Altitude Sickness is online!!

As of this morning Colorado’s Altitude Sickness Boardshop has given themselves an online presences with the launch of their new website and online store!

The online store is carrying all the latest MBS products, Ground Industries and some others gems so be sure to check it out.

Also rumor has it they will be carrying Trampa in the next few months, I know I will be paying a visit to the shop when those are in stock!

Check out the new Altitude Sickness site at www.altitudesicknessboardshop.com or www.asboardshop.com


Twenty Ten – Altitude Sickness Event Schedule

I might be in hibernation for the season but some people in the Colorado mountainboard community don’t sleep. Joe Ponce and the Altitude Sickness creu have been hard at work planning out the events and learn to rides . It looks like the fun will continue in Empire for 2010.

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Happy New Year from the Altitude Sickness Team and the Town of Empire. We would like to thank everyone who participated in events last season; spectators, sponsors, volunteers, friends and family- Thank you All!!!

This years events will begin in May with the Riders Festival and continue throughout the summer until the end of the season bash in October. We will have free Scheduled Learn to Ride classes for anyone who is interested in learning to mountainboard. Our team has prided itself in trying out new events like the frisbee toss and pinata bonk, so we are planning some new events and adding some twists to others. HIghlighting this season will be the highly anticipated  Altitude Cup where the Top 10 Pro’s get PAID!!  Teams are encouraged and will receive discounted entry fees.

The park in Empire is being designed and new features are being added. Anyone interested in donating features for the park or for any questions please call Altitude Sickness Board shop(303) 579-2719. Hope to see you all this season. Stay tuned for updates with scheduled events and times.

Altitude Sickness 2010 Event Schedule:

May 29-30 Rider’s Festival

June 26-27 Trash the Dress Weekend

July 31-Aug 1 Leadville Freeride Day and Copper Gathering

Sept 4-5 Altitude Cup

Sept 18-19 Video/Photo Extraganja

Oct 16-17 End of Season Bash(Contingency date)


The Twilight Showdown

Let me tell you a little bit about this small town called South Haven in middle America Kansas.
Population: 353
Local economy driven by agriculture.
Best meal in town can be found at Bodacious Meats.
Home to one of the United States best mountainboard facilities.

The first time I made the trip to South Haven was in 2008, we drove 10 hours from the rocky mountains to one of the flatest states in the country to mountainboard. Of course i had seen pictures so i knew there were some jumps and a boarder cross course but seeing all these flat lands and endless fields with no hills just didn’t seem right. Eventually we pulled up to this gate with a 2×2 MBS sign on hanging on it, this was the place. We roll through this field, past some grazing cattle and some mean looking cow patties and then I see the two roll-ins and some dirt. The course turned out to be one of the best tracks i had ridden since the days in Canton, PA and the jump an FMX jump with an ultra smooth transition serving some lofty airs. That was 2008, times have changed. After Zak Heberly and the DirtMonk boys spent two months moving dirt, building rails, rollins and quarter pipes, South Haven now has the most expansive mountainboard parks in the country and an epic venue for a world class mountainboard event.

photo by: Jereme Leafe

photo by: Jereme Leafe

This year i didn’t have the luxury of taking time off from work and making a 10 hour road trip to Kansas with the rest of the crew. Instead i hopped a quick 1 hour United Express flight to Wichita, where I was met by some of Zak’s friends who were kind enough to drive 45 minutes to pick me up (thanks again guys). I began to see a glow on the horizon when we pulled onto route 81 in South Haven. In a town like this glowing lights at night are not the norm. The glow got brighter as we flew down the gravel roads nearing the Zak’s property and soon i saw a group of tall light towers illuminating the boarder cross course. I felt as if i was about to emerge from the rows of corn and onto a baseball diamond, and as the famous quote goes “If you build it they will come”. And that they did, mountainboarders from around the United States showed up for two epic days on the dirt.

Van Dewitt in Kansas sunset - photo by: Altitude Sickness

Van Dewitt in Kansas sunset - photo by: Altitude Sickness

Boarder cross kicked off the weekend under the light but with high winds and 90 degree heat at 8:30 a night it was adding a whole new element to the contest. The new extended course gave riders had more time and space to make passes which made for some heated races across all divisions, notably we saw some great wins by Mason Moore in the AM division and Mellisa Ponts De Leon for the Women.

Phil Shedder Altitude Sickness Team Manager/Co-Owner, rider Mellisa Ponce De Leon and Devin Garland

Phil Shedder Altitude Sickness Team Manager/Co-Owner, rider Mellisa Ponce De Leon and Devin Garland

Kody and Matty K getting some warm up runs in before the racing starts.

Kody and Matty K getting some warm up runs in before the racing starts.

Tyler Mork and Cole Shipp taking a breathe between runs.

Tyler Mork and Cole Shipp taking a breathe between runs.

Heat one of the women, the photo is probably blurry because they were riding so fast. Photo by: Altitude Sickness

Heat one of the women, the photo is probably blurry because they were riding so fast. Photo by: Altitude Sickness

The Dirt Star's made the long haul and drove our from Salt Lake. Van Dewitt & Mason Moore

The Dirt Star's made the long haul and drove our from Salt Lake. Van Dewitt & Mason Moore

The pro men were all over the map but a few upsets and a few jumped gates and the occasional tire rubs made for a entertaining division. The Godfather Jason Lee lost a few races early which is rare, forcing him to fight his way back through the bottom of the bracket to make it to the finals, in typical J Lee fashion he did just that.

Cole Shipp, Jereme Leafe and Benton Jackson, fighting through the first berm. Photo by: Altitude Sickness

Cole Shipp, Jereme Leafe and Benton Jackson, fighting through the first berm. Photo by: Altitude Sickness

Brandon Johanns who has been historically been dominate in freestyle, nabbed a few wins and was able to secure himself a spot in the finals as well. But it was no surprise to see the comeback kid Jereme Leafe and Kody Stewart back to there old antics and crushing there competition. The final pro heat went as followed Kody Stewart, Jereme Leafe, Jason Lee and Brandon Johanns, check out the video below to see how the race went down.

The evening wound down around 3am after some post race course sessions and a few cans of the ol’ sauce. The majority of the weekends riding would be done under lights so there was no need to sweat a late evening. We casually woke up around 11am just in time to scrape the dirt crust from our eyes and jump in the rental car and cruise to Bodacious Meats. If you like smoked meats, beans and want to meet the locals stop by Bodacious. We feasted on an all you can eat buffet of smoked goodness, watched the boardercross winners collect their loot and escaped the 100 degrees heat with some air conditioning & Hot Action on the big screen. With our appetites satisfied we found ourselves motivated to make something of the day and riding wasn’t going to be a part of it.

B-Johanns, Doughboy Dersham and the Googily Eyed Mike Herbner of One 5 Media scared all the children at the Wellington Water park. Photo by: Jereme Leafe

B-Johanns, Doughboy Dersham and the Googily Eyed Mike Herbner of One 5 Media scared all the children at the Wellington Water park. Photo by: Jereme Leafe

The water park in Wellington was calling and 10 mountainboarders answered the call ready to break all the rules, diving into the shallow end of the pool, face first down the water slide, gainers off the high dive and peeing all over the pool. This was the best $3 you could spend in Kansas on this August day, fun was had by all.

I bet you didn't know this but mountainboarders are all true ballers, watch our Lebron were gonna dunk on you. Photo by: Jereme Leafe

I bet you didn't know this but mountainboarders are all true ballers, watch our Lebron were gonna dunk on you. Photo by: Jereme Leafe

Johanns... Photo by: Jereme Leafe

Johanns... Photo by: Jereme Leafe

Soon enough we ended up back at the Heberly ranch where riders were starting to pad up for some warm up runs in the park. Despite the heat riders pushed through a 2 hours warm up session to dial in a few last minute lines through the park. The beauty of the park is you literally had over 10 possible lines you could take through this park, rail lines, jump lines, north shore drops and quarter pipes. This park was able to please any rider as there was a little something for everyone. “The slopestyle event allowed for a new group of riders to break through, we came from a big air background and this park forces us to diversify” say Ground Industries & Kicker Audio rider Kody Stewart. Riders pushed the level of riding with switch drops, large airs and some tech rail slides, which we haven’t seen for a few years. Some stand out were Ali Kano with a one foot air while kicking the hanging cow bell, Mason Moore’s endless style (welcome to the pro’s Mason) and Brandon Johanns frontboard on the flat-down. In the end riders putting together the clean, consistent runs were on the podium.

Cole Shipp half cab on the start drop.

Cole Shipp half cab on the start drop.

Not your average roll-in ramp. The barn.

Not your average roll-in ramp. The barn.

Derek Howe Japan. Photo by: Jlee

Derek Howe Japan. Photo by: Jlee

Leafe getting the front rodeo warmed up. Photo by: Altitude Sickness

Leafe getting the front rodeo warmed up. Photo by: Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness rider Devin Garland had variety in all of his runs including a large cab 5 dropping him into 3rd place. Cole Shipp is great, one of the best attitudes and hardest working riders in the US and i was so stoked to see him riding well. His style was laid on thick in every run and he seamlessly linked his front 3’s & 5’s to the 50-50’s on the rails, landing him in the 2nd place spot. Standing on the top was our favorite pole vaulter Jereme Leafe, it appeared that all the 540’s he spun off the high dive earlier that day paid off. The two year hiatus he took didn’t seem to effect him much as his runs were real tight, the most notable was the half cab drop, into a front rodeo, to 50-50 back 180 out of the flat down box and rock to fakie on the quarter.

Ecar poking the front 3. Photo by: Jlee

Ecar poking the front 3. Photo by: Jlee

Style. Kody Stewart. Photo by: Jason

The newest event we saw in Kansas was the Banshee Bungee rail jam, a few select riders were invited to take on this unique step up and entertain the crowd. We walked up to the jam set up to find two fence post about 20 feet apart one post had the Urban Assault bungee attached, the other had a hook to hold the fully stretched bungee. There was one feature, a 20 foot street style down rail. Kody Stewart and Chris Jesse tested the set up earlier that day so they were both feeling pretty confident by the time the jam kicked off. The other riders were, Jereme Leafe, Devin Garland and myself (Evan Carlson). The stock tricks were thrown out in the first 5 minutes of this 20 minute jam, boardslides to reg and to fakie, some front lips. For those of you who don’t hit rails on a mountainboard or haven’t seen the trucks on a mountainboard, let it be known, mountainboard trucks are not flat and are not designed to grid round rails. Chris Jesse took on this round rail with a real long 50-50 which none of us had expected. Known as the rail slayer in the industry Kody Stewart decided to step it up and dropped a super smooth frontboard followed up by a front 270 to switch front. The jam turned out to be a blast, thanks to Banshee Bungee and the riders involved, I hope to see more of these events in the future.

The Banshee start.

The Banshee start.

Let go of the Banshee and jump. Unfortunately these were the only photos I acquire of the jam and they are both of me.  Photo by: Jlee

Let go of the Banshee and jump. Photo by: Jlee

Zak Heberly, host of the Twilight Showdown and 2nd place finisher in the master BX. Photo by: Jereme Leafe

Zak Heberly, host of the Twilight Showdown and 2nd place finisher in the master BX. Photo by: Jereme Leafe

The night wasn’t quite over, the last thing slated for the evening was a big air. After another day of heat and high winds and close to 7 hours of ridings many riders opted to sit back and watch the big air rather than ride it. We saw Benton Jackson, Tyler Mork, Mason Moore, Derek Howe, Chris Jesse, Devin Garland, Kody Stewart and Jereme Leafe. The riders getting the most speed and best pumps through the transitions in the rollin found themselves airing over the rest. The young blood Derek Howe had been boosting all day, locking a few real stylish front 5’s. Devin Garland’s judo air is probably one of the best i’ve ever seen and i’ve seen him stomp it in the past, but he couldn’t seem to get it together under the lights. Kody and Jereme were at it again, both deep in a pissing contest. Kody always seems to feel at home on a large jump and it showed with his double over head one-footed 360’s, front cork 5’s and 7’s. In the end Jereme showed everyone that he was back and wasn’t planning to just fade away, backflips, 5’s, front rodeo’s all stomped with authority and the closer was his misty flip, a trick which i haven’t see for easily 3 years. Excuse the poor video quality but check out Jereme’s misty and a few other clips from the best trick contest below.

We closed the event with big session on the fun box and cow bell pole, keep and eye out for video and photos of that session. The next morning, I jumped in Jason Lee’s mom’s RV and cruised back to Colorado with 1000’s black flies, little to no AC and 4 stank ass dudes and Jason Lee’s lovely girlfriend Reba, bless you for dealing with us.

JD trying to catch some zzz's amongst the flies.

JD trying to catch some zzz's amongst the flies.

What else do you do on an 8 hour ride in an RV besides draw and drink?

What else do can you do on an 8 hour ride in an RV besides draw and drink?

That was it, great riding, great event, great people and great venue, thanks again to all the sponsors that made the Twilight Showdown possible, MBS Mountainboards, Ground Industries, Dirtmonk Productions, Outkast Sports, Trampa, Banshee Bungee, Riviera Longboards, Dirtstar Army, Altitude Sickness, Evergreen Pallet, One 5 Media, Dirtcloud Racing and Kansas Badlands.


Event Preview – Twilight Showdown

Deep in the flats of Kansas lies a plot of land owned by Zak Heberly a veteran in the mountainboard community and has played host to Kaos In Kansas an annual mountainboard event for the 8 years. Zak and his family have always put a lot of work and time into these events to insure everyone has a great time.

twilight-showdown1

The times have changed, due to lack of sponsorships and the absences of a venue, the 2009 US Open was cancelled leaving only a few major events left for the 2009 US mountainboard season. Zak felt some obligation to make this years trip to Kansas a memorable one. So he enlisted the help of two master dirt park developers Matt Kenyor and Devin Fritz. These guys are visionaries, turning dreams into reality and your backyard into one of the mountainboard park.

When I spoke with Matty K last week it was about 8pm and he was just calling it quit after working on the new boarder cross course all day, and i’m sure he would have kept going with a few more hours of light. “We have been here for two months working on this to make it the best event that the United States has seen in years” says Matty “we are trying to put together an event that has a bit for all the different styles of riding we do together in one place, so when we all get together here it’s just an awesome two day session of mountainboard progression.”

Two guys and two months of hard works get you a park like this:

That's about as pristine as a boardcross course could get.

That's about as pristine as a boardcross course could get.

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Did you ever think you would be calling your drops from a barns??

Did you ever think you would be calling your drops from a barns??

lookindown

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park-bottom_opt

hipview
frontsidekansas

The Twilight Showdown is set to kick off with the boarder cross on Friday at 7pm under the lights and the slopestyle and rail jam Saturday. You can expect to see the all the best talent in the US, with riders like Kody Stewart, Brandon Johanns, Devin Garland and the return of Jereme Leafe you are sure to witness history… well maybe not history but some jaw dropping action.

Here are the details you need to make it to the Twilight Showdown:

Where: South Haven, KS. 30 mins south of Wichita off I-35, west on 166 (3 miles), north on 81 (3 miles), make a left on 130th street. It’s on the left “after” S. Maize rd(3 miles)
When: August 7-8, 2009

Friday August 7th:
11 A.M.- 7 P.M. Registration (On Site)
Noon – 7:15 P.M. Open Practice
7:30 P.M. – Rider Meeting
8 P.M. – Racing Starts, Time Trials for lane position and seating, Double Elim.(no time trials for grom’s and youth)

Saturday August 8th:
Noon- Bodacious Meats BBQ Bro-Down
3 P.M. – 6 P.M. Open Practice/Late Registration
7:30 P.M. Riders Meeting
8 P.M. Slopestyle Begins
Youth and Grom, 3 runs, drop lowest score
Women and Masters, 3 runs, drop lowest score
Invitational Rail Jam
Sport Slopestyle, 3 runs, drop lowest score
Pro Slopestyle, 4 runs, drop lowest score
Best Trick
Awards
After Party (On Site)

The Offical Cost of this Event is $45 wether you compete in one or all events. It includes an event bandana. Event T-shirts will be for sale on site
This event is BYOB
Dont Be Late for your start times, we will NOT wait for anybody.
Free Onsite Camping for All, No Showers, bring TP
Bring Mosquito Spray
Winners of Womens Events recieve Kittens!
Its HOT during the day, you will need Water and Sunscreen.

The Official Sponsors of the Twilight Showdown are : MBS Mountainboards, Ground Industries, Dirtmonk Productions, Outkast Sports, Trampa, Banshee Bungee, Riviera Longboards, Dirtstar Army, Altitude Sickness, Evergreen Pallet, One 5 Media, Dirtcloud Racing and Kansas Badlands


5 Reasons Mountainboarding hasn’t seen exponential growth.

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.

It's ok to sign a deal with the devil right? Everyone else already did it.

It's ok to sign a deal with the devil right? Everyone else already did it.

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.

Disney's Johnny Kapahala - Back On Board

Disney's Johnny Kapahala - Back On Board

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!!!

No need to get heavy metal on us, it's just mountainboarding.

No need to get heavy metal on us, it's just mountainboarding.

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.”


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.


The Banshee

The Problem: Without hills, slopes or something propel you mountainboarding well, sucks.

The Solution: Bungee Banshee!!!

I’ve been seeing this pop up all over action sports, wakeboarding, skating and a few weeks back Ground Industries used it at the Cricket Campus Rail Jam where there was no hill in sight. Real stoked on the potential for this.

Bungee Banshee was designed for this reason....to get sick!

Bungee Banshee was designed for this reason....to get sick!

From what i heard the Cricket Campus Rail Jam went off, and Ground Industries flew in riders from all over the United States, Kody Stewart, Leon Robbins and of course the Colorado locals showed. Here are a few shots.

Pulling Back The Banshee

Pulling Back The Banshee


.......This is what the Banshee can serve to you

.......This is what the Banshee can serve to you


Word is Kody was impressing all the spectators even the haters.

Word is Kody was impressing all the spectators even the haters.


A-P so relaxed in front of the crowd, i think she took a podium spot too.

A-P so relaxed in front of the crowd, i think she took a podium spot too.


B Johanns was all over the place, on the snow on the dirt, unstoppable!

B Johanns was all over the place, on the snow, on the dirt, unstoppable!