Monthly Archives: July 2015

  • Event: Hog Hill "The Crackling" May 2015 by James Allen

    Our newly minted #NewtonsFamily member James gives the lowdown on the UK's most successful downhill longboard & slalom event #SkateHogHill

    See: more photos on our FB page
    See: Summer Swine Stomp 2015 at Hog Hill event page (18-19th July)

    "What a great weekend to start off my summer! So much fun from beginning to end!

    It started with an early Saturday morning food run, gathering enough grub to last the weekend, which inevitably we didn't get right as we found ourselves eating takeaway pizza on the Saturday night and Pizza Express the Sunday evening.

    After the food run, a couple of hours driving, and a quick coffee break, we arrived at the Redbridge Cycling Centre excited, and ready to skate! The track was a little damp, but the rain had stopped and the sun was out, so by the time we had signed in and padded up, the track was dry and ready to go.

    Knowing the slide jam was starting soon, I grabbed my techslide skateboard and headed for the 'slide hill' over the back of the course. When I got there, a few people were already sliding and getting some practice runs in before the comp started.
    As the format had changed this time round, separating techslide and freeride, it was good to see an even mixture of people doing the two disciplines.

    I managed to get a couple of runs down the hill before Jamie and Jorge gathered everyone around to explain the rules, which were basically skate hard for 20 minutes, be nice and have fun!
    And so it began, we all took it in turns taking our runs, and it was awesome, everyone was doing so well and busting out some radical manoeuvres, it was so cool to see more people progressing in the techslide scene.

    Techslide Blunt Check Alex Thompson of the #GreenwichGroms with a blunt slide. Alex@NS

    My first couple of runs didn't go so well however, I managed to flatspot one of my wheels so for the rest of the 15 minutes we had I sounded like a helicopter coming down the hill haha!
    Over the next few minutes I had a couple of good runs, landed some cool tricks and having a good time, I took a pretty hard slam, hit my head and cracked my helmet, but after a short break I managed to get up and fit another run or two in before it ended.

    Tech slide longboard blunt toeside James pulling out a blunt backside nose check, stylin.... ~Alex@NS

    Next was the freeride jam, once again the guys yelled out the rules, then we all ran back to the top of the hill to get started. I wasn't taking this one too seriously especially after just falling, so it was more of a chilled session for me, but like usual all the other skaters were going all out with some really good riding.

    BLBB Captain Joseph "Toe Hook" Montague blasting backside BLBB Captain Joseph "Toe Hook" Montague blasting backside ~Alex@NS


    The rest of the day was very chilled out for me, with just a few more relaxed runs and hanging out with a few pals, then grabbing some pizza before heading to the campsite. When we got there, a few tents had already been set up, so we picked a pitch close to a few pals and set up. The night consisted of the usual fun, no music this time, but some fire poi and juggling, alot of chatting about the days skating and a fire towards the end of the evening. I headed to bed fairly early, trying to prep myself for a full day of racing on Sunday!

    I woke up quite early the next morning, so I had a shower, got myself ready and woke the others up. After a few minutes we packed away the tents and headed for Hog Hill, briefly stopping for a coffee and some breakfast.
    The sun was shining and the track was warm and dry, so it was time to get my race setup and get in some practice before the racing started. I was feeling more confident with every run I took, and after a few bushing adjustments I felt comfortable with my setup on this course.
    So I signed up and tried to fit in as many runs as I could, which was great fun as I got to ride with loads of different people and get the feel of how they skated, but also making new friends with them on the walk back up.
    When it came to the actual racing, I started to feel a bit nervous, but I guess that's expected. We all had to race three heats of five riders each, the position you come in those heats counts as a point, and the riders with the least points go into the finals. In my first heat I did well, I managed to push up front from the start and hold it through to the chicane then it got very close between me and Connor Finch as he chased me out , it was literally toe to toe through the last corner but I made it into first place by inches in the end.

    My second and third heats were similar, except I think I took a bad line through the chicane in both and got overtaken, putting me in second place for both of those heats.
    So I ended up with five points which I was very pleased with as it put me into the finals.

    The final race was a very daunting one for me, even though I had done well in the first three heats, this was with six other riders, and they were all very fast.
    From the start I managed to push into fifth place, it was a reasonably close pack still by the chicane, but I got overtaken on the inside, and that guy then overtook the person in front of me, and it was a bit of a flash but, then someone went down, and I crashed into them, then another behind me. It was a bit of a pile up, but I I came out okay and skated through to the finish line in fifth, then the other two guys who fell came skating across the line a minute later so everyone was okay.

    After getting through all the final races it started to rain, luckily it held out till the end of the weekend.

    It was now time for the award ceremony. Everyone gathered around Timmy and Co to cheer on the prize winners and finalists. When it came to the announcing the finalists for the technical slide jam, I had absolutely no idea that my name would be called out, as I thought I wasn't skating so well, but it turns out I got first place, which I was definitely pleased to hear and had a big smile on my face!

    James Allen Winner Tech Slide Competition UK James & his winnings for the tech slide jam. ~Alex@NS

    So all in all, player to player and me to you, it was a positively awesome weekend, filled with fun and skating for everyone, and I can't wait to see you all and do it all again next month!"

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