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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Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself. Graphic by Stephen Johnson
Cracked skulls, brain damage, and death are some of the things that can happen from not wearing a helmet, and many new or inexperienced riders still choose ride without one. Most do so following the example of several professional riders.
Professionals have an uncanny way of balancing. They know where they are in the air and it seems as if they can easily catch their falls with their hands and feet.
A large majority of those professionals have also taken major crashes resulting in various types injuries, even they aren’t invincible.
Within the past five years, we have had many of our fellow riders killed or permanently injured due to accidents involving riders not wearing helmets. Just go talk to an emergency room trauma nurse about the severity and number of injuries that could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a helmet, it is appalling.
Watch some videos on the Internet of kids hitting their heads and you will see some pretty graphic images, you might just get scared into wearing one.
Wearing a helmet shows a sign of intelligence. It shows that you are smart enough to want to protect your brain. If younger kids see you wearing a helmet they will be more likely to wear theirs, especially if they look up to you. This means you could potentially be helping protect the lives of young riders.
I went to the skate park recently and there were a total of three of us wearing helmets, and about 15 kids not wearing helmets. About six of those kids had brought helmets, but left them on the side with their stuff while they skated. Some of them were doing some pretty fast, big tricks. It was unclear to me whether they would decide to actually put it on.
If you have ever attempted to ride a skateboard down ramps, or even your driveway for the first time, then you will know that if your balance is a little of you are in danger of flying back and hitting your head. Keeping your balance is not as easy as it looks unless you have many hours logged on board.
Most professional extreme sports athletes do not don helmets, and set extremely terrible examples for riders of all abilities, mainly young newcomers. After all, you don’t want to stand out as the new kid when you’re young. You want to be like your favorite skater and be exactly like them.
There are multitudes of skate, snowboard, BMX, and rollerblade videos with sponsored professionals not wearing helmets. In the videos they pull off tricks that are extremely difficult, making them look easy. So easy, that after watching it, an attempt might be made, leaving you to find out how difficult it actually is.
Protective gear is especially important for inexperienced riders, or people who are pushing their limits; trying something they haven’t done before.
Frankie doing the right thing
Losing your balance can easily happen with any extreme sport, and unexpected elements can come into play at any time.
It is always good to be prepared for the worst, and wearing a helmet while participating in these activities is a great way to accomplish this. After all a crash isn’t usually something you’d expect or want to happen… it just does. – Leecifer
Stepping into the arena, both teams doing warm up laps around the track and the spectators find their seat on the floor or on fold up chairs they brought. Blue tape marked the track, but this is renegade roller derby. There aren’t really too many rules for the players to abide by and skaters often find themselves outside the blue tape. Spectators even find themselves in the crash zone some times.
I always seem to forget just how intense the matches are but after the first few minutes of big hits, pile ups, seeing girls get tripped kneed and elbowed I was quickly reminded.
The brutal pile ups are broken up by people known as the brawl breakers. Although I saw spectators and even a camera man breaking up the fights. (I watched as with his free hand he tried to pull one girl off the other and holding the camera in the other hand as it snapped away.)
The medics had their work cut out for them for the night and the fans got a great show. Both teams skated hard from the beginning until the end. The game ended with the Orange County Outlaws beating the Los Angeles Renegade Rollergirls with a score of 84-45.
The game has strategy and various moves maneuvers and strategy go into the game. There are two girls in front at the start line (one from each team) wearing a line on their helmets. They are known as he pace person. Then there are two girls in the back wearing stars on their helmets (also one from each team.) They are known as the jammers. Then everyone else is blockers (blocker 1, blocker 2, blocker 3). Every time the jammer (star on helmet) passes the pace setter (line on helmet) the team scores three points.
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