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      Hop Podcast #6 - Brennan Bast and skating at 140kph (87mph)

      Brennan Bast, known as Bassi to skaters, is one of the fastest skaters in the world and the nicest bloke you will ever meet. Everyone's mate, a gentlemen to the core. 

      As a race organiser (Newtons and Mt Keira) I have a special love for Bassi, he always haybales. Literally Bast has handled every haybale the last two years at Newtons... all 900 of them, twice! He is usually perched on top of the truck, throwing bales off, or catching and stacking them. 

      I have been wanting to interview him for a long time, because he was in that legendary IDF World Cup final at Mt Keira in 2016. He was on the podium at Arirang Hill and Kozakov in 2017, finished 7th in the world in 2017!

      We are haybaling at Newtons, putting bales on a truck, cleaning the track, an hour earlier Bassi has just come 2nd in the Open Downhill final, and now he is throwing haybales like they are pillows. During a break, I take the opportunity to interview Brennan, while the race is still fresh in his memory. You can hear Rob McWhinnie in the background sliding his double kick on Forest Elbow.  

      First up apologises for the poor quality, but please give it a listen, there is some good stories in the interview. First 10 minutes is the Newtons interview. Then I do a phone interview for another 20 minutes. I was not using a microphone, so the sound is a bit tinny. I was recording it via my iPhone voicemail, but Telstra would only give me 5 minute long recordings. So you'll notice every 5 minutes there is a awkward edit, which is me stitching the audio together. 

      What do we talk about?

      The final at Newtons, what happened?

      The Top Speed Challenge and Bassi skating over 140 km per hour!! What was that like and we get a real and raw answer.

      Photo credits to Harfang wheels (you can buy them here)

      The wet Arirang Hill race this year? How dangerous was the bottom section? How did Bassi make rain wheels for 30% of the competitors! 

      We talk about Mt Keira in 2016, and how he got 2nd at Kozakov (hint a satisfying pass on Carlos at the finish).

      Who is the best downhill skater in Australia at the moment? 

      Can Thiago be beaten at Kozakov?

      If you are new to downhill, a young person starting out, Bassi has lots of tips for you. The most important aspect you need to learn. How he got into downhill, and it was a long grind of an apprenticeship with Ado at Mt Stuart. 

      Bassi's shout outs were:

      Ado at cr8ive sk8
      Zak Maytum
      Darkspeed gloves
      Ronin Trucks
      Black Mamba
      Vultur helmets
      IDF the world downhill sanctioning body

      Thank you for listening. You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes
      Podcast home is here on the website 

      Find us on your favourite podcast player (we like Overcast) by searching "JAMES HOPKIN".

      Suggestions, comments, requests to be interviewed, please use form on the podcast page


      IDF is the future, it will not be on TV, it's online

      I suppose I have been warming up for this blog post. A lot has happened since we all poured our souls online, crashed my server, and talked about IGSA World Championships and the future of our sport. I'm not going to focus on negatives here. I'm not going to talk about the past. This is about the future.  This about moving forward and the best thing for the sport of Downhill. IDF has been formed because of the need for openness and the right structure to take this sport forward and to continue to grow. From behind the scenes, I have watched this come together. What I have seen has amazed me. One morning, in the Hopshop, I saw a Skype call between 4 people, in 4 different countries on 3 different continents. Sharing, collaborating, and working together. No politics. No egos. One goal. It affirms my belief that the future of this sport resides with you the skateboarders, not a single company or person. As a group we can change the world. We can create the sport we want. It's success or failure will be determined by our resolve and our community collaboration. Few sports get the chance to redesign themselves from the ground up. We respect our past but we are not beholden to it in a way it will stifle our future. The IDF is democratic. It is run by the skaters for the skaters. It will reflect you: the skateboarder, the competitor, the event organiser, the skateboard industry. Whether you agree or disagree there is one thing that is resolute. The IDF is a structure that allows it's members to create amazing work and be part of a global community. We skate as individuals. We compete as individuals but collectively we are part of one group, one community and one journey. I like to think what we do today will effect future generations. I want to be apart of something that will amaze everyone, not just fellow competitors on top of the hill. I want to be part of something that changes the way the world sees international sporting federations. In no other time in history have a group of strangers from around the world, related only by a sport, have been so closely connected by technology. It is time to use what we have to create what we need. The first step is the launch of the new IDF website.

      There are sections that you find on every website. Frequently Asked Questions and About Us. The fun parts are designed to inspire and let you participate. These are the groups. Not all these groups are for the general public. The IDF Surf Board is for board members. Event Organisers: Is an area for IDF and aspiring IDF event organisers to collaborate and share. Club Lounge: Is a group for national associations to get IDF help and also for sporting bodies to affiliate with the IDF. Industry Corner: is for the skateboard industry to communicate with the IDF about opportunities and concerns. Rider's Garage: Gives riders a way to talk to the IDF via their riders rep. A few of these groups can be read without signing up. However, if you want to collaborate, share, build the downhill community, you need to be a member. As you can see from the badge below, I have signed up and paid for my membership. I'll see you online, because... the IDF website is now live. Visit IDF - International Downhill Federation