Category Archives: Raves

All the things currently making me go “Hell Yeah!”

Love it! ATBA Round 4 2012 at Hales Superbole

Jesus all 4 of my races this weekend were about overtakings, different lines and sprint finishes.

We’ll come back to that. Friday was a good practise day, everyone was happy running the track, socialising and mixing it up. I had a couple of objectives for the weekend. One was do better heelside turns and with a bit of help from Andy – keep your arms by your knees to keep your body position correct – I had it. Side note; Andy is great for giving out tips. Second was to do the big jumps; I’ve always been a bit scared of big air so when my first attempt went down pretty well I was happy. Hales has huge jumps in the bole but they are perfectly formed.

Friday night was a big downer, twas soaking wet. We made it better with good company, fire and alcohol. Also met up with fellow geordie rider Andy Humble and friend of Scott who I’d lost contact with. We are in negotiations about NEAT Boarders 😉

Saturday morning was well weird; everyone was milling about before 9am. Andy D himself was awake before 8am. What’s going on?

After the riders meeting there was quite a lot of practising going on. Everyone had a few runs but didn’t overdo it while the tractor wasn’t on. The track was pretty wet causing at least one of the inside lines to be too slippy/tough. In the seniors we had 20 riders; a large category, this was going to be tough.

I was up for doing my best and the qualifiers were a great place to get your competitive spirit on. I could see from the start gate I had good riders in my race, but they weren’t unbeatable opposition anymore, they were my rivals. I can’t remeber much about these drop ins but I had decent results with 2nd, 3rd and a 2nd.

With my previous objectives completed I had a new one, don’t get knocked out in your first race. I’ve never achieved this before so I was going to try my hardest. First race an unknown to me at the time (nick Brave I think) and Andy. Bugger. Sadly the big A wasn’t on form as he broke his board on Wednesday night and the one he’d cobbled together wasn’t really working for him. He was out but I’d not only got through my first race, I’d won!

This is when my races got interesting. To preface I was doing really well on the gates and the top section of the track. The last two corners however I was struggling with, holding on as best as possible to one line that kind of worked but was slow.

My quarter finals were with James from Team Ironsides and Pixel Distort’s Mark Sewell. The gates seemed to take ages so I pulled before they dropped assuming they were about to, they didn’t and while I reset they went and I lost a good chunk of time. ‘I’m not going out like this’ I said to myself and gave it my all. Catching up to James before the drop he had my inside line, the only way to get ahead was to take a more inside line, I pulled it of and was avving it down the bank! As mentioned I was sucking at the bottom section an and he was catching me up, remembering something someone said earlier I dove across the finish line for vital inches and came second. Through to the semi finals!

The riders at the top now were a more hardened bunch of guys. My semis were against a really solid group. Dropping in we were neck and neck. A few place changes and I ended up first going down the bottom section; could I make the finals? Someone had the accelleration and took the lead. What happened next is a bit of a mystery to me. On the section of the track I can’t do well I had boarders either side of me. Some blurred vision (board, soft organic thing, grass, mud) and I was upside down a couple of metres from the line. I was out but it was so epic I didn’t care.

I still had one more race. The small finals for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. Again, all good riders so there was jostelling, line choosing down the top half. Over the hip I tried the super inside line again as a gamble and was looking at second place. Down the straight I heard ‘zzzzt’, christ, mine and Mark wheels collided! A few seconds later with a delayed reaction my board buckled. Holding the line I went to drop in those last two corners and turned into Mark, back to back as he’s goofy Andy described us as jigsaw pieces holding each other up. I was leaning heavily on my back tyres trying to get my weight up and not fall. The finishing straight we were as close as possible, he extended his arm and took 6th by a couple of inches! Should of dived again! 5th place was saying all he could hear round those last two corners was screaming (probably just me) from a couple metres behind and he was pretrified but couldn’t look to see what was happening.

Truely awesome.

Sharing stories and having a bit of a jib and jump session the evening ploughed on. The rains came again but Mark of Hales Superbowl had organised a Midnight Miniramp Madness Jam (at 10 o’clock of course) which was great to watch and pulled everyone together. Nice one.

I went to bed around 12 for and early one to help me freestyle the next day. Sadly I got little sleep, now here I am in the car early in the morning with the write up – I’ll clean up spelling and grammar later [edit – done]. This is more like it, everyone but toilet trippers still in bed. We’ll see if I do the freestyle.

A very long post and very first person narrative. Your input is welcome.

[Edits]

Oh how all the riders at the top laughed when Andy was in the lead but lost footing on the inside slippery causing everyone behind him to crash 😀

Also I’ve a Youtube edit:

ATBA 2012 Round 3 at Out to Grass

Hey you. Can’t believe you’ve still got my site in your RSS feed!

So after a false start when Round 2 got cancelled it finanlly went ahead over the 4th/5th of August. Setting off from Newcastle me and Andy knew it was going to be a late one. After a meetup with fellow boarder Nash and a laid back drive we arrived at OTG (near Worcester) about 2am and after a bit of dicking about got some shuteye.

Friday was rather laid back. A few practise runs on the course which was proving long and very tiring, as agreed by everyone over the course of the weekend. The course has a long straight with rollers and besides the start gate, isn’t too steep. The last half of the course is 4 large berms by which point you are nackerd. Whoever gets into these berms first was likely to win.

I think I’ve gotten over my fear of racing with other riders as I was gunning it as best as possible, also I’ve gotten much faster out of the gate; so all I’ve got left to learn is how to pump really fast. The weather was a bit hit and miss so the track conditions were changing making at least myself need to change how I hit the course slightly with every run. What I really liked on this course is how some people would clear the rollers while others preferred to ride them creating some really dynamic racing.

Every rider had three qualifiers. Due to the numbers it was worked out as a two 2 man races and one 3 man race each (maybe). The head to head nature made it really personal. I lost my first to a good rider, won my 3 man after a possible clash and won my third. The third was quite funny as I got a really good lead from the gates and first rollers and just played it easy for the rest of the track. I didn’t really pay attention but my rival really caught me up when I was looking. So after lunch I had my first knockout race; I had a huge lead out the gate but got taken on the straight, I was out 🙁 Good news however was that Andy came 3rd and Nash 7th in his first competition.

Me and Andy weren’t going to do the freestyle on Sunday so we decided on an evening ride till we were too tired. A slip n slide was promised but that sounded lame…until I seen it! Yeah, I lost some maturity that evening but bombing the slip n slide was soo much fun.

So the nights entertainment began. Fire, alcohol, the usual. Around midnight there was word of a night ride. Getting up to the top of the hill with my board they’d setup a candlelit track down the easy course. This was surreal and awesome; you can’t see anything but the candles that you have to stay between. Drifting you way around slippy course while half drunk, that is a nice way to spend the night 🙂

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.

Rail

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 🙂

Tight

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.

Step-Up

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.

Happy

Meta
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?