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.
Please check out our sponsors who help make all of this possible:
The Need For Speed downhill reunion at The California Surf Museum(link) was nothing short of incredible. OG skaters reunited with old friends, reminisced to their race days and looked back at the boards they used to ride.
The Downhill Skateboarding Reunion, held at The California Surf Museum in Huntington Beach, Ca was one very memorable night for all who attended and it was witnessed by only a couple hundred people.
Legends of skating and people who helped start it all were in attendance along with some legendary surfers. Basically the event was a meet and greet and it was a showcase for their newest display called A Need For Speed. It was a tribute to downhill skateboard racing and there was a whole section dedicated to Signal Hill, which is where the first sanctioned race ever was held.
Hello fellow adrenaline junkies, my name is Stephen. I am 30 years young, and I have been skating for about 25. My first board was a Vision Gator with the neon tail guard and rails, most of you probably weren’t even born yet.
After years of skating street, a lady named Cathy White gave me my first longboard. You may have heard of her son, Shaun. The board was a Sector 9 Luke Nosewalker. When she handed me the board she said, “promise me you won’t be going down any hills on this, that’s why I’m giving it to you. I don’t want Shaun to kill himself.” Naturally, I said I wouldn’t. At the time, I had no intention of doing downhill… at the time.
Eventually I ran into a kid at school with a S9 mini cruiser that wanted to skate with me. Every time we would skate he would say,”let’s go bomb some hills dude!’ So we did… and then I knew that I had found my new hobby.
Fast forward to June 28th… I was skating with my friend, Doron, in downtown Long Beach. We frequent some garages in the area that are 7 floors with one lane spirals that are super fun. After a few runs in the garage, we decided to move on because there were a lot of cars. We made our way to the lighthouse to wait out the traffic. While Doron talked to a guy we met at the top of the hill, I went down for my first run. The hill is slow, maybe 25 if you get a good push. At the bottom I made the decision to roll into the grass to slow down… wrong decision. My front wheels hit a hole, and my board stopped. I probably would have been fine, but my foot stop pulled my front foot out from under me. My shoulder dug into the ground and I heard a snap. I knew what it was.
My clavicle was obviously broken and almost coming through the skin. So I walked back up the hill to get Doron.
“Hey man…hey… dude… we like, gotta roll to the E.R.” I said.
“I am pretty sure this bone isn’t supposed to be poking this way,” I said as I dropped my board and put my foot on it.
“What are you doing?! You can’t skate back like that!’ Doron said.
But it was too late, I was already headed back down the hill. The car was about 2 miles away, but we were in a spot that is hard to get to with a car. As I skated back i could hear Doron’s wheels hitting the cracks behind me. As he skated next to me he said, “dude, is it okay that I’m filming this?’ “Of course,” I said. Why not? I’d be filming your ass if you fell, i thought. When we got to the road, I stopped skating and told him to get the car.
Doron did about 55mph to whole way to the ER. Screaming around corners in his little Fiat, he seemed more freaked out than I was. I appreciated the gesture so much that I could not tell him how much he was hurting me by driving that way.
In the ER I didn’t get anything for pain, they only gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine. A few hours later, the doctor came in with my X-rays. Before I tell you what he said, take a look at it.
“Here is a sling, it will set itself,” the doctor said.
“Hahaha, that is super funny,” I said, “you are joking, right?’
“No, it is just a clavicle. These things heal themselves.”
“Okay, but I’m pretty sure I need surgery.”
There it was, I had a sling and 12 vicodin. The next morning, I drove myself back to the hospital to see a real doctor. When I walked into the room he had my x-ray on the screen and he was shaking his head.
“I guess I don’t have to tell you that you need surgery,” he said.
I had seen this doctor before, you see, I’m no stranger to injury. About 18% of my body is covered in burn scars. That is another story all together.
So I spent a week with my bones completely separated, and it was hell. I had a titanium plate and six screws put in, and healing has been going pretty well.
This bone is no joke though, not an injury I would want to go through again. I skated 25 years without breaking a bone, but when I finally did it; I did it right. I have no feeling in my entire left shoulder, and you can see the plate sticking up through my skin. The doctors said it would be 3 months before I can pick my daughter up, but I don’t listen. I was lifting her the day after surgery. I know I shouldn’t be, but come on… I’m a single dad, what am I supposed to do?
Everyone has seen the simple sticks with wheels attached to the bottom that people use to “paddle” or push their skateboards down the street. The Von Bone Street Paddle is that but on steroids. “This isn’t your mother’s broomstick,” said Hurricane Von Bone (inventor/creator/mastermind) as he handed me a street paddle.
“I was riding my bike one day and I saw a guy trying to push himself with a bamboo pole and he just didn’t look happy. I did that with a broomstick when I was 12, and it just didn’t really work out for me. I was riding my bike down by the beach, and all of a sudden this light bulb came on and then I created the Von Bone street paddle,” said Hurricane.
The street paddle is exactly what the name implies. It’s basically a stand up paddle board for the streets. As I paddled down the street following Hurricane, I even noticed he was standing on the board the same way you would with a stand up paddle board. His feet side by side, in the middle of the board, pointing straight ahead, switching side to side with the paddle.
“That’s probably part of it, you know. The standup paddle boarding thing is so big right now, and you wouldn’t believe how many people are afraid of the water. I mean, they’re scared to fall on a skateboard too but they’re even more afraid of the water,” said Hurricane.
As I paddled down the street, I noticed it was a great upper body workout as well. I have tried the other sticks people use for pushing before and this is not really comparable to them. The Von Bone Street Paddle uses torque powered by the rider to spring him or herself forward.
“With the way it’s designed, no matter how you grab it when your switching hands and hitting the ground with it you’re at the right angle. The grabbing handle’s round and the traction ball’s round so no matter how you hold it you got the right angle” said Hurricane.
The street paddles come with two different pounds of torque, the 60 lb version and the 80 lb which are suitable for the majority of riders. There is version however a lighter resistance model and a heavier resistance model being designed to better accommodate riders of all abilities and strength.
For the short time I was at the booth I saw lots of people excited about the product and many people wanted to try it. Their booth was packed the whole time I was there.
“We’re getting people who have never even skated before that are looking at this going, ‘you know, I think I could do that.’ I’m getting moms and grandmothers trying it. They may not take up the sport but they’re thrilled with it, and you wouldn’t get them to walk into your average skate shop and try a board out. Something about our product makes it appealing to the general population, not just the skate kids.”
The Von Bone Street Paddle is an awesome invention that creates a way for people anywhere at anytime to go outside their house and start paddling away. The stick is light enough to easily carry around and it just further shows the relationship between skateboarding and surfing. They go hand and hand and this brings the concept of stand up paddle boarding to the land. It’s only natural that this thing was built and designed in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City USA, in the beautiful state of California. – Leecifer
Talega, a popular skate spot with every local company and their moms throwing slide jams and races there so walking up the hill was a familiar scene. Skaters sliding their way jamming down the hill and spectators hanging out at the hairpin left where most of the crashing takes place.
With a small ramp set up and a group of skaters and many familiar faces a good time was to be had. Pizza was delivered to the hill ordered and consumed by the Laguna kids and there were people from L.A all the way to San Diego that drove out to attend the event.
For those of you unfamiliar with Talega it is a pretty gnarly hill not to ridden unless you know how to slide or a ready to learn. The bottom half of the road consists of 3 big hairpins and a fun lefty at the beginning. Skaters usually start just above these hairpins. The straightaways to them is steep forcing you to have to drift each one and the pavement is super buttery making it a great hill for free riding.
A good group of shredders showed up to the event and lots of skin was left at the hill.
(Adams Raceway, Riverside, CA) ATTENTION ALL DRIFT CAR RACERS. Anyone interested in entering this event contact firstname.lastname@example.org . The entry fee is $150 and you will also receive 25 tickets to sell to the event of which you will keep the profit. They are also looking for more sponsors for the event. For a low price of $300 you will have your name on the fliers and you will get a 10×10 booth to represent your products and your brand. For everyone else needing tickets they will be sold at the gate for $15 a ticket or you can find out more info on ticket sales by clicking here. Also be sure to check out www.warfest.com for future events.
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
This is an amazing interview with a legendary skater who paved the road for modern day skateboarding. He was a part of the legendary Zephyr surf and skate team, and lived and grew up in Venice Beach, CA (dogtown). Adams was a teenager in the 70′s and skated alongside Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva.
“Jay Adams may not have been the world’s best skater but he was the man, the real deal, the original, the first. He is the archetype of our shared heritage.” – Stacy Peralta
“Jay was a natural. He would do things that you would think incomprehensible,” says Jeff Ho, owner of the legendary Zephyr surf shop. “He would do things that would look like they were going to be a disaster, and he would turn it into artwork. He would fucking flow.”
Adams was skating before there were professional riders. There was no money to be made, and everyone skated for the love of it. “For me, skateboarding started in 1965 so by the time the Dogtown era came around I’d already been skating for 10 years. When I started it was clay wheels and mostly home made decks. We were just trying to copy surfing. Everything about skateboarding had to do with surfing. It was all about fun and a way to surf when the waves were shitty.” said Adams.
The things Adams would do had not been done yet. He was an innovator of the sport, a pioneer. “Watching him skate was something new every second, he was ‘skate and destroy’ personified.” said Peralta. It was well known that Adams did not much enjoy the competition, he skated and surfed for the love of it. He was there when they first learned to carve a wall in a pool, when they figured out they could hit the ledge, and when the learned to drop into the bowls. Skateboarding was rebellious, aggressive, and free.
Adams later got tied up with drugs and partying. “Well, using drugs has wasted a lot of years, but you gotta understand when I grew up, in the ’60s and ’70s and even the ’80s, everybody I knew used some sort of drugs. And most of the people I knew and hung around never let them get outta hand. We partied, we surfed and we skated, and it didn’t seem to be a problem. But later in life, drugs finally took their toll and got to the point where they were a very big problem.” Things quickly went from good to bad. “I was thinking man, all I do is sell drugs and do dope and been to jail a couple times. And I’m pretty much a menace at this time in my life.” Jay Adams was addicted to meth, and was in and out of the legal system. He was charged for murder and assault following a gay bashing he instigated in Los Angeles, and landed himself in prison again after being caught as the connect for a buyer and seller trying get crystal meth from California to Hawaii.
He has been through a lot of shit throughout his life, but is now living clean and sober (and is a reborn christian). He is still surfing and skating. Understandably, Adams is thankful to be alive and still doing these things in his 50′s. We recently got the chance to meet and bomb a hill a few times with Jay. It was incredible day, we had a blast. My mind is still blown. “This is my first time bombing hills in about 30 years” said Adams. “Can’t wait to bomb some real hills, Sunday was just a taste.” said Adams.
“This is my first time bombing hills in about 30 years”- Jay Adams. Photo By Leecifer Eisler
Me lurking in the back and Dave Hacket playing the Jay Adams drum. Photo By: Key Dougherty
Well, the man that started it all isn’t done yet, so why do I always hear people telling me they’re too old to skate? Anyway, meeting Jay Adams Sunday was one of the coolest things that has happened to me in a while. To capitalize on his presence we had Dave Hackett there as well as a plethora of other well known riders who had been in the skate game almost from the beginning, Jay Adams paved the way for everyone though. Because of him they knew carving in a bowl and hitting the coping was possible. He showed them the possibilities on a skateboard. Skateboarding rules! Thanks Jay for everything you have done for the sport! You are a legend, a hero and a skater for life. – Leecifer
If you’re still rocking an old phone, like I was not too long ago, then you’re missing out. I recently joined the whole smartphone craze, and I have been addicted to my phone ever since. Everything is so convenient. From checking your e-mail, to seeing updates from the game while your out on with your chick. Well, with all the apps out there it is sometimes hard to find the right ones. Although I did not get my phone to play games on it, that happens to be part of the fun.
There has been a new app developed geared towards downhill skaters called Downhill Xtreme. It has an addicting gameplay, advancing you through races into the pro division. It doesn’t take long before you get the opportunity to change your looks, get a better board, and upgrade your wheels. There are qualifying heats where you race with a ghost of yourself with the best time you have had on that run. You can also play online outlaw races where the winner takes all and you race with real people from around the world.
The game is lots of fun and fairly addicting. The buttons are simple; Hold the right side of the screen to tuck, tilt to steer, and hold the left side of the screen to brake (tilting the screen while doing it to pre drift some turns). As you advance, it gets more difficult. Wheels must be used wisely as they are for use on limited number of runs, and they are expensive. Remember buy your wheels wisely and to go pro you have to have a helmet. – 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.