JUST ANOTHER DAY In the Pacific Northwest
A SKATER’S GUIDE To Downhill Etiquette
THE GAIJIN REPORT Shizuoka Rider’s Meeting
19.5 Fall 2014
SKATE SLATE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & DIGITAL DESIGNER Justus Zimmerly
DIGITAL EDITOR Blake Smith
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER & CORRESPONDENT Max Dubler
PHOTO EDITOR & CORRESPONDENT Jon Huey
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER & CORRESPONDENT Ari Chamasmany
SKATE[SLATE] CREW Adam Auger, Adam Crigler, Billy Meiners, Blake Smith, Brock Newman, Dan Pape, Jordan Shepherd, Marisa Nunez, Patrick Switzer, RJ Roush PUBLISHER Tim Cutting
Letter from the editor A lot of the articles in this issue are about getting out and exploring new terrain. Whether you’re exploring fresh roads that have never been skated before, or just travelling to a different zone to skate someone else’s roads that are new to you, riding new terrain is one of the great joys of skating hills.
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Sessioning your local hill has it’s own appeal, but skating a road for the first time is always special. Every corner is new, every ripple in the pavement a surprise. It’ll keep you on your toes and prevent things from getting stale, so get out there and explore. – Justus Zimmerly
Emmet White and Colby Looney surf through a banked right sweeper. photo Jon Huey Cover: Eric Jensen in the Sierra Mountains. photo Blake Smith
17 JUST ANOTHER DAY
In The Pacific Northwest
29 A SKATER’S GUIDE
To Proper Downhill Etiquette
50 THE GAIJIN REPORT 11 [SKS] .5 FALL 2014
Shizuoka Rider’s Meeting
57 GIANTS HEAD B
65 GEAR REVIEW
Cadillac Sugar Mamas
JUST ANOTHER DAY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST words and photos Jon Huey 17 [SKS] .5 FALL 2014
Emmet and Colby ride tight through a sweeper.
The Pacific Northwest has many beautiful roads that cut through lush forested areas. Bombing down them is just one of the many perks of living in this area. Outside of Portland, there is an amazing gem of a road with butter smooth pavement and fast sweeping corners to tight righty hairpins. For a while, I’ve considering photographing it, but it is difficult to do so. It’s so dark under the canopy of trees and any light that does filter through appears too bright in a photo. This is another reason why not many Go Pro videos have been made of it. This is probably a good thing as it is sometimes a bust with the local law enforcement. It’s also fast and dangerous so the fewer people know about it, the better. Recently, I did take some photos at a session with some friends from the Portland area. Enjoy. The riders at this session were Alex Tongue, Alicia Fillback, Colby Looney, Emmet White, and Noah Throckmorton. My old housemate Zach Rieder was there too, but he was nursing an injury so he shuttled with Colby’s truck. We took a few runs. While I was photographing on a corner, I had a “concerned citizen” driving up the hill, stop in her lane and say what was on her mind. We shuttled to the top and waited for a while in case she called the police on us. We chatted at the top until it seemed clear and took a few more runs. I made some pretty cool photos and we had had a few good runs, so we decided to call last run. That was probably our mistake. Zach and I drove down ahead so that I could set up for a shot, Alex and Alicia also drove their cars down to the bottom to roll out from there. As we were driving down, I noticed a van at a pullout spot on the road. I tried calling Noah’s phone to alert his 19 [SKS] .5 FALL 2014
group of it as a potential hazard, as it wasn’t there while we drove up. Noah’s phone was in Alex’s car so I couldn’t alert the group. They waited for a while and started down the hill. When they passed by the pullout spot, the van was no longer there. My suspicions were validated when Noah, Emmet, and Colby were riding down and they came up on the van. Noah shut down and the others slid to a stop and waited a while for their route to be clear. I was waiting farther down the hill and the van passed by me. A short time after that, Noah, Emmet, and Colby came in sight and I snapped these shots. Only a bit farther down the road is a fast left corner that is blind and sneaks up on you. As fate would have it, the same van was parked halfway in the road doing God knows what. Noah was significantly in front of the group and moving fast and decided to throw a slide at the last minute. As he slid towards the back of the van, he thought he was going to break some bones. He ended up kicking the back right wheel of the van with his toes and sliding down the ditch. He scraped up his helmet and arms, and got a deep gash in his elbow that he could stick his finger inside. The driver said, “I didn’t see you coming,” and asked if he was alright. Then, he drove off. We all drove to the bottom and Noah did some emergency cleaning of his wound. Noah’s crash changed our plans and so we split up for the rest of the day. The last I talked to him, he said he didn’t get stitches. Honestly, he was lucky that he walked away with what he did. Whatever precautions he took leading to that extreme moment saved his life. On that note: check your nuts, ride within your abilities, wear safety gear, stay in your lane, err on the side of safety, etc. Your life depends on it.
Noah Throckmorton meets eye contact with the enemy (a motor vehicle) while spotting the corner.
I DIDN’T SEE YOU COMING
A SKATER’S GUIDE TO PROPER DOWNHILL ETIQUETTE words and photos Ari Chamasmany
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Andrew Tucker and Leland Michaliszyn gripping through the Bu.
In a tight pack, the trio negotiates this tendril of tarmac.
Etiquette, a common facet in our modern that counts for quite grand scheme of thi date, or a downhill ru and understanding w is, and how it specifi to the situation at ha sometimes mean the between getting laid dead. It sounds a bit I know, but take a lit
nly overlooked day society e a lot in the ings. Be it a un, knowing what etiquette fically applies and can e difference d, or getting t extreme, ttle time to
actually think about it, and it begins to make sense. Now, I’m not going to go about explaining to you how to get laid, that’s a conversation I’ll save for an entire album of Barry White and a glass of Courvoisier. However, what I will go into detail about is how to properly maintain yourself while on the slope, so you don’t end up looking like a total barney, ya dig?
The first thing you have to realize is that downhill skateboarding is serious business. Your board may be playfully named after a portly, mythical horned horse, and your wheels may leave mass amounts of urethane smeared across the road, but when it comes down to it, none of that really matters if you end up as a crimson skid mark.
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SAFETY ETIQUETTE The first and most important of all of the following forms of downhill etiquette is safety. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been street skating, this is a completely different ball game. Want to know the quickest and easiest way to look like a jackass? Bombing down the mountain without a helmet on. On the streets and in the city it may be a different story, but out there, it’s the real deal. Downhill skateboarding falls somewhere between sky diving and motorcycle racing with roughly around the same amount of risk of getting seriously injured. Protecting that dome piece is the least you can do to keep yourself from having a really bad time. Just remember to keep safety in mind, if you’re looking to keep your mind.
DRAFT AND PASSING ETIQUETTE
Mach speed Michael Malone.
If you’re going to draft someone, be gentle about it. If you’re going to pass someone, be quick about it. It’s always really really lame when someone slams into the back of you, even if they don’t take you out. No one likes getting pushed around so don’t be a meathead. The key to proper draft etiquette is to be gentle. If you happen upon someone while on a run, try and contact them in a calm, considerate manner. Claps are helpful, but also can be annoying. Know that as long as you’re behind someone it is your job to keep your speed in check, so letting them know you are there is cool. Keep your wits about you and when the right moment presents itself, go for the gingerly pass. Keep in mind that while in the heat of the moment you may be hungry to go for that pole position, but also try to remember that chances are you’re not going to beat Patrick Switzer anytime soon. There is no reason to unnecessarily attempt a pass in a bad corner like it’s the finals at Maryhill. Ease up, take it chill. It’s better to be high fiving the homie at the bottom because it was a close run, versus a trip to the hospital because you got greedy.
LOCATION AND SPOT ETIQUETTE I’ve written about this before, and I’ll write about it again, please please please don’t blow up the spot. If someone has the good graces to take you out to their hills, don’t go telling your entire friends list exactly where you are. Sure you can write about it and tell the tale, but be smart about it, be creative about it, call it something else, or just give it a weird name. Just make sure that you honor the locals and their roads by keeping the locations on the down low. By the same token, another important aspect about spot etiquette depends on you and your own abilities. If you’re a month or two into the downhill game, don’t go skate the double black diamond roads. You’ll see the videos, you’ll think you’re ready, but chances are your definitely not. It’s not a good look for the locals when the authorities have to airlift your ass out of the canyon cause you couldn’t hold it down. If you’re not ready to respect the spot, keep the heat off of the hill or session something smaller until the time is right. When will that be you ask? When you don’t have to ask.
SHUTTLE ETIQUETTE You may have heard your grandfather say, “There is no such thing in this world as a free ride”, and that’s because he’s older, and right. Paying to play is the name of the game and unless your providing some kind of other service, be it photographic or otherwise, it should go without saying that you need to contribute something to the driver if you’re going to reap the rewards of using their car as a shuttle. Pay for his or her lunch, buy him or her a beer, perform a sexual favor, whatever’s clever, just make sure you’re not taking runs using their car at their expense cause that just sucks. In addition to making a contribution to the gojuice fund, also be mindful of when it’s your turn to drive if you are indeed old enough to possess a license. 35 [SKS] .5 FALL 2014
Leland Michaliszyn trails Michael Malone into a sticky corner.
Well class, I feel like weâ€™ve covered
the core values of downhill etiquette with these four topics, however, while these four are pretty comprehensive, there can and sometimes will be more depending on where youâ€™re at in the world. The chief thing to remember with all of this is to just be mindful. Let there be no doubt that this sport is inherently dangerous, so minimizing your chances of injury and maximizing your chances for fun should always be at the root of everything you do before and after you push off. Just keep it cool, keep it safe, and you should be right as rain.
THE GAIJIN REPORT Rider’s Meeting Shizuoka words and photos Dan Pape
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Several months ago, the riders of Japan got together for a meeting in the mountains of Shizuoka. Organizer Nao Suzuki spent months planning the inaugural event for fellow riders. The event was a huge success due to careful planning and teamwork by the event organizers. Some notable teams to mention that came to skate were the SDHC (Shizuoka Downhill Club), Wired Downhill Skateboarding, and the F-Dub Riders. We missed OneFootMotion and the Hokkaido Crew that day but one day we will all be partaking as one. The location for day one was amazing. Once we all met at the convenience store, stocked up on lunch and coffee, we were off to the perfectly paved, super smooth course. I was very curious about which spot the SDHC was going to choose, since they have so many amazing spots on their list. Carpool partners Yuji-kun, Nori-kun, and myself were pleasantly surprised with big smiles as we drove to the top. Hidden in the dense forest was this run leading to a dirt logging road. I still don’t understand why the pavement was so perfect. I didn’t
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care, we were all skating on a perfect road, with people that loved to skate and with zero worry about cars, and people that don’t yet understand what downhill skateboarding is. As the great day came to an end, we were all equally excited about the next spot. BBQ, beers, and lots of people that were stoked on the amazing day of skating we had. I believe all of the twenty-plus riders were going to stay for the second day, the skatepark session. Day two started very, very slow. Due to the festivities the night before, motivation to get started early just wasn’t there. Instead, we enjoyed the sun and talked until everyone was ready to go. Most riders there that day took part in the session. Some just enjoyed the folding chairs under the shade. In my opinion, the two days of skating and fun was perfect. The friends we met and the teammates skating together that weekend will always be welcomed to Rider’s Meetings in the future.
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GIANTS HEAD B-RIDE words and photos Dan Pape 57 [SKS] .5 FALL 2014
Reminding me of so many things: How intense 95kph is, how after two runs your legs would be burning from the tuck, how I reserved three and four run sessions for my morning riding, and how I still liked hanging out open window of the follow car.
That’s right, unfortunately everyone’s favorite event, the Giants Head Freeride was cancelled. The fire prevention authority put an abrupt end to the event because of hazardous and dry fire conditions in Summerland, BC. Canadians are serious about fire safety and the forest in the area was just too dry. What is everyone to do when GHF2014 gets cancelled? I was bummed because this is the event that I love to film the most. Skaters return year after year to the event they enjoy the most. To this date I have never heard one bad thing about the Giants Head Freeride. My Vancouver trip with two kids tagging along was proving to be much more difficult than I imagined. No time to film, and even less time to skate this time around. I got the 24 hour Hall Pass (father slang for when they are kidless). Finally! Meeting up with home town friends was a cinch. After a BBQ, I went to meet up with Graham Buksa, Lee Cation, Mike Fitter, and Tommy Watson. I was more than happy to hand off my helmet cam to any one of these riders. They met me at the bottom of the run, a quick decision was made to take the biggest vehicle, and we were soon transporting our way to the top. Catching up was like I never left. Watching them tear down the eleven kilometer mountain road at insane speeds reminded me gently that I need to get back into speedboarding. Reminding me of so many things: How intense 95k/hr is, how after two runs your legs would be burning from the tuck, how I reserved three and four run sessions for my morning riding, and how I still liked hanging out open window of the follow car. My long hair smacked me in the face as I desperately aimed to get the mirror out of the shot while Tommy got the POV angle. They are truly amazing athletes, so capturing them was intense. Nice job guys. Passing the cyclist was nuts. “Don’t hit a pothole, don’t hit a pothole,” is all I could think as Tommy busted out his air brake to avoid slamming into Fitter. Good technique no doubt. The interesting fact was that not even five minutes before, Fitter’s shoulder popped out on a high speed left, causing him to slide through the dirt and jam into the concrete barrier. Mike just shook it off and carried on as normal. I thought this was incredible.
Passing a pothole brake to
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the cyclist was nuts. “Don’t hit a pothole, don’t hit e,” was all I could think as Tommy busted out his air avoid slamming into Fitter.
CADILLAC SUGAR MAMAS words Grant Benesh photos Grant Benesh and Jon Huey
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The newest wheel in the Cadillac lineup, the 78a Sugar Mamas clock in at 65mm tall with a center-set hub poured in Cadillac’s 78a THC thane. Being stoneground fresh out the package combined with the slightly smaller height allows the rider to throw them around on almost any setup without the worry of wheelbite. With a slightly wider 38mm contact patch, they will grip and hookup just a little bit more than its bigger brother, the Swinger. Freshly opened out of the package, the stone ground is less course than usual. It almost feels silky smooth and oily. I threw them on my board and hiked up the hill to my ﬁrst location in Portland, the Switchbacks. This mellow course offers the perfect combination of tight corners and smooth pavement. The first slide on the Sugar Mamas was ridiculously slick, which is what I expected. After the ﬁrst run, the Cadillacs were fully broken in and the skin was worn off. These wheels were very smooth and consistent and the softer 78a durometer kept me feeling conﬁdent and in control. These wheels felt consistent over pretty much every pavement, and even some manholes. Because of their slippery urethane, they are not really what I needed when trying to rail a corner. Rather than trying to grip, they are good for sliding around the whole corner. The slide on the Sugar Mamas felt as if the wheels are gliding over ground with minimal resistance. After that I took them to two different steep and technical runs. The wear pattern on these wheels was really even and never once did I oval them. I did enjoy the amount of thane that was left on the road after a slide. It felt good to push them into some larger and faster slides where they felt super consistent and smooth. Never once did I feel that these wheels were randomly going to hookup or ice out. They performed outstandingly in this area. Something that could be improved on the wheel would be the roll speed. These wheels felt just a little slow cruising around but that didn’t bother me once I started bombing some steeper hills. Overall these wheels are sick for holding out long and fast slides and putting around on your local hill. I would recommend Cadillac Sugar Mamas to anyone ranging from a beginner who is learning the basics to a pro looking for some slick fun.
THE BREAKDOWN QUALITY PERFORMANCE STYLE VALUE
8 9 9 8