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

Rider Profile : Michal Cihlar

as big a part as the skateboard is in the sport just as big in the sport is the people you skate with. Many of my races and rips would not be possible without Yung mook, aka Michal cihlar.

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Michal Cihlar is a seventeen year old from Burlingame  (bay area) california sponsored by Powell peralta, Thesewheels and aera trucks. Michal has sprung up in the scene like many other heavy hitting groms withing the skate community. Everyone first truly took notice of Michal at Brittania classic, It was his first formal race and he was jittery but still leading every heat by 100 ft. Michal has been consistently killing it on the hill or at the airport (where he consistly picks me up for races).

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natural habitat is on four wheels

 

Michal is extremely race driven as a skater and rightfully so. Many skaters race, but their are few who are unexplainably fast and gifted when it comes to racing. One of these people is Michal who came out in 6th place in the juniors class for his first year of racing. Me traveling to races without parents I have made an annoying habit of leeching off of him and his dad for rides to and from the airport and an occasional floor to sleep on for a night or two. Being with michal during races you can see the mindset he shifts into race mode. Young look makes aa often occurrence to santa barbara and my hammock. We’ve have some pretty chillen local rips and over the days he has become a good friend. We’ve had some popular acai and some good memories across states and country lines. If you want to see more media of michal cihlar look on the aera trucks, powell peralta, or these wheels  instagram or Facebook pages as well as peninsula downhill. Young look as known as michal cihlar will be the subject of next week’s blog as well, downhill and driving part two with his nineteen ninety nine e thirty six m three.

 

downhill disco take two

Like every other weekend for me, I packed my bags and skateboards and went on another skate trip. This week was to the downhill disco in san diego california. I left on thursday morning for a stop at ucla’s pediatric surgery center to look at my hurt shoulder and if surgery was necessary. The situation wasnt great but I do not need surgery with heightened my mood a little before driving through LA in the late afternoon. As expected LA traffic was hell as I went in and out of first gear, paining my left leg and feeling alologetic for my clutch. I got into san diego around dusk and went straight to the skatepark with my local guide Jasper Ohlson.

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bless up

We woke up early friday and got on the daily grind quick, no plans but skateboarding. We cruised to the skatepark and then to a local closed road leading straight to the beach. I reconnected with a ton of homies from all around who came to shred a little before the disco. The session was primo but ended with cops yelling and threatening us with citations and fines, of us “trespassing on private property” ignoring the many bikers and pedestrians simply because they are stigma free.
The disco started with confusion and organizers not being ready for hyphy groms the skate, the only way an event should start. I caught a few runs before I was found and forced to register and pay the miniscule 15$ entry fee while most events cost 200$.
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The downhill disco has became popular for taking place on a straight, slow, boring road, and shoving heinous, big and fast ramps and rails along the course. The downhill disco is essentially a skatepark with a grade or the closest thing with have to skatercross in the US.

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disco champ cole trotta took juniors and open

The disco went off pretty smoothly this year, no one got too injured and it seemed as if everyone had a great deal of fun

santa cruising ep. 2 : getting there

Over the weekend I drove up to santa cruz to take photos and videos for my sponsors advertising. Since santa cruz is a fairly long drive and needed at least two full days up their, I drove up thursday after school and had till monday evening to get home. Driving up thursday I packed some camping gear and decided to take highway one up and spend the night in Big Sur for some sights and long overdue camp vibes.

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hammock vibes

Since I left after school and had few hours till dark, most of the scenic drive was spent in pitch black, and on a narrow cliffside road with minivans was not fun. After talking my way out of a speeding ticket and dealing with construction and slow tourists, I made it to my camp sight at Big Sur around 9.

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I continued to make my food and set up camp, hoping to get a good sleep before I finished my drive in the morning. I was surrounded my ginormous redwoods so finding some trees to rig my hammock wasn’t hard.

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floating tents

after squaring away my sleeping situation and putting my cooking supplies in my car I turned in. I woke up to dumping rain which made it impossible to take photos or even spend more than a minute un sheltered. I scrambled to take down my camp and get in the car. I was extremely disappointed that i couldn’t enjoy Big sur’s scenery and take some photos on my lag up the coast. I drove off early and drove for another two hours in the most terrifying road conditions i’ve seen. The roads were drenched, the fog was thick and the sharp corners and historically good driving road became a slow terror. Once the hwy 1 turned into a highway I was able to open up the throttle while still being blinded by other drivers spray and a torrential downpour. Despite all odds I arrived in santa cruz unscathed and my car unscratched ready for a miserable weekend of getting drenched in the rain and avoiding death for a few photos.

Cruisin up to santa cruz

After getting out of school on a Thursday evening, I packed my car and headed north. I had 260 miles to drive through probably the most picturesc greenery thanks to the el nino rains. With a broken sterro and night falling quickly, It was a very uneventful boring drive. After 2 and a half hours of very safe and very slow driving, i stopped in king city to fill up with gas.

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Premium Gas was only $2.50 a gallon, which put me in a good mood

After filling my tank and checking my oil, I trekked the rest of the 100 some odd miles to Santa Cruz. Traveling to skate often i had wisened up and strarted traveling everywhere with a sleeping bag, which was fortunate for me, cause I had the floor.

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With Jimbo on the couch, I had the floor

After waking up early and drinking a heinous amount of coffee, we made our way to the caliber truck warehouse to get equipment for the days filming mission. After hitting the warehouse we made our way over the hwy 17 grade to palo alto.

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the drive in and out of massive redwoods wasn’t too boring keeping me occupied.

After making it to a very well known and busty downhill run, filmer Tom Flinchbaugh set up his equiptment placing me in the spotlight. After an hour of filming and photos on a foreign board and road we packed up the cameras and met up with our friend Michal Cihlar for some more relaxing skateboarding.IMG_9877

This became a day to day process working hard to get shots for magazines and media for websites. The filming process is always very stressful and frustrating but filming with a follow car driver as skilled as Tom eases a lot of my stress. Even though the stress of filming was lulled, the complication of runs and parks got the best of me, leaving me with a dislocated shoulder at the Oakland city park. With Toms memory cards full of clips and my backpack full of homework, I said goodbye to my friends for now and headed back to  Santa Barbara Monday morning.