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    Landyachtz 2017 range - what is new, gone, and evolved

    Landyachtz 2017 range - what is new, gone, and evolved

    The Landyachtz range is divided up into these main categories: Mini cruisers, cruisers, downhill / freeride and hybrid.  What makes each Landyachtz catalogue interesting is what has evolved, and what gets dropped. There is such a diverse range of boards, sometimes hard decisions have to be made, like dropping a board that might have a small cult following. This year those boards look to be the Rippleridge and the Peacemaker. Stay with us, we'll go through the whole range and let you know what is new, what is gone, what has evolved and give a brief review of the decks as we go.

    First, lets look at what is new

    New for 2017

    The new board everyone is talking about is the Stratus. Like most of longboard companies, Landyachtz sniggered at the Loaded Dancer, snubbed the growing scene and then thought Sh$% there are a lot of skaters doing freestyle, we better get on that!!
    That is not what really happened, I'm just poking fun. But there are a lot of "mainstream" longboard companies making "dance" boards now :-) 

    Landyachtz do a lot of testing, I'm assuming the hollowtech is up to the brutal treatment of a freestyle dancer. These boards look good. With team members like Steven Vera, these boards have been developed the right way. 

    Check these boards out, Stratus comes in two flavours: Standard and Super Flexy

     

    Mini Cruisers

    Mini cruisers are probably Landyachtz most popular series of boards. The last few years they have just nailed an awesome mini cruiser. Deck, graphics, trucks and wheels have all been on point. I think there biggest strength is the wheels, the Hawgs they use are a fun wheel, stick in a carve but you can break them out and do a slide if you want. The wheels have been so popular they have been released as a standalone product: 63mm Fatty Hawgs and 70mm Fatty Hawgs 

    The range of cruisers is much the same this year. Choose from 24 inch Dinghy, 26 inch dinghy, or the classic 28.5 inch Dinghy. There is just one Tugboat this year called the Dog Temple. The Dodger range introduced in 2016 is still there in a 28 inch and 32 inch long board.

    Dog Temple Tugboat skateboard cruiser

    The Tugboat (image above) is that classic 80's style skateboard. It is 9 inch x 30 inch. The classic dimension is 10 inch wide, but 9 inch is perfect, not too wide, still makes it light to get around on, you can hit up your local skatepark and look good commuting there. It is a modern concave, mild, small nose and a big kicktail. 

    The Dodger series is quite unique. I would call it a European inspired longboard. In Europe a lot of skateboard design came out of the ski industry. So their cruiser decks and slalom decks looked like cut down ski decks = long and skinny. Landyachtz call them 1970s inspired. The Dodgers are only 6.8 and 7.75 inch wide, but they are 28 and 32 inch long. The front truck is close to the nose so this gives them a big wheelbase. They will skate like a bigger board, not a squirrely as a smaller board, so you can do big deep carves, get a bit of pumping going, much like a slalom board. You get the best of both worlds, smaller lighter board that skates like a bigger board...if that makes sense.

    Graphics really make and break a board in this range. Two most popular boards from last year are still there: Growler and Birds. The Birds graphic is just amazing, the bottom graphic flows into the top graphic with clear grip, it just a beautiful board.

    New to the range is the Hatchet Birds, using the same type of Birds graphic. Looking for the best flat land push/dance deck money can buy? You are looking at it. Maple construction, flared for bigger wheels, twin kick, symmetrical, wheels that will give a bit to help catch a shuvit. When you retire this deck, it will look good hanging on the wall. 

    Although Landyachtz foundation is based on young men doing crazy downhill stuff, and generally setting the world on fire, they have expanded out the range to appeal to women. Women should be 50% of skaters, so where are the boards designed for them? You'll see the mini cruiser range is not all about skulls and beers. There are some obvious male opinionated graphics, nothing insulting, but there are also patterns, colours that will appeal to women. The boards also are reflecting women's style, the above hatchet is an example.  

    Graphics good or bad or just average? You want more skulls? Or a request for a reissue of old graphics, like the Hot Sauce graphic from a few years ago! Let us know what you think in the comments area below.

    Cruisers

    These are the bigger boards, the most boards have been dropped out of this part of the catalogue, you probably wont notice. There is now only two boards over 40 inches: the Pinner and the Totem. Both OG boards. Decks no longer available are the fibreglass versions of the long pintails. Probably a good move, anyone looking for a 44 inch pintail probably wants nothing but bamboo and maple.

    Some of Landyachtz most popular boards are in the cruiser range. The Battle Axe 35 and 40 are both still there. Nothing has changed, just a graphics update, there would be rioting in the streets if they changes these boards. If anything, the concave is a bit milder. There is no W anymore, if it is there, it is very subtle.  There is a bit of flex in the deck, which makes it a bit more fun to push and carve on. 

    There have always been good value top mounts, very under rated. In 2016 it was the Stout, Malahat, and Ripper boards. This year there are two ripper boards, A maple ripper and a bamboo ripper. Simple, functional longboards. 

    My two favourite boards in this category are the Mini Chief Floral and the Fibreglass Mummy.


    The Mini Chief Floral is a 36 inch long pintail. How awesome is that? It's the perfect pintail, set up to cruise, push and enjoy. Not too big. Brilliant graphic that extends over to the griptape. Super fun pintail for quiver, or a great first board to start a quiver.


    The Mummy has been missing for a few years. There has been a few decks about, but Landyachtz have brought it back in 2017 as a complete. This board is an excellent city cruiser or commuter. It is a skateboard size with a longboard wheelbase, so it feels like a longboard when you skate it. The wedged nose adds an extra zip to the front truck. wide platform give you lots of room. After a week of skating this board, you'll be ready for the pedestrian slalom championships...that's going to be an Olympic sport right? 

    We have to move on, there are so many good boards in the cruiser section, do yourself a favour, check them out if you are in the market for a good all round longboard.

    Downhill and Freeride

    Although Landyachtz have an impressive range, it is all built on their core product: downhill and freeride boards. For twenty years they have cut their teeth designing and making boards that go fast downhill, bending wood that defies logic, and surprising everyone year after year with innovation. 

    Losers first: this is what has been dropped. No Mini Wolfshark, no Charlie Horse, no hollowtech Switchblade in 36 or 38. Which is a real surprise, I would have thought the 38 would be the most popular size, it is in the maple series. 

    This is just speculation, I have not questioned anyone at Landyachtz, but there are rumours Landyachtz are going to change how they release boards. There will be more boards released throughout the year, not all in one drop in March/April. The mainstream boards might all be released at the start of the year for the tradeshows, and so skateshops can pre-book the easy winners. The core downhill/freeride decks, as a niche market, they get revised and new boards released in the second half of the year. We'll see if that is how 2017 plays out. In the meantime, if you want a hollowtech Switchblade, there is only 40 inch, there might be a few 2016 Switchblade 36 inch decks left if you are quick.

    All the OG boards are still there. Evo, Switch, Nine Two Five etc.

    The only real change seems to be the Osteon. It's concave has been upgraded from medium to deep. We tried to compare 2016 and 2017 but we sold the last of our 2016 stock before the 2017 arrived. Below is Billy Bones in action on the Osteon.

    In the world of hollowtech, the Tomahawk gets the nod and gets a hollowtech model. There is a maple version and new hollowtech. It is such an under rated deck, one of our favourites, so good to see there are other skaters out there that love it too. Both decks have the same dimensions, 39 inch long, multiple wheelbases, deep concave. 

    Honourable mention goes to this year's Wolf Shark with the original graphic, you can read more about that here 

     

    The Hybrids

    I'll just say it as it is...the Rippleridge and Peacemaker are gone. In my opinion, dropping the Peacemaker was a mistake. There is nothing like it out there. 32 inch x 9.5 inch. Modern single kick, maple with wheel flares so you can rock bigger wheel. Lets all take a moment and pause in silence, remember the thane that was dumped in their honour. Where to now? Truncated Tesseract? Omen Shred Puppy? Rayne Darkside? Or maybe something like an Elephant BBQ Session? A debate for the next campfire.

    New boards are: Presidente, Perfecto and Laguito. These sort of replace the Loco series. Only come as completes in Australia. Skateboard wheelbase (14) and bear trucks and Chubby Hawgs. Not trying to put them down, they are a popicle version of the Dinghy. Probably a good move on Landyachtz part, they are marketing them as the All Terrain Vehicle. They sold out fast in Australia, so skaters love them.   

    That's it, that's all I got. Landyachtz put out an awesome catalogue this year, in the form of a newspaper. We gave out heaps of them at Newtons, and we'll do a limited catalogue mail out for newsletter subscribers.

    What is not included in our Landyachtz catalogue, and we have not mentioned is the wheel range for 2017. The new range has not arrived in Australia yet, we'll do a blog post about the changes when they arrive. Basically all the harder duros have been dropped (nothing harder than 82a), and Street Hawgs have been changed to Adanac, Cordova and Venables.  

    Here is a sneak peak...

     

    It's the end of the world IGSA and do I feel fine?

    Sorry this looks like it will be a long blog post. First to Jacko words from Calgary: Such a boring day, everything took so long to happen. Things got a little bit out of hand at the end of the day when it was 4.30 pm and they haven't even started the downhill skateboarding finals. The riders were in an up-roar. Things were running so slowly for no reason. In the end the skaters took over. We rallied together and ran our own heats. I was at the top ready to walk down the track filming the finals but as nothing was happening, I was lurking at the top for a good 2 hours waiting for something to happen and watching all the skaters start to get a little anxious as to why everything was running so slowly. In the end the crew had enough, Kevin was stepping up and telling the guy on the start line to pull his shit together and start acting like the guy at the top, get the heats ready and prompt the rest of the track to get ready for racing. There were too many chiefs, not enough indians. Everyone wanted things to happen but it just slowed things down and no one was really focusing on getting things done quick. Kevin and I got our loud voices together and rallied all the skaters up in their heats and put them on the start line and then just started running the heats ourselves. They were running coloured arm bands to distinguish which rider was which (which was kind of pointless as every rider had numbers on their helmets) but there were not enough bands to go around. The general consensus was the honor system - if you did not come 3rd or higher, just go sit down. If you crashed in your heat and you're going to lose, get off the track. All the riders agreed on these terms and racing got under way. Because of the lack of arm bands I guess the IGSA wigged out and couldn't get it together. James Kelly was getting through rounds and was put down as out within the first few heats, when someone called Roger Jones was getting through. Riders were just sick of the fuck-arounds and just worked together to make sure everyone knew what heat they were in and who was in the next round. Once things got under way it all ran well like a machine, until 5.30 came along (about half way through round 2) and the chairlift was shut down for the day. DEEEERRRP. No we are back to shuttles, how fun. In the end the race got run and crew raced hard, James won the race and is now world champ, as you would have read in previous blogs, but right here I'm just describing the f around all the riders had to pay over $200 for. Here is what Kevin said on his Facebook page Hop's words: Watching the video from Australia, it was clear there was a problem. We were saw the skaters organizing themselves, Kevin standing up in front announcing something. Without any words to go with the pictures, I was joking, Kevin was asking if there was anyone here not on Aera flow?  We didn't realize it was a complete break down in race organisation, we just assumed it was an IGSA race organisation slow down, not melt down. I'm not an IGSA apologist but if a race organizer has problems, it is unfair to blame IGSA. Essentially IGSA is an umbrella organisation for a group of race promoters. I don't personally know all of them but I am assuming some are businessman, some are fellow racers and some are non profit organisations. The goal for all of them is to make money or to make a profit. Losing money is not a good business model, it has no future. Some promoters might say we aim to break even but there is always a small profit built in for those cost over runs. The biggest myth in this sport is the one that race organizers or IGSA are making lots of money. In Australia, ASRA closes a road down for three days, the budget is way over the $50,000 rider fees that can potentially be collected. If you start reducing budgets to increase prize money then it is the safety of competitors that will be compromised in the long term. It is not just poor organizers that lose money on events. ASRA was looking down the barrel of huge money loss at Mt. Keira this year but four sponsors stepped up and saved the day: Landyachtz, Loaded and JHS Distribution. Oh and the fourth sponsor was that place you will buy your next longboard at :-) I would like to say that Marcus Rietema is in my top 10 longboarding heroes. Our community and world would be a far different place without his dedication. Skaters say they would do this sport without getting paid, but guaranteed the top racers in the world would look very different if no one got prize money, no one got sponsor paid or flowed gear for the last 5 years. Marcus has essentially worked for a decade and not got paid. Yet he still smiling at every IGSA race, he does not dummy spit that media companies outside of our community don't see the value in what we do or if his organisation gets let down by amateur race promoters. Lets get real here. This is an amateur sport, run by volunteers. Aren't we all just faking it until we make it? You are not a professional sports person unless you can make enough money in your career to retire. Making money to pay the month's expenses is not my definition of pro. That is a job like working in a skateshop. How come IGSA gets the blame when an event is run poorly but the event organizer gets praised when it goes right? ASRA is sometimes held up as an excellent race organizer but IGSA never gets any credit. Double standards? Here is the problem. This sport can not rely on its own industry to support all the aspects for a world wide downhill competition. Brands such as Landyachtz are paying for racers equipment, travel expenses, then they are asked to pay for event sponsorship! There are plenty of other soft costs that never get accounted for, such as closing down a business so the staff can go volunteer or race at an event. This sport does not have a "boardshorts" product like the surfing industry, that is high margin and can be sold to the mainstream. Skateboarding does, it's called skate shoes but the skateboard brands ain't going to let longboarders or racers into that feeding trough unless they can dress the longboarder up as a street skater and leverage off something they are not involved in. Be careful for what you wish for. Going independent, and to be successful would mean no prize money for a few years. The reason ASRA is so successful is it is run by volunteers that don't get paid and who DON'T compete. ASRA essentially is a group of people from all parts of the community with a passion for skateboard racing. They bring those diverse skills together to make something happen. They also have thick skins that can tolerate abuse. They work stupid long hours, and give up a lot of personal time to make shit happen. Why kill something like IGSA that has so much history and goodwill behind it? If you design some trucks, make them and the axles keep bending do you kill the whole project, start a new company with a new name and try again? No, you do the evaluation and then redesign. What we have here, is a failure to communicate. If riders are not happy, they should get more involved in IGSA not start a new version of IGSA. IGSA and Marcus needs to be more flexible. This sport has evolved, it needs to change and make itself more relevant. It appears IGSA is designed around the notation of creating content for TV. There is no TV deal coming, what our community represents is everything TV is fighting against. Free online content. Our community and sport is like no other in the world. They have grown up on the internet, they consume more internet than anyone else because what they want to watch is not on TV so they use the internet to create the TV they want to watch. The genie is out of the bottle, it is not going back in. As a community, are we going to watch TV to see our sport? Think about where you were, what you were doing when Newtons was broadcast on Youtube or Calgary was broadcast on Ustream. We like content creators like Brian and Push Culture because we can consume our sport whenever we want. TV only works if we are willing to tune in at 7.30 pm on a Friday night to watch the sport. I don't care how cool you think you are, the audience for downhill is the million plus longboarders out there not Joe and Betty mainstream. It should be broadcast online, there should be mainstream sponsors like food, drink, and apparel because those million longboarders do consume. Race organizers need to understand when they are in over their head, they need to ask for help. What is so bad about competitors stepping it up and helping organize an event? Be the change you want to be. Competitors should stop expecting that their money buys them 24 hour concierge service at an event. There should be a riders representative at every event not to complain to but to organize some riders to help out. Riders should take more responsibility. At Newtons there was two volunteers dedicated to finding downhill riders for their race. How ridiculous is that! This blog post is not about blame. It is about pointing out that there are a lot of reasons why things go bad. I am not opposed to an independent tour. I actually think it is a good idea, something that is needed to give IGSA some competition and improve the overall scene. Destroying IGSA will only set the sport back 5 years of development. If the riders feel frustrated, I'm sorry to break the bad news to you, the pain will only get worse. As this sport grows, the grommets you laugh at will be the ones that reap the benefit of all this early pioneering. Rod Laver one of the greatest tennis players of all time made 1.5 million in prize money during his whole career, he was one of the first of the reap the benefit of the "open" or professional era. Over a decade later Borg was the first to win a million dollars in a season (1979). Fast forward 34 years: whoever wins the Australian Open next year will win over 2.3 million dollars, but it is all relative, sometimes even that is not enough.

    IGSA Mt Keira race report and videos

    I know it has been a few days, but here it is. It was an awesome weekend. The Sydney downhill scene grew up on Mt Keira. It is where the Hopkin Racing team honed their skills and introduced new riders to downhill. There has always been a dream to hold an event on this mountain. ASRA has spent nearly two years negotiating with Wollongong Council to get the event cleared and sanctioned. The commitment and dedication of a few has resulted in an amazing new track on the World Cup scene. However, all dreams need to be funded. There were three important sponsors: Ourselves (Hopkin Racing). Orangatang Wheels and Landyachtz longboards. Both those companies have gifted the Australian longboard community with a sponsorship deal that will stoke us for many years. It was a big ask and we are grateful for the support. The other people (skateboarding's power couple) that contributed and never get a mention is John and Christine from JHS Distribution, without their generous support we would not have had the capital to run Mt Keira. These events survive on a knife edge of funding. You want to know what happened. When I arrived on the mountain on Sunday morning, there was carnage. The road was slightly wet from the night, and the corners were slippery. Two big crashes affected the Hopkin Racing Team. Lea went down and dislocated her shoulder, and Luca crashed and smashed the back of his helmet. He was wearing the new Predator, and I have seen the helmet, the Predator saved his life. More on that later, but Luca hit his head at the worst position, at the back, the Predator absorbed the impact, the outer layer took the force and the shell remained in tact. As the morning progressed the track dried up. Mid morning the heats began and the racing was eye popping. What makes this track so great is the length and gradient. It is fast all the way, not too technical as you can rail all the corners with a bit of air braking, but it is long enough to create close tight races. The only surprises in the first round was how many Australian juniors were progressing. Particularly Dejan Djukic who quickly got the Striker nickname of "mustard". You know you have made it when Striker nicknames you! What was impressive about mustard was that he qualified for the final 64 by winning through the repechage rounds. He would only be stopped by the Arbor team riders James Kelly and Duke Degen in the quarters. Who else kept racing all day was young gun Will Morphett. He also progressed via the repechage and got knocked out in the quarter finals. Can you imagine the nerves of steel this guy had, raced for two days to find himself in a final sixteen up against Dalua, Kyle Martin and Tony Graves. New Zealand youngster Api also showed that our cousins across the ditch have what it takes. He also made the final sixteen but raced up against Louis Pilloni, P-swiss and Matt Kienzle and was knocked out. The remaining Hopkin Racing team were knocked out in round two, and no shame in that. There was tight hard fast racing against the best skaters in the world. It goes to show that racing on Mt Kiera is a bit different to freeriding. One mistake or mis judgement and your out. Every race was super competitive and Round Two was where it all happened. On a race tree, round 2 is where 16 racers do not progress and there are always big names that bow out. The Australian Round Two curse continues for Mischo. He got caught in the rough at the start and fell over on his push. He never recovered and could not catch the field. Where is that rough section? Locals secret, Mischo knows where it is now, maybe he'll tell you or kept it for his advantage next year! There were two hero performances within the Hopkin racing Team. That of Kelly Carter and Lea Robertson. Lea dis located her shoulder on Sunday morning. She had it gaff taped up and raced the women's draw. Made the finals and came a board lengths away from winning on debut in an IGSA World Cup race!! It started to rain during the women's final and on crash corner Lea had the inside opening drafting Marisa and as she dove in to overtake her board slipped out and she crashed into the hay bales. Marisa crashed too but she managed to get on her board faster and win the race. Kelly Carter dislocated his shoulder on Saturday. It did not stop him competing in the junior round. He made it to the final. Lead into the final corner getting drafted by Jayden Mitchell, and had one small wob on his board which gave Jayden the opening to pass and win. He lost by a board length but in my mind he did not lose that race, he has just shown that even with a busted wing he is still one of the best juniors in Australia. That leads us to Jayden Mitchell. Not much I can say, his performance speaks for itself. In the after race ASRA meeting it was generally agreed that the best racer of the event was Jayden Mitchell. There is no award, if there was it would be Most Valuable Racer award. Not only did he dominate the juniors, he matched it with the best in the world and represented Australia in the open downhill final. The Australian scene has been watching his progress over the last 2 years. He has won a few junior races and a few outlaws. He definitely has stepped it up. He was racing on a Early prototype called Olive, another longboarders pro model, who knows, it could be released under Jayden's name! I was on the finish line for the finals. When it started to rain, we all yelled over the radio to the startline to start the open standup downhill final first. We thought the track would still be a bit dry but it was too late. Wet track, which resulted in a chaotic final. Most of the men crashed multiple times. It shattered Dalua's race lines. Only Alex Tongue managed to stay up and finish first. Watch all the videos below, the racers tell the story in their own words of what happened. It has been dry so far this week in Bathurst for Newtons Nation which starts Friday. Dalua holds the course record and he is itching for revenge. I would not be surprised if he smashes the course record and becomes the first downhill longboarder to break 1 minute on Mt Panorama. I could write stories all day. There was excitement in every race. Thousands and thousands of people showed up and crowded the course to watch. Hopefully we have inspired one of those young locals and he or she will grow up and compete in a Mt Keira race in the future and take on the world's best. Thank you to the residents of Wollongong for having us in your city. We love the Gong. See you all next year.  

    Patrick Switzer (2nd) interview 

    Alex Tongue (1st) interview 

    Jayden Mitchell (4th) interview

    Lea Robertson (2nd) and Ishtar Backlund (3th) interview 

    Marisa Nunez (1st) interview

    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

    N-Tense D-Centz Day 3

    I'm really behind here on following the tour. Yatesy has been sending me stuff almost every day and I have been loving it but not sharing. The usual excuses that unfortunately does not include too much skating. So remember, these are updates from last week: Day 3 by Adam Yates brought to you by those downhill bombin criminals at Landyachtz Woke this morn to the tune of "happy birthday to you". Twas the big poofs birthday and just cause he was in the hospital was no excuse not to call the man. It was an ensemble of youth mixed with the perfect harmony of 10 waking sk8ers. Man we have lovely voices! This good vibe set the mood for the morning and the crew were stoked to hit the road even though the weather wasn't the best. Bodhi had called a bridge jump, white water rafting and a hot river swim. to get it all done we had to bounce by 10am. Motivation was teasing the jedus and we were on the road by 9:40am. After breaki on the road to Rotorua, we sussed out a few of the local hills in the immediate surrounding areas. No good. NZ chip seal bro! Passed a Geothermal Power Plant, and a cloud factory- indeed where clouds come from according to the kiwi?? Bridge jump @ Araiatia Dam on rapids rd. Well the names got the goods, does the spot?
    From the bridge, looking up river, a series of rapids and hell lil water features. Looking down, an eddy and a few big brown trout hangin, snapping bugs from the surface. Bodhi got his shit on so I followed suit. Turned out when we walked to the bridge edge, it was covered in barbed wire with the piss ant gap to hang through. Roughly 8 meters, hang in drop. Bodhi stood there and basically just said to me do it! I've done it. jump there. better make it quick? deal with this joint is that every day they release a mondo slab of water that pits the entire river below. not somewhere u wanna be, even if u stoked on getting pitted yo! It was now or never. drop i did. cold yes. i didn't hang around. Craigos was next to drop. Yeah bra! All the time while, Benbro and Gabwagh were rigging up Kellys line to catch the trout. Not to be with all that noise, sorry boys! Next was the Kaituna River and the home of Kaitiaki Adventures and their Team of sickunts that spread stoke up to 4-5 times a day.
    This river was a class R5 or what I took in, pretty serious- can do you damage sorta river - pay respects eh! Rolled in and the bus was stoked to get amongst it. Once again Bodhi got it done and hooked the N-Tense D-Centz crew up with the mondo goods. Free!!!! At a quick glance at the board and the cost of sending peeps down per head was 85 kiwi dollar. This adventure fuel stoked kuzzi crew were hookin us up around 1000 bucks of rafting. Hell. Come raft with this mob for sure!!
    Come raft with this mob for sure
    Ok so after the basic set up it was down the river and the proper respects paid, the traditional prayer," karakia". Basic rundown of the Maori tradition, the river was once used as a burial ground in the early days and to say a prayer…. upon riding and even in each little section, is just respect. It was crazy the amount of respect the locals paid nature! The water was "full" as they called it, basically meaning that the final water fall was to be 5-6 meters. There's hell opportunities for "pitted" status. I was in a raft with Bohdi, Leone, Speedy, Bondi, and the token ozzy, Shazza- aka Ville, the fin. maaaaate! I ended up in the drink before the boats ... thanks Bodhi!
    Getting pitted
    BOOM in, down we go. Top section was mellow and fun but I could feel the volume in the current and I realised that these guys were serious. Cool. Gedus flowing strong the second was sorta the same just a lil more. The power of the water was gaining in each meter we dropped. 1400 metres in total distance and a vertical drop of 62 metres. The third was the next to come. We lined up behind and dropped the 6 meter drop. It was pretty epic eh. The whole session left the crew all buzzed. frothing we threw down a few boxes of beer for the boys and spono'd them with a sticker pack from hell 4 the efforts and hit the road for the arvi to session a full blown 5 star lodge and its supposedly siiik driveway. 20 minutes we rocked up at the lodge. The road wasn't so cool but the crew was keen to turn wheels. I found it more interesting chasing baby pigs with Bondi while Gabe and Marrisa took the liking of havin chickens sit on their shoulders. Farm yard fun done and off to the accommodation for the nyt. Campin by Lake Rotorua in some cozy lil setup and the hell feed of tacos cooked up by Bennbro. I'm stoked to have spent the day in such a positive way.