50 mph in a straight line down a chip sealed road. This is how they used to race in the 90′s. 2012 is a new day an age and skateboarding has come a long way since the 90′s. Downhill skateboard races nowadays aren’t considered exciting unless there are turns and what not.
Not dump road though. The race has been running for quite some time and is part of the infamous Cali Outlaw Series. No sponsors, no permits, just a group of friends both old and new meeting up to race a road nestled in the Badlands of California.
The race is exciting and each finish is a photo finish. The packs are so tight and it actually takes some strategy to win.
Some try to push out to the front of the pack and stay there while others try to get into that persons draft in an attempt to pass them somewhere along the way down the almost 1 mile stretch of road.
Riders pay their entry fees, run a few practice runs followed by the race runs. Heats are run, riders are eliminated and finally it becomes time for the finals. Everyone cheers on their friends and a champion is crowned.
Bonelli is always a fun time but as far as all the racers are concerned it’s a super lame race…..yet they still come.
The course used to be a straight line until quite a few years back now they added the right hand turn into it.
The turn is kind of technical though. It is pretty flat after the turn so riders must hold their speed as much as possible through the turn to win it.
This causes many crashes since everyone is trying to take the line as fast as they can but not so fast that they slide or crash into the hay bails.
The hay bails lining the turn are the best 3rd basemen in skateboarding. I call it crash corner due to the large amount of crashes.
This actually makes for a very entertaining event for the spectators also.
There seemed to be a lot less crashes this year compared to the 2010 or 2011 races we attended. That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of crashes, but there weren’t as many.
For those who don’t already know Bonelli is a sanctioned IGSA race. It is actually the U.S. Nationals. The race is not just downhill skateboarding but also includes street luge, classic street luge and inline rollerblading.
The big story of the day is 18 year old Daniel Luna taking 1st place in the open division. Great job Daniel!
The final heat coming around the first right hairpin. Photo By: Leecifer
Barrett Junction is known for its rough janky pavement full of potholes and cracks. Although the road is super unforgiving, it is also really fun to skate. It’s kinda hard to explain.
I have heard stories from when the road was first discovered many years ago. People did not think it was skateable. These are good skaters we’re talking about too.
Each Barrett junction is different and holds its own story. Memories are made which we will never forget, stories to be told.
Here are our top 5 memories from this Barrett Junction, October 2012.
1. Waldo Autry’s crash with Niko Kroha
Waldo Autry’s crash with Niko Kroha was one of the gnarliest street luge crashes that I have witnessed in person.
Niko was out in front of Waldo, I was right behind them and Tabitha Mitchell was right behind me.
Waldo went for the pass on Niko on the inside. Niko was pretty far inside though and there wasn’t much room for him to pass.
Instead of throwing his feet down and braking Waldo was trying so hard to pass Niko two of his wheels left the road for a second. As soon as this happened he got the speed wobbles and wobbled straight through the right hand turn before Docs corner.
As he wobbled through the turn he clipped wheels with Niko causing him to lose his line.
Waldo hit the rock and dirt covered wall at around 45 mph and the wall exploded around him.
After his wheel was clipped Niko was also headed to the dirt and rock wall. As soon as his luge left the road the front dug into the dirt and catapulted him into the wall.
Me and Tabitha Mitchell threw our brakes down because we were right behind them when all this went down and the crash looked pretty intense.
I looked up to the crash scene and waldo was laying on the side of the road not moving. His street luge was flipped upside down on top of him.
Niko was also walking towards Waldo. “Waldo? (no response)…….Waldo are you there?” said Niko.
All of a sudden Waldo started shaking around and shoving the street luge off of himself. “I was just checking everything out, making sure I was alright” said Waldo.
“I just want to see them coming in” he said. he watched everyone come in then turned around and left. Photo By: Leecifer
2. Having the border patrol stoked on us being there and coming to watch
It’s pretty cool to be 5 miles from the border of Mexico and have the authorities let us mind our own business.
Not only do they let us mind our own business but they come and watch sometimes.
We’re all sitting and chilling in the shade under a tree at the bottom of the hill. The van took a load of riders to the top not long before.
A border patrol agent drives up on his atv and just parks facing up the hill without saying a word.
“How’s it going?” we ask him.
“Good,” he replies. “I just want to see these guys coming in fast.”
We had border patrol officers coming by throughout the day to check it out. Even guys on the night patrol would come to ask if there were any cool crashes or anything.
“A few years ago this girl dressed like freaking (lets use cat women for the sakes of the story and the fact that I can’t remember exaclty which superheroine he compared her too) catwomen crashed into the wall. It was some crazy stuff. How’d it go today?”
“It went well,” we replied. “You should come by tomorrow and check out the race.”
“Negative,” he replied.
“Why not?” we asked.
“Because you all are crazy,” he replied.
With that we all laughed and he told us good luck and to have fun.
The fires department was so stoked after they got to watch us bomb the hill. Photo By: Leecifer
3. Having the fire department post 2 trucks full of firefighters on some turns so they could watch.
It was the middle of the day and we were taking a break. Everyone was kinda relaxing and eating when a big fire engine pulls up.
The firefighters got out and came over to talk to us.
“We’re just here out of curiousity,” said on firefighter.
“Where can we go to see these guys hauling ass down the hill?” chimed in another.
Once he said that it was on. Art started rounding everyone up for a run and everyone started grabbing their gear.
While everyone was grabbing their gear a second fire engine full of firefighters rolled up.
We all packed into the Muir van and Art told the firefighters to follow him.
Our first stop was at docs corner. Art directed the first fire engine to park off the side of the road on the left of the corner.
The next stop was the first right hairpin turn. Art directed the other fire engine to pull off the side there.
We proceeded up to the top of the hill and geared up. Going down the hill is always fun but coming up to the first corner you could see all the firefighters standing on top of their fire engine and on the hill recording the action on their phones.
Coming up to the second fire engine in docs corner was a similar story. They were all on top of the fire engine stoked as hell.
We got to the bottom and they came down giving the sirens little blares.
“That was awesome! Who was the guy on the bike?” someone from the first engine said.
“That was me!” replied Andrew Schumaker.
“That skid into the turn was awesome!” said the firefighter.
“Thanks!” replied Andrew.
“Who was the guy in white out in front?” asked some one from the second fire engine.
“That was Mike McIntyre,” we replied and pointed him out.
We talked to them a bit longer, then they left to go take care of their business and we continued taking runs down the hill.
4. The crazy lady who lives in the house at the bottom
Every time I go to Barrett Junction now I will remember this. I can not tell you the whole entire story because I don’t know it, but for the last few years at least we have always camped out at the bottom of the road right next to it. We take moonlight runs and wake up ready to ride.
For some reason this time she was really worried about us starting a fire. So worried that she told us we couldn’t camp there.
The land doesn’t belong to anyone so we didn’t oblige.
She called the cops on us and when he came he was totally on our side.
He pretty much told us that dealing with her wasn’t worth it and so we starting breaking down the tents in the dark and getting ready to move them to the cafe down the road. It sucked but what can you do?
Standup Podium. 1st place- max Capps (white Ronin shirt in middle). 2nd place- Levy Green (right). 3rd Place- Scott Lembach (black muirskate shirt, left center) 4th Place- Mark Barfield (left)
5. Max Capps winning the race.
Ok, so even though there wern’t necessarily a lot of the faster riders there it was still rad. Especially watching the footage from the helmet of Mark Barfield who took 4th.
That was a race heat!!!! So exciting!
The final heat was close and super intense.
I know how much Max hates that road. Racing it sucks and unexpected things WILL happen there. Even though he hates it he still troops it out and gives it all.
In this case it was all worth it. Congrats to Max Capps on taking 1st place!
Here’s video footage of the final heat from the helmet of Mark Barfield.
Jesse Swalley, 50 from Palmdale, Ca finishes the 26.2 mile Adrenalina Race pushing the whole thing on his hands and sitting on his knees. Swalley can’t stand up while skating due to a paralyzed leg. Photo By: Lee Eisler
Riders arrived at 5:30am decked out in spandex pants, sweatbands, water and skateboards, ready for a 6 am starting time. The misty cool drizzly morning left the path nice and wet making pushing a little more difficult.
Before the sun was even out the race was on.
4 laps around Fiesta Island in San Diego, CA made up the 26.2 mile marathon.
With around 100-150 competitors, traveling from all over the US and some even from other countries as they competed to win $5,000 in prizes.
The 1st place winner Andrei Hippix, NY took home $1,500. 2nd place took home $1,000 and 3rd place took home $200.
There were more cash prizes awarded to different classes and everyone seemed pretty tired and beat by the time we arrived.
Our friend Jesse Swalley who you might remember from our Can’t Stand Skating article completed the full 26.2 mile marathon on his knees pushing with his hands the whole way. He skates this way because one of his legs is paralyzed. “My leg kept falling asleep,” said Swalley after the race.
Swalley not only did the 26.2 mile marathon on his knees pushing with his hands, but he is also 50 years old. Chew on those facts all you youngsters who think 2 miles is far.
Anyways the marathon was a success and everyone who participated seemed to have a lot of fun. – Leecifer
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Meet at the park after security locks the gates. The road closes to cars and it becomes ours for the night. With the bright moon shining down from above and the surrounding tree’s, half the road was lit up and quite visible while the other half stayed hidden in the night. Unexpected curves, cracks and bumps waited for riders too make the ride more fun….and scary.
If you are familiar with the road leading up to the top of Griffith Observatory then you know the road I am talking about. Impossible to skate during the day. Police at the bottom and park rangers at the top. Good luck!
The event was pretty loosely organized and no one at the bottom had skated the road before but there were already skaters lurking at the top including the event organizers.
A group of around 20 skaters began marching up the hill. Helmets, gloves and skateboards. Soldiers of downhill ready to bomb the windy mountain road, most of us unaware at how fun and gnarly the road was going to be.
The road wound up the mountain farther then most people thought and my stokeage level and anticipation level was growing. The road seemed pretty gnarly and there were several hairpins. I didn’t know what was going to happen besides the fact that I was going to go down that hill on my skateboard really fast and have a lot of fun doing it.
We could see the Observatory lit up on top of the hill marking our destination and the beginning of where we would begin our downhill descent back down the mountainous road. Looking out across the valley you could see all the lights shimmering from the city below. Somewhere up the road orange lights began flashing. 20 skaters dissipated into the bushes, ducked and waited to see what was going on. A car drove past. Once the coast was clear we continued our journey up the hill. Soldiers marching into the darkness ready to tackle the hill. Ready to bomb it.
We did end up running into some park rangers at the top.
“Park is closed guys, you need to leave,” said the ranger. We started going down the way we came.”You need to go that way,” said the Park Ranger pointing towards the non closed road.
“Um, I don’t know where that goes, my car is at the bottom of this road.” I replied.
“There are no cars at the bottom of this road,” said the Park Ranger.
“Well I parked at the bottom in the parking lot and walked around the closed gate and just walked 3 miles up this road. My car is at the bottom of this road. We’re just skating man, it’s not a big deal. We didn’t want to do it when there were cars on it,” I said.
“Alright but I don’t want to see you guys when I come back around later.” said the ranger.
We started gearing up and we all started bombing the hill. I think almost everyone crashed into the sandy right hand corner with the guard rail on it. That turn sucked. With darkness surrounding us everything felt faster then it was. Turn after turn, we picked up speed quickly and nighttime flew by. Everyone made it to the bottom smiles on their faces, some missing skin and wanting to do it again. It was an epic bomb and I hope that we get do do it again sometime soon!
Apparently there were multiple groups skating throughout the night even after we left the hill. I hope everyone else had as much fun as we did! This was an epic night I will never forget. Oh, the stories skateboarding makes for us.- Leecifer
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The Talegalympics was a series of events set up very loosely and there was not enough time in the day to complete everything. Races, team relays, slide
Hey it’s me coming around the corner! Photo By: Justin Reed
contests, longest slide and unused ramps stood on the side of the road. It was many kids first times to the road and lots of kids left skin and blood at the hill. If you start to take Talega lightly it will bite you. I’ve been there. It’s a hill that is pretty gnarly. You have to know what your doing there.
For those of you unfamiliar with the road at a place we call Talega here’s the rundown. It’s a service road that leads up to a water tower. The whole road is very narrow. (About the size of a lane on a freeway.) From the very top of the road it is pretty much just a straight bomb down a narrow pathway where you accelerate to maybe around 40 mph. Then it hits a slight uphill section to around a 500 ft flat section. This is where the technical part of the road comes. The road then winds left and then shoots down a steep section into a hairpin right which requires a small pre-drift into it although I have seen riders grip it before. It then shoots down another steep section into an off camber left hairpin turn that causes most riders to crash. “Crash corner” i have nicknamed it. EVERYONE CRASHES HERE! The turn is slanted so as your sliding into it it is throwing you off the road. It is a very tough turn to navigate. After all of that you are shooting down the last steep section (each section just as steep as the last) into a hairpin right turn. This is another turn you have to drift and it shoots you across the finish line. The only easy part of this road is the straight beginning, after that it’s all tech.
Cameron Zweifel gets steezy with his stand up slide. Photo By: Justin Reed
Alex Wu, 20, of Yorba Linda, Ca shows off his road rash. Photo By: Justin Reed
Anyways with all the events it turned out to be a long day on the hill, not that it wasn’t fun. Just looong and the event took forever to get started but once it did everything got going kinda smoothly besides the fact it took us all to walk back up the whole hill again and again. After the racing was done the slide jams and other contests started.
The team relay was the first event and an interesting one because it hadn’t been done before. One rider would bomb from the top to the flat section where he would tag his awaiting team mate who would have to go through the hairpins. Me and my team mate Tim Bogart actually won this event. Go Tim!!!
Everything else was pretty standard, time trials, slide jams, longest slide. Fun stuff.
“I think it went awesome,” said Kye Pirrie, 18, Redondo Beach. “It was definitely worth it.” Kye was the event organizer and he was going just as hard into it as anyone else. During the time trials I watched him high side into the final right which was toe side for him. It was a brutal crash that left him in the bushes. He trooped it out and finished the race only to later on find out his finger was completely broken all the way through on his thumb.
Kye wasn’t the only one to leave skin at the hill. Just about everyone actually left some skin there. Everyone who skated for the most part anyways. “I kinda underestimate it, hit a patch of gravel and that was it,” said Alex Wu, 20, Yorba Linda. Alex left a lot of skin actually as you can see from this picture!
The Etnies Skatepark Speed Demon race, known to many (or at least me and my friends) as the death race was happening but no one was showing up for it. That just meant more heats and runs for everyone. It was a cool event having riders start near a pole jam, push their way down into some transition, whip around a bank and over a cone, then over the hump whip around another bank, cross over to the next bank and then go around yet another bank. This is the spot where riders ended up crossing paths and collissions were a good possobility although we didnt get to see anyone collide. Crashes did happen though. The race was fun if you were riding in it which looking back I should have done. Watching it sucked. Even video taping and photographing. It took forever and I couldn’t wait for it to end. Another heat, they said…….”shit” I thought to myself. Anyways the next one I probably will compete in and it is a really cool event, just not many people came out to it. The worst part is I know people who could have shredded the shit out of this course but no one was there. Anyways it was all a good time and everyone who entered was stoked.
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Hey kids! Justin here – bringing you a quick rap-up from the Gnar Path skate race put on by Nathan Marton in a cool little park in Yorba Linda on August 4th.
The even featured four different mini-events, including (from the event page):
Intermediate Course – For skaters of an intermediate skill level and above. Does not require pre-drifting. Includes a grass-romp as part of the course. 1 man timed trials, fastest man wins
Advanced Course – For skaters of an advanced skill level. Requires medium speed drifting or LOTS of footbraking on a very narrow sidewalk (stand up drifts highly recommend). Utilizes all 5 corners on the hill, riders will stay on the sidewalk the entire time. NOT FOR BEGINNERS. 1 man timed trials, fastest man wins.
Butt-Board – Requires basic buttboarding skills. Riders will be going down the Advanced course including all 5 corners which requires lots of braking (but isnt all that hard while buttboarding). 1 man timed trials, fastest man wins.
Freeride – Steeziest run competition down the advanced course. Speed is not important, style and awesomeness is. Sidewalk is narrow so slides will need to be on point (stand up HIGHLY recommended).
The park was choice, and plenty of shade was available throughout the day, making for a very nice venue. Most of all, since it was in a public park, the event was entirely legal, and no cops showed up atall throughout the entire event. The hill was intense, with 5 almost-hairpin turns, and butter pavement with only one or two ‘lips’ in the concrete to watch out for. The grass-romps for the intermediate level were perfectly placed to allow you to cut speed, but still made it challenging for riders to hook back up with the course. A solid number of people showed up, including Kyle Chin, Dave Rogers, the infamous Dubes, and some fine ladies from One11.
The event went off without a hitch and is definitely one to look out for next year!
You stay classy So-Cal,
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This isn’t a rave, It’s a Full Moon Outlaw Skateboard Race!!! Photo taken by: Stephanie South
Boards, helmets and riders lit and seen with glow sticks embarked on a journey that most riders didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into. A large group gathered at the top, Chris De Guzman shouted out the rules, what was going to happen, what the course was like and where the ending was. After a quick group photo everyone gathered at the start and go go go!!!
Chinese start, everyone at once jamming down the narrow path which is also the fastest part of the course. I only made it probably 500 feet before I could see glow sticks flying everywhere in front of me, the sounds of boards scraping, bodies hitting the ground and feet slamming against the concrete as riders tried to run it out. It was about 2 seconds after that I hit either a person or board and landed on someone else and then hat at least one board and two other riders run into me. After the huge pile up and everyone scrambling to find their boards everyone continued back down the hill.
The path was rad especially following an army of glowsticks tucking hard pushing and pumping. The speeds were hard to judge at night but the path was a little over cruising speed the whole time. It took several dips under pitch black bridges and tunnels. Swooped through the valley and next to a creek. This event was actually probably one of the most fun events that I have attended big thanks to Chris De Guzman for hosting it and spreading the stoke. The night ended with Max Capps winning it! – Leecifer
Filmed by: Tye Donelly, Leecifer Eisler, joel Smith, Vin Bone
Music By: The Expendables
Song: Party at the Moontower
This SDDRL (San Diego Downhill Racing League) was fun, as they always are, but each SDDRL creates a new and exciting story and this was no different. The hill was on the other side of the mountain from the other hills we race and it was unraceable and hardly even rideable a few months ago. Thanks to Tye and the city the rough dirty left was patched, repaired and was actually the smoothest section of the race track.
The race began on a smooth little downslope where riders would take a sharp right and start speed tucking as they slowly and gradually picked up speed as they flowed through some floaty wide lefts and rights. Riders then hit a little left that dropped down giving riders a little extra boost of speed, they swooped back to the right passing the shaded spectating area and then swooped through another left to a downhill drop where riders hit the finish line at speeds that I would guess to be around 40 mph after the very last drop.
The road was awesome, it was a hot but beautiful day and the scenery of the road was amazing. The humidity had everyone dripping sweat and the racing was close and tight. I watched photo finish after photo finish fly through the finish line. The end of the race never means the end of the awesome day at an SDDRL, but it does mean podiums are about to happen.
1st- Drew Edwards
2nd- Max Capps
3rd- Nathan Marton
1st- Judson Vandertoll
2nd- Shamar Jackson
3rd- Danny Ronsen
After podiums were done the crew continued on to friends of SDDRL that lived in the area. A slide session and battle was held on their sweet driveway which we raced at SDDRL #32 Bombing Party after getting kicked off the church run. A pool party awaited at the house which was much needed after a hot, sweaty exhausting day of racing. Everyone had a blast and we can’t wait for full moon fever happening August 31! See you all there! – Leecifer