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    Hopkin Skate Blog

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    Gabe's summer of shred: Vancouver Radness

    Email arrived last Thursday from Gabe, I forgot to post it up, here it is: G'day Hop, since Danger Bay weekend it has been a bit of a blur and the weeks since have been just skating and enjoying the summer. Here's what's going down in Van. In summer, Vancouver is easily the best place to be. Beautiful weather, rad hills and a bunch of rad skaters to shred the hills with, you just cant beat it. The shredding is constant. If you hook up with the right crews at races like Danger Bay and Gold Rush (Britannia Classic) you'll be skating every day in Vancouver and its so easy to find a crew keen to drive the 4 hours it takes to get to Giants Head, Summerland. I've spent the last 2 weeks staying at Fern St, which is a 10 minute drive to some of the best technical runs in Vancouver. The British Properties (BP's) are just up the road and are filled with rad, slippery technical runs. You can pretty much start at the top and work your way down however you want. Another rad feature is the driveways of all the huge mansions and villa's. There are beastly early grabs and banks to slash everywhere you look. Some smooth and banked, some gnarly and covered in moss, the possibilities are endless... Myself, George and Tony Graves are going up there later on today and tomorrow to do some filming, hopefully we'll have a video done by the end of the week. The Vernon DH is coming up this weekend, which means a detour to my favorite hill in the world, Giants Head. The weekend after is Kewlona followed by the much anticipated Whistler race. 8 consecutive hairpins and 2 days of riding and racing one of the sickest roads in the country is going to be amazing. After Whistler I'll be hanging around Vancouver for the Sullivan Challenge and Ride the Giant (The Giants Head Freeride) before heading back down to the Skatehouse in LA via San Francisco for some epic shredding, FUCK YEAH EPIC SKATE TRIP! May the steeze be with you. Gabe Hop's question to Gabe: Is BP an immediate bust? No, as long as you stay low key and don't skate like a noob in the wrong lane you can get a few hours in no worries. So far I have only had one encounter with a cop. We had a 20 person session going and it was getting a bit rowdy and after about an hour of skating he rolled up as we were chilling in the carpark at the bottom after a run. He was mega friendly and thought what we were doing was rad. But as usual he had received a complaint and had to ask us to leave. He chilled for a bit and explained that if we kept getting big crews of people, there would be more and more complaints. Eventually there would be a bylaw enforced which would give police and bylaw officers (council workers with a bit more power) the power to take our boards which we would then have to pay something like a hundred bucks to get them back.  

    Longboard review: Daddow Platypus

    By Kelly Carter The Daddow Platypus is an amazing board. SO stoked, it’s now my favorite board in my quiver. It’s super carvy and super slidey. It’s got an awesome flex, there isn’t much to notice while just standing on it but once you start sliding, dancing and doing some shredding, you really start to appreciate it. It’s suited to almost any occasion whether it be cruising to your local shops, thrashing your neighborhood, going to watch Mary Poppins in a theatre (which I did) or even smashing your local skate park (which I did later). With 10cm of super rad kick tail, it’s so easy to break out the occasional pop shuvit or even a kick flip! This is the first longboard I’ve been able to do a kick flip properly on, I can’t wait for some skinny jeaned guy in the street to scream “DO A KICK FLIP”. This is the ultimate freeride/freestyle board! The drop through platform makes it super stable for fast free riding. Throwing out big standies is super easy with a light drop-through deck. Tricks like no comply slides are really easy with the low platform. I set mine up with 50 degree Randal 180mm trucks and Orangatang stimulus 86a and it’s nowhere near wheel bite. The huge cut outs give it a huge variety of possible set-ups. The reasonable amount of W concave mixed in with the large standing platform locks your feet in amazingly well but with still allows you to dance around for the steeze factor. The rounded rails feel great when dancing, giving you that extra lean through cross steps. I can’t wait to put this to the real test in Canada, show them Canadians what’s up! This board is all Aussie made, by downhill skateboarding legend, Stephen Daddow. Even more reason to buy it. If you’re looking for a new deck for your quiver, get this board. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND! Available in new platypus graphic (for our US readers, that is not a beaver)

    Gabe's Summer of Shred: Zak's house

    Hop's note: These are a series of emails I exchanged with Gabe last week, I've put them together, cause they tell a story, and a window into the life of a traveling longboarder. Hop: Gabe, where are you at the moment? Gabe: Currently staying at Zak Maytum's warehouse/minramp/house in Boulder, Colorado. Buffalo Bill is this Saturday and Sunday and tomorrow the locals are going to show us some of their rad hills. I'll write you a blog on what the terrain is like around here, looks like there's some crazy shit! Hop: Zak's warehouse/mini ramp WTF? What's Zak's house like? Gabe: When everyone wakes up I'll open up the huge roller door and get some light in to take a picture, its pretty ghetto but serves its purpose extremely well, you'll see what I mean ;) Also, Marcus Bandy did an interview with me while we were on the Maryhill Freeride trip. Check it out Hop's note: interview is very funny, everyone should click on the link just to see the awesome photos, I'm not going to put them on here. Oh and in case you missed it, Louis made a learning curve video from when I got taken out by some kook bombing on a freeride run [vimeo]23165124[/vimeo] Hop: Did you go out skating, where's the photo? Gabe: Due to the amount of beer drunk last night through Zak's beer bongs. Excalibur and the Electric Wizard [which he made using a fuel pump, a skateboard, two trucks, three wheels and a tube]. We did not get any skating done today. However, I got a pretty rad shot of the minramp/garage. James moved halfway through the panorama shot so he kind of looks like an alien but its still a cool shot. I'm off to grab some chow and get some sleep for tomorrow, Peace.

    CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE (it opens in a new window, if nothing happens look at your browser toolbar and select allow pop ups from this website)

    Gabe emails in from San Diego

    Yo Hop, just a quick little update. Staying in San Diego at Jeff Budro's house on the beach. After day two of the Maryhill freeride we drove back down to San Francisco to skate some of the rad Berkley hills with the locals. These hills are steep, patchy and slippery and perfect for throwing big standup slides. Following Liam Morgan and George Mackenzie down those hills were some of the best runs I have ever had, definitely a place I'll be going back to. From SF we drove straight down to San Diego, via the skatehouse for some food. Jimmy Riha is cruising round to take myself and George out to The Creaky Boulder (see video below) to do some shredding this arvo, we might even film a little movie. Skate or die Gabe 

    Gabe's Summer of Shred

    We asked Gabe to give us a run down on where he is touring this year in the Northern summer... [Gabe] Finally, the time has come. Sydney is getting colder, the warmth of summer fading away into Autumn, its time to go shred another summer. On Monday begins an epic adventure of wheelyboarding, since coming back from my last adventure to the northern hemisphere all I have been thinking about is planning my next trip to the land of endless canyon roads and crazy shredders who say Duuuuude way too much. Last year I only got to spend a week and a half in California, which is nowhere near enough time to skate the variety of roads on offer. That's OK, this time ill have a solid month of shredding not only in California but at the Maryhill Freeride in Washington, Buffalo Bill in Colorado and Ditch Slap in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ditch Slap is held in several different ditches in Albuquerque, ranging from tight, steep ditches to huge, open monster ditches that run for miles and have 30 foot banks on each side. there are stories of kingpins snapping due to the speed you hit the transition coming back down, scary shit! After a 5 weeks skating Cali I'll be jumping on a plane with the Sector 9 crew and flying up to Vancouver, B.C to meet fellow Aussie shredders Kam Kite, Kelly Carter and Jacko and shred down some sweet runs in Vancouver's British Properties. After a couple of days in Vancouver we'll be driving onto a ferry which will take us to Pender Harbour for Danger Bay 10 and Jakes Rash with plenty of shredding the local hills in between. After Jakes Rash we'll make our way back down to Vancouver for the Britannia Classic [Gold Rush]. This is easily my favorite event, three days of freeriding and racing down one of B.C's sickest hills with pretty much every shredder in North America. what more could you ask for? The Britannia Classic is the last race in Vancouver but I'll be hanging around skating the BP's, South Vancouver, Cypress and Seymour Mountains and hopefully making a trip down to Summerland to skate my favorite hill in Canada, Giants Head. After 8 months of recurring dreams of that road I think its time to go back and skate it again. A few weeks after Britannia I'll be driving up to Kewlona to ride the hill I missed out on last year. I have heard many a tale of how awesome the road is and definitely don't want to miss it again this year, I might be able to grab a ride up with none other than Tony Graves, who until recently was the resident Canadian at Hopkin Skate. Soon after Kewlona I'll be flying back down to California for a few weeks before driving back out to Maryhill for the Festival of Speed. Tuck races aren't really my piece of cake but it will be rad to experience the crazy party that is Maryhill, I'll be sleeping in my leathers for extra firework protection that's for sure. Then it will be back to Cali for another 5 weeks of intensive shredding before flying down to Sao Paulo, Brazil to visit family and skate some gnarly rainforest roads with Dalua down in Porto Alegre. Hoping to hook up with Marcelo Costa again, he took me out to all the raddest spots to get sideways last time I was there and ripped down hills like a mofo on his tech slide board. Here's a short video I took of him about a year ago, I'm scared to think how hard he's ripping now... Marcelo Costa From Brazil I'm flying back home to aussieland, hopefully right when its starting to get warm again ;) See you all in 5 Months, look out for my blog posts on whats going down with the races, the riders and the swag [gear]. Peace Gabe