Amidst the ever abundant kaleidoscope-like assortment of larger annual skateboarding related events that you could potentially attend in a calendar year, one soiree in particular has, in just three years time, established quite the raucous name for itself amongst our humble shred-o-sphere. The event I’m on about specifically is the absolutely face melting 72-hour, non-stop skateboarding bash known world wide as the King Of Kona. The brainchild of a one Cameron Frazier and situated in the Southern most state of Florida, the event itself is held at the long fabled Kona skatepark, the oldest still operational skatepark in the United States (est. 1977). From pools and ramps, to snake runs and half pipes, the Kona skatepark compound incorporates a joyous plethora of new and vintage style skate features that caters to a myriad of different styles and skill levels. Alas, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the park is just shy of 40 years old, it has the same kind of matured mentality behind it. The King Of Kona jamboree or “KOK” as it is most commonly referred to, is without a doubt the single most outrageous skate event I’ve ever attended.
C'est notre deuxième voyages apres berlin avec loaded, cette fois l'équipage a bord est composé: Darren, Brian, Ethan, Mauritz, Max, Alberto, Alex et moi...
Nous sommes tous super motivé a l'idée de partir dans l'Utah...
It was our second trip with Loaded after Berlin. This time, we had on board: Darren, Brian, Ethan, Mauritz, Max, Alberto, Alex and myself...
We were all really stoked to go to Utah...
Nous sommes parti direction l'Utah pour 5 jours de délire et de ride dans le dessert...
Apres toute une journée de route nous sommes arrivé a Moab, nous avons planté les tantes et préparer notre campement provisoir pour la nuit. Les nuits ont étaient tellement froide que Mauritz et Alberto se sont préparé une solution pour pourvoir faire chauffer la terre en dessous de leur campement...
On a passé toute nos soirées ensemble assis autour du feu en parlant et en s'amusant ;)
We went to Utah for 5 days of mad fun and ride in the desert…
After a whole day of travel, we arrived in Moab where we planted our tents and prepared a makeshift camp for the night. The nights were so damn cold that Mauritz and Alberto invented a solution for warming up the ground underneath their camp…
We spent all evenings together sitting around the fire, talking and having fun ;)
Le premier jour de tournage fut difficile pour tout le monde.
The first day of shooting was hard for everybody.
Car nous avons du nous adapté a ces gros rochers.
Cause we had to get along with the surface of those big rocks.
Pendant ces 5 jours le soleil a était avec nous sans une goute de pluie...
We had 5 days of sun in a row, without a single drop of rain…
Max avait un problème avec sa cheville mais il a bien gérè cette situation pour les jours suivants.
Max had a problem with his ankle, but he managed to cope well with this situation during the next days.
Chaque jour on a fait beaucoup km pour trouver des endroits exploitables. De temps en temps on a pensé qu'il y a rien a skater mais après deux essais tout ce qui était impossible est devenu un Disneyland pour le groupe :)
We travelled many kilometers each day in order to find suitable places. Sometimes, we thought there was nowhere to skate, but after few tests, everything that was impossible became a Disneyland for the whole group :)
Nous avons eu la chance de pouvoir rencontré Rolf Hanson qui a pu nous montrer quelques petits spots a rider !!!
We were lucky to meet Rolf Hanson who could show us some nice small spots for riding!!!
Nous nous sommes organisé pour une journée de visité Moab.
We got organized for one day of visiting Moab.
Grimper, marcher, poser !!!! looll
Climbing, walking, posing !!!! Lool
On a eu l'occasion de voir en action notre très bon cameraman - Alberto (Perropro) Alepuz - en train de filmer...
We had a chance to see our great cameraman in action – Alberto (Perropro) Alepuz – filming…
Et ce n'est pas fini encore! Chaque soir quand on est rentré au camp fatigues et affamés Darren nous a préparé des plats magic a manger ;)
And it’s not over yet! Each evening, when we got back to the camp all tired and hungry, Darren prepared us truly magic dishes for supper ;)
Les décors que nous avons rencontré on était a perte de vue ...
The landscapes we saw were so amazing…
Ce voyage restera gravé dans notre mémoires a jamais...
I had just gotten back from an extended stay in Europe and already I was gearing up for yet another event of epic proportions. The warm anxiousness of an ensuing journey, and yet another opportunity to tell the tale. I had only been home for a week before I was on my way back to the airport and boarding yet another plane bound for Portland. Adam Stokowski was to be my partner in crime on this specific excursion, a long anticipated trip to the world famous Maryhill Loops Road to document and skate with some of the finest lady skaters the sport had to offer. It was to be my second year in attendance at the annual SheRide, and my second visit to that infamous road. So with a hurried car ride from the Loaded office to the airport, and an excruciating shuffle through airport security, we were on the plane, bound for PDX.
For several years I’ve been participating in Freeride organized by the Belgians (blutcher).
There are more and more people freeriding, and a there’s very friendly atmosphere between all participants ...This year, we participated in the two parts of Wallonhill (Houyet and Luxembourg) and it was very well organized.It lasted three days and we slept in a camping nearby the downhill's spot. Each day there was food prepared for us and two or three buses which took us to the begging of the race. Continue reading →
Get Them Stoked Project just started, and the 4 of us (Fernando Bailleres, Fabián Gutiérrez, Claudio Uribe and me Gerardo Moreno) started moving from Guadalajara city, to visit 2 of the best spots on the state.
(From left to right: Fabián Gutierrez, Fer Bailleres, Gerardo Moreno, Claudio Uribe)
First day early in the morning, we head to Ciudad Guzmán, this is quite a new community with few people skating but highly motivated and most add on top of this they have a gnarly road.
By midday we were already there, and we had the chance to skate for couple hours, followed by a small foot brake and pre drift clinic, basic stuff for people who's starting with the final purpose of making easier for them to skate safe and enjoy of this great road.
Unfortunately started to rain about 5 pm and we didn't had the chance to document and film the spot as deserves it, so we may have to come back.
(Ciudadd Guzmán Community)
Next day we went with some of the locals from Guadalajara, Orangatang Ambassador Daniel Caro, Jaime Ortiz and Kevin, all from Skate Troll Media, to one of my favourite spots “Los Gatos” this is a place that has 4 different tracks, for every style of riding, with different pavements, weather was perfect and we were able to film and take some photos this day.
Me and Fabián sliding into the flash light
Fer getting Switch into a righty
Right after Guadalajara we pack our baggage again and we drove to the city of León, Gto. The skate community here is quite big and middle size for longboarding. Right after we arrive locals took us to one of their spots called “Comalong” perfect pavement and very few cars on the road, rain came again and we skate this time with dry/wet patches we couldn't skate it as fast as we wanted, reason why we'll be back.
Next morning we head to Mexico City, where we had a short stop, we had an interview with the biggest newspapper “Reforma”. We also had a chance to skate with 3 of the locals from Mexico city, José Luis Romero, Daniel Favela y Roberto Pimentel.
This spot is right on the middle of the woods no cars are allowed on this lane
After the interview and skating we drove to Fabián's house to get some rest and get our stuff ready to drive more than 800 km on the next day to San José del Pacífico, Oaxaca, is one of the highest places in Oaxaca with beautiful scenarios, lots of mountains and gnarly roads. We expend there only one night due that this was on our way to our real destiny, Huatulco Oaxaca, for the race Maguey Downhill.
Fer Taking a run down San José del pacífico Road about 200 km and about 120 of them skateable
The Milky way viewed from San José del Pacífico
Huatulco is a small city that has one of the best beaches in Meixo, lots of spots, really nice pavement, and a small community with about 40 people skating that made Maguey Downhill Race possible.
Race day started about 10 am, organizers gave us a delicious brakefast, the race heats flowed really nicely, and at the end of the race 3 of us made it into the finals, due that Fabián eliminated Claudio.
Fabián got 3th, Fer second and Gerardo (me)1st
Once the race finished our host Edén Sanchez, took us to skate, we had a chance to skate an amazing ditch and we also skate the local spots with some of the locals, and riders from other cities that came to the race, we expend the whole afternoon with them, and during the night we got ready to leave again. This time to Oaxaca city.
Local spot in Huatulco called "La Negra"
Ditch night session
Once we arrived in Oaxaca , we found only 2 people skating, Paco Camarena from Huatulco and Christina from Germany who was there only for vacations staying at the same Hostel that we were. Paco took us to skate to Montealban ruins road, fast road with excelent pavement very few cars, and couple corners to slide and grip, and you get to see the whole city while skating down the road.
The 4 of us with Christina from Germany
After lots of driving and skating we head back to Mexico city but we will tell you more about the trip on the next blog entry, meanwhile I leave you with our first teaser, if you like what we do we invite you to follow us on the social network, so you can know more about Mexico Lonboard/Skateboard scene.
El proyecto Get Them Stoked recién comenzó y arrancamos de la ciudad de Guadalajara, Los 4 (Fernando Bailleres, Fabián Gutiérrez, Claudio Uribe y yo Gerardo Moreno) salimos de la Ciudad de Guadalajara y visitamos dos de los mejores spots ,Ciudad Guzmán y Gatos.
El primer día salimos temprano a visitar a la comunidad de Ciudad Guzmán, es una comunidad pequeña pero muy entusiasmada en patinar y lograr que más gente comience a patinar en la ciudad.
Llegamos al spot cerca de la 1, tuvimos oportunidad de patinar con ellos por un par de horas y más adelante realizamos un actividad con la gente que empieza a patinar, dando tips básicos como hacer de foot brake y pre drift.
Desafortunadamente la lluvia llegó a las 5 pm y no tuvimos oportunidad de documentar el spot como se lo merece, por ello tendremos que volver a este spot en un par de semanas.
Al día siguiente fuimos con algunos de los locales de Guadalajara entre ellos Daniel Caro, embajador de Orangatang, Jaime Ortiz y Kevin de Skate Troll Media, A uno de los mejores spots de Mexico "Los Gatos", en el spot existe una gran diversidad de rutas para patinar tuvimos un dia perfecto para patinar poco sol y muchas horas para patinar y grabar material.
Después de nuestra visita por la ciudad de Guadalajara empacamos maletas nuevamente y nos dirigimos hacia la Ciudad de León, Gto, donde hay una comunidad muy grande de skate y mediana de Longboard. Recién llegamos y los locales nos llevaron a uno de sus spots mas divertidos "Comalong". Nuevamente tuvimos un poco de lluvia y el spot lo patinamos con parches mojados sin embargo León también lo volveremos a visitar al regreso a Guadalajara.
Temprano por la mañana siguiente nos dirigimos rumbo a la Ciudad de México donde realizamos una parada breve ya que teníamos una cita para una entrevista con el periódico reforma, uno de los diarios de mayor importancia y con mayor número de publicaciones diarios en el país.
Tuvimos la oportunidad de fotografiar y tomar un poco de video con algunos de los locales de la ciudad de México, entre ellos José Luis Romero, Daniel Favela y Roberto Pimentel.
Terminada la sesión pasamos a casa de Fabián a descansar un poco y prepararnos para manejar más de 800km al día siguiente con rumbo a San José del pacífico, Oaxaca, este es uno de los lugares más elevados en el estado con una vista increíble a través de montañas y cascadas de nubes. Pasamos solo esa noche ahí ya que en realidad esta era solo una escala a nuestro siguiente destino, Huatulco, Oaxaca. Para la carrera de Maguey Downhill Race.
La ciudad de Huatulco, es una de las mejores playas de México con una gran cantidad de spots y pavimento perfecto para patinar, en la ciudad hay una comunidad pequeña, con al rededor de 40 personas patinando los cuales se juntaron a hacer la carrera.
El día de la carrera logramos colarnos a la final 3 de nosotros ya que Claudio quedó eliminado en una de las rondas pasadas por Fabián, quedando el podio de la siguiente manera.
3er Lugar Fabian
2do Lugar Fer Bailleres
1er Lugar Gerardo Moreno (yo)
Una vez terminada la carrera nuestro anfitrión Edén Sanchez, quién nos recibió en su casa nos llevó a patinar los spots locales, el cual patinamos junto con algunos de los riders que asistieron a la carrera. Pasamos la tarde con ellos y nos preparamos para ir al día siguiente a la Ciudad de Oaxaca.
Una vez en La ciudad de Oaxaca, encontramos solo a dos personas que patinaban, Paco Camarena de la Ciudad de Huatulco y Christina de Alemania que estaba de vacaciones paseando por México. Paco nos llevó quizá a una de las carretera más rápidas justo abajo de uno de los lugares más turisticos, Las Ruinas de Montealban, una pista con curvas, excelente piso y bastante rápida, en la cual se puede ver la ciudad mientras vas patinando.
Después de recorrer la Ciudad de Oaxaca nos dirigimos de regreso a la Ciudad de México pero les contaremos más sobre esto en la siguiente entrada de blog, mientras tanto les dejo con un pequeño adelanto el Primer Teaser de nuestro proyecto.
Los invitamos a seguirnos en las redes sociales para que puedan darle continuidad a los spots que hemos patinado y que conozcan las comunidades y la escena del Longboard y skate en México
Daniel Caro and Oscar Gutierrez in the groms final.
As you may know, “Cinco de Mayo” (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held annually in Mexico on May 5. Also known as: El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla).
This date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16.
Well now you know what “Cinco de Mayo” is, so this year instead of a party we decided to do something better and that was the “5 de Mayow Downhill Race”.
The whole idea came together when Jorge Vigon and Fer Vega came across an amazing spot for longboarding near Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in a little town called San Gabriel.
As soon as we discovered this spot we just knew that we had to do a competition there. After organizing everything, including asking for permission and talking with the town’s goverment, everything fell into place. The town’s (San Gabriel, Jalisco) goverment provided us with a lot of support, including police officers to control the traffic, ambulances on-site as a precaution, and local highschool students also volunteered to help out with the event.
When the day finally arrived, we had a track of 3.2km, with 23 turns and a top speed of 75km/h (no need to break the tuck in any of the turns) and 103 competitors already signed up for the event.
Gerardo Moreno and I (Miguel Azanza) left to San Gabriel in the morning of the 3rd of may, and as soon as we arrived the people of the town were ready to take us up to the track to perform the inspection and set up all the hay bales.
Meanwhile, Jesus Gonzalez (http://treee.mx) and Fer Vega were setting up all the competitors with their individual numbers and wrist bands so that they could do the practice runs.
When we finished the inspection of the track, it was time to have fun and get the practice runs started.
A great day ended with everyone in good spirits, we all relaxed and had some tacos in the town and then got to bed early to prepare for the big day ahead.
It was an early start on the 4th of May, and we had to wake up all of the competitors that were camping to get things going because the brackets were starting at 12.00, and there was a lot to be done. After the brackets, we all stopped for a short lunch break to relax and prepare for the heats that were starting at 3.00.
The event had four categories, these were: groms, women, masters and open, so there was a lot of work to do.
At the end of the day we almost reached the quarter-finals of the open category and semi-finals in the others. It was a pretty long day, and we all headed back to the camp ground where a big feast was waiting for us. Treee Longboarding sponsored a meal which was a tasty pig made into tacos. The food was Amazing and everyone enjoyed it, especially alter such a long day.
Everyone was tired, but there was still a little party going on and Surfo Sonso was playing. The reggae music was pretty chilled and there was a good atmosphere, but it wasn’t a late night because the competitors had to be fresh for the finals the next day.
Another early start for everyone, and the people from Monster Energy arrived early to help us out with setting up. Everybody was excited and looking forward to the day ahead. The finals kicked off at 10.00.
First we had the Masters final, then the Groms, followed by the Womens, and last but not least the Open. All the races were very close, it was all about concentration and technique. With a few falls, but nothing too major, an amazing day came to an end. At 3.00 it was time to present the winners and their prizes on the podium.
Como ustedes saben, "Cinco de Mayo" es una celebración que se realiza anualmente en México conocido como “El Día de la Batalla de Puebla.
Bueno, ahora ya sabes lo qué "Cinco de Mayo" es y este año en lugar de una fiesta decidimos hacer algo mejor y que fue el "5 de Mayow Downhill Race".
Todo empezó cuando Jorge Vigón y Fer Vega se encontraron con un lugar increíble para el longboard cerca de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, en un pequeño pueblo llamado San Gabriel.
Después de haber patinado en este lugar sabíamos que teníamos que hacer un concurso allí. Después de organizar todo, pedir permisos y hablar con el gobierno de San Gabriel, todo cayó en su lugar.
El ayuntamiento de San Gabriel Jalisco nos proporcionó un gran apoyo, tales como de policía para controlar el tráfico, las ambulancias en el lugar como medida de precaución y estudiantes locales como voluntarios para las curvas.
Cuando finalmente llegó el día, tuvimos una pista de 3.2 kilómetros, con 23 curvas y una velocidad máxima de 75 km/h (sin necesidad de romper el tuck) y con 103 competidores ya inscritos.
Gerardo Moreno y yo (Miguel Azanza) Salimos hacia San Gabriel en la mañana del 03 de mayo y tan pronto como llegamos a San Gabriel ya había personas del ayuntamiento dispuestos a llevarnos a la pista para realizar la inspección y establecer las pacas en todas las curvas.
Mientras tanto, Jesús González (http://treee.mx) y Fer Vega estaban preparando a todos los competidores con sus números y pulseras para que pudieran hacer las sesiones de práctica.
Al terminar la inspección de la pista, ya era hora de divertirse en las rondas de practica.
Un gran día terminó y todos cansados fuimos a cenar unos taquitos al pueblo y después a dormir temprano para preparase para el día siguiente.
Empezamos temprano el 4 de mayo y tuvimos que despertar a todos los competidores que estaban acampando para que se prepararan para los brackets a las 12:00 pues había mucho que hacer. Después de los brackets, todos nos detuvimos para un breve descanso de almuerzo para descansar y prepararse para las eliminatorias que se iniciaban a las 3.00pm.
El evento contó con cuatro categorías: Groms, mujeres, masters y open.
Al final del día, casi llegamos a los cuartos de final de la categoría Open y las semifinales en los otros. Fue un día bastante largo y todos nos dirigimos a la zona de camping, donde Treee Longboarding patrocinó una comida deliciosa “Puerco” hecho en tacos. La comida estuvo increíble y todos la disfrutamos mucho.
Todos estábamos cansados, pero todavía había una pequeña fiesta. Surfo Sonso se puso a tocar su música reggae y se armo muy buen ambiente, pero no fue una noche larga ya que los competidores tenían que estar frescos para la final al día siguiente.
Otro comienzo temprano el 5 de mayo para todos. Las personas de Monster Energy llegaron temprano a ayudarnos con todo. Todos estaban muy emocionados las finales comenzaron a las 10.00.
Primero tuvimos la Final de Masters, después Groms seguida de las mujeres y por último la de la categoría OPEN. Todos los heats estuvieron muy parejos, todo dependía de la concentración y la técnica. Con algunas caídas, pero nada demasiado grave termino un día increíble. A las 3:00pm llegó el momento de presentar a los ganadores y sus premios en el podio.
A big thank you to all the organizers of these events
Depuis quelques années la saison commence fort à Paris,
en effet le week-end dernier a été chargé skate, émotion et retrouvail…
1 week end : 2 events, quoi de mieux!!!!
la LVP 2013 et la KOP 2013
Malgré ce mauvais temps et le froid hivernal beaucoup de monde ontcrié “presents!” et se sont motivés à venir et à participer pour remporter ces épreuves et les lots qui vont avec!
La 8ème édition de la LVP organisée par Alice "Manouk" et Loic "Kilo" s'est déroulée à Paris dans le fameux bar "la cantada"
Cet événement a pour but de montrer/regrouper ces meilleurs montages video 2012 (année précédante)
avec un vote du public sur Internet (FB).
Les meilleurs ont été récompensés pas de nombreux lots des différents sponsors participant….
Citer les sponsors....video BHMEt pour finir, le dimanche 24 février s'est déroulé le KOP 2013 organisé par Antoine Capus "Babar".
Cet événement avait pour but de faire une course dans la spiral du parking de La Défence, en outlaw bien sûr!!!
Comme la règle est définie : le premier remporte tout, sauf que cette édition a permi au filles de s'exprimer (sauvagement avec les mecs) dans toutes sauvagerie entre les mecs!!!
Back home after an 8 day trip to France learning the art of speed-riding. What is speed- riding? Well, speed-riding combines skiing with flying. Check out this video of myself, Philip, Lance and Ryan as we take a hectic run together down the mountain.
Below is a write up about the sport a bit and such. Everything I am saying here is what I have learned and interpreted. I however am no expert of flying and just a student learning so take everything I say here with a grain of salt. A true professional will know more.
Photo Courtesy of Gin Gliders
A speed-riding wing is usually between 9 -15 meters which is specially made for fast controlled descents. These wings drop you out of the sky. They have wide and big cell openings which make them easy to inflate and when flown, they are under much more pressure and because of it, they are more stable in the air. Though these should only be flown in good conditions, turbulent air can collapse your wing and since you are usually flying close to the ground it could be a bad day for you. The handling on them is like a sports car, very responsive and fast. Air speed can be anywhere between 35- 60 mph. The smaller the wing, the faster it is going to go and having a tail wind will add to airspeed as well. It is best to begin with a bigger wing and as you get better you can downsize but again it really depends what you want to do. If you want to stay in the air longer having a bigger wing helps. If you want to go fast and follow the terrain, a smaller wing helps. I like the idea of having something in-between that works with my weight.
I have already done some speed-flying which pretty much uses a similar wing but instead of skis (speed-riding) you launch the wing by running off mountains. You should never have to hike down again, hahah. Though beware these wings usually have a glider ratio of 4 to 1. Meaning every 4 feet the wing goes forward it drops a foot. Though this is in a no wind situation, if there is a head wind your glide ratio will be reduced. Also, if you do turns especially deep spiral turns your glide ratio is also reduced. That is why before each speed-flying flight you have to do your research and plot the glide ratio off the mountain. We usually fly off mountains with a 3:1 to 2:1 glide ratio. This gives us more than enough opportunity to make the landing and allows room for turns. With your first flight off any mountain it is best to be conservative and come in with plenty of altitude to make the landing.
This is the exact flight of wheeler Crest we plotted here. You plot your glide ratio as such using GOOGLE EARTH.
Find your launch, you want a nice clear launch. Drop a pin at the Launch, label it LAUNCH –Mountain name, if you scroll over you pin it should say the elevation as well.
Wheeler Crest- LAUNCH - 10,854ft
Find your landing. Now you may find something that looks like a decent landing but you need to go there in person really to check it out.
Wheeler Crest LAND - 5,532ft
Subtract the elevation difference of the Launch and the Landing to get the difference.
10,854 – 5,532 = 5,322 ft meaning you will descend 5,5322 feet.
Once you got your Launch and Landing descent value use the ruler tool and plot the distance in feet from the Launch to the Landing.
16,421.42 feet is the distance from the Launch to the Landing.
Divide 16,421.42 (distance between Launch / Landing ) / 5,322 (elevation drop) = 3.08 glide ratio. So the gilde ratio for this flights is pretty much 3 : 1.
With speed-riding you can ride on hills that have greater than a 4 : 1 glide ratio because you can touch down with the skis at any time and carve it up. The best slopes for speed-riding in my opinion are steep slopes combined with mellow slopes, fly down the steep parts, touch down and ski on the mellow parts, you get best of both worlds.
SPEED RIDING SCHOOL
Looking outside our school at our training slope and Ryan about to pack up his glider. Our training slope is amazing, it has lift access.
If you want to learn how to speed ride DEFINITELY go to a speed-riding school. You will get proper instruction and you will be in a place that you can get a lot of flights in and really learn the sport. We attended on of the best speed-riding schools in Les Arcs France. We went all the way to France because really there are no speed-riding schools here in the USA at the moment, plus flying in Europe is where it is at. Les Arcs is a resort in France and the speed riding school is located at Les Arcs 2000. There you can take a 5+ day course and they provide all the flying gear for you. The instructors Arnaud and Gerome are definitely characters. Arnaud is more of a hard ass with tough critiques at first and then smiles and laugher later. He will have no problem telling you, you are an idiot and his famous saying “What the F***k” always came as well, hahaha. But then he would smile and laugh after. Gerome was the sweet heart of the group. He talked in a much softer voice and kept it pretty chill when you screwed up. The school is pretty much a run and gun course, meaning the instructors are not going to hold your hand. They show you something once and they expect you to get it, so you have to ask lots of questions. You also have to stick up for yourself a bit and really go over the flight plan with them since at times it can be confusing. Other than that, they really give you the opportunity to fly a lot and they will challenge you. If you are a clumsy person, hahah this class will be hard for you. If you are coordinated, driven and like a challenge this class will be very rewarding for you. Basically the class was so damn fun and so many rad people in it that I am looking forward to going back next year. Our class graduated and we got our beginner license which basically allows us to legally speed-ride at any resort in France that will allow it.
http://www.speedriding-school.comhttp is the website. Most of it is translated in English. This is the school.
Arnaud showing me the spine protectors. A spine protector is a damn fine idea.
Radio are key so the instructors can communicate with you.
Connecting the radio ear piece to the helmet so Arnaud could yell at me, hahah
Photo Courtesy of Gin Gliders
You don’t have to be an excellent skier to do this sport, though being a good skier helps. You don’t have to be able to fly to take the course as well, but having flight experience helps. The hardest part to this all is pretty much carving on the skis with the glider. It is very easy to get into a carve with the glider and collapse the glider because you are pulling too much or too little brake, it is easy to go into a turn and not be able to control your speed and you take off not wanting to. It took everyone in the class awhile to dial turns even the really experienced skiers.
From what I took away: have your hands and toggles all the way up, this speeds up the gilder and puts more weight onto your skis before your turn. When doing your turn, pull the inside toggle to turn the glider while still pulling some outside brake pressure. You have to turn the glider more than you think. Look VERY far ahead when making your turn, this helps a lot. Once out of the turn, traverse the mountain and try to slow down a bit with your skis before the next turn. Playing with the brakes will help, but you should usually ski with the glider with hands all the way up. Make your turns wide and commit to them.
MUSHROOM (wing preparation for flight)
Philp made a damn good mushroom.
Making a proper mushroom, wing preparation is tricky. You basically are on the side of a slippery mountain with skis and gloves on. You have to gather the wing in your hands, try to fluff it up and expose the leading edges, make sure lines are not tangled around the trailing edge and throw the glider down the hill slightly behind you in a nice organized mushroom shape. Usually what happens is you throw your mushroom and it looks like a piece of poop, leading edges not exposed and pointing downwards. The trick I learned at the end was to coil up the glider and fluff up the leading edges with your hands and then wind up and throw it like a frisbee across your body and to the ground.
Ryan, Lance and Philp flying off our training slope.
The flying part is easy especially if you just go straight. Weigh shift turn, i.e. turning the glider just by applying pressure to one butt cheek or the other is really fun for doing some fine adjustments in the air. Flying and touching down and taking off again is one of the best feelings. I kind of wish I had touched down more thinking back. Though when you touch down make sure you apply some brake to slow down and level out the glider. Have your skis together knees bent absorb the touch down and slowly let up your hands up to speed up the glider and put weight on your skis. If you touch down and the pull more break you are likely to take off again. There is a fine delicate touch to touching down.
BEST GLIDE and DIVE
Each glider has its best glide ratio option. This had to deal with how much you pull the toggles. For the gliders we were using, the best glide was pulling the toggles quite a bit. This changes the shape and angle of attack of the glider making it more prone to floating in the air longer, though don’t think these gliders float well, instead of dropping super fast you drop kind of fast, hahaha. Hands fully up, toggles to the pullies would make the glider decent very quick. So when flying, it is constantly playing with the best glide and full fast (hands ups) mode. It is best to fly as much as you can at full fast because it speeds up the glider and gives you energy to flare, which means you can always enter best glide to pop over obstacles or give you more options if you need it.
This is an amazing sport which combines two amazing things. This sport is more popular in Europe right now where there are speed-riding competitions and such. Speed-riding really allows you to ski any terrain and it gives skiing a whole new sense. Hopefully this sport will become more popular in the USA, there are only a couple hundred speed-riders here total.
Go out there learn something new and be safe about it. Remember learning something as safe as you can means you can live longer and have more fun.
I leave you with this amazing video of people speed-riding down Mont Blanc in Europe, it is a long video, you can just watch the first 3 minutes to get an idea.