out ahead in the final turn to take the win. A new comer to the scene from Long Island, Christopher Lavinio, came in third with Sam Ettorre rounding out the final heat in 4th.

podium_celebration

All-in-all the event was a huge success with some great racing, fun people, and beautiful weather (despite it being a bit windy and cold in the morning). If Major Stok’em 5 is a sign of how the 2013 season will unfold out as a whole, we’re in for an even better and gnarlier season than expected.  Thanks a ton to Adam Dabonka for organizing the race, and all of the other volunteers and sponsors that came together to make it possible.

UPDATE 4/16/13: We found out that Christopher Lavinio was the previously unknown rider who placed 3rd and updated the above post accordingly. 

Check the gallery below for more of our photos from the event:

Wrap-up: 2011 Central MA Downhill & Freeride Competition Pictures and Video

UPDATES: I added the results of the Women’s Downhill Finals and corrected some of the results that I had confused. It was the end of a long day and misread the results list, my apologies — they’re correct and double checked now. I’ve also added a video taken by Robert Briggs of the Northern Skate Alliance just after the results video. 

What started out as a very wet, rainy New England day ended up being a mega success as 131 riders and even more fans from all over New England (and some from even further) descended upon the quaint town of Harvard, MA to compete in this year’s Central MA Downhill & Freeride Competition. According to Mike Girard, there were actually 84 different towns or cities being represented in 12 states and 3 different countries — talk about a turnout! The biggest event was Downhill, pulling in 90 riders, followed closely by Freeride which boasted 75 participants while the Flatland portion had 26 people participating.

The day was a TON of fun even with the crap weather at the beginning of the day. After the second round of downhill the rain stopped and clouds began to break, allowing the sun to start drying the course off. Unfortunately it made for some patchy pavement at first, but as the day progressed the hills dried out and by the time the Freeride competition took place the hill was almost back to normal.

There’s going to be a lot of video from this event, I should have an edit out sometime tomorrow and expect to see others starting to surface around the same time. Of course, as I find them or have them sent to me I’ll be sure to post them right here so stay tuned.

Below are the results for the Men’s Downhill and Freeride events. 

Men’s Downhill

  1. Will Royce
  2. Will Miranda
  3. Jeff Vyain & Brian Bishop (sharing due to tape sticking, and melting, to Bish’s trucks and wheels).

Women’s Downhill

  1. Sara Paulshock
  2. Laura Nocka
  3. Cordelia Welch

Men’s Freeride

  1. Eric Roth
  2. Norman Plante & Steve Kong (tied)
  3. Bruce Clark (of our friends from the Northern Skate Alliance)
  4. Josh Wright
  5. Will Royce
  • Longest hard wheel slide: Steve Kong
  • Longest soft wheel slide: Trevor Granville
  • Best Trick: Alex Newton (one foot nose blunt)
  • Biggest bail: Nick Sharek

Women’s Freeride

  1. Jess Carchia
  2. Laura Nocka (longest women’s standup)
  3. Sara Paulshock

If you want to actually see the winners take their prizes and the podium check out the awards ceremony video below:

Robert Briggs of the Northern Skate Alliance had his GoPro on hand and got some great footage from the event, including some helmet cam action, definitely worth a watch!

Central Massachusetts DH from some dude on Vimeo.

Also check out some of the photos I snapped from the event. I spent most of the day taking video (which will be edited and posted soon) but paused to take a few shots of the crowd both before and after the contest as well as the winners.

More from the 2011 Baltimore Slide Jam and Clearfield Mustache Derby 3

More video from both the Baltimore Slide Jam and the Clearfield Mustache Derby has surfaced thanks to The Anomie Project, a group of skaters out of the Annapolis area in Maryland. The videos look great and show more of the great skating that went down at these two events earlier this month.

2011 Baltimore Slide Jam:

Mustache Derby 3:

Check out the other videos and photos from the Bmore Slide Jam and Mustache Derby too!

Delaware Downhill Series Wrap-up

You might remember the post about the Delaware Downhill Series (you very well may not, either) that took place last weekend in northern Delaware. The event was a series of 6 races over Saturday and Sunday (June 18 and 19) and looked like it was a lot of fun with a bunch of skaters. There were prizes galore and some fast racing. I managed to dig up some videos of the event so you can take a look and see what you missed or recap if you were able to make it.

If you were at the races and have more footage or pictures shoot them my way by e-mailing me at mike [at] skatetheeast.net.

Photos and Video from the Clearfield Mustache Derby 3

I found a great Flickr photo set from the Clearfield Mustache Derby in Central, PA last weekend (June 4&5) along with an awesome video. The event looked like it turned out to be a ton of fun. 64 riders raced total and a ton of spectators came out to see the mustaches and their owners fly down the course. The weekend was jam packed with the Central Park Longboard Race and the Baltimore Slide Jam as well, making for a ton of new videos and photos to check out.

Video from the 2011 Baltimore Slide Jam

We posted about the Baltimore Slide Jam that went down on June 4th last week and were excited to see what the competition would yield. Sure enough the Mid-Atlantic didn’t disappoint and came out strong, throwing down some great slides with what looks to be a great crowd. Be sure to check some of the videos from the event out below. If you have any pictures or other videos feel free to send them our way and we’ll include them in the post.