When I found out CTAJ was running at my local earlier in the year I knew I had to visit. I haven’t posted in a while but to sum up since the last article. Me and Martyn had a little trip to IRONSIDE Courtfarm and Hales Superbole in the space of two days.
Courtfarm has a very nuts border-x track, indeed most of the site was on a 350 angle or so. They had a smaller border-x which we actually had a go on and completed which was still pretty gnarly. Hales Superbole on the other hand was a very friendly site, with something fitting all levels of rider. Including a lot of jib action – which I’m rather rubbish at at the minute. It is also run by the thoroughly excellent Mark Hales.
The summer wore on and I didn’t get much riding in with Martyn being away and not having any incentive to ride. I planned to go to the last round of the ATBA at Hales but it wasn’t looking good with the costs involved in getting the train down. Out of the blue I got contacted by a fellow boarder Andy Dumelow. We had a meet up and a ride together and eventually ended up going to the comp. The whole trip was a bit crazy but it was capped of when we arrived way late on Saturday. After quickly putting our boards together, padding up and walking to the top of the hill there was barely any time until we were riding, no practice, no warm up, no “hellos”. That was totally intense and super fun.
So CTAJ then…
I’m always ready to travel to Surf the Turf and having a competition on gives me total incentive to go again. Sadly I had responsibilities on saturday night (the less said about this the better) so I had a chat with Andy (Martyn was working again) about going down the day before and he was game.
We were among the first to arrive and knowing Markus we helped out a bit. After setting up tent and doing a round of shopping we managed to get two whole runs in before the darkness descended. After a late tea we joined the BFC tent for some socialising and free whiskey (mainly socailising). When going back to the tent we noticed the clouds had disappeared and we could see all the stars, even the milky way. If I’ve seen this before I can’t remember, it was lush.
So morning came round and after a bit more helping out and warm up riding the competition started. You can see the differing riding standard of everyone there but it’s good watching everyone no matter the skill level. As has been mentioned a fair bit the CTAJ competitions are all about fun. This isn’t just hot air though, everyone seems to band together for a fun whole. Bailing hard tricks and bruising is practically encouraged and often makes the whole affair hilarious, especially with the occassional *thoooonnnng* sound of someone bouncing off the steel drum 🙂
Voting works with all riders choosing their top 5 riders of each section. This means being creative with the use of environment was high on the agenda (not so much my own) as it makes you stand out. From the first section I could see a few riders besides the bigger names throwing down what I want to see. Amon Shaw was only 14[fact check] and was throwing down so much with a lot of consistancy. My own boy Andy had a pretty sweet first round but I forgot to vote for him (sorry!). Cameron Bailey was going really big which I love seeing, often going down hard too which earned him the best bail trophey. My favourite of his was near the start when he was bombing from the top and had to go through the rest of us riders to get to the jumps, no-one moved and there was no way through so he generated some hi-speed precision ollieing.
Towards the end of the first round we had a rail party. Everyone boardsliding, learning to or falling down. It was good to see a lot of other riders also have trouble with these, although I landed mine first try 😀
Second round utilised 3 Northshore drop offs, some dirt jumps and the half-pipe. With a little help from my new technique ollieing (click here to learn), instead of jumping. I got some nice air from the drops and cleared the second biggest jump which is bigger than any jump I’ve hit before. The halfpipe scared me off, I need some major practise on these.
Things that caught my eye here; Joe Dixon’s 720o, Cameron’s “Bail”ey where he slow motion fell of the drop offs and the tiny Jacob Cox going off the 6ft Northshore which scared most of the older riders. At the end of this round I tried the biggest jump with not enough speed, I went down and took my new helmet cam mount off, damn they’re expensive!
The last round consisted of gunning it down the berms of the bike track, judging was scored on lack of scrubing, flair and general coolness. Some people know how to take these well, I’m not one of them. I kept trying to go without scubbing which was the end of me. I should have build up some speed on the first few then went for the rest. Nevermind. As far as other people goes it’s hard to pick out much, as the track covered much of the line of sight. Joe Dixon and a few others gunned the course in a third of time it took the rest of us and Cameron pulled of some rather hilarious dancing and singing.
At the end of the day we all headed for the tip-top of the park for MASS DESCENT, this is great fun and looks great in the video I’ve seen online somewhere.
So after closing ceremonies, smiles and high 5’s and I made my way home. Some wicked prizes were given out, Amon Shaw winning the overall juniors and from what I seen this was totally deserved.
Breaking news: Me and Andy went out to do 360’s the other day and pulled them off, myself with some help from Andy’s trickt tips. I want to throw a few of these down then take them to bigger things. 🙂