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Rad In Russia part 2

Rad In Russia part 2

The Russian tour is coming to a close and the hangover is very strong. Louis and I have had such an amazing time and by now our blood is about 85% vodka. I still can't believe that skateboarding has taken me to such a different part of the world and allowed me to soak in so much culture and meet many awesome people. 

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After our stay in St Petersburg we headed back to Moscow to link up with more skate crew, visit some shops and party with the locals. Right off the train the first stop was Boardriders skate shop at Avia park to give the local skaters a brief history of Sector 9, show off some of the new boards and give some product knowledge to the retailers. The turn out was great, at least 50 people showed up to hang out with Louis and I and score some signed posters and some free Sector 9 swag. Still feeling crusty from the night before we decided to have an 'early' night (about 2am was a solid time to stop drinking) so we could rest up for a mondo day of skateboarding ahead. 

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We arose to another warm and beautiful day in Mother Russia, still frothing on being a tourist and ready to explore the city. Louis and I grabbed our boards and head out into the heart of Moscow. After dodging a few tanks and bears in the road we found a few cool little streets to have a slide session on, snap some shots and stack a few clips. We linked up with some local crew and headed to the weekly skate session which was located at another skiing training ground. This place also featured epic smooth pavement, a couple of nice bends but most importantly a T-bar to tow us back to the top! There were a lot of Rad Russians shredding the hill and frothing to skate with Sector9 so it was our pleasure to add to the stoke and kill some wheels with the crew. 

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The day was still not over as another session had been organized at Gorky park for a cool evening skate on a fun pathway that wound itself down the park. As normal Sector 9 was right on time, but unfortunately so was the rain. We showed up to meet at least 50 skaters there ready to shred but also met with buckets of rain plummeting from the sky soaking absolutely everything! In true skater fashion Louis immediately grabbed his board and said 'you slide better in the rain!' And one by one the crew braved the wet and got down with the skids. It was really awesome to see so many people frothing on Longboarding, but even more amazing to see people step out of their comfort zone and give the rain riding a go for the first time - and steeze it up too!

Of course a long day of skating is not complete without a long night of partying, our final hurrah with the Russians was an awesome one indeed. We gathered at an outdoor bar, signed a bunch of posters, gave out heaps of swag and drank many bottles of vodka. The vibe at the party was incredibly high, everyone was so stoked to have skated with us, and we were so stoked to be making so many awesome new friends. Although we were feeling the burn tired from the previous days the energy from the crowd kept us alive. We partied hard and for the 3rd time this trip we got to see the sunrise... Stoked. thumb_IMG_5770_1024

Although the Russian trip has come to an end our adventures are still not over. Louis and I are flying to Europe to link up with James Kelly and Jimmy Riha to commence a 2 week journey through Germany, Switzerland and Austria for the #NoRaceJustSkate tour. We will be visiting a bunch more shops along the way to link up with the skater communities and also will be attending the Gioasteka Freeride in San Bernadino, Swizterland and the Bella Joyride in  Bad Eisenkappel, Austria. 

Thank you Mother Russia for showing Sector9 such an amazing time. The people we met were so friendly and hospitable we could not be any more stoked to have met them! Big thanks to Capital Distribution and Trajectory Boardshop for making this adventure happen. Mondo thanks to our tour guides Constantine and Alex, you guys are the raddest Russians ever, and we are looking forward to another visit. 

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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.

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 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

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