Skater Feels the Need for Speed
Well Adrenaline Junkies, This is Leecifer here and I am about to share with you the article I wrote that started it all for me. I remember driving behind Max Capps down a hill and seeing him tuck it and slide turns. My mind was blown. “You HAVE to teach me what you are doing!” I told Max. Within a week he had set up a board to let me ride and borrow and started taking me around and teaching me how to properly bomb hills. The knowledge I have taken from Max pertaining to downhill skateboarding is a long list but enjoy this article on Max. – Leecifer
Skater Feels The Need for Speed
Staying on top of a skateboard going over 50 mph is very difficult.
“Your butt hole kind of shrinks shut, you have to get a good speed tuck, and you can’t wiggle around,” said Max Capps. ”You become one with the road.”
Capps likes going fast. He is a downhill skateboarder.
“55 mph is the fastest I have gone. I average 35-50 mph but there are guys that push 70-80 mph,” Capps said.
In 2008 he was 19th in the United States and currently he is ranked 155th in the world according to the International Gravity Sports Association (IGSA).
Capps has been skateboarding for 4 years now, “I would just cruise around the neighborhood at first. Then I started going fast. I like going fast,” Capps said. “He’s faster then a speeding bullet,” said Greg Silvia, 19, business management.
Downhill skateboard races are held all over the world.
“I will be racing in Washington and Colorado this year” Capps said.
The way races are set up is very safety oriented. A physician, paramedic, or qualified medical attendant and first aid kit is required to be present at all races.
All riders must also receive approval from a technical inspector making sure all the rider’s equipment are in good working order.
Races are usually 0.5 to 15 miles, held on steep roads with several turns. Usually roads you would not dream of racing down or even going down on a skateboard.
The rider’s safety equipment must meet several specifications as well. Helmets must be hard shell, full-face helmets with a shatterproof shield or goggles. Riders must also wear a one or two-piece suit and full-fingered gloves made of leather or Kevlar. Shoes are required to cover the ankles from abrasion and elbow or kneepads are recommended, but are not mandatory.
Along with safety equipment the skateboard has its own specifications.
The deck of the board must be structurally sound and cannot have any sharp edges.
A complete board may not exceed 15.4 pounds and the board cannot be more than 55 inches long and 12 inches. wide. Trucks must be the normal lean to steer technology and no wider than 12 inches. Wheels must be no wider than 5 1/8 inches and the bearings must be the kind that can fit into a standard 608 hub. All braking must be accomplished using the rider’s feet.
It is also important to note that in this sport you must be standing in an upright position on your skateboard. Laying down on your back or stomach is prohibited.
While racing, riders are doing many different maneuvers. They are drafting behind each other while sliding and drifting around turns going 35-50mph.
Several different techniques are used to both stop and control ones speed.
Footbraking is a skill you have to learn and is an effective method for shaving off some speed, but it’s not nearly as effective as sliding.
Sliding is the most effective way to take off speed and there are many variations of slides.
When a rider is traveling really fast the air brake is an effective way to cut some speed off before a turn. This method is simply standing up on the board with your arms outstretched trying to get as much wind resistance as possible.
Drifting around turns also helps take off some speed, but if it is done incorrectly it can cause riders to crash. One thing a rider really wants to avoid is sliding and having the board stop, instead of continuing to slide.
This will generally have an unpleasant result.
Carving and adjusting the speed tuck are effective ways to increase or decrease speed by allowing friction in the wheels to reduce speed and reducing wind drag to increase speed. Carving is basically turning left to right in S shaped paths on your way down the hill.
“Long boarding is super underground. There are popular riders, but there are no celebrities,” Capps said. “Although there isn’t a lot of money to be made racing, the atmosphere is what it is all about.”
Crashes are inevitable in this sport. “I’ve had four really gnarly falls. The last one was in Laguna Beach trying to stop,” Capps said.
Going fast on your board is all about confidence, and crashing can play a big part mentally on a rider.
Danny Way broke the speed record by going 74 mph on a skateboard. “When we heard about Danny Ways speed record we were really pissed. Long boarding is super underground and it costs a lot of money to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, plus you have to close a road. There are people that have gone faster than Danny Way hundreds of times,” Capps said.
“In the last 2 years, the way people are riding is way different,” Capps said. Once Cliff Coleman invented what is known as the “Coleman slide” skateboarding changed forever. This maneuver is basically sliding sideways drifting one hundred eighty degrees, which helps shave off some speed.
There are now many different varieties of slides.
You can immediately notice a long board skateboarder by their board. It is distinctly different compared to a regular Tony Hawk or Danny Way skateboard. Long boards come in many shapes and sizes.
“Wheels and trucks make the world go round,” Capps said.
Wheels and trucks are a huge part of the sport and affect the way the board rides significantly. Wheels come in a variety of sizes, widths, and different durometer (The hardness of the wheel).
Buying the right type of wheels is important for the type of riding that you will be doing.
If you are doing a lot of sliding you will want a different wheel then if you are trying to go fast. “I’ll have days where I will go through a set of wheels in one day to the core” Capps said.
Long boarding is a mentally and physically tough sport. Riding is a constant challenge and can be full of rewards and consequences. Despite the risk of injury, Capps pushes his riding further and further everyday with support from his friends. The long boarding community is definitely a tight knit group.
“A big part of skateboarding is the partying and the family,” Capps said. – Leecifer Eisler
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SDDRL #33 Talegadega Nights
Edit by: Lee Eisler
The SDDRL (San Diego Downhill Race League) crew met back up September 11 at Talega for a fun day of racing.
Mason McGhee leads Roger Jones through the hairpin left, 1 turn above the finish line
Races held at Talega always end up extremely exciting and this day was no different. The course is very technical and you are bound to see many riders wipe out into the dirt on a few turns. You also have to be able to do heelside and toeside predrifts to be able to compete here. The race was being started at the very top of the road. The first portion of the course was a chute which offered a good drag race until they got into the hairpin portion of the race course. There were four turns that riders had to navigate through. First riders went through a 90 degree right hand turn which then dropped into the big hairpin left where most riders slid off the course. After the left it dropped down into a hairpin right with the finish line just around the corner.
Nathan Marton washing out into the dirt on the big hairpin left
The race was held in two divisions. A grom division and an open division. Riders in both divisions pushed their limits.
Mason McGhee (right) in 1st place. Wyatt Gibbs (left) in 2nd place
Congratulations to Mason Mcghee winning the Grom division.
Aj Haiby (middle) in 1st, Jeff Budro (left) in 2nd and Brian “Barney” Ward (right) in 3rd
Congratulations to AJ Haiby winning the Open division.
Firetruck taking a hairpin left with steeze and eaze.
Roger Jones did have a bad crash and the paramedics were called as a precaution. He was later released from the hospital with no more than a headache.
Thanks to everyone who came out and made this such a rad event!- Leecifer
For all the pictures CLICK HERE.
Halloween Costume Contest/ Slide Jam
Video shot and edited by: Lee Eisler
With an eclectic mix of big name riders and free agents – some hailing from as far as the Philippines – present, the Talega Halloween Slide Jam once again proved that SoCal can provide a world-class course.
It was fun seeing people dressed up and pushing the limit doing absolutely gnarly maneuvers on their skateboards. With the two kicker ramps set up riders had plenty of launch to help them go big. Both kicker ramps were big, however the large kicker ramp was just massive. This ramp made for both big tricks and big falls.
Everyone got plenty of runs in and before we knew it, it was time for the contest to begin. Hot dogs were consumed and the plenty of grilling was getting done while lights and generators were set up. Darkness was falling and as the road became less and less visible a police chopper flew in and provided light for some riders. After about 20 minutes of the spotlight as the only light, the generators were fired up and the course was back to daylight.
With a police chopper still circling over head with their spotlight the event began. Run after run, trick after trick, a spotlight from above and tons of riders ripping created a really cool atmosphere. Forty minutes to an hour went by when three police officers came walking up the hill with their flashlights. “Do you know how much money it costs to put a chopper in the air?” one officer said. “We honestly thought you were just helping us out with light,” a skater replied.
Due to a stupid law in San Clemente the event was shut down by the 5-0. Apparently due to the powers of darkness you are not allowed to skateboard at night in the city of San Clemente. The cops were nice about it and let us pack up and leave, with no citations..
We all met at a park right down the street from where the slide jam was. Awards and swag were handed out to anxious skaters. Everyone got a hat, dvd and plenty of stickers. Many riders got trucks, wheels, gloves and several other prizes were handed out to the winners. Three lucky winners left with brand new Sector 9 decks.
1st Place- Duke Degan
Check back for other winners. I have forgotten in all the mayhem.