or Zen and the Art of Skateboarding – Jed Chapman brings us his tale of skate at last year’s VIF17 … Continue reading “Velefique International Freeride 2017”
‘Italy is only 23% flat land, leftover are mountains and hills crowded by asphalt roads.’ By Simone Mondino
With just 8 days notice, I got a Facebook message from Tom @ Never Summer UK, for the opportunity to go Snowboard & Skate in the French Alps.
On a stormy September day, I was asked by a teacher at a local school if I wanted to set up a skate school as a daytime lesson.
We spoke to Cam & Henry to find out more about their drone/skate adventure across Europe. Five weeks, eight countries, three skate events and twenty hours of footage crammed into under ten minutes.
– Cam Deegan –
This was my third ‘Eurotour’. Good friend and Videographer Henry Hayhurst joined me for the whole trip. We began the month-long skate pilgrimage in the UK. Then made our way into Germany to pick up Deen Mondt. Our car crew complete for the entirety of the trip.
Our first real stop was in the Czech Republic, at the infamous Kozakov Challenge, then we travelled deeper south to Slovenia for the week long KNK freeride. The last scheduled stop on the list was the Italian race Verdicchio. Apart from these three events we had no plans, only to go with the flow and see what happened. This was the best decision we made. In past years I’ve found that over-planning makes a structured and difficult trip. The best things to happen on the road are often the unexpected.
Once we stepped foot back in the motherland we had 20 hours of footage to trawl through and edit. Two solids day and shabam, here she is: Europa. Watch in 1080p for maximum enjoyment levels.
– Henry Hayhurst –
I got a message from Cam Deegan asking if I wanted to film him in Europe . With no hesitation I bought a drone and booked a month of work. A week later I found my self driving to Frankfurt. It was a real eye opener, it was my first time in Europe and seeing downhill long-boarding racing.
It was the first time for many things and flying the drone was one, making my 15 second edits (which you can find on my Instagram) to the eight minute feature below. I could see my progression in the editing and the smoothness of the drone operation. It was also my first time making a skate edit. For me “Europa" is the beginning of my film career.
Tommy Hook, tackling the convoluted and lost art of sponsoring. A cultural critique that implores, insults, exasperates and asks '…Would you not rather be out skating?'
I remember quite vividly the summer I had sponsorship offers. One was from a company whose boards I’d never ridden, or even thought about riding, but still I bragged to my then girlfriend (who had been begging me to grow up) about it. She didn’t buy it, and in all honesty I didn’t either. The other offer was from a company that I’ve admired since I first stepped foot on a board. Both fell through, one essentially due to laziness on my part, the other due to “funding issues”. Why do I tell you this? Not to brag, but more for you all to better understand the position that I’m coming from – I’ve been on the brink, and I was thankful I came off the other end.
I never once sought out sponsorship. I’m the kind of guy that would take two cameras and numerous batteries to hills, but always leave them in the bag. I prefer to skate than shoot video/photos the majority of the time, and I wouldn’t want to burden my friends with doing what I’d prefer not to. I still got offers, but lost out due to that attitude, and I can honestly say that I was thankful. Who wants to be looking for photos/videos when you can go skate?
The longboard industry suffers greatly from a case of sponkeritis, both in this country and abroad. It’s not uncommon for companies both big and small to be flooded with requests to be sponsored, often accompanied by some janky video, and whilst it’s great to see the enthusiasm it’s a trend that I would gladly see die in a fire. Instead of begging for it, I’d implore people to go out and do something worth being recognised. Do you really think that the small company, already giving away revenue to support essential local events, has enough in the bank to cover your costs? Most of the guys you see as ‘sponsored riders’ only get flow team rates (Google it), and they’ve put in a lot more time than you.
[Image – http///hypervocal.com/culture/2012/the-best-of-the-unimpressed-queen-elizabeth-meme/]
I see a lot of riders, mostly groms or younger guys, striving for social recognition. They’d love to post a team rider hashtag along with their new #longboard #thankyou #sponsorlife profile pic. Maybe it’s people undervaluing events and the time it takes to run a brand and produce gear. Christ knows, but people sure seem to want a lot without putting the time in.
Whatever it is, it’s not unique to longboarding – even Rodney Mullen (that guy from THPS if you’re old enough to remember that) has noticed the trend for skaters to obsess about that next photo/video part instead of just skating.
I see so much basic shit on my facebook ‘newsfeed now, that it’s hard to tell whether people are joking or not. We spend so long circle-jerking comments on videos of really simple crap, instead of going outside, skating, slamming and getting up again.
Now before someone calls me out for discouraging people, if you want to post your stuff on the internet, go for it. But would you not rather be out skating? Lurking in the deep dark North years ago, far removed from much of the UK community, even before I’d ever met or saw a picture of any of the UKDH legends, all I’d hear was “that guy rips.” Believe me, it meant a lot more coming from a rider that I respected than it did coming from a company sponsoring them.
Do you really think you have what it takes to go skate, day in, day out, and then produce regular QUALITY content for a brand to use as marketing material? Some of you would jump at the chance, but believe me when I tell you there are horror stories from sponsored riders about how you’re treated and how heavy the expectation is. It’s a part-time job with no pay. Don’t even start me on the industry #politics. You will end up seeing the nasty side of this
Unless you’re beyond talented or know the right people, you’re going to become a business asset. They call it being on the Flow team not because you get “flowed” gear, but because you’re solving a cashFLOW problem for that company. A way to save companies money. Why pay £800 for a full page ad in traditional print media when you can give a teenager a T-shirt and some stickers, give them 10% off this season’s gear that’s taking up space in your warehouse, and let loose a mini PR machine hyped up on Red Bull.
Maybe you’ll just be asked to pay two lots of shipping for one sponsor pack, have your social media hijacked a few times a week and get asked to rep sub par gear in return for being on the team. Or maybe you could spend an entire year repping a product, paying out of your own pocket to get to competitions and freerides (only £120 registration + travel + camping, but you get 10% off your wheels) and get nothing in return. #truestory
Basically it is an ambassador program where you’re paying for the privilege to ride a brand, and at least some companies are open enough to call it that. If you’re still paying for your gear and you’re locked into an exclusive kinda deal, I hate to break it to you – your “team” is exploiting you, not sponsoring you. If your sponsorship or professional status exists solely on your meagre Facebook “Sportsperson” page, it’s highly likely that you’re delusional.
If you still want to be sponkered that much then go for it. The most determined won’t let some silly internet words stop them. But I warned you. Dear God, do it because you love skating, travelling and sharing that with others, not just because you want to be #sponsored #famous #adored #liammorgan.
Quotes from this wired article on Mullen http://www.wired.com/2015/01/rodney-mullen/
[Image – http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3ucny6]
[Image – https://toddmpost.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/anyone-who-says-i-am-a-guru-is-no-guru/]
[Image – https///www.pinterest.com/explore/delusional-people/]
[Image – http///downinthree.com/2012/12/rodney-mullen-how-context-shapes-content/]
We asked Ben Stainer to gather up some photos and anecdotes from the week-long Longboard camp KNK Bear's Guts Freeride (Slovenia). We wanted to give those who know nothing about it a little glimpse into what spending a whole week camping out in the wilderness and hitting 100+ hairpins each day is like. In all honesty we really think you should go to KNK to really figure out what it's all about because this article is going to leave you with more question then answers. Strap in.
KNK Longboard Camp Slovenia usually runs twice a year for 1 week by an amazing team. The venue allows you to camp or book a hotel room, there is music and hot food for sale all day and night. The local town is tiny and engulfed in trees and quite magical. If you would like to be kept up to date you can follow Longboard Magazin on facebook here. The Redbull No Paws Down Race is also held here, If you think of normal downhill racing as rugby then No Paws is like it's less agressive cousin football.
Skate to Escape’s Thrill Hill Freeride
''We’d been discussing doing an ‘Event’ for a while, having Thrill Hill close by and a drive to share this hill with others we thought we'd start off small.''
Joe Baldwin had told us about the hill after we questioned him on the Thrill Spring Tour of the Lakes, we've been enjoying it ever since. We invited a handful of friends & some of the top UK riders who had given us a warm welcome into the UKDH scene at events previously in the year. 33 invites were sent & 13 turned up to battle the hill.
Friday came soon enough, we made some trophies from old firewood we had kicking about & we loaded up and hit the road. Arriving at the campsite tents were pitched and fire was lit, people arrived in flocks & it wasn’t long till we were all acquainted and hit the pub. Clear nights in the Lake District come highly recommended. Stars galore!
We woke up to glorious sunshine on Saturday morning, had breakfast and drove the 25mins to the hill and begun freeriding.
The sun continued to beat down throughout the day as we took run after run. Thrill hill being challenging with its bumpy surface, steep hairpins, pot holes & general GNAR began claiming soldiers….
Tim Davis went down hard after high siding on the third right taking out his ankle and leaving him unable to skate for the rest of the weekend, shortly after David Lewis (winner of best bail) felt the wrath of the hill and ended up upside down in the bracken between two boulders unable to right himself.
The level of stoke was high throughout, riders were progressing rapidly taking clean run after clean run. We were all around a similar level so we fed off each other, worked on lines and had a productive afternoon. After 5 hours on the hill we started fizzling out and sitting back enjoying the view, eventually we packed up and headed back to the pub.
Fed and watered we headed back to camp to find an American hiker had lit our fire for us “with one match!” Slackline was set up and after a few drinks table football championship begun in the early hours of Sunday morning, which Oli Parkinson destroyed everyone at. (We were a dream team together tho Oli!)
Sunday morning brought rain & the remaining survivors were eager to battle the hill in whatever condition.
On arrival the road had a river running through every apex! A quick wheel change and we went at it in true UKDH style…
Within the hour the road was patchy and 20mins after that it was bone dry! Change of wheels again & we started racing!
4 of the 13 were left to race, so we agreed on a points system so we all got a heat with each other & top two then battle for 1st & 2nd etc.
Each race heat was great fun and exciting to watch!
1st Lewis Taylor (I swear I didn’t fix it!)
2nd Robbie Eisler
3rd Oli Parkinson
4th Dale Goodwin
Thanks to everyone that came, we had a great time & hope you did too.
Lets skate again soon.
The event info for the last Tregaron Freeride.
29th -30th of August
Full weekend ticket – £65
- Camping Friday and Saturday Night
- Food : A Saturday evening meal and a Sunday morning breakfast provided by the Y Talbot hotel.
- Freeriding the whole time the hill is open. With loop uplifts and a safe fast course there will hopefully be tons and tons of runs crammed into the weekend.
- Racing if you so wish
(For spectators/lurkers/photographers/friends/parents) Camping Only – £10
Need more convincing? Read below for more hype and logistical information.
Situated at the entrance to Gnarnia, overshadowed by the fearsome ‘Gates’ that lead into the darkest depths of Wales, Tergaron is the last settlement that is passed by those who venture out to the wilderness in their pilgrimage to attain Welsh gnar. This year’s freeride hill used to be a pot-hole disaster, but it has recently been resurfaced with smooth tarmac and the hill snakes its way through two hairpins that overlook some incredible welsh countryside. This hill is definitely worth the trip, not only for it's picturesque location, but for the challenging corners and exciting straightaways that allow you to develop your downhill and freeriding skills regardless of how good (or bad) you think you are. This hill gets an unconditional seal of approval from Thrill Magazine HQ because it was initially discovered by us many, many years ago and has been drawing us back to this region of Wales for over 5 years. If the hill isn’t all you want, the ‘Y Talbot Inn’ that is providing the dinner at the freeride has culinary awards spewing out of every pot and pan. If you want to eat well and have amazing fun on a skateboard this month (with uplifts), get to this freeride! It will be the single best downhill skateboarding event in the UK in 2015!!
All are welcome not just skaters. We need paparazzi and marshals too.
- Are you currently out of skateboarding on injury or want to take part in the event but don't feel you are ready yet to skate ?
- We need dedicated and alert marshals to help us run the event throughout the weekend, you will be fed and camped for free and given some sort of compensation for helping us run the event.
- There will be a marshals meeting on Friday evening so that we can tell you what exactly it is that you need to do, and go over some basic safety measures, including your own.
- We will be holding a marshals briefing before and after each day in order to maximise the safety of the riders.
- As an Event marshal you are responsible for:
- Policing a corner or straight of the event making sure any riders that fall over are not hit by riders behind them.
- With the help of our medical team we will work together to ensure riders are safe at all times.
- You will need to be alert at all times and not under the influence of anything.
BASIC PLAN ???
A weekend of skating with loop road uplifts at Pencefn Drysgol lane in Tregaron. Which means that there will be continuous runs, less time waiting for buses, less time waiting to do a run and ultimately more runs! A similar format to what Vandem Freeride in Exeter has been in the past.
The road is perfectly surfaced with 2 hairpins and fast straights, ideal for beginners and pro riders alike. You can try to grip and rip the whole track, get you pre drifts down or even do some no hands down runs, its up to you!
We are hoping to run some races on Sunday, including the Welsh Championships. But if you do not wish to race, the track will be open for freeride, after the heats have gone down (this means the number of runs will be slightly lower).
There will be toilets located at both the camp site and track.
09:00 – Track opens for AMRAYS (as many runs as you survive) all day.
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch brake (its more for our lovely marshals and uplift drivers than riders)
18:00 – Function Room of the Y talbot for Dinner and Pints.
20:00 – Race registration and riders meeting
There will be 4 person heats for every category, which will be Open, Womens, Juniors, Ludge and Welsh Championships.