Jacko’s Street Slayers Outlaw[wptouch target=”mobile”]
The skate scene in BC has always revolved around Vancouver; it has a vast variety of terrain and has produced so many world-class longboarders and has been the mecca for so many skaters all over the world. I myself have spent a lot of time in BC and typically Vancouver sampling some of this epic terrain and branching out into the amazing BC race circuit, but only this year have I stepped foot on Vancouver Island to get a taste of the island life and sample the action that goes on within.
Photos by Katie Elliot
After gaining experience in event organisation from attending events around the world and organising my own at home with the help of ASRA (Australian Skateboard Racing Association) it was time to branch out and bring that experience to a new part of the world to help the scene grow and give something back to the community, thus the idea arose to put on a two-day event on Vancouver Island to stoke out the scene and get people amped before the race season began. The idea was for a slide jam the first day followed by a race the second day, build the hype and bring as many people together and put smiles on dials.
The slide jam consisted of something kind of different than your original slide jams. Of course there were small competitions for the longest slide and best tricks and what not, but this jam featured a one-on-one elimination battle that pinned skater against skater trying to wow the judges. Each heat would consist of each skater taking two runs each, and each run was judged on their variety of tricks, style, and speed. This allowed for a really interesting game to be played, as not every run you had to be the best on the hill but instead just had to be better than your opponent. It made every run count but still in a way you could save the best tricks for the end – if you made it that far. After getting through two rounds of elimination, the competition turned to sudden death. There would be only one run per heat and it was do or die. There were already a few upsets from some of the well known shredders that definitely had the skills, but when it came crunch time they either blew it trying to nail a difficult trick dropping the score of their run or ran out of steam too early and ended up just repeating the same thing over and over. The ones that were on top were the ones that showed full consistency and variation to their runs, a full on progression session took place and ended up in an epic showdown.
The top four (semi finals) consisted of Turbo Troy Yardwaste, Erin from the Island, Crazy Cam Jones, and Thuglas. Each rider had been showing solid flair all day and making sure they stayed on their board each run and kept up the pace the entire day, however in the first semi final round Erin (who was on fire all day) made his first slip-up run after nailing trick after trick. His opponent, Turbo, managed to pull together a clean run with solid style and went on through to the finals. The next heat with Cam and Thuglas showed the same deal with Thuglas slipping up and Cam nailing an epic run scoring himself the second spot in the finals.
Turbo and Cam then both took their runs down the hill and showed everyone they still had a lot of steam left in the engine and continued to blow minds. Troy was busting out back-to-back 360’s and all sorts of switch slides, blunts and even throwing in the occasional kick-flip. Cam was mobbing mondo speed and pulling out crazy grab variations in and out of switch and going for the big one. Both runs were unique in their own way but solid as ever, it was too hard to determine the winner so they were called back up for a 2nd run, this time both at the same time to see who could hold it together the best. After a quick rock-paper-scissors, Troy took off first and led the run while Cam followed, keeping up close behind matching move for move. In the end it was Troy who managed to show the most flair and took the win. Erin also managed to get it back together in the consolation final against Thuglas and scored himself 3rd place.
Max Gradlmiller isn’t phazed by the wet conditions
The next day was the Street Slayers Race, held at a super secret spot that no one really knew about until three days before the race. After having to move the race from spot to spot due to police monitoring the event page and threatening to shut us down, a last minute scout of an out of town area produced an amazing gem of a hill that has now been named ‘Barbie’s Bends’. This race had turned into full stealth operation with riders meeting at Regular Underground Skate Shop in the morning for registration and a map with directions to the event location. No one had any idea what they were racing on until they arrived at the hill, and it was easy to say people were pretty stoked when they got there! I heard a couple of Islanders talking amongst themselves feeling pretty stupid they hadn’t found it themselves! It was a butter smooth paved hill with fast dropping sweeping turns that was a roller coaster to ride, somewhat like a Mini Jakes Rash but with tighter turns towards the bottom. The race format was a ’round-robin’ race to qualify followed by a 16-man elimination tree. The round robin seeded riders randomly and according to their results per round were then randomly organised for the next heats, mixing it up and allowing for many runs. This format would guarantee at least three or four rounds of racing for each rider before anyone would be eliminated from the race.
Unfortunately the weather gods were not with us on this day, after being blessed with beaming sunshine the previous day the clouds had rolled back in, true BC style and were teasing us with small rain drops. By the time all the track marshals were in place, the radio system was set up and the track was safely closed for riding the clouds began to open up and put a real twist on the day’s racing, rain started to bucket down and drenched the road and it was evident that it would be a true BC race full on slash styles. After a couple of practice runs and a few races heats some riders either figured out the wet race lines and started handling business while others decided to just take it easy and forget about racing and enjoy riding a closed road for a couple of runs, despite the drenched and slippery conditions. The turnout for the day was pretty solid with people coming from all over the Island and even some from the mainland to take a stab at the Street Slayers title and also take a shot at winning the Outlaw Key, which was now up for grabs as I decided to opt out from racing in the wet conditions and focus on running a smooth event.
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After four rounds of the round robin format it was time to enter into the real draw and begin the elimination rounds, this is where the business end of the deal started and people started to really push it. As always there were a couple of upsets from seasoned riders pushing it too fast and crashing themselves out in wet conditions while others just stayed on their boards and rode through to the next round. After a couple heats the fat was chewed and there were four left riding in the finals – again Turbo was on fire and winning all his heats and would be once again facing Crazy Cam along side Jeremy Sampsons (Hollywood Wes’s shredder son) and Jordan Soegard from Abbotsford. Troy managed to take the lead and hold clean lines down the hill sailing onto his second victory of the weekend, followed closely by Jordan on his tail. Jeremy managed to take third place with Cam behind him rounding out the final four.
These events would not be possible without the support from brands like these, they dig deep and give back to the community and are here to support our skateboarding lifestyle! Big thanks also go out to all the volunteers that helped make the weekend run smooth and put in their own time and effort to ensure the skaters were safe and had a great time, but most importantly a mondo thanks goes to Barbie (Kelsey Skrobotz) for co-organising the event with me and going that extra mile with every little detail, working non-stop for over two weeks to make sure this is one of the best events on the island yet, and not to mention finding the amazing hill everyone got to race on. I’m already looking forward to running the next event!
Once again another successful weekend of skateboarding but most importantly no one was there to shut us down. After many threats from local police and council members not wanting skateboarding to happen (without permits that cost thousands of dollars) we managed to pull it off and ensure that everyone had a ripping good time. This weekend would not have been possible without the support from some amazing brands who dug deep and threw down a big load of prizes; Landyachtz Longboards donated a deck, some wheels and t-shirts, Rayne threw down two decks, more wheels, a bunch of stickers and grip tape, Caliber came to the table with three sets of trucks, Sector 9 and Rad threw together a massive box of goodies including an assortment of wheels, bearings and a deck, Switchback Longboards and Regular Underground both got amongst it and gave out t-shirt and discount vouchers to spend in their stores, and finally Push Culture Apparel threw down $100 gift vouchers to the winners of each event.
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