The Central Coast Up N’ Down Is A Game Changer!
The Central Coast Up N’ Down was one for the books, but really must be marked in your calendar for next year as well. Kevin Reimer hosted a spectacular time on an amazing hill out in central California. We really do not have a lot of event experiences like this on the West Coast, and it was incredible to be able to attend the first Up N’Down. The first because fortunately sounds like 2018 is already in the works!
Photos thanks to Marcella of Shuffled Photos; Brad Miller; and Gary Fluitt.
Since the announcement earlier this year, this event has been the talk of the coast. And boy, did it live up to the expectations. It actually surpassed them and by a lot. The road itself is something of a skateboarders’ dream. Grippy, slidey, wavy, with chicanes, drifts, grip corners, and tucking sections. Truly, a little bit of everything was provided by this paved roller coaster of a road.
The event started late Friday night with the arrival of everyone to the campsite. A huge huge thank you to Fred Lange and his wife for allowing us to camp on his gorgeous property for the weekend. With everyone’s drive in came an unsettling follower, rain. Light showers coated the surrounding Santa Maria area making the descent into the campsite a wee bit difficult, especially for those of us without lifted all-wheel drives. A small dip and creek split the road to the campsite in half, allowing only a certain few brave drivers to traverse all the way back. But nonetheless, everyone eventually showed up, parked, set up camp, and prepared for the epic weekend to come.
The following day came with little hurry as the road stayed damp into the early morning hours. And because, well, us Californians are not the biggest fans of rain or wet skating the event didn’t get moving until notice of a dry road echoed through the campsite. And once it was moving, oh, was it moving. Over 100 restless skaters came out to skate and were ready to take on the hill.
Throughout the day riders ascended in the wonderful Penske trucks, loaded full from front to back with stoked participants and volunteers. The trucks were quite excellent too, a nice thin roof provided a fresh environment; no stuffy air or rank smells lingered within as the day progressed.
Once at the top, everyone congregated around the start line, ready to take off.
Three classifications were given to make sure the riding stayed under control, as much as possible. A, B, and C classes were specified to keep things safe and organized. A; for the speed demons, approaching the hill with leathers, big square wheels, and trying to hit all the race lines. B; for those taking it a bit easier, the faster freeriders, and just those who can rip and rage with whomever they please. C; for those taking things a bit more slowly, cautiously, or just wanting to have more space to do their thing.
It was a wonderful way to have riders go down. From personal experience, I have been in many predicaments during freerides and races, surrounded by others leading into sketchy situations. With this bracketing system, it was easy to tell who to skate with, who to pass, who to rage, with and beyond so each skater could really enjoy themselves however they skated.
Of course, crashes happened, people collided and butts got scraped; but that is all part of the game.
So this road, let me tell you about it for the oohs, aahs and froth to set in. It starts out with some mellow chicanes in the upper section, sending you from rights to lefts, lefts to rights, shooting you through apexes and boosting you into the coming turns. Then you drop into this big hairpin left, one to grip or slip, depending on your speed, your gut, or if you are surrounded by a pack of homies. Then you descend into these tree canopy sections with constant swooping lefts dropping into tight right hairpins, some you can drift, some you grip, however you want to handle it.
360* video with Grace Wong thanks to Polyboards:
Then you get to the bottom, shut down or foot break, high five your homies on that epic run and not dying, get in the van, and do it all over again.
This road is truly one of the most fun hills I have ever had the opportunity to freeride. The best way to skate it, in my opinion, was in giant packs, dropping in a tight pack and just weaving and passing people on your way down.
Oh, and if the road wasn’t enough to convince you, there was a taco sponsor. Yes, tacos came with registration and were a welcomed midday break to cool off the legs and enjoy some delicious food. A giant thank you to Taqueria Guzman of Santa Maria!
Day two of the event brought more comfy riding and deep packing riding. Then Kevin brought something new to the table; a race. But not your normal race, something very different, very fun and very entertaining.
Five tickets were given out to all that wanted to participate. Each rider could challenge another for a set amount of tickets (1-5), but whomever is challenged gets to make up the rules; for example: riding each others boards, going switch the whole run, race for second, etc. Then, after each round, the skater with the most tickets had to adorn this epic metallic gold sweater and could be challenged by anyone for a good chunk of his tickets. It was an awesome thing to witness and turned into a ton of crazy fun pack runs and games with the homies.
It was a gnarly battle until the end where Noah Fischer swooped in for the win, carrying the jacket and some sweet cash off with him. Then Kevin pulled out some old 97a Powell wheels to have a hard wheel race. I awaited at the finish line to see a huge gaping as the winner, Aaron Enns came strolling by with no one close behind. Everyone else trickled in slowly afterwards.
With the final run finished and the race over, everyone came together in full stoke already antsy for more. The day concluded with a large group heading back up to grab the bales before everyone could get together to enjoy another fruit of the sponsors; a keg from Telegraph Brewing. Smiles were shared, runs reminiscenced, beers sipped and thank yous shared with Kevin and his parents, Carol and Gary. The biggest thank you to them, all the volunteers, Fred Lange and his wife, the stoked neighbors, Powell- Peralta, Handlebar Coffee Roasters, Telegraphy Brewing, Taqueria Guzman of Santa Maria, Northbound Coffee Roasters, Aaron Breetwor, and everyone else involved on making this event beyond epic.
Thank you again to Marcella of Shuffled Photos; Brad Miller; and Gary Fluitt for the photos to go along with this post.
This was the first big Cali freeride, and it won’t be the last! Keep your eyes open early next year for the next event and make sure not to miss it!
Recap Video thanks to Mike Roberts and Skate Warehouse: