Mount Jefferson Was Very Very Wet
The Internets ate my article about how I had a bad time at the Mount Jefferson race that bummed out all the North Carolina locals. It was never my intention to badmouth the event they all worked so hard to put on, so I took the opportunity to rewrite a few of the less-defensible passages and give those dudes credit where it’s due. – Max
There are three situations in which it is necessary to skate in the wet: when you live somewhere it rains a lot and wouldn’t otherwise get to skate, when it’s race day and you want to win, and when you want to be ready for a wet race day.
I don’t skate in the wet because I don’t have to. I live in Southern California, where it doesn’t rain ever. The state has been experiencing some alarming level of drought since I moved there five years ago. This state of affairs does not bother me one bit. On the rare occasions when it does rain, I usually seize the opportunity to embrace my inner middle-aged lesbian and spend all day drinking tea, reading novels, and wondering why I don’t have children.
My encounters with rain are limited to the times I have to stand around in the rain and take photos of people racing skateboards. It isn’t usually that bad, as it rarely rains steadily all day. Kozakov always has a biblical drenching that lasts a couple hours, then clears up, but otherwise I pretty much never see rain.
Mount Jefferson was wet as fuck. After the dry practice day, it rained hard all goddamn day on race day. Water was running across the road in little streams and dudes were leaving 10’ long rooster tails of water as they rode past. It did not stop at any point, and shortly after the finals were over I got an emergency notification on my phone warning me about imminent flash flooding.
Having based my wardrobe decisions for the trip on fashion consciousness and meteorological optimism, I was without appropriate clothing for the rain and was thoroughly soaked by the time the first practice run was over. Stephan Vaast was an ultimate homie and hooked me up with a poncho, but my hands still pruned up from being wet for 8 straight hours and I was in serious danger of trench foot. You’ll notice I shot a lot of photos of the left hairpin. I could stand under a tent and still get a decent shot of that corner. Next time I’m definitely bringing the gore-tex jacket and hiking boots.
Anyway, yeah, they had a skateboard race and gave everyone an excuse to go visit NC. It wasn’t really all that different from any other skateboard race, except it was the first one they’ve had in North Carolina.
I can’t tell you anything about the course because I didn’t get to skate it. As race courses go, it seemed like a good one: there were a few sliding corners and some sweepers, plus enough space to make a pass.
The practice day started late and ran pretty slowly because they were dealing with some interference from the state parks people, but that’s typical for first-year events put on by first-time race organizers. It’ll probably be better next year. Some local dudes were shredding. Nobody got hurt. There might have been a good campsite party, but I didn’t go because I am lame.
Kevin won, no big surprise there. Ed “Special Ed” Kiefer, 2014’s most ubiquitous east coast gromulan, somehow got second. Big Lou got third and Munkae was fourth.
The freeriding we did the week before the race was the best skating I’ve done since the last time I was in NC, but you’re going to have to wait for the next issue of the magazine to hear about that.