We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
WORDS Marcus Bandy PHOTOS Jake Grove, Joe Carlson, & Marcus Bandy
The choice to attend just the finals of this year’s Maryhill Festival of Speed was a collective and unanimous decision made by the entirety of the Keep on Tuckin’ crew. Basically, we just wanted to skate hills on this trip with the least impediment from crowds, price tags, sports, or rules in general. Not to mention, many of us have been to the Maryhill FOS for the past five years in a row, and little has changed about the event over those years: it’s still hot, still in the middle of nowhere, the campsite is still crusty, and the majority of the event is still a waiting game. That said, Maryhill—the actual road—is legendary. If you are new to downhill skateboarding it is a must skate—an epic pilgrimage for any and all who are downgrade inclined. Not to mention, the Festival of Speed has been a great option for many skaters the world over who want to get their feet wet in downhill skateboard racing.
It’s been said that showing up is half the battle. So with that concept in mind, we showed up to the 2015, Maryhill Festival of Speed to cheer our friends on. For us, the second half of the battle was in capturing rad photos of the event without physically melting, as the Maryhill Loops Road itself reached tempatures of over 150 degrees farenheit this year—dudes literally fried eggs on that shit—It was brutal. The other battle going on at Marhill—and which is fought there every year down its black asphalt curves—is the battle to win the race itself. As many of you know, sports in the traditional sense is not really our thing, but we most definitely support skaters aspiring to be the best that they can be, so we show up, we take photos, we make da videos, cheer on our fellow skaters, then we dip.
For those of you who don’t already know, there was quite a bit of finish-line contention, yelling, screaming, cursing, finger-pointing, questionable physical contact, then after the fact more contention, and now riders have even gone as far as to publicly admit to flagerantly cheating against their fellow skaters during this year’s Maryhill race. Without naming names and getting too deeply into it, I’ll just say it was a major bummer to witness, and it left a strong impression on all of our KOT crew, those watching our live broadcast via Periscope, as well as the many at the actual event itself. That being said, it’s all about perspective (remember those “Surfaces” we quoted Emerson talking about?) and I think Henry David Thoreau said it best when he stated that “it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what ya see.” The way I see it, skateboarding is a brotherhood of creative individuals and there is no place for jockery and incentivized divisiness. Regretfully, when I look back at this year’s Maryhill Festival of Speed I can’t help but see a lot of deceit and a blantant discrepect for the tenants of skateboarding as a culture. Really bad fuckin’ news!! But do not get me wrong—that’s not all that I saw at Maryhill this year. I also saw many of my fellow skaters having a great time together, pushing one another to do rad shit, and also simply just having fun riding their skateboards. These pictures included in this article depict that latter seeing. Please enjoy, but also please take note of the broader experiences shared here in this text.
After the event wrapped, we loaded the Muir van and our Keep on Tuckin’ crew headed for Canada and ultimately the Gian’t Head Freeride. Although we were a bit confused and sad at some of what we’d seen at Maryhill, we remained hopeful and we looked forward to more skateboarding fun ahead in Summerland, British Colombia, Canada. Shredlove & Gnarmony!
Next stop, Giant’s Head Freeride!
A huge thank you to all this year’s KOT supporters: