Great adventures have been had here in Colorado over the last few weeks, from 100 degree city sessions to trespassing on mustang ranches, we’ve had some fun. Luckly we’ve had a camera on hand to document it, here is a little edit from the past few weekends of riding from Brando.
I just got word from One 5 Media’s Justin Dersham who’s partaking in an epic journey across Europe & Asia to film the international mountainboard scene. He’s already stacking footy and i’m really excited to see what else is coming. Here is a quick preview of Tom Kirkman killing Åre.
Here are a few words from Justin.
Still baffled at how stoked Åre is on mtnbrding. Tom and I are being put up in a sweet little house with food taken care of. We only have 3 requirements from the resort during the next 7 days we are here…
1. Ride around in the village and hand out flyers about the demo Tom is doing on Friday. We dropped some stairs and Tom did 3s both ways and nose manny-ed a nice 15 ft deck to 4ft drop. We are scoping some handrails and grass hips as well. People have never seen the boards, I don’t speak Swedish but judging their reactions they are loving it.
2. Check what’s actually rideable and suggest where they should take beginners, intermediates and advanced riders. Today, this meant going to the absolute top of the mountain, hiking down half of it and finding a radical service road. The top was absolutely beautiful and hiking down was a blast. So green, above timberline and making our own path the whole way.
3. Instruct the local staff on how they should teach those beginners, intermediates and advanced riders. Our guide Peppe is a really class guy and he seems like he’ll have more then enough ability to get his staff trained. He was charging the service roads with a brake and yellow egg shocks. He rides an old J Lee pro model. Very cool to see that board in action still.
Overall the experience so far has been amazing. Peppe made us some Swedish meatballs tonight and they were devine. It doesn’t really get dark here so going out late won’t be too much of a problem! Tomorrow we are going to the beginner grass hill to check it out. Then do a different service road we haven’t tried. I have missed the rush of dropping in on a new hill on a mtnbrd. So much fun to get your slash on. I’ll give an update in a couple once we have laid some more riding/stoke down!
Someone is greeted every morning to the wonderful sound of this cock. Thank god it’s not me.
Paris to Krakow to Auschwitz to Zywiec to Zar to Banska Bystrica to Krakow!
8:30pm 5 Vodka shots later and the party was well underway!
Jason Lee is some what of a mythical creature, something like a Bonnacon or a Scylla, regardless he’s a special guy to all of us in the mountainboard community. He’s also very competitive and a professional Foosball player, in fact he recently beat the defending champs Dave and Boris (congrats again).
Jason is also an artist and has a real nack for photography. In fact we at The Dirt used Jason’s photos in our last post without giving him credit, well Jason caught us red handed. See the email string below. My apologize Jason thanks for the photos and congrats on taking the Overall at the Altitude Cup!
Also thank you to all the other individuals that contributed photos, Dave Kennedy, Amanda Poindexter, Tyler Mork’s father and everyone else that contributes, much love.
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.-The Commodore "we dig so you don't have to"
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.
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 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.
Photos courtesy of Jason Lee and Perez Hilton. No homo.
Every time I watch quality mountainboard footage and European kids setting down tricks with that heavy style, i ask myself how can mountainboarding be so small. There has been a lot of great video popping up on the web so i have been thinking about this a lot. This is my gripe, my opinion and if you don’t like it tough. I encourage you to tell me what you think, even if it’s a capital “F U”. Mountainboarding means a lot to me and i want to see change.
1. No well financed industry behind it
When i look at most other action sports that are thriving i see an industry behind it or decades of dedication from individuals looking to push those sports. Let me start with snowboarding, an outcast sport from the start but only an outcast to the ski industry, a thriving industry, now with annual revenues over $2 billion dollars.
Once snowboarders were allowed onto the slopes they were no longer seen as complete jokes and could legally ride good terrain. It’s a lot easier to get big cash sponsorships when you have the support of a major resort which brings 1000’s of visitors a weekend. Wakeboarding is similar in some ways, boats are a complete necessity to wakeboard without it you’re just standing on a dock. Get the support of the boat industry you are in business.
Then there are the sports driven by decades innovators and true lovers for their sports. Surfing and skateboarding both have had a long hard road of isolation and bad reputations but it was that edge and never stopping that got them to a place where they were accepted. AJ made a great point, look at all the kids you see rocking the Hollister tee shirt in the mid-west who have never seen the beach, let alone surf. So these sports created there own image and it was that image that built there industry.
2. Media exposure
Ya ya ya, Johnny Kapahala, big fucking deal…. well actually it is, expect they called mountainboarding, dirtboarding through the entire movie.
I think this movie was great for exposure but it targets a really young audience one that will effect the sport in 4-5 years but this audience isn’t spending the money and isn’t pushing the sport quite yet. Outside of the Disney movie mountainboarding has seen its fair share of regional TV coverage and highlights from the Nokia Core Tour back in 2004, 2005, but these are niche audiences and the frequency of coverage is low.
The last bit of media that mountainboarding sees spills over into my next point but it’s guaranteed to be seen in 1 in 10 bloopers videos aired on every major network. Or you get the occasional jokers like Travis Pastrana’s boys who take it out on Nitro Circus and break themselves off and to my next point.
3. Bad stigma (“way to gnarly!”)
Your friends have either never heard of mountainboarding or say “i know what that is, isn’t it really dangerous”. All these first generation Red Bull addicts got a hold of a video camera and a mountainboard and thought they would get extreme. Then only to find out they had no balance and fell off a skateboard the last time they stood on one, now they’re shooting video of themselves crashing and they thought “Dimmu Borgir’s Black Metal” would be the perfect soundtrack. Like WTF, you really felt the need to post that on Youtube!!!
Now you wonder why people have no desire to try mountainboarding. We need to make it look fun and kill that bad late 90’s rep. NEW RULE FOR ALL MOUNTAINBOARDERS POSTING VIDEO ON YOUTUBE – NO METAL – NO CRASHS – ONLY FOUR WHEELS DOWN AND BUTTER!
4. Not enough technology in the boards
Let’s face it, until recently there were only 3 real mountainboard companies out there and a lot of fly by night start ups that failed. MBS hold dominance in the industry, they have spent the most time researching and testing their boards and with more than a decade of experience under there belt they have designed a board that sells. No offense to J Lee, Joel and PMC but they have been sleep on the new products and innovation and yes, innovation takes money but damn its time to risk again. In the European market Scrub and NoSno seem to be producing some high quality products which i have only heard great things about, but they have no distribution in the United States so I can’t pass fair judgment.
Ok i got a bit off track there, the technologies haven’t changed much over the past 5 years but the way kids ride the boards have. Since the release of MBS’s Matrix truck we haven’t seen anything to progressive that can compete. Ground Industries tried the cube and it seems to work at low speeds but I’ve watched Kody Stewart blow up half a dozen sets when riding sizable jumps. In my opinion lighter wider trucks would allow for a more stable ride and allow riders to travel a much higher speeds and maintain complete control.
I think about snowboarding and skateboarding, both industries have boards that are designed for a specific type of riding and technology that supports it. The highest end mountainboards have a few options on legnth and the variation on width only happens between brands. My point is boards need to be customized all riders can not fit into this cookie cutter shape that the companies have designed the boards around.
5. Followers not innovators
My final point for this post is we all have our own ideas about what mountainboarding should and shouldn’t be. Unfortunately we have a lot of similar board sports that have taken some of the creativity out of it for us. Whether your roots are in snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, biking or even gymnastics you will find similarity in the tricks which you can do. I know there are other elements of mountainboarding, it’s not all freestyle, but lets face it how many boarder cross races or grass hill runs can you watch before you get bored. In the end i think it comes down to our creativity, it’s time to dig deeper and find those unique elements that can’t be imitated by every other board sport and at the same time keep it fun.
I love mountainboarding for the feeling i get when i land a trick, for the hard slashes and the feeling of my tire taring through the dirt, most of all i love the community, the people. I’m not the only one that feels this, i think it’s important to relay that this is something we all have in common, we all do this for fun, this is no million dollar contract at the end of a season, only a couple of beers with your friends and the memories of some great event.
Let’s not be the next flat ground BMX, and just fade away. In the words of the Allman Brothers “I’m gonna keep on keepin on.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.