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New Zealand Tour: Sunrise on a Volcano

By Jackson Shapiera It has been a long and epic 2 days.
We packed into a van on Thursday afternoon and head off for Auckland. It was awesome skating in Wellington, the terrain there is so unique and the layout of each suburb creates so many different types of hills to skate on. The most hectic part of it is that most of the epic downhill runs are through the city. You can be bombing down a road for maybe 2 or 3k's going through fast straights and sweeping corners and even hairpin turns, but running through traffic lights and keeping eyes out for side-streets and traffic. They feel like runs you want to ride a solid downhill rig on and hammer at mach 10 but riding through the city gives it a whole new perspective. On the way out of Wellington we stopped at this amazing hill called Paekakariki for a few runs. The scenery on this hill was beautiful. The hill runs along the side of a mountain thats right on the coast. Its fast and really turny, the whole time we were flying down the hill navigating the pavement changes and the steep windy sections but at the same time taking in one of the most amazing views I've seen in a long time. Local shredder Api is really stepping up the game and charging like a warrior. Its been fun to skate with the crew here and to see how they have progressed since last I was here. 
After Paekakariki, the plan was to travel to a town close to Mt Ruapehu to find somewhere to sleep and get up for some mountain runs first thing in the morning. The reality was, we had so much fun skating the last hill, that we ended up at the bottom of the Mt Ruapehu way past 1am. No where open. So the last resort was to rough it out and sleep in the grass or make some form of bedding arrangement in the van and try get as much sleep as possible. Which for me, unfortunately, didn't work out to well. On the bright side, when the morning sun hit, everyone was keen to get up and get on with the day. Skateboarding down a volcano in that magic hour of first light was just incredible. The layout there is so barren from the active volcano that it has turned its surroundings to just jagged rock and steep slopes, but has one of the most epic, fast and smoothest paved roads New Zealand has to offer running down from just below the peak. Flying down the road at nearly 95ks with the rising sun on our back overlooking a sea of clouds shrouding the valley below the mountain has ticked the list of top 10 most memorable moments of my life. We got at least 8 runs in before the legs said no more and then piled back into the van and continued on to Auckland. When we got here we went and checked out the race hill and had a quick riders meeting to check out what is planned for the Double Down Outlaw. We also got to have a few runs of the hill and skate with some of the local crew. There's a lot of keen longboarders here ready to have a dig for first place, so it will be rad to see how it all pans out on Saturday.

New Zealand Tour: The gnarliest fine ever

Email from Jackson: Gabe and Api just copped the gnarliest fine I've ever seen for skateboarding. We were cruising down to the waterfront to grab some coffee and breakfast this morning, and on the way back we started to cross this extremely quiet road to get over to the other footpath. There were no other cars in sight as we crossed the road. About half-way across the road we heard a siren blaring so we crossed as quickly as we can to let any emergency vehicles go past, and then turned around to see an undercover cop car pull up and start having a go. The copper gets out of his car and says "Are you guys looking to get killed or something?" To which we replied, while looking around at the empty street, "What are you talking about? we are just crossing the road, not doing anything wrong". He then proceeded to tell us we were skating recklessly all over the road in front of many cars. I told the copper I was riding on the footpath and he said I'm all good, but then asked for identification from both Gabe and Api. After taking details he then hopped in his car and went through his handbook to find what he could get the boys with. After about 20 mins he got out and handed fines to Api and Gabe for $750 titled "Adult used skateboard recklessly on a road" By far the most ridiculous fine ever in the world.

New Zealand Tour: wellingtonradsickgnarshredding

Gabe emails in from Wellington New Zealand... Whoa, two days in Wellington and my legs feel like jelly... We rose from our slumber this morning and took the gnarly mountain cable car up to the tight, hairpin haven that is the botanical gardens of Wellington. The gardens are build on a giant hill and have all sorts of crazy, narrow, steep paths running through them. Some so tight and gnarly we had to buttboard down the mossy, wet, hairpins with the camera equipment in hand, scary shit! Jacko throws down a steezy toeside into a footpath hairpin at Wellington Gardens. After a couple of hours filming at some different spots through the gardens we decided to retreat to the skatehouse and wait for Dave Price and his friend Chris. We drove half an hour out of town to a place called Hunters Hill. The road was closed to cars meaning we had to walk up but the sick butter smooth pavement and rad sweeping corners were worth it every time. Such a great spot for throwing down big standup slides through the sweeping corners and the last toeside hairpin was mega fast and slippery if you tucked into it from up top. Gabe gettin' greasy down Hunters on his chopped S9 Annika We finished the day off with a handful of runs at one of the sickest, flowiest runs I have ever ridden down, we are going back there tomorrow morning to do some filming, look forward to some footage of some of NZ's sickest hills. A big thanks to the Wellington Skatehouse boys Api Ihaia, Max Gordy, Ash Hughes for the rad hospitality and skateboarding.
Skatehouse shredder Api chilling down by the waterfront Max Gordy lookin' smooth

New Zealand Tour: hung over and sideways

Jackson and Gabe have packed their bags and heading over the ditch to Bro Town to represent Sector 9 and Hopkin Racing. It is the March 2011 New Zealand Tour. The boys will be emailing in what they are up to and the first installment is from Jacko. Crawling out of bed to report in... When I travel, I like to pimp it out and go full style. Having a membership to the Qantas Club has its perks - flight lounge, bar, food, somewhere to chill. Gabe and I made sure we got to the airport at least 2 hours early to make good use of these facilities, and boy did we make good use of them. The next best thing was the free booze we got on the plane. We're on holidays, time to get messy. After a few hours of drinking on a plane we landed in Wellington and were picked up by Max and Api and taken to the skate house where we cracked the bottles of Galliano, we got hell cheap in Duty free, and got settled right in with the New Zealand skate crew. The next morning we rubbed the crust from our hours and awoke to a beautiful sunny day, perfect conditions to go skateboarding. Wellington is just a town of hills. Super steep suburban runs that just don't stop going up and up. Max, Api and Ash took us out for a quick tour of their local hood and some of the epic hills that this city has to offer. We shredded some fast wide and open streets with nice big sweeping corners and also skated some hectic narrow, steep and busy as hell slide runs that kept going for at least 3 or 4 kms. There is so much fun stuff to skate here, looking forward to the next few days shredding in Bro-Town with rad crew. For now its safety meeting time, adjust to a new time zone and shake off the jet-lag (or hangover). Jacko

Downhill Division Lacey review

Sector Nine Lacey review by Gabe Gywnne Lacey, She’s got beautiful curves to lock you in, amazing rails to lean on when your gripping through corners and a big, fat, rounded booty for throwing out big standup slides going quick. The brainchild of Evran Ozan [LBDR!] who is one of the riders on the Sector 9 Downhill Division. Lacey is designed for going fast and getting sideways, FAST. The tight, pointy nose is the perfect shape for your front foot when your in tuck, hauling down a mountain road. Then, as soon as you need to throw down a slide for the hairpin coming up you have a fat, solid foot platform at the back of the board. Meaning you can get your right foot right over your rear truck for the control you need throwing down standup slides when your hauling ass. The smooth, mellow [but surprisingly locked-in] concave also means that dancing on your downhill board is a dream, steeze out some cross-steps on your speedboard! The rounded rails are perfect for locking your back foot on toeside slides. The lack of a w-cave means you use the rails more than the concave for your rear foot. I wrap my griptape all the way around the rails for a bit more grip. You can also sand down the rails slightly, making similar to the rails of the Landyachtz 925. You might have some wheelbite issues running 42 degree trucks with 70mm and bigger wheels. You can use some riser pads to solve this issue or sand/hack away a bit of the wheel well to make it deeper. I run 50s on my Lacey with a venom eliminator boardside and a venom barrel roadside and only get a tiny bit of wheelbite when turning extremely hard with wheels over 74mm. Lacey, from the Sector 9 Downhill Division, you know you want to ride her. Jackson Shapeira's no footbrake, no sliding, ballsy, hawl arse run down Mount Panorama on the Lacey. Jacko in Newtons