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      Robert Burns interview: Hong Kong longboarding and dodging cows

      Robert Burns interview:  Hong Kong longboarding and dodging cows

      I met Robert at the 2016 Mt Keira IDF World Cup, he was on crutches, and as an event organiser you tend to avoid people on crutches :-). We struck up a great conversation, which continued via email later in the year, and it sort of turned into an interview.

      Here it is, I hope you enjoy the read, you are going to learn a lot about the scene in Hong Kong. It is an amazing country, and it should be on your bucket list.

      Hop: How old are you? Where do you live?
      Rob: I’m 16, living in Hong Kong

      Hong Kong[/caption] Hop: How long have you being skating? What board do you skate? Rob: It has probably been around 6 years since I first started skateboarding. Currently riding a board from Pantheon Longboards, stellar designs coming from my homie Jeff Vyain who’s now residing in Colorado, USA. Hop: How long have you lived in Hong Kong? Did you skate in the US before you moved to Hong Kong? Rob: I’ve been living in Hong Kong since 2010 but went back to live in New York City for a year and a half 2013-2014. Basically started skating in Hong Kong, at least this is where I met other skaters and started going down hills. Hop: When you started skating in Hong Kong. How did that happen? It seems so unlikely. Did you street skate or longboard first? Rob: Well I always had a normal skateboard since I was really small that I messed around with while I was little.  It really wasn’t until I met another kid with a skateboard in like 5th grade that I was introduced to sliding and bombing hills haha. Hop: Do you have any sponsors? Rob: Yea.  Repping for Pantheon Boards, Rey Trucks, and SBDW Longboard Shop!! A shout out to Ahmyo wheels for helping me out recently, supplying me with superb goods and putting out some edit of me. Hop: Do you short board skate? Or only longboarding? Rob: Ya I skate park and street pretty frequently though I’m not very good and either of them haha.  You’ll usually find me at the park after school or when nobody’s down to skate hills. Hop: What is the scene like in Hong Kong? Are there many longboarders? Much of a downhill scene? Rob: Its nothing huge, but I love it.  There’s probably a circle of less than 50 people that are into skating down hills, and there’s an even smaller circle of 6 or 7 that go out every week.  I’m stoked though, sometimes we have some huge night sessions and I keep seeing more and more people I’ve never seen before.  The scene is definitely growing! Hop: Is it mainly expats? Or are the locals into skating? Rob: On the contrary, it’s mostly local born and bred Hong Kongers that are taking an interest into downhill.  There are only really 2 or 3 white guys on board and the rest are local haha. Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 7.58.19 PM Hop: Are there any skateparks in Hong Kong?

      Rob: Oh yea!  The government spent a lot of money trying to get us dirty wood pushers off the streets ha.  You can usually find me at one of the more popular ones; TKO skatepark in Kowloon.

      Hop: What skateshops are in Hong Kong? Do they sell much longboard gear?

      Rob: SBDW Longboard Shop!  These are the boys!  And yeah, they sell all the gear haha.  That shop is built on dedication for skateboarding and NOT selling out!  We got only the best from Pantheon to R.A.D. Wheels to Rogue Trucks.

      Hop: Regarding skateparks: Is PKV Skatepark is closed? If not what is that park like, it looks enormous.

      Rob: PKV is awesome.  A bit hard to get to so I don’t go there that often.  It’s definitely a sick park, quite big.  It’s the more bowl/pool influenced park.  It used to be only open for BMX but they just opened it up for skaters.

      Hop: Morrison Park almost looks like a pump track? Is it a circuit? You could almost set up a slalom course there.

      Rob: Ha yeah a slalom course would probably work there.  I don’t think Morrison Park was built for skateboarding, its sort of a recreational bicycle track or something like that.  Pretty fun to skate as it’s a circuit track with banked sides, and it’s a popular place for street skaters to be.

      Hop: Is there anyone doing slalom or slalom races in Hong Kong?

      Rob: I haven't seen anything like that here.

      Hop: Can you give us the laws about skating in Hong Kong? Are you allowed to skate on the footpaths? On the road? What are fines if you are caught skating illegally on the road?

      Rob: Well I don’t know the exact laws for skating.  I know skateboarding is not very acknowledged in any of the rules in HK. One time we were skating this super steep windy walking path in one of the country parks and one of the ranger guys comes to kick us out.  Lucky I had taken a picture of the rules and regulations board and showed him skateboarding was not banned in the park.  We also showed him we could stop by sliding and could spot corners, putting nobody in danger.  We were not kicked out.  Also we made a new friend.

      Hop: If someone is traveling to Hong Kong and want to bring their board, what is the best way to hook up with local crew? Is there a Facebook group or forum they can go to? Is SBDW Longboard shop the best place to go to find people to skate with?

      Rob: Yeah there’s a group called “HK Longboard” on Facebook you can join.  But the best way if you want to go out and skate that good shit is either message SBDW Longboard Shop on their page directly, or me.   Hop: I don’t want you to blow any runs or local spots, but can you tell me what downhill runs there are in Hong Kong?

      Rob: Well there’s To Shek, which is the hill SBDW takes all the beginners and teach them the basics.  We don’t really skate “freeride” hills if you’re talking about straight hills and big stand-up slides.  There is a pretty popular spot in Yuen Long that is sort of a closed road and really wide making it a really fun and safe road to draft and pull out some tiny drifts on.  There are a bunch of gnarly insane roads on a few of the mountains which I can’t name.  There's a really sketchy one way only a small few of us skate because there is a high chance of death, shits crazy.

      Hop: Are they easily accessible or do you need a car? Hong Kong seems to have an amazing transport system, does that help you get to downhill locations?

      Rob: The transportation system is definitely one of the best in the world.  Having a car is a luxury and we do still skate without one, it’s great if someone comes out that can drive though.

      Hop: I have been to Hong Kong a few times, the last time a few years ago there was a lot of smog or air pollution. Does this effect your skating? Are there times you don’t skate because of air pollution?

      Rob: No there has never been a time I haven’t skated because of air pollution.  Honestly, I don’t notice it anymore.  At least it’s not like Beijing where my friends are wearing masks because it’s so bad.

      Hop: Are there any races legit or grassroots in Hong Kong?

      Burns: Well, um, no.  We have the occasional outlaw, but they’re always super small.  Along with the rest of the SBDW crew, we’ve hosted/organized 2 clinics in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.  These cities are basically right outside the border of HK.  Nothing is backed by any of the governments so it’s all illegal, but whatever.

      Hop: Do you know of any plans to do any world class races in Hong Kong? If not, why not? Or what would it take to create one?

      Rob: Harry Clarke has been trying to communicate with the HK gov for probably years now about getting an IDF race at a pretty perfect road on one of the outlying islands.  No luck though.  HKG is not about it.

      Hop: What is the most dangerous thing about longboarding or downhill in Hong Kong? Rob: Well there are the normal things like cars, and pedestrians.  Gotta look out for the occasional dog, and be careful of the cows haha.  Hong Kong is a very densely population region, so there is sometimes an abundance of cars, buses, and trucks.  Definitely got to watch out for the hikers on a lot of roads or trails.

      Hop: You said you have to watch out for cows? Have you hit a cow before? I been to Hong Kong a few times,  I have never seen a cow!

      Rob: Haha the cows.  Unfortunately I don't have any cool stories about hitting cows, I've had to dodge a few before.  They mostly lurk around Sai Kung.  Harry and this guy Mo have a video they sold to Break about skating around a herd of cows

      Hop: Do you think you could hippy jump a cow?

      Rob: If I could hippy jump a cow I would've tried out for a basketball team by now. Hop: What is Kendama? I see the toys on the SBDW website - is that part of the longboarding culture in Hong Kong? (Normally associated with rollerblading in the USA.)

      Rob: Hahaha, Kendama!  I’ve got no idea how to play Kendama but yes, it’s highly popular among longboard culture in Hong Kong and China.  Ha didn’t know it was a thing with rollerbladers in the US.

      kendma Kendama

      Hop: There is light rail that takes you to top of Victoria Peak (highest mountain on Hong Kong island). Is this a run? Or is it too dangerous with traffic? Rob: I got a call from Harry Clarke and Pierre van Remoortere once at maybe 3 or 4 in the morning.  They were trying to get me out of bed to skate Peak Rd and on to Stubbs Rd.  I didn’t because I was sleep, but they’ve done it.  You can’t skate it in daylight because there is mad traffic.  Would be an awesome run, probably will do it one day in the future too. There is a road we used to skate a long time ago on the Peak that's a low traffic residential area.  As we moved on to bigger hill we don’t go as often, but I’ll take a run down it once in a while because I live somewhat close.

      Hong Kong city view from Victoria peak Hong Kong city from "The Peak" (Victoria Peak)

      Hop: Could you skate on that HKJC BMX Park?

      Rob: Hm never thought about that, its dirt so I probably would not.  Maybe I threw on some fat wheels we could sneak in and try haha.

      Hop: Are there any talked about mountain roads that are too busy or gnarly to downhill on? Does Route Twist ever get skated?

      Rob: Man!  Route Twist is insane!  I brought it up once a long time ago when I was nowhere near ready to skate something like that.  Thank god we never did.  It’s something I would really like to try skating but unfortunately most of the pavement is made with this stuff we call “death tar”.  It’s like a sand paper type asphalt with glass in it to keep cars from slipping in the wet.  If you fall on that stuff its gonna get up you skin like a cheese grater.  I do hope to try and dawn patrol it sometime in the future.

      Hop: Is the track on Needle Hill skateable? Or anyone skated the road to Robins Nest?

      Rob: I’ve looked at both these roads on google maps, Needle Hill is paved with all concrete which isn’t too nice.  Robins Nest looks like a possibility but we’ve been occupied with some new hill at the moment and I forgot about it.  Definitely gonna try and check it out soon!

      Hop: You have skated in a few different countries, Australia, USA, China. What is unique about skating in Hong Kong than other places in the world?

      Rob: Well there are pro’s and con’s just like any other country.  Public transportation makes it easy to get to spots, so not many people have cars meaning it’s difficult to shuttle full runs.  The great thing is that Hong Kong is built around mountains, and we have some sick access roads that lead to weather stations and observatories.

      burns-mark-newsham3 Racing on Mt Keira, Wollongong

      Hop: What are your racing plans for this year? You raced at Mt Keira, what is next? (Note: I asked this question in March)

      Rob: Well Keira was the first race I did this season.  Unfortunately landed in the hospital but it was still a good time. I’ve already booked tickets for the YuPing Cup IDF race in Chengdu, China.  I went to the test race in September and it was a rip. I’m going back to the US of A this summer and starting it off with Killington in Vermont.  Hopefully hitting some Canadian events like Giants Head and Whistler.  Going to Burke Mountain Freeride. I think I’m driving from New York to California with my friend James who is moving to the west coast.  Hitting up all the spots in between.

      Rob at Giants Head Freeride photo by Nwest Media Rob at Giants Head Freeride photo by Nwest Media

      Hop: I got ask about the food. Any must eat local food? Or places to eat? If I go to Hong Kong, visit SBDW skateshop are there any good places to eat nearby?

      Rob: "Cha Siu Fan", BBQ roast pork over rice is the local favorite from office suits to construction workers.  One of my favorite dishes depending on where you get it and what part of the pig they use.  Also "Dong Yin Yearn", its a coffee/milk tea mix in ice which is super local Hong Kong; you can't get this anywhere else.  You can most likely get it at any of the dai pai dong's (outdoor restaurant places) around SBDW haha but ask the guys to take you because they know what to get better than I.

      Chinese Style BBQ Pork with Egg Noodle Chinese BBQ Pork

      And bottled Tsing Tao which is everyone's favourite beer, not the best of the best but very Hong Kong.  I think they sell in Aus too if I remember right.

      Hop: Huge thank you to Robert Burns for the interview. Any shout outs?

      Rob: Shoutout to SBDW for giving me a 2nd home, all the homies for the adventures, and my parents for being chill. To Pantheon for supplying me with boards and Ahmyo for all the love.

      Hop: You can follow his travels on Facebook or on Instagram, he has just finished that USA tour he talked about above! L.A.O.Sessions: Utah Rips

      Mauka Maui Tour Day 8 and 9

      Mauka Maui Tour Day 8 and 9

      Mauka is a Hawaiian word, which means  toward the mountains : inland, upland "What is the Mauka Maui tour?" Jack Meyn, Miles Jones and Ian Coggan are traveling to Maui, skating and experiencing the Hawaiian island Maui. Not as a pro tour, it is not to race or to promote anything. It is to have fun and create an epic adventure. We hope it inspires you to go traveling and skating new terrain. Maui skaters are: Dakota Camp (illife trucks, Aloha Boardshop) Johnathan Valenzuela (Riptide Bushings, Aloha Boardshop) Zach Newman (Aloha Boardshop) Malachi Oertel. End of day 7 With our hire car patiently waiting to be used we decided to head up to the summit of Haleakala Crater, as it was something I never got to do on my first trip to Maui and both Miles and Ian where keen on as well. We packed the car up with our warm clothes and our boards in case we were to hit any hills on the way there or on the way back. Until this night, the boys had not traveled up the crater so it was a slow drive up through each of the sweeping turns, all windows down, taking in the views on the dark night. The moon was almost full and as we got higher on the mountain we were getting above the different levels of cloud’s, we even saw a ‘moonbow’ (rainbow at night) which was pretty cool to us. Miles threw himself down the crater, super dark under the clouds but nothing has ever stopped Miles from doing a run. We got to the bottom and decided to film a raw run. Which was obviously sick. Over an hour’s drive we finally got to the summit at about 1am. We couldn’t see anything further than bout 20 ft but once we found a parking spot for the night we hopped out and ran up the stairs to the observatory and quickly found out it CAN be cold in Hawaii!

      Day 8

      Our rental car was good for about anything apart from sleeping in, but somehow we managed to get it done and woke up a few hours later to catch the sunrise. We got up and out in the freezing cold along with hundreds of other onlookers. There were cloud’s surrounding us and after about 30-45 minutes later we finally saw the sun. It was definitely a sight to see and the views at 10,023ft where gnarly. We spent a bit of time up there taking it in and getting some good photos. We got to have a look at the Haleakala Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. Macrocephalum) which is a flower that can only be found above 6900 feet on the Hawaiian island Maui. A local ranger told us a little about the flower. How important it is to Maui, that it can grow up to 2 metres, and that they can live for over 50 years. We jumped back in the rental car and carefully drove down the crater from the summit and into town to get breakfast. We all had a craving for pancakes so we stopped by the well-known Ihop (international house of pancakes) to get sorted. Miles and I got the pancake-bacon-egg-hash brown special and Ian got the banana strawberry goodness. We were almost falling asleep at the table so we paid, tipped and got out of there on the last stretch home to hit the pillow. day8-breaky We slept from 9am-4pm and woke up not really knowing what day it was. Until it hit us that we hadn’t skated yet so we moved quicker than we ever have and packed the car up to chase the sun and get some raw runs on an upcountry classic. 13711518_10154329983224420_1200296221_o.png We had enough sun for 2 and a half runs but kept going until the fourth in the dark. We loaded our boards into the car and headed back down to our homie Dakotas in Kihei where we stopped at the fish taco van to get our cheap dinner fix.

      Day 9

      We woke up at 6am to get in the car and head up to Polis, an upcountry super run, to film a raw run of our Maui family Dakota. Poli Polis is known as a sort of action sports hub on the mountain. 4WD, motorbikes, hunting, skateboarding, drone flying, paragliding-it all goes down up at Polis. Luckily it was a weekday and we were there early so we headed to the very top and set the camera up. 12 minutes later, through the 20+ hairpins and dropping thousands of feet we ended the run before a cattle guard and where psyched on how sick it was and how lucky we were to get a clean run with no cars (we passed 3 dogs which we slowed down for of course). 13720649_10154329983899420_1789027016_o.png Our rental cars brakes could be smelt from a mile away and we were happy with the footage so we decided to bail on down to one of the local surf shops on Maui called ‘Hi-Tech’ for their yearly one day sale. Ian, Miles and Dakota all hooked themselves up with wheels and gloves for 30%- a struggling skaters dream. We left the chaos of strong accented American’s and met up with our homie Zach Newman at Café La Plage one of our favorite breakfast spots. 13814393_10154329983699420_421807911_n We played backgammon and had some Bagels and fruit smoothies then piled into the car to skate the crater. We spent a bit of time at the crater and the boys got 3 runs in before the rain hit. All in all it was a pretty chilled out day that ended at Ian’s favorite spot- Maui Brewing Co. I don’t drink and Miles had very briefly gotten creatively medicated at Dakotas so we went straight to the food truck for Nachos. They had guava chili aioli. It was wild.



      Mauka Maui tour – Day 5, 6 and 7

      Mauka Maui tour – Day 5, 6 and 7

      Mauka is a Hawaiian word, which means  toward the mountains : inland, upland Hop's word on "What is the Mauka Maui tour?" I have been asked a few questions about this tour, so I'm starting today's blog by answering the  "why" question. Jack Meyn, Miles Jones and Ian Coggan told me about there plans to travel to Maui, skate and experiencing the Hawaiian island Maui. It sounded like an epic trip, and one I'd like to do. I can't do it (life's commitments) but I wanted to hear all about it. Usually what I find interesting, the readers of the blog do too, so they are getting shared here for everyone to read. I hope it inspires you to go traveling and skating new terrain. Maui skaters are: Dakota Camp (illife trucks, Aloha Boardshop) Johnathan Valenzuela (Riptide Bushings, Aloha Boardshop) Zach Newman (Aloha Boardshop) Malachi Oertel.

      DAY 5

      Again today we had a really chilled day at the beach, but we found a pretty remote location where it was just us and a lady who was searching for shells. The skate down to the beach was pretty cool, besides where a dog chased me into the opposite lane of traffic and almost got me cleaned up. We hung at the beach for about 2 hours before deciding to go to get lunch and we decided on the Fish Market again and got the exact same food. Afterwards we caught up with Zach who carted us over to Polis and we all sessioned a right hand pin, before going up and getting a full run back in on the way down, as we were skating down for the sunset we sorta missed the photos and just skated to the sunset and made the most out of our situation and got as many runs by sunset as we could.


      DAY 6

      Today we had a very very relaxed day which we used just for planning out the next couple of days but I won’t blow any secrets because we’ve actually found out some pretty rad news that will help us a lot. After using the morning just to chill out and got pancakes from a cafe who made their own famous sauce called “mac-nilla sauce” which was a blend of macadamia nuts and vanilla it wasn't the healthiest breakfast but man, was it good! Then we just hung around the house and clean up, we went for a skate to Aloha Boardshop to hang out with Zach and meet a few local groms and people that don’t really get to talk to Aussie dudes about skating, our experiences and what brought us to Maui, besides the obviously rad skating. The first dudes we met were named Toby and Gabe, two young groms, who were skating in basketball shoes and pants on dropdown decks, reminded me alot of 2009. Of course they asked the question about sponsorships and what gear we rode, we showed them our decks and it was cool to have young lads so impressed and intrigued by what our stickers were and what ASRA was.

      Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 11.11.20 AM The next people we met were of Asian descent and you’d never pick where they’d come from!! They came from Parramatta, and were so surprised to fly 10 hours to meet some Aussie dudes in a Hawaiian skateshop. They were really only checking out the cruisers and fashion but were still interested in us hanging out in the shop. On the way back to the house we got a few little chilled freeride runs in, from 2 blocks back down to the beach front, again the residents were stoked and even the Fedex man loved it. For dinner we went back to Asian BBQ place and we got some of the wildest food that I’ve ever tasted, Dakota and I got the Garlic Chicken and fried Mahi fish, Mahi is the best tasting fish I’ve ever had outside of Australia, if so consistent while eating from Raw, Fried to grilled. Jack got fried chicken with Rice and Pasta and Miles went all out and got a 1L styrofoam container filled with wonton soup for only $5. We skated a small pathway by the beach on the way home from the feedspot, was really cool just hanging out and pushing by moonlight and really just soaking up every moment we have in this beautiful place.

      DAY 7

      Today started out on a bit of a neutral note, we got up around 10 and it was really nice temperature around 29˚c but you can see the mountain from Dakota’s back door and it was like a wall of rain was approaching, unfortunately for the first time in ages it was constantly raining in Kihei.

      IMG_0312 We were way bummed but Zach hit us up to go hangout and we decided to hire a car. With his help and found our way out to the northern side of the island, where we stopped by his girlfriends and sneakily grabbed some fresh Mangoes off one of her three trees. After we dicked around on the IndoBoard, we went to a Starbucks and unsurprisingly, one of the young ladies fell completely in love with Jack and his accent which was funny as he was just using his manners being himself, she was stoked we were from Australia and even knew about Sydney and Melbourne.

      IMG_0337 Northside

      After a small drive we skated a quiet section of highway, it was a very consistent grade, with you only needing to drift if you were mobbing into the corners. It had about 4 lefts and rights, and was veeeeryyy picturesque, it overlooked the the northern cliffs and beaches. If you can come to Maui and skate any hill, try your best to get here. The weather is crazy out here, we got half way down the first run and got rained out, so decided to take a drive up north along an almost one lane wide road and ascend a little bit higher into the cliffs. After hanging out for half an hour we managed to get one more sneaky run in all the way to the bottom before leaving to head up into the Lao Valley. This place was beautiful, it had cliffs that looked almost 90˚ to the ground but covered in small shrubs and trees. We knew we only had an hour to get in and out, but we were so keen on the idea of hanging out in a freshwater stream. After a 20 minute hike, we got to the spot and half way in to enjoy this beautiful water, and we realised that there actually was a gate that was closing at 6pm. That means locked in for the night unless we can get out in time. We had to jog through the forest in muggy temperature while getting rained on to try and make it out in time. Miles almost had a tree fall on him after grabbing onto it and swinging. We got out of the wilderness and just decided to walk to the car as there was other people still hanging about the carpark so we weren’t too worried. We got down to the gate and it was closed, you could almost hear the sigh from 20 metres behind the car, we were so bummed out with the thought of having to spend a cold night in the car. Before losing hope, I jumped out of the car and inspected the latch on the gate and was slightly expecting to see a sign with a number to call for someone to come release us back into the wild… or jump on the gate until it broke. I checked the lock and in classic Hawaiian style it was a bolt and nut the same size as skate tool! (Hop' note: never leave home without a skate tool) so without hesitation I used 2 skate tools and unlocked that gate and set all the cars free. I guess everyone in their life has 10 seconds when they feel like a superhero...I've had mine! After arriving back in Kihei in our fresh wheels we decided to hangout for sunset and get a swim and a beer in, the sun set so perfectly behind clouds and made the sky light up in a spectrum of warm colours. It was really a moment you have to imagine, when 5 different groups of people on a small beach go dead silent just to take in the sunset.

      IMG_4480 We were all in such a good mood, that Valerie let us jump in the back of her truck and took us for a spin around Kihei, it doesn’t sound like much but it was so gnarly, 3 dudes from Oz, rolling like kings in the tray of a ute, something you’d never get to do legally while at home. Tonight we’re going to take our fresh Nissan Sentra up to the summit of Haleakala Crater, some 12,000ft above sea level, possibly even get a roll in on the way back down!

      IMG_4563 Haleakala Crater

      What's happening tomorrow? You'll have to come back and find out!


      Mauka Maui tour – Day 3 and 4

      Mauka Maui tour – Day 3 and 4

      Mauka is a Hawaiian word, which means  toward the mountains : inland, upland Hop's intro: The Mauka Maui tour is three NSW Central Coast homies: Jack Meyn, Miles Jones and Ian Coggan traveling, skating and experiencing the Hawaiian island Maui. A skate trip captures everything epic about skateboarding. It does not matter if it is across town or to another country, but it has to be out of your comfort zone. Why? Meet different skaters, skate new terrain, take your skating to another level and most of all, experience life in someone else's skate shoes. What makes our sport unique is the community. Not that we are all the same, that we are diverse group of people from every country, sharing a unique experience. If everyone in the world skated, it would be the solution to many problems. When are you going on a skate trip? While you are planning your next trip, you can follow these guys on Facebook and Instagram with #maukamauitour or the next post here on the blog. Maui skaters Dakota Camp (illife trucks, Aloha Boardshop) Johnathan Valenzuela (Riptide Bushings, Aloha Boardshop) Zach Newman (Aloha Boardshop) Malachi Oertel.

      DAY 3

      Started the day with a fruity brekky from a shop called Nalu’s South Shore Grill, as you can see it was pretty rad. 13681737_10154309669194420_833616985_o We were really just hanging out and taking the day slow being a Sunday, the roads were pretty crowded but nonetheless we headed up to Poli’s.  

      short-cut-maui2 Zach taking the hell inside on a misty day at Polis

      We could see that it was pretty cloudy from town and we were racing the rain, we got up there and met up with John, Zach and Malachai but we only got 2 runs in before the rain set in and pushed us to the North Side of the mountain. That wasn’t a bad thing at all, we got to skate 2 new roads which were pretty chilled out in the farmland area only had 3 drifts on it but man, its all about the scenery.

      IMG_0352 We moved on to another hill that the fellas (Zach and Dakota) looking after us, used to live on so they knew it really well. It was a chilled straight with a right sweeper into a tight left right over a creek while getting pitted by a tree. Day finished with Dakota taking us down to Costco dinner: 2 monster 18” pizzas for only $10ea.

      jack-into-pins Jack X heading into the left pin at Polis 

      DAY 4

      Today we really just had a chilled day where we just hung out by the beach after grabbing some poke bowls, mangoes, watermelon and shitloads of water.


      The water was choppy as hell so we were just hanging out and enjoying the chilled out environment, we even watched a fine as hell young lady have a photo shoot. After vibing out on the beach we went to Maui Brewing Co. and tasted a few beers that are locally made, I had 2 beers that were very different. The first was called a Pineapple Mana which was American Wheat and of course Maui Pineapple, had a solid flavour with cider-esque aftertaste, second up I tried the Double Overhead this was a Double India Pale Ale, so it was strong and very full flavoured, while not being overly bitter.

      IMG_0262 After the brewery we went to grab dinner at about 9:30 we weren’t really sure what to get but Dakota took us another of his favourite places to eat called Paia Fish Market South Side, we all got Mahi Burgers, which were so flavourful and so well put together, to accompany my meal I got a Coconut Porter, the coconut made the meal so smooth. Tomorrow, lost in the mountains Hawaiian style and getting the hire car stuck in a national park...


      Mauka Maui tour - Day 1 and 2

      Mauka Maui tour -  Day 1 and 2

      Mauka is a Hawaiian word, which means  toward the mountains : inland, upland Hop's note: The Mauka Maui tour is three Central Coast homies: Jack Meyn, Miles Jones and Ian Coggan traveling, skating and experiencing the Hawaiian island Maui. They are mainly staying in the small county of Kihei. There is a long tradition of going on a "trip" in the surf and skate communities. A trip was not only to explore but to find others who shared your passion. Just because no one is skating in your local neighbourhood does not give you permission to give up and stop skating. It's time to get moving and find other rad places and skaters. Longboarding is a global community, just waiting for you to drop by and say hello. While you are planning your next trip, you can follow these guys on Facebook and Instagram with #maukamauitour or the next post here on the blog. Maui skaters Dakota Camp (illife trucks, Aloha Boardshop) Johnathan Valenzuela (Riptide Bushings, Aloha Boardshop) Zach Newman (Aloha Boardshop) Malachi Oertel.

      DAY 1

      Arrived in Maui at 8:30am, after a solid as hell 14 hour transit from home, and we were greeted by one of Jack's mates: Mikey. Mikey and Jack hung out together last time Jack was here, so I'm stoked to know we have a homie here who was down for almost anything.  He took us from Kahului Airport to Kihei, where Dakota lives, who is putting us up for our time here. We are mainly staying in the small county of Kihei which only has a population of about 20,000, and is classed as a desert due to climate and lack of vegetation and rain.


      Mikey took us to Foodland, where we all got Poke Bowls, which is raw fish like Mahi and Ono with white or brown rice mixed with Shoyu, which we ate by the beach. Then it was time for our first trip to Walmart, where everyone was so amused by our accents and you could here a small fuss being made about us reacting to prices and other items around the store, after picking up a few essentials like blow up mattress and pillows, we went to a local Surf, Skate shop called Hi-tech, just quickly sussed out some price differences and met Dave the local Skate Guru and handed him some ASRA and Hopkin for some Aussie Stoke.


      After coming back to the house, we were just hanging out and Miles pulled out the Milo Snack Bars and Jack revealed a Vegemite Tube, we got Mikey to try both and he was so stoked on the Milo Bar but in classic American style he squirted almost a teaspoon amount on to his finger and tried it, he was less than stoked about the taste referring it to Fish and Salt. Then we took off down to the homies local skate shop, Aloha Skate, there we met Zach, a local shredder who is always down for a skate. Miles had an overload of stoke and bought some fresh Black Arbor Sucrose wheels, Paris skate tool, Aloha Stickers and Aloha Shirt. Later that night, around 7:30pm, we went to a local night skatespot known as Maui Meadows, for my first time skating the run, we wore headlamps which was pretty gnarly only using those for light while all 5 of us skated down the run, Dakota, Zach, Miles, Jack and I. It was pretty gnar getting up to about 75km/h with only headlamps on, after a drifty run. After 5 full runs we took off to Monkey Pod for dinner and beers, we all got pretty rad Hawaiian themed Pizza.


      DAY 2

      After a huge sleep in, we woke up at about midday, Dakota took us to Breakfast at Cafe @ La Plage, I opted to go with the Maui Melt, which was crazy good, it had Avo, Turkey, and BLT. Jack messed up and got “chips” instead of the salad, he was so surprised when the cashier offered a packet of Doritos instead of fries. Dakota then took us to on our first trip to Polis Polis, which is where most skaters from Maui learn to slide and perfect their skillset. First we grabbed John, who recently skated a surfboard down The Crater, we sessioned a left pin for about an hour and learnt how the pavement handled and how our wheels felt on it.

      13662260_1129731153714278_541882314601938738_o The hill itself is so gnarly, like next level, its about 20 switchback hairpins, without including all the kinks and drops all while being only just over a lane wide and having traffic rarely but still traveling both directions. Surprisingly most people are stoked or chilled about us skating down in and even offer us lifts back up in their utes or cars.


      We caught a lift all the way to the top, where it was crazy, clouds swamped the corners and even felt a light dusting of rain settling in for the first 4 pins. If you can imagine looking through a corner and being able to see another pin and 3 bends right before it, that’s what it was like. Once out of the clouds, I drove while Miles, Dakota and John smashed out the rest of the run, watching Dakota and John on their local run was so impressive, I almost couldn’t believe how fluent their riding was. Later in the day we skated a few spots, including the bottom section of The Crater, which was pretty cool got our first taste of skating switchbacks in the right-hand lane on a two way road, it was pretty chilled having 6 of us do the run, then we moved onto our final hill for the day called Ulus, which is a quiet main road which cuts through a small town, it goes for about 7km and has some pretty cool left-rights and straights which a surrounded by shrubs and grass. We skated that road twice until sunset which you could see in the background of the footage which made it that much better.


      For dinner, we had a pretty chilled out meal from a food truck, which hooked us up with fish, chicken, and beef tacos. Was simple and but still very tasty. Tomorrow more poke bowls, mangoes, the other side of the mountain and we hear they have some nice beaches... #maukamauitour