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    Beat the Bastard 2013 da third

    Beat the Bastard 2013 da third

    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.

    ado Ado: raisin cash for Camp Quality

    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.

    Yatesy leading a charge down Mt Stuart Yatesy leading a charge down Mt. Stuart

    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.

    Mt Stuart's beautiful curves Mt. Stuart's beautiful curves

    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.

    Millsy on the cripple couch Millsy on the cripple couch

    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.  

    Beat the Bastad Video

    scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll   scroll Happy Birthday Dubers

    Duber's birthday on tour Duber's birthday on tour

    Cali-steezification by Jacko - part one

    Cali-steezification by Jacko - part one

    Mr. Shapiera has been a bit quiet, which means only one thing, he's passed out on a couch or he is rippin' hill with crew. You're in luck hopbloggers, Jacko has some tales to tell... Last two weeks have flown by pretty quick, after such hectic adventures in the land of Pukka Rico, the mode changed to somewhat lurk mode and consisted of some fun times skateboarding in Cali and then up to the Great White North on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island in B.C. (Hop's note: you dont get all the stories in one blog, one each day!) First day wake up at Skate House and it took a good couple hours till anyone was really animated to do much, then as people started getting bored of being bored the general consensus at Skatehouse is to go skate, probably Malibu, probably one fishy canyon most people talk (and dream about). It's been a while since I've actually done some fast free riding stuff, my leg is still building up strength and riding the Cali roads is a good workout. Lots of tight divvy turns and which requires lots of agility to handle smoothly so it was safe to say I wasn't going to be charging hard with the boys, just taking it easy and enjoy the ride. I managed to squeeze out two runs just hack slashing my way down the hill with each carve (fuck this going backward shit) before both legs turned to jelly.

    Same question at the top of every hill...anyone got a skate tool? Same question at the top of every hill...anyone got a skate tool? And da panorama  

    As per every trip to Cali comes a trip to San Diego to visit the boys at Sector 9. As per my last post I started working on new board designs with Josh Rolf and some variations of concaves and shapes and hope to produce a new babe for the DH Division lineup. I'm thinking Scarlet might be a good name for her.

    Mega mini ramp Mega mini Muir Skate ramp

    Other good news from the Sector hood is that big man Dude Bro Jeff Budro is getting married! Dudebro and Sarah are gonna tie the knot soon and already got a lil chick grommy on the way. While down in the hood, I actually managed to get some riding in on the local hills, funnily enough this is the first time I've been in San Diego and gone out to hit some hills. Previous times were just short trips to the Sector Pad and then bounce back to LA, and last time I was here was with a busted leg so it was just swimming n lurking.

    Infamous headless ghost skater in the Breadbowl Infamous headless ghost skater in the Breadbowl

    As soon as I had one of the new shapes cut out and graphed ready to skate we peaced out down to a spot by the beach called Blacks for a sweet skid session on a gated road. Super butter pavement with two nice big hairpin bends, no cars and it rolls right down to one of the surf breaks. Sector has shot many a videos here either short clips for products or team riders videos, its a sick place to skate and has a great vibe to it.

    Blacks Blacks Butter

    Jeff and I did a quick night shoot there for the packaging shot for the new Lightning Gloves, he had me skate in the pitch black and bust a big toeside slide right into the flash. Was pretty hectic coz they wanted the DHD Predator on it too, and I didn't have a clear visor. Needless to say I couldn't see shit. Got a bit hectic on one shot and just half assed the slide due to lack of vision and got pitched over the top and slapped the road pretty hard, one of those super gumbo moves at slow speed. Got the shot in the end and called it a night.

    Jacko's frickin awesome flash photo coming to glove packaging near you soon Jacko's helmet GoPro footage from the photo shoot!

    Come back tomorrow, Jacko goin skatin' with Muir, then pot hole surf in Santa Barbara all while looking busy in the Skatehouse.

    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!

    The Wild West Outlaw

    The Wild West Outlaw

    The Wild West Out law In the back country, far from Sydney's busy streets and surrounded by dirt roads, bush land and farms, BenBro and Duddy  had found a long sweeping downhill run, starting in butter and ending in chunder. The ideal location for Australia's end of year outlaw to rule all outlaws. Maga has been looking forward to more Aussie races since we got back from the Euro tour mid year, after hitting 3 world cups and mobbing mountain roads like you wouldn't believe, coming home and racing footpaths and alleys just didn't cut it. I've been riding as many different styles as possible lately, moving from board to board, getting out on the my custom DH setup from Fibretec  is always a step up, speed and concentration mixed with thrill and risk. The wild west hill would test you on all accounts and with riders travelling from around the whole country to race, it would only take one slip up to possibly ruin your day. When we left on the race morning, we drove up some nasty back road, 4wd stuff, we pushed on and with a little following the nose we came across the butter smooth tar that only teased you at the top of the run. NACCOS where there setting up hay bales and cleaning the track, we pulled up to find Yates, Kam, Duber and the rest chilling on the final corner, big hugs all round and a quick catch up over a safety  meeting, Maga wanted to check the gnar hairpin that followed the chunder straight, so we walked up and had a closer look at what would be a pinnacle point of the race, Mustard came hauling through the left hander already getting it dialled, the steep straight into the hairpin had a unskateable entire left hand lane, it was full of craters and forced the riders to use only the right lane, the apex was late into the corner too and with exit speed imperative you had to stay wide and chop it like it was your job.


    sector 9 bus captain Bruce de Graf"

    The sector9  bus from the hopshop arrived, piloted by bruiser and stack to the rafters with speed hungry groms shitting their pants after seeing the bigboys course they were about to suit up and race on. You wouldn't  believe it but I've  have never had to race against Maga in a DH, BenBro started the day with a 5 round robin Qualify session that would seed you into a 32man single elim format after lunch, the round robin was a excuses  for practice on the hill but also race practice with other riders, 1st round comes and Maga is suited up and ready to race we barely realise that we are in the same heat and it wouldnt be the last for us racing together on the day.


    high speed style from Maga

    I've got my game face on and so does she, after the push off you pick up speed really fast, its butter smooth and seems to get steeper, the corner drifts left before rallying to the right, you can't see around the corner and grabbing rail your other hand is floating over the inside scrub as you need to keep the line tight, the exit pinches back to the left and after accelerating through the corner you get dragged to the outside edge, trees fly by as you push 80km/h and the g force kicks in as the road comes back up to level, at this moment your fairy tale run ends and a sudden slap in the face with chunder chip seals almost gives you a bleeding nose, you need to hold on and stay in tuck

    Kam killing it out in front"

    The quicker you can maintain across the rough the better chance you have, the road slowly risers up hill and over a right hand crest, the outside lane, the left lane was smooth around here, and even when racing hard you needed to remember it was faster too. i would have a chance now to get worried about maga. did she really make that? id check behind and have a look and SHIT YES there she was,  getting rattled to death on the chunder but still rolling. seeing her mobing hills was enough to stoke me out and calmed me down as i headed into the final section of the run. Shes been progressing well, surprising  me and impressing  others as she's  getting to more and more races and sessioning at  freerides.

    local shredder Caspian hanging out front while dominating Quals"

    After a solid morning session, and a good stack blowing my line around the big left hander and going bush bashing in my leathers, i had qualified equal first with Caspian. Maga Equal 16th with Penny, a solid result and a goal we have been aiming for a while. Making the cut in an OPENs event can be only half the challenge for a aspiring racer, and beating half the field is the way to do it. Benny and his lovely missus and prepared sandwiches  and put on a massive esky of beers, water and supplies, the 32 man tree meant everyone got to race, we had barely any traffic and had plenty of time thanks to JackBro being solid on the books and the sector9 bus running smooth. Dejan flying around the final corner while young rippers chase him down

    i had made it to the semis, bonus round guys, at this point you have raced all day and its only gonna get better, the first heat was all the grommies, Jayden, Dijon, Kelly  and Mail while the second heat was Yates, Kam, Chad  and myself. i was stoked on all the Hopkin boys holding tight and still in it, i wasn't really worried about the outcome and knew what happened  happens, i trusted everyone to not do anything stupid and the fastest rider would take the win, Kam pushed off hard like a mofo, made me wake up a bit, he was hungry hey, i slipped in behind him and we peaced out on the others until the left hander when Yates tried making a move, but when following me in he was was borked by a mad wobble  i got over the inside line and he lost control in the apex, kam was stoked in 1st and had momentum going into the finals,  dijan and kelly made it too,  so the Finals would be a Hopkin Race Team battle with Yates racing for 5th in the consi. BenBro hosted an awesome event, it was a great moment when i saw his face stoking out on all the boys making the finals, even though i knew he wanted to be here with us he was happy to just cheer us on as the bus drove back up the hill one last time. Lining up against your best of mates is one of the great times in DH racing for me, you spend so much time mobing hills with these guys and jaming out on monster runs its hard not to be stoked when we get a whole race hill to our selves. [caption id="attachment_4333" align="aligncenter" width="618" caption="one very tight run with yates and myself"]one very tight run with yates and myself

    I wasnt gonna let Kam beat me off the push this time and dejan has smoked me off the start line before so i had to be ready to attack and take them by surprise. off the push Kam shot off and i had to dig deep to slap the foot down hard and fast, i heard the other guys stop pushing and threw an extra one or two big ones, i had the lead and kam was sniffing my arse, but now i was in the lead i could drive the car, i needed to cover my line and drive it home. as we hit the chunder i felt a small push from kam, i was hoging the smooth lane so he wasnt able to pass, hahahha, we mobed over the crest and now kelly and dejan where both drafting us too, we entered the steep section before the big left hander and dejan came up on kam and gave him a push now kam wasn't going to push me again so he moved up on my outside as we entered the corner, we looked at each other and judged our speed and entry line, i was about to get shafted as he moved in closer so a friendly shove kept us at arm's length,  we dove in faster than ever and it was too tight, we were going to lose traction, but who would lose speed? i had some hectic proto type wheels on ,over  100mm contact patch, 75a with 99a core ( thanks Jacko and old mate at S9 ), i had trusted them to not float off and they didnt disappoint,  Kam kept drifting and i griped up and ripped it, all the way out to the apex and down to the final right sweeper, Dejan and kelly got bucked off and both dislocated their shoulders some how, shit eh. Kam followed us in and the celebrations began before we crossed the line.

    ash maga and alix taking the girls podium.

    Maga won the girls too and had a great time doing so, we havnt been so stoked from a race for a very long time and will remember that weekend for a while yet.

    hopkin race team, Dejan - Rob - Kam and kelly grom

    I'd like to thank BenBro and family, Duds, duber, PC, bruiser, Ryan, jackbro, all of NACCOS and every volunteer that made the event possible also the sponsors that supported the event, Sector9 Australia sent riders down from Qld and forked out $$$ to get Sydney groms to from the race in the event bus. also Otang, Glyde, Oneliner and Hopkin for helping out sponsering the event. and all my personal sponsers especially Fibretec for helping me build a board that i can win races on, Kahalani for trucks when i want to go fast, Riptide Bushings to stay stable and Hopkin Skate for everything else. these are rad days il remember for a long time. all photo credits to Astrid Carey, thank you for donating your time and skill. -Rob.