17th Annual Attack Of Danger Bay Event Recap
Attack of Danger Bay has a long, well-documented history in downhill skateboarding, in fact, it is the longest continuously running downhill skateboard race in the world with the first race being in 2001. It has been the birthing ground of many great modern downhill legends – Kevin Reimer, Scott Smith and Mischo Erban, to name a few. While for many, Danger Bay may be their first ever race, to most attendees, Danger Bay is the annual Coast Family Reunion. These attendees are commonly known as “Coasties” and by the end of the event, every denim-vest wearing Coastie probably has enough layers of dirt and grime over them to build a small mud shack.
Here’s a little backstory as to why I’m writing this article on Danger Bay and how I got here. I am originally from the Washington D.C. area but have lived in Arizona for the past four years. I first started downhilling in the D.C. area but didn’t become actively involved in the downhill community until I moved to Arizona in 2014. In the same summer that I moved to Arizona, I first came to British Columbia to experience the Coast Longboarding scene that I had watched in the Evolutions videos of the mid/late 2000’s. I was super stoked to be rolling with the same people that inspired me to skate downhill. As years pass, I keep returning to the Great White North to bomb hills and document a community that is unlike any other I have found in my lifetime.
For three of the past four years that I have made the journey from Tucson, Arizona to Vancouver, I have driven by car. This led me to travelling with Max Capps this year. Max is a friend, shredder, and creative provokateur in the downhill community that most of you probably know already. On our drive up to Danger Bay, we made a stop in North Cascades National Park in Washington for some scenic skates and camping.
Race organizer, Bricin “Striker” Lyons comes at the event each year with unparalleled enthusiasm and drive. After moving to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia last year, he and his family flew all the way back to the west coast to make this event happen.
What’s really special about Danger Bay is that the whole Sunshine Coast is in-the-know. The whole entire town of Madeira Park shuts down and hosts a May Day parade where many local clubs, groups and organizations have a parade. Team Irene, a team of local Pender Harbour skaters, were treated with great prestige as they walked through the parade which displayed their powerful presence in the community.
After the parade, there is a longboard hockey tournament. It gets gnarly.
Despite the ever-present chance of hockey fights, it’s more likely the previous night will deliver the K.O. before you even step in the rink.
Surprisingly, longboard hockey sees the most blood throughout the whole event.
Following the longboard hockey is the Slide Jam. Most people say it’s rigged but this year’s winner, West Sampson, landed his spot on the podium by breaking out a REVOLUTIONARY new advancement in the sport of downhill skateboarding; the foot brake.
While there are rumors of the judging being predetermined, everyone still brings out their best. Here’s Clayton Arthurs busting out a fat toeside. Clayton was sending it fast every run that day – props to him.
Cullen Arbuckle getting technical. There’s always a large tech-slide presence at Danger Bay jams. That’s history.
UK Downhill legend and the fastest man on a skateboard, Pete Connolly won Master’s Class at Danger Bay and Jake’s Rash and landed a third place open class at the Rash.
Danger Bay is one of the few events where you have to hike back up the hill for your runs. Here’s Cody Yardwaste and Stripper Ben (clothes sort of on) not posing at all.
Striker brought out Shawn Mackinnon from Nova Scotia to play the fiddle at the event. This year’s music was both rad and diverse.
Kyle Martin has a mean start off the line. He scored second place finishes in both Master’s Class and the Slide Jam.
Max Capps charges out of Carnage Corner on his way to the finals.
Scoot Smith leads a heat through the chunderous Carnage Corner.
Did I mention that racing Danger Bay is SERIOUS BUSINESS?
One of the few elements of danger bay that is taken seriously is the racing. The title of Danger Bay Champion is coveted and desired by all who have rolled wheels on the track.
Dane Hanna won Open Class at Danger Bay this year making him the first Pender Harbour local to ever win Danger Bay. Scoot Smith and Sawyer Cote rounded off the podium in an all locals sweep.
At the end of the day, it’s all smiles. I mean, just look at these people. These are the faces of happy Coasties. Somehow, through the chaos and blurring of time, Danger Bay is an incredibly personal experience and everyone leaves with their own story.
If I were to give one piece of advice of advice to anyone wanting to attend Attack of Danger Bay, I would tell them to turn their phone off, make friends, get weird, and always stay on the danger side.