Hop's intro: Benbro and crew road trip to Beat The Bastard (Townie) to freeride a hill you can only dream about, raise money for charity...and you thought your life was fun! This is part three and final installment. If you want to catch up - part one and part two. This year's freeride charity was Camp Quality. Don't be a bum, find a way to give.
Ben Hay, the road trip master of ceremonies continues the tale: Mt Stuart has always rated highly on my list of favourite hills. It is an event that I have always said progresses your riding like no other, to be able to get driven back up repetitively all day and possibly attain 30 runs for a day is unique in itself. Then on top of that you have got the quality of the hill. A hill, I believe even the best riders in the world can constantly step up their own riding and find ways to improve on it. The nature of it being a freeride also allows you to experiment and try new things. Mt Stuart is consistently fast. The second you push off, holding a tuck, can quickly have you doing in excess off 80 kph before you are half way down the starting straight! The pavement is smooth and consistent but is drifty in places with a high abrasion factor. Wheels, pucks, shoes if you footbrake and if you crash leathers just get eaten up on this hill. I went there with a goal to ride it in many ways. Due to no one footbraking outside of Bathurst anymore, you need to slide, not so much for speed control but mainly to stop at the end. As your wheels become toasted from sliding to stop and any predrifting your doing on the hill your control and grip on the hill becomes reduced. Replacement wheels are necessary, like 2 sets a day minimum. The hill is fast enough and drifty enough that even having a chilled run requires levels of prediction and grip to get down the hill.
My preferred way that I love to ride Mt Stuart is staying low, mobbing fast with small controlled predrifts for speed control. The hill can be gripped all the way if nice lines etc are taken but it isn't as fun and this is a freeride that is fast enough and due to the closed road and haybailed surroundings allows for a rare opportunity to ride fast and drift fast to a race line. Dialing your speed control and eye for fast lines is the best part about this event in my opinion. No matter what your style this hill can be skated anyway and suits technical freeriding like no other in the country. My final runs down on the end of the last day were on the new Moronga from otang. Wished I cracked them out on Mt Stuart earlier as they gripped enough but drifted like a dream for floating controlled predrifts longer but without any extra speed loss. Moronga's and Mt Stuart: fell in love that day.
Three days riding Mt Stuart with your mates and fellow shredders from all over the nation is a very contenting experience. The vibe was rad and any politics is left behind or on Facebook. It was great to see people under no pressure just having fun, trying different disciplines and stoking out on the biggest reason we skate...stoke!! There was so much of it this year and words can't do the event or the hill justice.
I seriously can't wait to head north next winter again for Btb 2014. Put it on your bucket list, take a few extra bucks to bid and buy some super cheap but quality products from the auction that is kindly donated by sponsors all to raise money for a cancer related charity. Huge thank you to Ado and the Btb team for running a special event and to my supporters Hopkin Skate, Glyde skateboards, Orangatang wheels, Kahalani trucks for helping myself and the Australian scene broaden our horizons.
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