Monthly Archives: May 2011

Riding ATBA Round One 2011 at Hales Superbowl

Hey guys! This is a long one so don’t start reading till you’ve got a few minutes to spare.

I’d been looking forward to the event since they announced the series. In fact; the last 2 weeks I’ve been dreaming most nights about racing. Maybe something to do with the mental scarring of my first race – if you never read the last post about my racing basically we arrived late, got no practise on a course I’d never seen and I’d never raced with other people before.

With a pattern forming we arrived late on Thursday and setup by carlight. Waking in the morning to find the PUATB crew had already arrived +/- a few members from the Get Creative event. I was getting on well with Morgan who was also itching for an early ride so we hit the slopes.

After the warm-up runs we hit the boarderx. From the top first time both of us. Brilliant! Three more times and feeling confident. I was real happy with this no matter what else happened on the weekend.

As the day went on much of the focus for everyone there was on practising the boarderx. Sadly after my initial good riding I was a lot less consistent which would stay with my till the end of the races – at which point I figured what I was doing wrong.

Ow ees

Towards the end of the day me, Andy and Tyrone (a Team IRONSIDES rider) had a jib session focusing on boardslides. I stomped a couple and am getting a good feel for them. Andy hardly missed one using his skater skills to good effect and while Tyrone didn’t make one but he didn’t give up – earning a triple sized knee for his commitment. Nice one.


After a nice easy night race day came. If you’ve been to any of the events somewhat recently you’ll know how this goes. Registration time passes and everyone is still is bed while Raph walks around the campsite on the megaphone trying to rouse people. Brilliant fun for me as I’m already awake and laughing as he slowly marches around tents blaring the horn.

I met Ade from The Dirt Box who’s a brilliant guy, sadly I wasn’t going to get to race with him as he enters the masters (old fogies group) so we had a couple of practise desents together. After this the tractor started working which was brilliant for my sore leg (fine riding, but very painful walking) and it was time to get the qualifiers started.

All morning I’d been debating whether to wake Andy up, he’d wanted to ride but I’d done a fair bit to try and rouse him, not least was the Raph’s megaphone antics described above. Well following on last year’s fashion he strolled up to the top just as his first race was about to get going, not my style but worked for him!

Race 1: Brilliant! I was drawn up against Mark and Morgan of the PUATB, guys I’d gotten to know quite well so it was a very friendly race, especially when compared to the dunked in the deep end of last year. Between us we kind of knew Mark was the better rider and he didn’t disappoint. I still give it my all and just before the step-up at the end of first straight I seen Morgan rolling over in slow motion, second was almost guaranteed as he’d have to do the tiring jump up the feature. I did fall on the second last corner / corkscrew (which was proving troublesome for me) but I fell on the downhill so rode to get my 2nd place.

Race 2: This time I was drawn up against two guys I hadn’t talked too and didn’t know their skill. They bolted out of the gate leaving me 20+ metres behind in seconds. My overall plan for the races was to see who fell and overtake them at my own pace and this worked out well here. Myles Hillier (I think) went down on the corkscrew, I could see the dust as I was approaching and when I entered powerslide just before him. He got up but I had a bit extra height and speed so was slowly overtaking him on the inside of the last turn. Our wheels were so close they were practically interlocking. I may have coerced him over to the side (to fast to remember – and sorry if I did) but another 2nd place was in the bag

After this it was time for a break. I didn’t eat much as hunger had been replaced by adrenaline but I downed a good couple of pints of water and had a lovely nap 🙂


Race 3: I was drawn up against Myles Hillier (again I think) and someone else. This time it was knockouts so I had to place 1st or 2nd to go through. This is where my plan fell through, I was against two competent riders who flew out of the gates and didn’t fall.

After this I reverted to recording and relaxing for the final races. I saw Andy get boxed out from taking second by two brothers (well played), Simon Neck from the PUATB do really well in his first Pro Boarderx entry, Lisa storming the Pro category, Mark Sewell bringing in fourth in the seniors despite his recently broken leg and some really close calls on the large right hand transfer.



At various points throughout the day I’d been able to watch the ATC Crew jibbing and jumping. Those guys have some serious skill and are able to pull of most of what they want when they want.

So with the racing done and prize-giving sorted Ade was off, hope to see you at the next one(s) mate. As usual everyone settled for alchohol, food and fire. I managed to score myself Mark Hales’ attempted mountainboard-like creation, aptly shaped like a coffin with wheels. Fitting my wheels as the ones on there were in a bad state; me, Andy and fellow camping mate Ash headed to the top of the hill for some 3 man boarding. Hard enough but then Smilie of Remolition was wondering what the crap we were doing and of course joined in. 4 man wasn’t any easier but was definately more painful and funny!

I remember hearing somewhere that just outside of Hales is a really cool cave system. After a bit of rounding up disparate elements and hiring guide Beiran we headed out in the dark, around half of us with torches. It was a bit of a walk away and included a 45 degree slope for a short while but is was completely worth it. About the size of a house and very atmospheric, a very cool place for a relax and chat. Roger Swannell had came along with us but had disappeared for a good few minutes. When he joined us it was revealed he’d been scoping freeride spots. Nice one mate; just what I’d expected from you, a completely dedicated rider!

So the night wore on and as usual I turned in early. Apparently I missed a lot; fire juggling and breathing and general partyness, but such is my style when I’m up for 8am in the morning.

Sunday is time for the freeride, morning rolled around and I padded up for a practise. Hales jumps are huge and after 3 attempts my leg was playing up and I had to pull out. I’m much happier doing my tricks when not faced with a wall of dirt! I’d managed to wake Andy this morning and he was looking pretty stylish, getting real high on the quarter pipe – higher than a lot of the Pros.

As the competition started the level of skill in the Juniors was really high – shaming many of the older folks. The Pro’s throwing down huge spins and flips but I found myself most enjoying the Seniors, maybe because my boy Andy was in it but I think because the skill level wasn’t as high. Watching the Pro’s do there thing is hard to keep track of because there’s so many spins and grabs! James Wanklyn’s 720 was sweet though. Alternatively watching the Seniors you can see the progression and pushing of skill a lot more. Andy trying a back 360 to front 360 on one run was excellent, sadly just missing it and my camera running out seconds earlier so I never caught it.

After that it was prize giving and clear up up time. A few goodbyes and see ya laters and we were on the road. I’m counting this as my first real competition as the last one was a little rushed. Next time I still want to enter both categories but we’ll see how the injuries go.

Cheers to everyone (including those unmentioned) for the great weekend, mountainboarders continually prove to be one of the best communities I’ve encountered so lets keep it that way and aim for world domination.


Check out Ade’s write-up, Facebook phtotos and the results – thats quick work Roger.  It’s early days yet so there will probably be a lot more to come – including my own video[s].

If you have any thoughts on article length let me know. I was thinking of splitting it in two but I think your adult enough…right?

Winter 2010/2011 Freeride Video

With help from a friend I got this sorted. I split the video into 3 parts then saved that with the soundtrack.

Because of the weird saving method there seems to be a few artefacts on the video (as well as reduction of framerate and quality), but this is my old GoPro with a scratched lens so it’s not much worse than normal.