Our intrepid explorer and respected contributor, Ben Stainer, arrived early in Romania to help DEVAstation Longboard Crew with the set up of Transylvania Downhill 2K17. Here are his first impressions:
The Eastern European nation of Romania is a surprising country. From being the inspiration behind the world renowned Count Dracula and the birthplace of the brains behind the modern jet engine (Henri Coandâ) to having an enormous amount of oil under the ground. The Americans have surprisingly not invaded the country.
Aside from its bustling cities and picturesque castles are the Carpathian Mountains and with them, some of the finest hills in Europe.
Just over 2 years ago, the DEVAstation Longboard Crew was founded, with the intention to create the first closed road event or, as Adrian and Ormy put it, “to create a place to skate somewhere proper.” Since then, the crew has exploded onto the European scene, gaining a huge amount of recognition for the events and the roads around which they are held. Seeing the hill was like running through a candy store without a care in the world for the consequences of diabetes.
The crew is one hell of a bunch to be with. Conversations about a whole variety of subjects and learning an entirely new card game brings home the joy of going to a nation that you’ve never been to before and feeling like you’re a part of it. The gracefulness and the elegance of their English as a second language puts my English as a native language to shame. Attempting to speak Romanian first hand is like attempting a marathon with two broken legs with a cheetah running after you!
DEVAstations moto is ‘We ride fast and we chill harder than you party.” This is a motto that not only perfectly describes the way they ride, but also provides a great example of what a crew should be. Going at a speed to cause a heart attack to your elderly relatives and have a super rest after your body starts shouting a barrage of colourful descriptions at your pain receptors. One evening we got out Joking Hazard, a comic strip game with a twisted sense of humour. It descended into a vast majority of us rolling on the floor in laughter after realising our comic was our ticket to hell.
Outside all the chilling and relaxation, DEVAstation are one efficient machine. Whether it is construction, paperwork, driving or dealing with the unplanned and unfortunate, it’s a simple case of ‘fix it’ and ‘it has happened, time to figure something out.’ The teamwork, both on display and behind the scenes, is based on trust and plays to the strengths of each person. Film, graphics, social media; watching it perform is like watching a bridge being built. It might take ages to complete, but there’s a load of people working it for the convenience of everyone else.
The aims for the future of such a young community are the same as its origins. Promoting safety, the sport itself and the nation of Romania. Proper events are right at the top of this list, since open road riding is much like rolling a dice with the grim reaper. For how well they do, it certainly seems that these objectives won’t be changing anytime soon, unlike my underwear after the last open road I did.
The scene in Romania and the treasures bestowed upon them are one of the most underrated parts of the longboard map. Eastern Europe, in the aftermath of the fall of communism, has been transformed from a place derided as being a buffer zone against a western invasion into a cohort of independent nations with national cultures and traditions more diverse then an expert colour chart.
Pride abounds in this beautiful country and with the hills that Romania provides, there’s no excuse not to be proud!
DLC's next event: Transylvania Freeride 2K17 - 26 - 30th August 2017
Words and Pictures: Ben Stainer