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    Hopkin Skate Blog — Downhill Division

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    Jackson eats Santa GnarBra - part 2

    Jackson eats Santa GnarBra - part 2

    Jacko has been doing it cosy in San Diego. Girly model photo shoots with Dudebro, snoring on the skatehouse couch, drinkin mojitos by the breadbowl, BUT the Cali crew have got some plans for you...

    This is Santa Barbara ... but Jacko's going to Santa Gnarbra This is Santa Barbara ... but Jacko's doesn't know it, he's skatin Santa Gnarbra

    These bits telexed in by Jacko, Another rad session that was had was the dawn patrol mission with the Muir Skate crew and some other locals at Scott's favourite run out in the bloody boonies somewhere. I dunno where it was coz I slept the whole way, went to this hill last time I was here (but with a busted leg) and did some filming for the boys and all I could remember that it was a nice fast sweepy run with a couple corners that required a wee little skid. Louis had me team up with Duke Degan to shoot a little video for RAD wheels, I took some runs following him down and got to learn the lines then Louis hooked up the camera to his car (which by the way is a new pimp arse all black audi that he got off Biker for hella cheap) and took runs mobbing down behind us filming. Was pretty rad to get fast again on some open roads, but was sketchy in a way on a brand new board and a hill I've never ridden, but didn't take long to get back into the swing of things and set back into mob-mode. After San Diego it was back to Skate House then more malibu sessions and hella lurking, then Louis, Ross Druckery and Braden Tibbles all jumped on the road for a weekend to Santa Barbara to shoot some more epic shit. I was frothing hard, I took a trip to Santa Barbara when I was riding for Otang and shot a sick video with Adam Colton.Orangatang Wheels | Casting Shade with Jackson Shapiera That was a pretty epic hill, had some of the nicest pavement to slide on I've ever experienced, but unfortunately for me that was experience was not going to be re-lived. Louis was taking me to Santa GnarBra and he had another hill in mind "one that hasn't really been filmed on" and "all the good ones are over used"! There's a reason its sick to film on the others and not this one - pavement's fucked.

    santa-gnarbra But in all honesty it wasn't that bad, it was just a long ass hill with some hectic burly parts here and there that you could easily make it around and there were plenty of good sections to control your speed, it was just a lot of work and required constant agility to cut sick. We all did some follow runs again with Louis' baller ass Audi and filmed some sections of the road, pretty much wrapped it up in a day and then head back to Skate House for some further lurking.

    Jackson's San Diego girlfriend Jackson's San Diego girlfriend "Pivot"

    The Downhill Divison's lone ranger heads to Vancouver tomorrow to play Nintendo, plus I think he is going to learn how to ice skate...should be fun.

    Building a custom Downhill Division board

    Building a custom Downhill Division board

    IMG_2657 Josh Rolf, the S9 Mad Scientist in his lab

    One of the good things about being part of a skate team means being able to have input in the design of boards, or even cut different shapes of existing boards to suit your needs. Since riding for Sector 9 I've always been a fan of taking their already sick shapes and just making small tweaks and adjustments to suit my style. As time passed and I tried all the different shapes and sizes available I started to get the feel for what works and what doesnt, and it was time start getting tech with re-shaping some boards to suit my personal needs.


    A stack of Roxannes in many different styles of concave

    Josh Rolf (Munkae Trucks) has been the local mad scientist here at Sector, he has had plenty of time and lots of free range to test shapes moulds and materials in order to create the best products for the team and customers, he always asked for input for board designs so I had a good sit down with him one arvo and talked about shapes and how we can take what's there and make it better. Recently Josh had given me a thicker Roxanne with extra fiberglass for full rigidity, I then later cut out the waist and re-shaped the tail and re-aligned the wheelbase further up the nose and created a slightly different ride. I was pretty stoked on this shape so I took it to Munkae and we traced it out to cut it on some other concave types.



    Tracing the custom shape onto the pressed blank 'taco cave'

    Josh had already pressed up and cut a bunch of Roxannes in different styles of concave, some with w-cave some with deep tub some with crazy taco concave, you name it was all there. We spent some time inspecting all the different styles and put in some notes to how we wanna make the next concave to suit this shape. For now I just chose a couple different styles to cut out so I could test and get the feel for.  


    Its not always just fun and games making skateboards, factory machinery are dangerous things!

    The first board was cut on the 'taco' concave with kind of pinches in towards the nose and tail for cutting out pintail shaped boards, but instead of cutting the shape from the middle of the pressed blank we loaded it further towards the front to give it more of a bowl up on the nose with still some good concave at the rear. The second board was a similar shaped concave but with a slight w that ran from full nose to tail and had an extra layer of fiberglass underneath to keep it super rigid. We did two slightly different cuts for each board just to give it a little bit of variation so we can find that nice middle ground.


    Custom Roxy with w-cave, slightly narrower profile


    Custom Roxy 9-ply, fatter nose taco-cave

    Over the next few days will be perfect for testing out the boards, going to sneak in a session with the Muir skate crew at one of the local runs (I was there helping shoot a video last time I was here, that hill is sick!) and then heading up to Santa Barbra to shoot some footage with Louis, Ross and Braden Tibbles.

    Jacko is touring again and he is in Puerto Rico ...

    Jacko is touring again and he is in Puerto Rico ...

    Ok here is the quick catch up. For Jacko, normal year is 20 countries in 6 months. We get amazing stories and tales right here on the Hopkin Skate blog but all that stopped early in 2012 because of an Aero helmet + a huge mountain + a big wind + a car coming in the opposite direction. Jacko mobbed Mt Ruapehu and got blown off course and into a car. Sidelined for 2012, it has been a hard 12 months. That is all old news my friends. Jacko is back and doing what he does best, rabble raising around the world and skating mountains you can only dream about, and partying in places your mum will not approve of. Jacko has been sending me stuff and for one reason or another, I've been slack and not putting it on the blog. There will be a few articles in the next 24 hours from Jacko, catching up on all the news. I have an absolute screamer of a race report in the works. Look out for that one. I can't post it yet, Jacko's gotta set the scene... Mr Shapiera, tell everyone where you are; Over 48 hrs travel, to wake up in paradise. Sydney to LA, LA to NY, NY to San Juan. I arrived in Puerto Rico at about 1am, head touched pillow at about 3am, woke up the next day at 1pm to realise we are staying in a tropical paradise, 10 mins from epic surf beaches and sick hills. First thing first wake up with a swim, why walk down to the pool, jump off the fucken balcony yo! In Puerto Rico with Jacko with a balcony jump 

    Nice and chill day, no skating just setting up the event, practice was the previous day but with open traffic, stoked I wasn't a part of that! More updates follow. Today we enjoy the Caribbean!

    IGSA Mt Keira World Cup day one videos

    Here are a few videos from Day one practice session. Simple phone videos with Jacko voice overs. The track was wet, it was slippery. The days results are up on ASRA. Louis Pilloni was the fastest today followed by P Swiss. Best placed Aussie is Ben Hay sitting third. Yatesy is 9th and Cam is 17th. Lea is the top placed woman qualifier and is sitting 56th in the open which damn fine for her first IGSA race! Hopkin Racing team has never been better placed in a world cup event. Adam Yates, Mischo, Dalua and Switzer all cruise past in this practice run. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 practice  Steez corner followed by faceplant and Tony Graves inspecting the haybales. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 practice with Tony Graves Rob McWhinnie shows us how to crash into the haybales. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 practice with Rob McWhinnie  Louis Pilloni shows us the right way to crash into hay bales. IGSA Mt Keira race Day 1 and crashing with Louis Pilloni

    N-Tense D-Centz Day 4: Dawg, Jacko and the new team Jedus

    The continuing story of Dawg and his quest for hills thrills and spills Words by Mr Adam Yates esquire Word of the Day: "Tu Meke" (too mek eh) - Too Much The main plan was to get to Jacko in Hamilton by mid arvi. Usual runtime time in the morning eh. The crew are getting it down, so it all just runs pretty smooth, we're getting it organised reasonably early. Today we're chasing a road that never been sk8d on the other side of Lake Rotorua. For those that are familiar with Makara, it was to be like it! exciting!!! yeah, aghhhh, not really. Mondo rough and not anything really that exciting. Don't knock me though. still sick to be out on the road n turning wheels. Wake up and Roll ya know!! yew!! So we been learning maori words for the last two days. Bodhi's doin a hell job throwin down the local knowledge. Today's Maori word was "Tu Meke". it means too much. Yesterday's word was "Waka"(waa ka). This one I liked. It is simply the vessel that gets you from A to B. That be anything that transports your arse, e.g.: LONGBOARD or Canoe? Hamilton, again for me, but the for the Tour was to be their first visit to see the man and how he'd pulled up from his surgery. I'm sooo glad that he's got his mumzi here. Made his stay a great deal more homely I'm sure, yeah mumzi!! Lea had gone out and got Jacko a rad caramel mud cake and 23 shitty poof candles. yew!! Reckon he had no worries smashing the lot! ha. Off to Whangamate ( funga-mada) for the night. 90 minutes North of Hamilton. On the way we passed through a town called Tirua, aka "Tin town". Everything here was tin. Tin dawg, tin sheep, tin car, tin flowers. Token ozzi, Shazza (ville) has taken the challenge of makin rad words out of Concrete Wave stickers. Team JEDUS is born with everyone getting one of Shazza's DIY creations. Shitty weather has set in. nooooo. I'm really hoping that the weather clears up. Headin up the north I think we're in for some clearer weather and smoother roads. Talks been about this hill, Coromandel. meant to be pretty sweet, butter smooth and a heap of turns eh, can't wait. Lets hope the rain gods are on our side and they'll allow mondo jedus stoke sessions to take place. Bodhi again has hooked up the accommodation at a backpackers and smashing some grub Bucko's, the local pub with grub n cold beer. Please rain gods, let us see the sun an some blue skies, meke aroha ( much love). Dawg