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
Words by Yatesy DAY 5 How to put this. best place ever. Yeah Julia for hookin us up with the hell pad. such a comfy base called home even if it was for a few days, ur home was ours and we treated it as such!! Journey north to Ruapehu. what a day. the crew hit the road early with the kitchen a cookin in town of wellington. best bakery pie and sanga combo ever and a quick stop over for the boys to get rugged up at campers paradise before the journey to Mordor! Best way to describe the trip is one of Gabes earlier photos. A to B on NZ roads- allow more time. We certainly took the long way and that was no more pronounced than the drive that took us through Rimutaka Mountain Pass. Wet as hell, bendy as and just as tight as a rich man's wallet. A lil too gnar to turn wheels so enjoy we did from the comfort of the IMAX. Man this truly was the country of Hobbits eh. Furns, Waterfalls and all things mondo kuzzi styles. All we needed was a few Kiwis and Moa's to be shreddin the shit with us. Co pilot for the journey Benbro and I felt the need to share the stoke with a Tui or two. oioi! Ok so now we'd been driving for the best part of 6 hours and all everyone wanted to do was turn wheels and get hella pitted on Mt Ruapehu. Stopped at a gas station to fill up and get our munch on as its been a SAFE journey as always. Can never be too safe eh. Especially on roads your unfamiliar with. I asked the Luvvi at the gas station what the mountain was doin. her reply was " see that cloud au, its behind there and blowing like mad bro" haaaaaa. again. too much chur bro kuzzzi tafe eh!! Anyways, full of treats but slightly devod we journeyed into the sun of the afternoon to look upon Mordor and its heavy clouds. booooooo. Benbro was shattered. I was too. I'm sure just quietly everyone wanted to see all its glory, not hidden behind the weather. Turn right into the Whakapapa Village and Mordor was there in all her glory. Still she had a cover of cloud on the lid but the landscape was that of the moon. Rocks and nothing but lumps and bumps. So to the road. Butter pavement again and NO straights, just mondo turn after hectic hell super grip fun as f&ck turns yo!! Thing I've been leaving out is the wind! Try in the ball park of 50-60knt ( 120-130k/p/h) and blowing down her tight tidy curves. After a few runs down with the boys, Gabe, Benbro, Jack, Bondi, Myself and Luca all had our jedus running full tilt. Nothing sets off the flow than skidding down one of the most epic roads in the world with a tailwind of 120kms?? CRAZY??? Stayed at the top of Ruapehu in some dorms that Bodhi and Speedy hooked up. Mate, hats off to u two. U really got the Crew sorted in some hell accommodation. Anyone thinking of N-tense D-centz tour for 2013, DO IT. GET ER DONE EH!!!! these boys run it proper. Hell feed cook up by Kuzzi Ash, rounds of beer pong and some beats, need less to say it was good times! DAY 6 --- DAY 1 of the N-tense D-centz It was to be an early rise with the excitement of a whole day of sk8in Mt Ruapehu. the whole crew were buzzing. the conditions were sunny and dry but still hella windy. Not the intensity of the previous afternoon but the gusts were still ferocious none the less. A quick bite to eat and a stretch and punters were getting stoked and it wasn't long before the call was made. Speedy got us into gear and Bodhi warmed the bus. Here it was, Day 1 of the tour and what a place to be. Standing with all ya buddies on top of a volcano, stoked on the ride ahead. An unfortunate turn of events was just around the next bend, literally. As I stated earlier, the gusts were violent and the unpredictable nature of them was to be the undoing of my brother, a true soldier, Jacko Shapiera. As he puts it, he was coming into the top section not really feeling it. He didn't feel comfortable and as he took a long sweeping left turn, a violent gust held him off his apex and forced him to put it into a slide with no chance of controlling the apex and eventually drifting into oncoming traffic. Lucky for Jack that the driver had seen the events unfolding on the road in front and slowed nearly to a stop, minimising impact. I was around 150 metres behind and didn't see the impact but to come around the bend to see ya wingman looking back at ya - words were not needed here to know how he was feeling and the unfortunate result of the accident. A true professional as always, Jacko controlled himself in a manner that was a lil un-natural. He was calm. Portraying himself as a professional, even under these unforgiving circumstances. The 1st response team for the mountain were quick in getting a splint on and the particular things they do in an emergency. They called St Johns and he was off to hospital for x-rays and a cast. This wasn't the final trip for the man today. A total of 3 and a half hours in the back of ambulances, 15mgs of morphine and 4 bottles of what the docs call " jungle juice" and we were at Hamilton and Waikato Hospital. After being emitted into the E and A, Jack went in for surgery to re-correct a sever compound fracture to the Tibia/Fibia bones of his right lower leg. I cannot begin to describe the emotion that we shared on the way to the hospital. Words sometimes are just for those involved. I will say, I love Jacko like a brother, he's like blood. Kindred. This was to be a massive year for Jackson Shapiera and to have it all taken away in one powerful stroke from the hand of god just seems cruel. There must be different plan for Jacko this year. Whatever it may be I'm sure it will be GREAT and to say that Jacko will be a serious contender when he gets back from rehabilitation is a warning to the world. This guy does things right and usually gets what he wants. Bro, anything, anytime. U holla at ya wingman eh! Open letter from Rob and Maga McWhinnie to Jacko Maga: Accidents are going to happen, its all part of the sport and the risky life style we live. It could happen to you or the person you love the most. Jacko my friend, you are probably surprised and devo'd, from my experience I can tell you time flies, if you keep yourself busy and open to opportunities, wounds heal if you give them the right care and when some doors close many others open for more positive adventures. Acostambo got Rob and me closer and we had the trip of a life time, Rob became a talented filmmaker, I started skating and fell in love with the speed and adventure and we realized that accidents are part of sport but also part of our life. If we decide to learn from them, we could get many other fantastic adventures and grow up in life. Experiences are the direct way to learn and make us wise. love ya jackson, Maga Rob: Jackbro, I'm shocked and still coming to terms with what you've done, I logged online last night to upload a video about returning to Acostambo, where I destroyed my leg years ago and found that you too had destroyed yours, funny timing, I hope you watch the movie and see my perspective, how things like this make and create us and direct our lives. A huge thanks to the rest of the team that helped you to hospital and gave you support when you needed it. I'm sure all of you are a bit rattled by the events and I think a team safety meeting is in order to recap and rethink the year ahead. Jacko you will be dearly missed from Kiera and Newtons. you are our coach and leader and I hope your continue to inspire us and push us to be better riders. See you home soon bro, Rob
Before I post the big one, I have to catch up and tell you a tale by Gabe that landed in my inbox. There will be a few posts today, be patient, I'll get to them all in the next hour. It will become apparent fairly quick why there has been no NZ blog posts the last 48 hours. Words by Gabe Gwynne We awoke late on Sunday morning, some had decided to hit the town the night before and it was pretty late in the day before we rounded the whole crew into the van and off to the slide jam that had been mentioned at the race the day before. The prospects were looking good as we rolled up into the suburban estates of North Wellington. But as we neared the top it became apparent that the hill was copping a gnarly headwind....FUUUUUUCK! After a handful of full tuck slide hill runs [yes, you literally had to tuck into each slide] Team Hopkin decided to not be a part of the competition. We chilled and jammed down the hill while the local groms battled it out for domination of the full tuck slide hill. After a solid couple of hours of jamming the hill, the winners were announced. In first place was young Luke Steezy Scott, the kid was killing it all day with his smooth toeside 180's and switch checks. Just behind him with pretty much equal steeze was Ryan MacMillan. Unfortunately we forgot the name of the dude who got 3rd, he was a tiny grom in a red shirt who was ripping mega monkey heel styles down the hill with some serious balls. Whoever you were little grom dude, you were rad! After a few full runs of the estate the jam was held on, we jumped in the van and followed the convoy of cars to a skatepark a few minutes down the road. As we came around the corner and saw the park there was an eruption of frothing and general stoke. I had never seen a park like this before, every single bank had a perfect transition for getting pitted on a longboard. The banks were massive, flowy and smooth and to make it even better there was a goddamn bomb INTO THE PARK! You could pick how far up the hill you wanted to bomb in from for ultimate pittage. After a quick jam I decided to chill in the sun and take some shots of the boys ripping it up - hope you like them!