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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.

    Cali-steezification by Jacko - part one

    Cali-steezification by Jacko - part one

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

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

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

    Mega mini ramp Mega mini Muir Skate ramp

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

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

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

    Blacks Blacks Butter

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

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

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

    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!

    Unknown South

    Unknown South. Words by Ben Hay

    My life as a professional fisherman has been anything but ordinary; working strange hours of the day, working around the elements and making the most of opportunity has pretty well resulted in a life of randomness. Often living life from one day to the next. Having to step up and seize the opportunity when it presents itself has been something ive had to live by. Last week i received a phone call from fellow NACCOS skater and good buddy Ryan Nicholls. He and Simon Duber were planning to drive to Melbourne for the first ever Yarra Ranges Longboard Festival. The offer of a spot in the car to help share the expenses and an angry ocean forecast had me turning my back on responsibility. An opportunity was falling into place and it was too good to turn down. So at the last minute i found myself late registering, packing my bags and hitting the road with them. But not before a quick chat with fellow team mate Jackson Shapiera. Jacko has recently started racing again after being out for a while due to injury, the discussion resulted in jacko signing up to get the last rego spot and booked himself some late flights. We were to pick jacko up on the Saturday night  before the race from Melbourne  airport, this pretty well became our deadline as we left on Friday morning. As myself, pickles and little Simy Duber took to the road a plan was hatched to drive through the Victorian alps on our way to Melbourne. I have traveled and visited most parts of Australia in my time but one area that had always eluded me was the mountainous area that runs from the N.S.W / Victorian border toward the southwest finishing in the Yarra Ranges. With this area in our sights and a limited amount of time i had plotted a route toward Mt beauty deviating off the usual way to enable us to check the most hills possible.

    After making good time on the road we arrived at Mt beauty about 4pm, we quickly checked in to a local cabin and headed off for a session on the local haunts close to town. We skated Tawonga gap road and Mt beauty until dark then we retired to our cabin for the night for a beer and a tasty meal. (Note: Check out Jacko's Blog from his trip through the VIC Alps with ASRA President Haggy Strom). My initial plan was to go to this area to stoke the boys out on some falls creek butter, although the rest of the state was cooking in high 30 degree temperatures we were in the alps and the weather does its own thing out there. Saturday morning came and we awoke to a bit of a dull day with high hopes of scoring falls before we had to head for Melbourne We awoke early and headed off up into the mountains destined for falls creek .We were soon disappointed when we made it half way up the mountain to be greeted by heavy rain. A quick group meeting in the car and a change in strategy was needed: we decided to bail out of the alps early and use our day to drive another crazy alternate route through to the yarra ranges. Anyone that knows me knows that i love an adventure and this day was to be no different. What we found was certainly surprising, simple answer is that there were long epic hills everywhere. After the day of skating a few really long hills our legs were spent and our time was fading, continuing on our way toward the Yarra Ranges a longer alternate route was taken and we adopted the 'stop at top and bomb' approach. The hills were too long to drive back up and there was no time for turning around so we were just bailing out of the car and bombing down hills with no idea what was awaiting us. Some of the hills were epic and it was painful to drive away.

    We timed our run into the Yarra Ranges perfect, we found a motel and had time for a feed and made it to pick up Jacko. After picking him up and heading back out to the ranges, a quick tech session was had over a few beers and we crashed out hard from 2 previously big days. We were awakened in the morning by a bit of rain, arriving at the race hill confirmed a wet track. Local lad Hamish was waking up all the neighbours with a leaf blower in an attempt to dry the trickiest part of the track. His hard efforts coupled with rays of sunshine soon dried the track and racing began.

    Firstly it was the groms to square off with Local young gun Mikey Mifsud taking the win closely followed by Early team rider Julian Forde. In the opens it was a battle for speed and draft, after 3 rounds for points a top 16 elimination draw commenced. In the final it was Myself, Simon Duber, Jacko and local shredder Juan Diego Milones. I got off to a good start in the final with a reasonable lead, Juan got tangled up a bit and dropped back out of it while Jacko and duber where hunting my draft. The big boys both passed me just before the line with Jacko taking the win ahead of Duber in second leaving myself in third and Juan in 4th. After the downhill race the hill was sectioned off, the option for the groms to freeride the hill while those wanting to have a crack at the slalom gathered on a short course set by Johnny McGrath and Bernie. This ended up being one of my favourite parts of the day as everyone ditched freeriding to either participate in or watch the slalom. This also drew a big crowd as spectators lined up shoulder to shoulder along the short course to watch the epic racing going down.

    Huge congrats to the moss crew and Matt cassar for putting a great event together and it really came off as a great show for the local people. After a big day at the longboard festival we had a few beverages and decided to stay in Melbourne for the sunday night and proceed to drive home on monday morning. We awoke early for a big days driving but in typical Benbro fashion it had to be via some unexplored mountain area. Again we bombed 2 or 3 great hills on our long and alternate route toward the border.

    photos: Ryan Nichols, James Leen

    After this recent trip i am totally convinced that Victoria has just stamped itself in my mind as one of the premier downhill locations in our country, we found so much rad stuff to skate from suburban technical runs throughout the ranges to extremely long mountain bombs. From playing navigator for the weekend and constantly studying the maps there are many hills i found but didn't skate due to time restraints and also many epic runs located on maps but yet to be checked. I really cant wait to get back down there and skate some of these roads again and get to some of the others i know that are down there laying dormant waiting for the next car load of skaters to shred. 

    Words From Ben Hay: Get Excited!

    The australian and international skateboard racing scene just seems to keep moving forward in leaps and bounds with no signs of it slowing. With the recently formed IDF (International Downhill Federation) and the ever progressive ASRA at the helm, i strongly believe 2013 will be even bigger and better for us Aussies. Without knowing everything about the newly formed IDF, one thing i do know is that the people and individuals who have come together to form this new and exciting body for skateboard racing happen to be some of the most respected, dedicated and passionate people in the sport. Their commitment to improve the gravity racing scene and lead it into the future is unquestionable and i have total confidence that we will all benefit from their initiative. The domestic scene in australia is also progressing forward. Never before have we seen so many outlaw races stoking out the crew as well as the more regular occurence of legit sanctioned events. Before we can look into 2013 we still have a lot to get through in the last part of 2012. There is Western Australia's first legal race being held at the famous Barbagello raceway, like bathurst its another haunt for v8 supercars and it seems also now downhill skateboard racing. The following weekend is the Yarra Ranges Longboard Festival followed by one of the most competitive outlaws in the land,the Wild Wild West held on December 9th to finish the year off. Looking into 2013 is exciting; new races, new sanctioning bodies, new formats, freerides, Mt Kiera, Bathurst and epic new hills being found allover the country. Somthing else the Aussie scene has in store is the return of its favourite son, still in my mind the Aussie who is most likely to win us a world crown first, the much awaited return of Jacko. He's been playing it smart while still totally immersed in the scene, filming, running events while juggling rehab, winning slalom races with his goals of getting back on top highly evident, something i look forward to is seeing him back onboard and rallying with the crew. Personally another exciting thing in our sport today is the high level of skating: There are so many skaters in the world today totally capable of winning races. I feel this has been proven this year purely by the results. We have seen so many different winners and the sport is proving itself a real guessing game. I believe having different winners has been good for the sport in general, in past years we have seen some dominant performers but i think the tide has turned and its anyone's game! Will there be a next big thing or are there so many next big things. Bring on 2013 and all the radness that is progressive skateboard racing, who or what will blow our minds next year? get EXCITED!!!