Champion of the World

The World Championships of Mountainboarding is happening this weekend at the Bugs Boarding mountainboarding centre in Gloucester, England. The jumps are large, weather looks good, and some of the world’s best will be there to show off their talent in front of the savvy British crowd. Despite losing the headlining sponsor MBS Europe has kept the event going by headlining the event themselves.

Awesome

Awesome

Those of us that are not able to go can receive updates from the BFC & MBS Europe’s own Rhys Crilley. Rhys will be tweeting updates from the event in between checking his facebook. Check out http://twitter.com/rhyscrilley for updates on everything from what everyone is wearing to what Rhys’ favorite grab is. Who knows maybe next year a live webcam or video through the power of skype?

Rhys Crilley use to model

Rhys Crilley use to model

Also, for the best photos in the game check out Paul Crilley‘s website crillpix.com for shots of the event plus lots of other great pictures.

-The Commodore "we dig so you don't have to"

Baby Back Ribs

This is a frontside backside boardslide according to Devin Fritz.

This is a frontside backside boardslide according to Devin Fritz.

Our friend Pole Vault aka Jereme Leafe has suffered another unfortunate injury. Doctors put him on the DL today after breaking two ribs and having three hangnails. There are rumors that he is also suffering from tennis elbow after a rough return to high jump. Promptly, MBS cut off all ties to Leafe after news of his injury. PV ran into a NASCAR fan while mountainboaridng out in Kansas, and no I am not making that up. He was really mountainboarding in Kansas. Hopefully they will find a cure one day for this semi irritating set back.

Although PV can't do proper methods, he pushes the envelope by grabbing wheel.

Although PV can't do proper methods, he pushes the envelope by grabbing wheel.

-The Commodore "we dig so you don't have to"

The Kazoo of Peace

Through the power of music our world has learned how to overcome tremendous adversity. Music gives a voice to those without and has demonstrated over and over again its ability to have a positive impact on the lives it touches. African mountainboarder Benedict Ewan Sisulu Tweedie is reaching out with his new music project The Unicorn Warriors. Their blend of kazoo playing and whimsical attitude creates a euphoric sound not heard since the likes of Gene and Dean Ween.

Sisulu Warrior

Sisulu Warrior

Benjamin is well excited innit for the project saying,”I was tired of getting laid all the time with my hardcore metal band so I decided to give myself some rest and start something that no girl would ever think is cool.” Jah bless Big Ben and may your unicorn fly high above the clouds and reach the stars it so desperately needs to survive.

-The Commodore "we dig so you don't have to"

Pole Vaulter

Apple Juicing

Apple Juicing

After years of skiing and political activism Jereme Leafe is making the biggest comeback since Easter Sunday.  J leafe will be returning to competition after a horrific accident in Branson, Missouri allowed him to return home away from NASCAR fans and Sarah Palin supporters. Leafe said that he’s ready to soar once again. “After not being able to ride for so long and no longer having the ability to treat myself I am beyond stoked to be mountainboarding again. Hopefully they bring back the high jump and cone slalom racing so I can once again be the Brazilian and Core Tour champion.” His fans are elated to hear the announcement.

Jereme Leafe's fans initial reaction to the news

Jereme Leafe's fans initial reaction to the news

Leafe was also banned from international competition for using an invisible pole during the high jumping discipline at IMA sanctioned events. Subsequently, he was kicked out of school for not being a better example for young mountainboard high jumpers around the United States and rest of the world.

The flying Leafe!

The flying Leafe!

The 20 time national and international slalom champion will be appearing in Colorado for a sold out instructional camp this week, along with stops in Kansas, Poland, France, Afghanistan, Russia, and finally three shows in Las Vegas during the Mountainboarders Sans Frontiers(Mountainboarders Without Borders) convention. Check out this old footage we found of young Jereme when he first started riding.

Jereme Leafe dancing

For more information about Jereme Leafe check out his Myspace, Facebook, or Wikipedia page to learn and interact with this great uphill mountainboarding champion. Catch ya on the hill!

Photos courtesy of Jason Lee and Perez Hilton. No homo.

-TheCommodore


Park Life

Well this has certainly been a big week for mountainboard parks around the US. The Higher Ground mountainboard park at Beech Mountain we reported on a few weeks ago is opening up this weekend. We’ll keep an ear to the ground to hear the feedback. The images make the park look stellar.

from the top of the High Ground mountainboard park

From the top of the High Ground mountainboard park

uphill shot of the Higher Ground park

Uphill shot of the Higher Ground park

Also, another mountainboard park is shaping up in the Midwest. Zak Herberely’s boardercross track in Kansas has gotten a face lift along with a whole new flatland dirt park. Construction is still underway for what is being deemed the Kansas Mountainboard Centre. Devin Fritz and Matt Kenoyer of DirtmonkSupreme fixed up the place for the Kansas Twilight Showdown August 7 and 8. For more info about that event contact Devin Fritz at fritztofer@yahoo.com.

In the middle of Kansas is dirt gold

In the middle of Kansas is dirt gold

I'm digging the park feature

Dirt masterpiece

I’m excited to see some great new mountainboard parks popping up around the country. Let’s hope the trend continues. Thanks to Brian Southard and Devin Fritz for capturing these images.


That Just Happened

The Dirt Star Army presented arms with their new video Let It Happen this week. They released the movie free online to give everyone a chance to see what all the fuss was about. In reviewing this movie I realized that I have some pretty close ties with the riders in the video and maybe my opinion would be tainted in some way. So I decided that my friends would voice their opinion of Let It Happen. The first person that came to mind was a fellow shredder from West Virginia/Utah transplant Ryan Hosfelt. Because Ryan now lives and snowboards in Utah I thought he would be the kind of person the DSA would want to expose mountainboarding to. Here’s what Ryan thought of the video: “As far as being a snowboarder who really has no specific knowledge of mountainboarding or serious interest in the sport, I found “Let it Happen” visually pleasing, interesting, and relatable to snowboarding. Almost every trick in that video could be done on a snowboard somehow; whether it be on a jump or a jib. For example the nose-manual shots across the picnic table reminded me of nosepressing a picnic table on my snowboard…All of the riding seemed good, but take that with a grain of salt because I don’t know how to critique mountainboard tricks.”
Ryan enjoyed the video for the most part and liked how the video showed riding outside of just dirt jumps. I wanted more than just one person’s opinion so I asked another snowboarder and minishred aficionado Cooper Thomas. Coop is seen here showing why I wanted to hear from him.

Method to 50-50 bs 180 out

Method to 50-50 bs 180 out

Coop is a sponsored snowboarder who regularly wins jib contests. Coop has also been the Maryland state downhill mountainbiking champion and has taught mountainboarding at his local ski resort in the summer. Seemed like a proficient background of all things action sports to gain a perspective of the video. Coop’s opinion wasn’t as stoked as Ryan’s.
“Let It Happen did indeed happen and there is no way to return the 20 minutes I lost watching it. The Dirt Star Army team laid waste to all the tinniest mini shred they could get their hands on. Some of the filler was entertaining and creative enough but the movie lacked banger shots that would make me want to re-watch it. The intro looked like an ADHD child was given a camera and told to film scenery. The music seemed like it would fit better to a bar fight than a mountainboard video. The no comply hop around maneuver that was littered throughout the video along with the grinds became so redundant I thought they were the mess ups. Apart from the whole movie looking like it was made in the 90s including the grungy music, I can respect a bunch of guys just trying to make a video and riding to their own beer fueled style but the video was just so unwatchable I barely made it to the end.”
That may sound harsh and very funny, but as I showed the video to more of my friends Coop’s opinion seemed to echo throughout. Most people were either unimpressed, had major problems with the production quality, or both. I myself thought the concept was all right but factoring in the hype with the video, the claims from the director, and the overall quality of Let It Happen I’m giving the movie 1 out of 5 stokens. Honestly, I expected more from the riders. Hopefully next time we’ll really see something worth claiming. In case you missed it watch the movie for yourself here:

Let It Happen from DirtStar_Army on Vimeo.


Life is a Beech

Just what we’ve all been waiting for…a sick new mountainboard park. Imagine a park with different options to chose from and long enough to get multiple hits on each run. Then picture a lift ride back up to the top to do it all over again. Well the dream is now becoming a reality. Photos have been leaking out of the construction of the Beech Mountain park in Western North Carolina.

With a peak elevation of 5,506 feet Beech is a dream come true for any mountainboarder. The park was designed by 2007 US slopestyle champion Baron Frierson. The resort is holding ride sessions in conjunction with mountainbike events on June 27-28 and August 8-9. We emphasize at The Dirt that the park is mountainboard specific and mountainbikers have a separate track. There will be an end of the season contest on September 5-6. Props to Baron and Ground Industries for funding the park, Beech Mountain for supporting mountainboarding, and everyone else that is helping make this the best mountainboard park in the Southeast. Peeps the photos kids.

bridge to down log rails

bridge to down log rails. photo courtesy of Baron Frierson.

wall ride. photo taken by Brian Southard.

Wall ride. photo courtesy of Brian Southard.

c wall ride. photo courtesy of Baron Frierson.

c wall ride. photo courtesy of Baron Frierson.

More dirt for the jumps. photo courtesy of Brian Southard.

More dirt for the jumps. photo courtesy of Brian Southard.


Kiss me through the phone

“Hey man can you come to Russia in February? Bring tall t’s and Soulja Boy Tellem’s new album.” I got the call to come out to Moscow, Russia to do a mountainboard demonstration. To go on this trip I would have to miss two weeks of the educational institution I call college. School can wait, right? When I got there I realized that this demo would be more like a performance.

the setup

the setup

As soon as I got off the plane I went to the Moscow Sport and Physical Culture Department headquarters for a press conference. I know right? They have a government agency just for sports and that agency supports action sports and even mountainboarding. Plus, I had never done a press conference so I thought I was on the come up for sure. Lots of things got lost in translation but I could tell by all the press that this thing was going to involve more than just some friends and me mountainboarding.

Tom Kirkman gets loose with a wildcat

Tom Kirkman gets loose with a wildcat

The event was called Breakout, sponsored by Reebok and the Moscow Sport and Physical Culture Department. It took place in this indoor hockey arena called Luzhniki next to this HUGE stadium where they play soccer and other sports Americans don’t like. The show included a few other sports and musical acts including DJ Lethal the DJ for Limp Bizkit and an original member of House of Pain. He’s originally from Latvia, which at one time fell under the iron curtain of the Soviet Union so he knew all the jibba jabba people were saying.

Frontside 360 indy from yours truly

frontside 360 indy from yours truly

I found some of the other sports peculiar. Yo-yoing, parkour, extreme stilts, trampoline basketball, trials biking, roller derby, and whatever else I missed is not what I picture when I think of other action sports. I know mountainboarding is still small and may be considered a fringe sport but I hope people don’t associate it with the likes of previously mentioned activities. Despite feeling out of place the demo was pretty rad. A sold out arena with a unique set up and international riders makes for an awesome time.

Working on our tweaks before the show

working on our tweaks before the show

The Russian mountainboard scene is looking real good. Local riders Pasha Peshin, Oleg Melnikov, Alex Repkin and Dmitry “Skep” Selivanov joined Tom and I as we threw down some of the most tweaked grabs, spins, and laid out flips to wow the Russia crowd. The local Russian riders are right up there with the rest of the world. They do a mountainboard series around Russia that is breeding some pretty good riders.

Yeah Tom skates too

yeah Tom skates too

Tom Kirkman has been world champion a few times and is one of the best riders in the world. Even in a demo setting Tom rides at a high level. He does not fall or even sketch out during the event. From the start he comes out firing on all cylinders. It’s truly a pleasure to watch if you ever get the chance. I assure you that you’ll get your money’s worth. Unfortunately for Tom after the demo the news said that he was thinking about doing a double backflip but would need a few more months of practice. That is an awful lot of pressure for the kid but I know he can deliver this summer.

Front 5 to bolts landing

front 5 to bolts landing

After the demo, the organizers invited us to the VIP section for some hors d’oeuvres and orange juice because we didn’t get orange slices at half time and lacked vitamin C. We hung out with the key players that made the show happen and stole mad food while they weren’t looking. What I was stoked on was that we were in the same room the old Soviet leaders posted up to watch hockey games.

In addition to the demo I had the chance to stay in Russia for a little bit. You know, really get to know the place. My first experience snowboarding in Russia was indoors at this place called Snezh.kom (I said it like snitch comb). I’ve ridden at an indoor slope before, but it still trips me out how man is able to harness the power of the shralp in a controlled indoor environment. The place had some pretty swanky amenities for even the most posh of snow sports enthusiasts. There was a little park that made the time there super fun. The features were small but gave Tom another chance to amaze us all. Tom has never done any sort of park riding. The only time his board ever left the ground was on accident. Tom could do frontboards and frontside 360s by the end of our session indoors. Talk about a natural.

Pasha jam to tina

Pasha jam to tina

The hottest of garbage

the hottest of garbage

Tom crankin dat soulja boy

Tom crankin dat soulja boy

Later that day we got to go to a place I called Really!Where? park. They had a halfpipe, which would have been better if they didn’t. Really!Where?’s saving grace was their jumps. They only had a small jump open but it had the most well shaped jump with the steepest landing I have ever had the pleasure of riding. It made landing anything really easy. The great thing about this place is it’s in the city of Moscow. You could take a bus to it and hike for free. We got to visit another resort, which was small but packed a lot of fun in its size. The Russians definitely have their head on straight when it comes to snowboarding.

he's a tweaker

He's a tweaker

classic Russian quail man grab

classic Russian quail man grab

Even though I missed a lot of class and dealt with more shoulder dislocations this Russian trip was all time. Traveling somewhere so different and unique is always a treat. I enjoy getting outside of my comfort zone and experiencing a different lifestyle for a while. Thanks to all of our Russian friends and to Alexey Potapov for wearing a shirt most of the time. Keep on riding off into the sunset my friends. Until next time, keep it real aloha.

All photos taken by Nick Marchenko