Bayou Kona Journey

Downhill Hustle: Bayou Battle to King of Kona 2016

2016 is upon us! I’m Riley Harris, and I’m bringing you a fresh new series entitled “Downhill Hustle”. Not only will I be doing more awesome travel diaries, but highlighting the hustle and hard work of skaters going above and beyond to skate, putting out fresh media, and getting their name out there. I’m equipped to post all by my big, adult self, so keep an eye out for content on the fresh and hit me up on Facebook or instagram if you have any ideas.

Hot fire skate action did not wait to get started this year and my bags were packed to kick off it off right! First stop was the NoBull Bayou Battle in Houston, Texas, with a tour to the King of Kona in Florida to follow. [Check out Skate[Slate] coverage of Kona here.] I didn’t plan anything other than my initial flight and my return home from Jacksonville and I was stoked to just wing it along the way.

Feature image courtesy of Jon-Wesley Schema.

It started with my pal, roommate, and Landyachtz teammate Nick Hurley hooking me up with a ride to the airport at an ungodly hour. Thanks buck!


With every airport journey comes some waiting. And with waiting comes boredom with your iPhone camera.


I had a quick layover in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta. Definitely not Texas by the look of things…


After barely making my connection I was on my way to Houston. My boy Jeffrey Scott Rudd along with new friend Andrew Petrov picked me up. I took a shot of them with some other new homies. Thanks!


First order of business in Houston.


After a quick stop at Jenni’s Noodle House for a riders meeting and to hug some old friends, we hit up a house party. Apparently no one is safe from ‘getting iced’ on this trip. It’s officially re-trending this winter.


After a few too many glasses of Chardonnay we hit up a Texan staple: Whataburger. Can’t beat that for a 3am snack.


The following morning, Jeff’s Mom made homemade cinnamon rolls. Perfect hangover cure.


We show up to the event and right off the bat Jeff gets the fresh idea to obtain as many body signatures as possible, with the main goal to one up his friend Marisa who had Billy Bones sign her boobs. It got out of hand pretty quickly, but he definitely beat her…


Rider meeting with Greg Noble leading the show.


Look at all those skaters…


Aaron Hampshire sported leathers because he takes things very seriously.


Marcus Bandy sported his hover board.


There was a station for power tool massage therapy. Felt surprisingly good.


In between qualifying in the afternoon and the main event in the evening of Saturday, we did two things: we got some authentic southern chicken fried steak…


…and many of us got iced, myself and James included.


The main event was here. The Bayou Battle had begun. $4000 cash for first in open, the competition was on. In the end, Brandon Tissen came out on top and fellow teammate Troy Yardwaste held it down in second after a photo finish.


I stole this photo from Cam Frazier of the full results for those wondering. You’re welcome for the potato quality.

A photo posted by SKATE[SLATE] (@skateslate) on

Curious as to what happened in the finals? Check out my video on Facebook here. The after party went down in a heavy metal mechanics warehouse. Can’t get more Texan than that.


The day following I hit up a ditch jam at a local known spot. Good times in the sunshine.


Greg Noble bought the session all pizza. Thanks dude!


Quick side note: In case you weren’t following along, to help welcome me to the Daddies Board Shop team I took over their SnapChat account for the weekend.

I got this snap from friend James Kelly. I guess he didn’t get the memo.


Be sure to check the Girls Gone Fast edit from the event for the ladies perspective. Stoked to see them on the hustle and doing some fresh media!

The event had come to a close and I still didn’t know how I was getting to Florida for the King of Kona. The #mobileruckus was full so I took advantage of an opportunity to hit up Austin with my main skillet JSR. Big thanks to the Rudd fam for hosting me in Houston!


Right off the bat in Austin, Eric and the crew took me to enjoy some nature.


The next day we hit some wholesome Austin downhill gems. I took some shots with my iPhone.

As quickly as it began, my time in Austin came to a close and it was time to head to Florida. Alas, a plan culminated, and it was awesome. Carve Skate Shop hooked it up with a premium van rental, so myself and a solid crew (James, Doug, Eric, Chance, David, Josh, and myself) stuffed our gear in the back and hit the road.


We drove through the night, so when in Lousiana where an open container inside a moving vehicle is legal, we shared a “few” drinks between men to pass the time. We also met this fellow who runs the best gosh-darned gas station in Mississippi… Or was it Alabama? I don’t remember at this point…


I passed out for the rest of the ride and woke up just minutes from Kona Skate Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Big thanks to Doug and James for driving the long haul. Had to take a selfie at the iconic sign. Between 1-10, I rate my self inflicted pain at about an 8.


And Chance got iced right off the bat.


As far as pictures at Kona are concerned, I blew it. Lucky for you Skate[Slate] has daily coverage online now for your viewing pleasure.

At the end of it all Steven Piniero is the King of Kona and Troy Grenier is the weekend warrior!


And that’s it. Huge thanks to my sponsors Landyachtz LongboardsBear TrucksHawgs WheelsDaddies Board ShopHillside Gear, and NoBull Longboarding. Also a huge thank you to Jeff Rudd and his family, Carve Skate Shop, and all the new friends I made along the way. Until my next adventure, I leave you with Doug, Captain of Team Baby Shades.