So You Want To Go To A Skate Event This Summer?
Spring is rolling in and it’s time to start planning your skate trips for the year. Having traveled pretty extensively for skateboarding and attended a lot of events in my time, I figured I’d make some recommendations based on peoples’ skate interests. Hopefully this helps you figure out what you want to attend.
*Note: This list is a reflection of my experiences, which mostly center around the western half of North America. There is really a wide world of events out there beyond this and you don’t need to travel far or spend a lot to have fun. For more events, check freerides.org (everything worldwide), the IDF website (worldwide racing), and the UNKLE NorAm calendar (everything North America).
Also relevant to this article: Dubler’s tips for skate travel from a couple years ago, tips are still totally useful.
GO DUMB IN THE PACK RUN – Maryhill Freeride. I’ve sung the praises of this event since my first time going back in 2010, so I’m just going to link this video. I already have flights booked. April 23-24, June 18-19, August 20-21, September 24-26. (The spring freeride is usually the rowdiest.)
HANG WITH THE EAST COAST DUDES AND HAVE AN EXCUSE TO CHECK OUT NORTH CAROLINA – NCDH Mt Jefferson is a good reason to book a flight and check out some roads. The Boone locals are a friendly bunch and it’s a good scene. Bring a good raincoat and don’t speed when you’re driving around Boone.
PARTY ON AN ISLAND WITH YOUR FAVORITE PRO – Brent ‘Dubes’ Dubendorff just announced the Catalina Island Classic is back. Racing at the Catalina Island Classic used to be invite-only, but anyone can come party. Looks like there’s a 1 day freeride this year now. The Sunday night party is legendary. May 7-8. More details soon. Bug Dubes here: Catalinaislandclassic2016@
SLAM HARD BUT HAVE AN AWESOME TIME ANYWAY – Timeship Ditch SLAP – If you have street and transition skills to go along with your downhill skills, you need to go skate Albuquerque ditches at least once in your life. Ditch SLAP’s Joe Lehm and Skate School bring together a bunch of longboard dudes for a three day session all across the city. Wear pads, reapply sunscreen frequently, and stay hydrated. May 10-13
RIDE A CHAIR LIFT – Skate Sun Peaks looks pretty sick, but I’m wary of first year events even with experienced organizers like UNKLE’s Lee Cation. June 11-12
RACE MARYHILL – Maryhill Ratz Showdown at the Loops – Some dudes don’t care for it but I’ll always be stoked on the Maryhill race. This year Deano and the Maryhill Ratz are running it so it’ll probably be a little different than past years, but that hill is super fun, racing it is a unique challenge, and it’s one event that brings everyone together. June 21-25
SKATE A FUN HILL WITH CANADIANS – Giants Head Freeride (this link opens with an autoplay video with sound) is rad and I really wish they’d do more than one a year because that hill is crazy fun to skate down and jumping in the lake during lunch is extremely pleasant. The Penticton skatepark is worth a roll-around if you’re not too tired at the end of the day. June 27-28-29
SKATE THE BURLIEST COURSE IN NORTH AMERICA – Burke Freeride is fucked up in the best way possible. You skate down a super steep, narrow paved ski trail that is way more challenging than it looks in the videos. Mike Girard runs a tight ship and you’ll get more runs than your body can handle. Bring a lot of wheels. July 9-10
Norman Plante made Network A with this raw run:
GO TO EUROPE – Fly into Prague and go to Kozakov, the best downhill skateboard event in the world. The course is awesome, you get to skate a lot, there’s camping at the hill with good cheap food and cold beers for a dollar, and they have a party tent that rages until dawn. Recuperate in Prague and be a tourist for a couple days, then drive down to Slovenia for KNK Longboard Camp, which I’ve never been to but I hear great things about. Kozakov July 19-23, KNK July 25-30.
HANG WITH TEAM MIDS – I’ve never been, but I hear Central Mass is a shitshow in the best way possible. Also, Boston has a huge new skatepark and there are other new parks popping up around southern New England lately. August 5-7
RUN FROM THE COPS IN NYC – I first went to Broadway Bomb back in 2007 and it was crazy. NYPD has cracked down in recent years, so I’d recommend riding a board you can afford to ditch if you need to. First Saturday in October.
OTHER EVENTS I’VE HEARD GREAT THINGS ABOUT: Bakersfield Downhill, the Ithaca Skate Jam, Cathlamet Downhill Corral, The Sullivan Challenge, the Toronto Board Meeting, Soldiers of Downhill, Santa Gnarbara Downhill, various outlaws.
Also, as a closing note, you don’t need events to have an awesome time skating with your friends. Piling into a car and driving to somewhere with epic hills has always worked out awesome for me.