It was nearing the end of the first day at Barret Junction and everyone was at the top of the hill ready to take another run. The road was clear and the street lugers took off first as usual. Everyone was coming down the hill and it wasn’t until Doc’s corner that things went wrong.
Doc’s turn has the name for a reason. It is the fastest part of the road and it also the part where most of the gnarly crashes happen.
“The bike was coming up the hill towards the middle of the road and as soon as he saw me he veered to his right and I veered to my left” said Ryan Farmer.
They basically both tried to avoid the other person but swerved into each other. Ryan was probably going close to 50 mph down the hill while the bike was coming at about 25-30 mph up the hill when they collided. Ryan actually hit the bike so hard the forks on the bike bent.
“So when he came up the side of me he hit my hip, just a little bit lower then my ass, like just the top of my thigh, and then rolled up towards my shoulder. When he hit me the way that my tuck was on the luge, the tire hit my forearm and it pushed it into the side of the luge which then pushed into my side like rib area. What that did is pushed those two bones, the ulna and I forgot the other one. When it pushed it up it broke the ulna cleanly by the elbow and then dislocated everything right there and pushed the two arm bones up like an inch, so it made it look like my elbow was swollen, but it really was just where it was at and like the forearm was at the wrong angle. It was weird. It dislocated everything inside and I had another fracture going up the bone. When I went into the dr. they had to push it back into place the first night, and then the next morning they could do surgery.”
The road was supposed to be closed off and people were supposed to be stopping others from coming up. The guy on the dirt bike was a skater as well and he should not have been coming up the road at the time he was. Ryan is still alive and in good spirits but also in a lot of pain. This is a crash that never had to happen and is a good reminder to everyone to know what is happening on the road and that street luging or downhill skating are not a joke. People get hurt and usually it is unpredicted elements that come into play that cause the most damage.
The crash is one that didn’t have to happen but Ryan remains in good spirits about it and can’t wait to get back on his luge again soon.
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!
A while back we met this guy named Frank Maney. He thought we were some of those street luge guys but we were doing some stand up skateboarding. We told him to follow us as we bombed a hill.
He followed us and it stoked him out a lot and he told us of a dream he has had for the last 30 years to go street luging. Anyways I was able to help him out and make that dream a reality for him at our last race. This is one of the runs we took with him. Enjoy. – Leecifer
We had the immense pleasure the other day of sitting down with Rayne Longboards Team/Sales/PR/everything Manager, Mr. Les Robertson. If you’ve been on the Rayne Facebook page, or really dealt with the company atall, you probably know and love him. Read on to see what he had to say about working at Rayne, products from the company, and the future of longboarding!
A-F - Aight, Les – let’s start with you. Who are you? Give us your resume – I understand you have some impressive degrees under your belt.
Les – Ha, impressive. My degrees don’t make me – I just get bored easy and enjoy book learnin’. Suffice to say, I have a lot of expensive paper hanging on my wall. I usually value the stamps in my passport more than the letters after my name. But then I lost my passport in Puerto Rico a couple years ago… so I need to start all over with the stamps.
A-F – For sure. Well, just for the sake of getting to know you, what’s up there?
Les – I have some undergrad from University of Victoria, Certificates from Vancouver Film School and British Columbia Institute of Technology, and a Masters from the University of British Columbia/Copenhagen Business School.
A-F – Awesome. Going into all that, did you ever think you would be applying any of that to skateboarding? When did you start getting into skateboarding/longboarding?
Les – Well, maybe not skateboarding, but I have played sports my whole life and working in the outdoors and in sports was the stretch goal. I worked for a few big sports teams, both internally and as a consultant, but they’re corporations and I am far from being “corpo”.
I’ve been “into” skate my whole life. I remember just drooling as a kid watching some of the older kids… but I was more into BMX. Something about my foot-eye coordination just wasn’t there for street skate and longboarding was not really around in the ‘80s as we know it today.
Anyways, BMX was fun, but I was a power hitter in baseball, a solid football linebacker, and I skied competitively into high school. I eventually chose football over anything and played that into college, where book learning and women were more interesting then contusions and concussions…
A-F – For sure. How did you end up working for Rayne?
Les – I got in with Rayne when I met Graham in like 2004 or so. He was making boards on the East Side of Vancouver, a few blocks from where I was managing a scrap metal company. I liked business and was more interested in skateboards than metal. He gave me a new board and I offered some business support. Graham moved Rayne to North Van and we kept hanging out, and when I left my old job to go back to school, he let me use Rayne for a lot of my Masters work.
A-F – Very cool. Graham is an awesome guy. When I caught up with him at the Catalina Classic, I was super impressed with his enthusiasm and just overall level of stoke for the scene and the products you guys are making.
Les – Totally, Graham is great. Incredible vision, hardworking, and he takes a skirplush really well.
A-F – Hahaha forsure. I hear the boys up at Switchback know a thing or two about the infamous skirplush (kersploosh?). Anyways, what is your current job title with Rayne, and what are your responsibilities?
Les – Wow… my current job title… we don’t really have them… haha. I was hired to manage marketing and sponsorship. Now I manage sales as well. Rayne is life, life is Rayne. Hard to need or want hobbies when I have Rayne. Video editing – Rayne. Photography – Rayne. That’s not a complaint, that’s a brag. Sometimes the ruby slippers cut, but for the most part there’s no place like home.
A-F – Sounds like a lot. It definitely seems like you’re the go-to guy over there.
Speaking of sponsorship, let’s move on to the team. Who are some of your favorite riders and why? Let’s hear some shoutouts or funny stories about these guys.
Les – At Rayne, sponsorship is about giving back to the community and being a great person. Being a good skater is something almost anyone can do if they work at it. At the same time, if we don’t appreciate the person, we don’t sponsor either. Not to say we only sponsor our friends, but when you get a sponsorship, you interact with your sponsor – races, road trips, product development. If we can’t sleep in Tiffany (the Rayne RV) with you for a weekend, we’re probably not going to want to sponsor you. This is as much a family as it is a partnership.
Hard to pick favorites and make shout outs. These are people we truly admire and appreciate. I’ll try:
Robin Sandberg – Busted back and low on stoke – send him some love and let’s get that guy back at events and working in the sport! (Maybe IGSA could use a rider rep to help smooth things out?)
Kevin Reimer – Busted-ass ankle last year and still such a competitor. He came back early and is fighting hard every race to get back on top.
Daniel Hawes – The perpetual nomad skater, he’s all around the world all the time, but no matter where he is, he is setting up events and spreading the stoke. He also sends me the longest emails with the most detailed ideas and request. Keeps me on my toes.
Luke Melo – Always a smile. Always thinking smart thoughts. Killing it with the Oracle! First World Cup podium in Europe, YEAH LUKE!
Aidan Lynds – Just solid. Aidan kills it on his board, in the office, at events, in the community. I mean, watch it, he’ll slap the crap out of you if you get out of line, but otherwise chillasfunk.
Funny stories are many and endless. I feel guilty already for my shoutout selections. I have something to say in appreciation of each person we sponsor, for real.
A-F – Noble of you. I know Rayne’s sponsor list is long – it’s good to see you guys supporting the people who support you. It’s always good when people are sponsored for what they give back to the community, not just the way they ride.
I know you guys had some big news this year with P. Swiss joining the team. Tell us a little about how that went down?
A-F – Patrick has been involved with Vicious since early on and that’s all Graham Buksa too. Over time, I started managing Vicious sponsorship and marketing along with Rayne because it made sense and that brought Patrick and I together. He knew what we stood for, how we conducted ourselves, and what kind of design and production we are capable of and we saw a great fit. I know Patrick had a very hard time leaving Fullbag, they were awesome to him and make great product. Ultimately, the thing I think we offered that was attractive was the Rayne family. Money is a weak motivator and we’re not a big company, so Patrick could have found more cash likely elsewhere. We share the belief that for riders and the sport to develop, more outside sponsorship is needed, so money again was not the question. I like to think it was the bottle of maple syrup and pound of bacon we offered as a signing bonus that made it all happen. Or maybe all the amazing sushi in BC?
A-F - Hahaha I heard Patrick is pretty big on the bacon strips too. Solid.
Kind of a broad question, but what is next for Rayne? I know you guys are testing the waters and expanding into the wheel market. Are there any other new products we should look for soon?
Les – Dildos, epic w-concave, radial drop, urethane dildos? And speed cream. Or not. We’re still working on the Saviour. The Oracle kind of got in the way.
A-F – Dildos. (Dildoes? I’ve never had to pluralize “dildo” before. o.o) RIGHT. I’m gonna take that as there are lots of cool things under top-secret development. hahaha
Les - We’ll always be looking to innovate on our current lineup and look to the next generation – I think the Avenger coming out is a great example of that. I also see that as making a better work environment and planet, so Graham and I are working on a waste recovery project. You’ve seen some of this on the Next Level Risers – they’re made of our cutoff materials or “upcycled” scraps. We’re looking to expand the lineup of products we can make from our excess and we’re doing it with at-risk youth here in Vancouver. Skateboarders/ing is pretty accepting – we don’t wear business shirt collars, and swearing is accepted, so these youth have a great opportunity to earn money in an open work environment while we help teach them business and life skills. And they can do it on their own time without being tied to a schedule.
A-F – Awesome. Very admirable. It’s amazing to see skateboarding as a positive force in a community. I take it the Rayne Mini’s are another wing of that? Any more info to be shared on those?
Les – Minis are part of that, yes. We make minis from our production screwups – we don’t have many, which is why we don’t sell them right now. We’ve been hoarding them for a while (still sending them to events though) and we might be ready for a sale soon.
A-F – Anything else about the new Avenger’s development? I’ve noticed a lot of experimentation with 3-D concave. That’s some cool stuff.
Les – The Avenger is pretty sick in my opinion. It brings the pressed in 3D wheel wells from the Vandal over to the Avenger AND we’ve now got Fat Bottom technology. It’s essentially a taper core where the inside is fatter than the outside edges. Rigid, sturdy, and a ton of fun. And we took away the tow-hole, so the only thing that usually broke on the old Avenger is now gone.
A-F – Oh, the infamous tow-hook. A lot of people ended up chopping them anyways, so while it was a part of the Avenger from the start, I don’t know that it will be missed haha. Fat Bottom technology sounds much more appealing.
I read an interesting article that you wrote recently, mostly about the current state of legality of longboarding, and its future. Care to recap briefly? It was pretty spot-on.
Les – Basically, downhill IS illegal, unless you obey the rules of the road. In some places it is illegal entirely. There’s too much bitching about ‘legal skating’ – if you skate like a ninja and not like a pirate, then no one would ever be the wiser. The only other point I want to make is the bullshit complaining about groms and the “I’m longboarding because it’s popular” kooks and that kind of BS – pardon me, but shut the f**k up. Everyone has just as much right to skate as the next person and no one has a right to judge. Judging is weak and lazy. If you want to make a difference in your community, stop bitching about it and do something. Otherwise, head for the hills that aren’t five minutes from your house.
The less we welcome people, the more we’re our own greatest problem. I think my mom used to say, ‘you attract more bees with honey then with vinegar’. Well, for some skaters, they don’t actually want to attract anyone, so we won’t see them and they won’t be the problem. For everyone else – you are the problem. Accept everyone and self-regulate.
A-F – Boom, well said. It is the community’s obligation to police the community. That’s the only way this sport will continue to grow in a positive direction.
Anything else you want to say or to have the Adrenaline-Fueled readers know…?
Les - Not even sure what I’ve said already. haha Thanks to Adrenaline-Fueled for the interview. We’re keeping an eye on all the great stuff coming out of Socal here in BC!
A-F – Well thank you sir for sitting down with us. I’m sure we’ll be seeing many great things from Rayne Longboards in the near future, and we appreciate you sharing your time, your wisdom, and your stoke with us.
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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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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!
So, we were out bombing hills and a car full of people saw us and stopped us. They seemed really excited on what we were doing. “Are you guys doing that land luge thing” said Frank Maney of VMX Life. We told him to follow us if they wanted to see something cool. They video taped us bombing the hills and were sooo stoked they edited a video. I want to get into their world of vintage motocross racing and they want to get into the street luge world.
Anyways I was really, really stoked to see this video. Thanks sooooo much Frank Maney and everyone else in your car. Go check out www.vmxlife.com if you want to see something cool!