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
Please support our sponsors who help make it all possible.
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
Video Edited and shot by: Tye Donnelly
Each SDDRL (San Diego Downhill Racing League) is a story of it’s own and this one was a story of legends. I mean both both Dave and John Rogers were there, Dave Hackett, Chris Yandall, Lynn Kraemer just to name a few. The raddest part of the whole thing was seeing Jay Adam’s show up. Jay Adams is the first skateboarder ever. The original. He was from before the dogtown era and helped pioneer skateboarding.
The hill was mellow and fun with speeds topping off around 40 and some good racing. Live music was being played on the drums and guitars and everyone chowed down on some burgers. All in all it was a totally rad and awesome time. An SDDRL to remember. Another chapter in the book.
we got this SDDRL vibe going as we jam to Laguna Niguel, pick up Max and Tyler and start heading south. Such a familiar scene. The race was to be held in Vista, CA in a secret location. We all met up and caravaned to the race hill.
The actual race hill was described as gnarly, fast, fun, sketchy, everyone had a different opinion. The first part of the hill was mellow but then it dropped down a steep chute accelerating riders to speed in the upper 40′s mph. Riders then crossed the finish line and shot over a bump into the braking area.
It wouldn’t be an SDDRL day if all we did was race and then go home. Post race and pre-post race activities Tye worked the B-B-Q and everyone stuffed their faces.
Everyone gathered around Tye Donnelly as he described the Synchronized Slide Jam Contest. Teams of two were formed and everyone got ten minutes to practice their routine.
Team names such as “Butt-buddies,” “Thug Sauce,” and “Team Swag” were formed. We saw innovation and a lot of talent. Wyatt Gibbs and Chance Vinograd were killing it. The synchronized slide jam ended up being a hit, this is an event to look for in the future.
Anyways we all had tons of fun. Trophies and shwag from the sponsors was passed out and then we all went home tired and content. – Leecifer
Shout out to the sponsors! Thanks for all the support. Skater Socks, Rayne skateboards, Gravity Skateboards, Gunmetal Trucks, Khiro Bushings, Globe Shoes, Pig Wheels, Holesome Skateboards, Edge Boardshop, So Cal Skateshop.
We are all winners but the winners of the race are as follows.
1st- Max Capps
2nd- Aaron Enns
1st- Roger Jones
2nd- Chance Vinograd
3rd- Elijah Vinograd
1st- Tye Donnelly
2nd- Darrin Neiner
Synchronized Slide Jam
1st- “Dream Team,” Wyatt Gibbs and Chance Vinograd
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
The San Diego Downhill Racing League (SDDRL) met up August 7, 2011 for another Sunday adventure at a road known as “Church.”
“Church” is a fun road with a straight steep drop accelerating riders to speeds reaching close to 50 m.p.h. The road then shot up a little hill into a right hand turn which then dropped you back down another chute. The road then went up and down a couple more humps where riders would reach the finish line.
All anyone ever got was practice runs. Some racers didn’t even get their leathers on before the cops kicked us out.
“Go home” said the cop kicking us out at the top of “Church”
With an unfortunate turn of events after getting kicked out by the cops we headed around the corner to race a private driveway belonging to friends of the SDDRL crew. The cops followed us but with the owners support, the cops could not kick us off of a private driveway.
The driveway was not the ideal race course, however it did provide a lot of excitement. The driveway took a slight left then became very steep dropping down into a hairpin right turn that challenged every riders abilities to find the best lines into it. The driveway then dropped again coming to the finish line and the end of the driveway.
Sean DeGracia throws a stand up slide into the hairpin right turn on the driveway we raced
Aaron Enns from Bakersfield absolutely killed it taking home the well deserved win after punching through a tough wall of competitors. Judson Jager also went home with a trophy. Two 1st place trophies were awarded to both Aaron Enns and Judson Jager.
Judson Jager (left) and Aaron Enns (right) holding their first place trophies.
Post race activities included a pool party featuring a belly flop contest and best jump contest. Tye Donnelly also brought a large tarp for some tarp surfing fun which eventually turned into a giant slip and slide.
It is safe to say everyone had a good time despite the unfortunate turn of events at “Church.”
Thanks to Tye Donnelly who always puts together these rad SDDRL events and it was great meeting Michael Brook and Notorious Nate. – Leecifer
NOTE: CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO PULL UP THE WHOLE SET OF 81 PHOTOS!
It was another day at the Poway Pump Station as the crew met up for SDDRL #30. After pulling up and seeing such a rad crew of rippers, I knew it would be a good day of racing and hanging out with all the homies.
Joe Marshall leads Jimmy Riha and Max Capps into the bottom section of the course
There was a good mix of racers with all sorts of backgrounds. There were skateboard legends, professional riders, new racers and groms all in the mix competing for trophies, cash and glory.
Andrew Mercado and Rick Kludy on their way back up the hill
It was an exciting day of racing and the final heat was stacked with talent.
From Left to right. Andrew Mercado, Max Capps, Tim Del Rosario, Brian ward and Jimmy Riha
Around 11am everyone met just past the finish line ready to race, or ready to enjoy the race. SDDRL (San Diego Downhill Racing League) was at it again with race #24. The hill known as “The Wall” featured a hidden 10′ mega bowl just past the finish line. Everyone was stoked. Racers kicked from the starting line the pinned it to the finish line. This hill is just a straight away that goes straight down a large hill with beautiful surroundings. It was a fun race and a few first time racers came out. There was some confusion to the way the whole event was being run, but at the end off the day everyone had a good time.
1st- Mike Montjoy
2nd- Aj Haiby
3rd- Joe Marshall
1st- Hunter Schwirtz
2nd- Jake Fast
On the podium from left to right (AJ Haiby, Mike Montjoy, Joe Marshall)
Groms: Hunter Schwirtz- 1st Place, Jake Fast- 2nd Place
On August 15, some of the biggest names in longboard racing gathered on closed-off access road in the coastal town of San Clemente, CA ready to race on the 18th stop of the San Diego Downhill Racing League. Swept, fast, and curvy, the course differed from the more traditional straight-a-ways, time-trial races are usually held at. Multiple hairpin turns and short, fast sections are what was on the plate and the riders ate it up with the appetite of a beast – showing the world that to be successful in the business, you must not only be fast, but be able to also handle turns like a champ.
It was a close race with Evren Ozan and Louis Pilloni taking the first two spots to race man vs. man from the top.
“The more experienced rider is going to purposely hold back and then try to pass around this turn here (talking about a hairpin left turn),” Tye Donnely, organizer of the race said.
The day is capped with Ozan taking first with Pilloni second.