Valentine’s Day Slide Jam

2018 Valentine’s Day Slide Jam

This last weekend in Washougal, WA, USA, longboarders gathered on a road known as S Street for the 5th Annual 2018 Valentine’s Day Slide Jam. The Derow Media Taskforce aka DMT lead the casual “event” on a sunnydelic Saturday in February. For Northwesterners, it’s nice to have a few dry days to stretch your legs outside. Talking to some riders who recently moved to the area, I learned they were appreciating the sun more than ever having experienced their first Portland winter. Corners were spotted, slides were pretty much required to make it down safely, and neighbors were generally chill with us. More power to group hill sessions where everyone looks out for each other and plays a small part in the session!

Kurtis Derow of DMT got this event together through Facebook because it’s tradition and nobody else was doing it. I talked to him about the event. He said, “So it’s been going for five years. The third was my first time experiencing it back when Blake McClam ran it. Last year, after a year without a host and event I picked up the reigns.” I remember riding this hill years ago before it had any houses on the road. It was easier to see around corners and it didn’t seem as steep. When I arrived this time, I saw all the houses and that instantly makes it much more challenging. Luckily, we had spotters for the blind corners. Kurt also cut out a section of road where people that don’t like us live. Compromise!

Riders walk back up the hill as there is no shuttle vehicle.

A sad dirty stuffed animal wished everyone luck on their descent.

Carmen Shafer films her partner Alicia Fillback, who was celebrating her birthday over the weekend.

The event started as a simple freeride. Riders made their way down any way they please, and spotters alert riders of any cars driving through. Once there was a good amount of people and it was after noon, a giant slalom course was set-up since Robin McGuirk brought his cones. Having not set-up much giant slalom courses, Kurt asked for help from riders until it seemed right. It was funny to see cars slalom around the cones.

Robin McGuirk slides around the first cone of the course.

Blake Ward shreds it switch around the cone.

Dakota Barber swerves it low.

After a good minute away from the scene, the Benesh Bros came out for the sesh. Grant Benesh showed he could still shred some big stand ups and throw some combos in as well.

A.J. Dill hangs dos toes for extra grip around the corner.

Arman Jaberi was going fast and doing big stand up slides on this lowered board.

Brandon Tissen preferred to ride the whole track without hands and really fast.

Hopkins Aaron went for the fast hands down line.

Reuben Garnett shreds the lowered loveliness.

Liam Turner mobs.

We met up top for slalom registration which took minutes. We voted on whether or not riders should be knocked out after hitting one cone or just be penalized. It was decided that if you hit one cone, you’re out. That required less verification that they made it clean down the course. Robin sent riders up top while Kurt was at the bottom and they recorded times by stopwatch and relayed them by cell phone. It was not your average giant slalom course as this seemed to require a slight amount of sliding to make it down the course safely.

“Alright all you fools…!”

Kurt and Robin lay out the rules.

Not your average giant slalom boards.

Robin lines up riders.

The riders list in the works.

Brandon Tissen rounds the first cone.

Brandon Tissen

Grant Benesh

Alicia Fillback

Hopkins Aaron

Dakota Barber

The Giant Slalom course finished sometime around 2 or 3pm. The cones were taken away and the sesh turned back into a freeride.

Kwanza Gannon takes an unconventional way down.

Hopkins carries some extra padding.

He just wanted to protect a homeowner’s driveway from getting hit by a stray board.

This little girl wonders what we are doing while the dog anxiously wants that strawberry.

Carly worked on her Roman Candle.

Edward Kovalenko

Those vibes, hoots, and hollers that an event brings were very potent and prevalent.

Brandon Tissen

Ryan Wilkerson

A.J. Dill

Damien Kraemer

Riders drop down the curves.

Riders contemplate their future run.

Robin McGuirk gets his dog out for a ‘lil run.

Joshua Tsen

Hopkins Aaron

Samuel Sparkowich

Ryan Wilkerson

Edward Kovalenko

Alicia Fillback

Alicia Fillback

Jacoby Snook

The curves just keep going.

Grant Benesh goes switch.

Camden Benesh brought out the hard wheels like he used to and rode them ’til one was cored.

Brandon Tissen

Carly Bizama

Alicia Fillback

A hectic group run.

Blake Ward

Hopkins and his faulty knee padding.

Edward Kovaleno and his oh so red long-sleeve T.

Carly Bizama

Alicia Fillback and some light reflected off of the nearby house.

Kwanza Gannon

Spencer Vaughn

Damien Kraemer

Alicia Fillback slides a fast switch toeside slide, which impressed the judge. Alicia is surprised the switch toe-side is still seen as a difficult trick in 2018.

Blake Ward

Kurt officiates the award ceremony.

Sometime after 4pm, we gathered on the top for podium/awards. Aaron Hopkins won giant slalom with the fastest time. Arman Jaberi got worst crash with two toe-side high-sides to oblivion. They were both straight to the tail bone and within an hour from each other. Hope he’s not feeling too sore still. For the slide jam, Kurt was the judge and had picked his winners.

4th – Blake Ward
3rd – Hopkins Aaron
2nd – Brandon Tissen
1st – Alicia Fillback

The podium looks over at our new visitors.

Right after we finished the podium, the Washougal Police showed up. We informed them we just finished up. They were actually kinda bummed cause they wanted to see the longboarding. I showed one officer some of my photos on the camera LCD screen and he said, “cool!” They said someone called ’cause we didn’t have spotters in the lower section, which Kurt disagrees with. The police had no reason to kick us out, as we were all leaving anyway, so they scooted out.

The officer was ready for anything, but at ease once he got a good look at us.

The Po Po on the Go Go.

When asked why he really wanted to keep this event going, he said, “I wanted to bring it back because of how much stoke and excitement the third brought to me and everyone else on the hill. I knew it was capable of being that, because it’s on a rad hill and I’ve seen what the event was capable of, this year’s Jam brought back that feeling and the shredding was heavy! It’s the reason I picked up the reigns in the first place; those vibes, hoots, and hollers that an event brings were very potent and prevalent. I’m glad it was a success!”