events: place to stay

Traveling is hectic, lets be honest, but all the hecticness is for the hope that once you get where you’re going everything will be nice and relaxing, Well thats not skateboarding. Being a traveling athlete in a lets say not too appreciated sport, my sleeping options are as follows…  1. A couch (if you’re lucky) 2. a floor  3. a hammock (if there’s any trees) or your car. That being said a lot of times you’re with your homies, in a beautiful place in the world, about to go skateboard… so that kinds makes up for it.

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Ryan Bishop scopes the view from our room

Catalina was my most recent excursion, and this time it was a little different, our generous sponsor Long Island Longboards covered our part of the room. With the knowledge that I had a hotel room for the first time, I packed light, no sleeping bag, no pad, but a small blanket from my car, just in case. Like I said, my sponsor paid for part of our room, we had four people already so i was a little surprised  to hear that we had five other people staying in our room.

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a few of the boys in our little two bed place

For the reasoning of showing up late, and being a grom, I slept on the floor. Whenever I stay in a house or room while traveling, I hope for rug in case my sleeping pad pops so I have a little comfort left. This time though it was a little different, I had no sleeping bag or pad, and I was sleeping on hardwood. This didn’t bum me out though, because I was on an island with friends, so waking up a little stiff was not much of a concern. Looking back on all of my trips, where i slept was never a worry, traveling alone or with friends, I always had an up for anything attitude, in some of the most beautiful places I’ve experienced.IMG_9952

This is from one of my most memorable nights, traveling up to santa cruz I saw the sign for highway 1 at lompoc, without even thinking I turned off and trecked up along the coast. I ended up sleeping in my hammock in a random part of big sur. I was surrounded by redwoods without a person around. I woke up early to the sound of sheets of rain pummeling the tarp above my hammock, so I got up and trecked up the coast,Being easily one of my most memorable nights.

Canada

If you spend any decent amount of time with me its pretty obvious that i like canada. Canada is a haven of downhillers with a plethora of amazing runs on their west coast as well as cripp food and nice people. British Colombia is home to some of the best runs, skaters, and events in the world. Every summer people are drawn from around the world for some of the greatest races and events of the year. A staple is the Britannia beach race. This year is its ninth annual running in Squamish bc, one of the most gorgeous parts of the planet, where lions bay meets the mountains of whistler.brittania.jpg

Britannia is held every year during the end of may on a gorgeous switchback road that is “illegal” to skate the rest of the year.

Another staple canadian event is the giants head free ride held in, Giants head, bc just north of the spokane border. giants head is a small town that sits right on lake kelowna. It has a closed off hiking trail that snakes and turns forever and draws many to skate it year round. Giants head attracts most attention though during a three day weekend in the summer where giant ramps and wall rides are places on the fast, narrow road. Giants head is a very non serious event and extremely popular so its a great excuse to take a week or two and just kick back with some skate friends that you may only see once or twice a year.

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Photo : brian Cortright

Our team took two weeks to drive up the west coast from san fransisco on the #giantheadquest. The trip in a psychedelically painted bus with 14 homies was an amazing experience. This trip was the beginning of the opportunities that downhill skating offers me, rad new places, all the time, with rad people.

ALSO… canada has Tim Hortons which is dunking donuts on steroids and is seriously cripp . the donuts are next level and they’re consistently fire no matter where you are. Which basically seals the deal every time I “have to” go up to canada for a few days.martin shreds.jpg

Scenery, A downhillers best friend

Downhill skating is all based on fast technical winding roads that keep you on your toes. Where else is better than canyon roads, alpine highways, and mountain runs? They are all either fast, steep, technical,  or all of the above. Many of the most sought after runs are deep in the backwoods or high in the mountains of national parks, adding to the joy and serenity that downhilling provokes.

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we can’t always see that view

One of the best perks of being a sponsored skater is being sent around to some of the most scenic places in the world. There’s a special feeling you get soaring through lava fields at 12,000 feet or navigating roads surrounded by massive sequoias. “Its a great feeling to look down at an empty canyon skating and just think ‘ THIS IS MINE!'”- Eric singer. Every trip I go on I bring my dslr planning on catching glimpses of my adventures… but I never remember to take photos because I look at the beauty for too long.

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Regular hangout on the ridge in-between runs

Skating has connected me with nature in a spiritual and loving way that i never would have felt if not for it. I had always enjoyed nature and scenery but I learned a deep and profound appreciation for it and how often we take it for granted, just by riding my skateboard staring at the sunset and the mountains. In my previous post I discussed camping and last minute detours, which were all for the experience of nature. If not for skateboarding I never would have traveled nearly as much as I fiend to nowadays nor would I have come to appreciate nature, as well as our own, as much as I do now. I am lucky to travel with people who feel the same as I, who would rather sleep under the tree or the stars than sleep in a hotel. I encourage you to go out into the backcountry of wherever you are and lose your thoughts in nature, to learn of how important our nature is and how little we remember that.

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About to drop in on a alpine highway 6’000 feet up in the la county