On the surface, an outlaw race is just another race. Riders move from point A to point B, somebody wins, and blah-de-da-blah—the race is over. But the rad thing about skateboarders is that we’re creative by nature and always find a way to turn the mundane into the epic. Outlaw races are a perfect example of skaters re-appropriating the standard competitive framework and turning it on its end. A couple of weeks ago I went to the Dump Road Outlaw Race held out in the Inland Empire of Southern California. I met some passionate shredders, had a blast riding the road, and enjoyed watching my friends push themselves on their skateboards.
Like other outlaws, Dump Road is a race populated with the type of rider that rides because he loves it. There is no big cash purse, no groupies, and no spectators. The only people that are there are the other riders, some dudes wife or girlfriend maybe, and a dog. Only riders with a true passion for this type of skateboarding participate in a race like this. Dump Road is one of the smaller downhill events of the year, but just as rad, if not radder, than any sanctioned race I’ve been to.
The Dump Outlaw is about skating with the homies—hardcore racing, not so much. It is more about the comradery and the fun of riding and less about the brands involved or who makes podium. Don’t get me wrong, the race goes down for sure, and dudes push themselves, but there’s something laid-back and chill about the whole affair.
Dump is not overly organized either. Money is collected from whoever wants to enter, the names are written down on a piece of cardboard with a Sharpie, then there’s a race. Pretty basic. The lack of bureaucracy and rules allows the riders to focus on skating and just having a good time. It’s funny because the actual race is such a small part of the whole day. Most of it is spent taking warm-up runs on the road, swapping stories, and catching up with friends ya haven’t seen in a while.
I believe that the Dump Outlaw Race and others like it are the heart and soul of downhill skateboarding. Anytime the community gets together and creates their own events there will always be good times and a raw passion to ride. Our scene is definitely growing bigger by the day, and I hope, as more sanctioned and corporate sponsored events become the norm, that we are wise enough to continue putting on these small community events. Although these homegrown events may not translate to many units sold or a million youtube views, there is no doubt that they build community and spread the true gospel of skateboarding: Having a great time and pushing yourself. If you have a chance to be a part of an Outlaw race like Dump I suggest you check it out—I’m pretty sure you’ll meet some new friends and have a blaster. I know I did.
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