I’m back in Long Beach today, sitting in front of my computer, looking out my office window at a wet and windy Pacific morning—not the most inspirational vantage from which to write an article about shredding. However, the good times and warm weather of the Gnarbara Slide Jam are still fresh in my mind, so it’s probably best to quickly get the details out before I begin my slow decent into the nearsightedness of the daily.
Anyway, we spent our weekend shredding the majestic Ynez Mountains overlooking a clear Santa Barbara and an endless Pacific Ocean. Skaters traveled from LA and San Diego, as well as a vanload who drove down from the Bay Area. All came to skate with the SB crew at their 2nd annual Gnarbara Slide Jam. This was the biggest slide jam turn out that I have seen thus far, with almost seventy riders and thirty to forty spectators.
One of the cool features of the event was the mushroomish water tower that provided a bird’s eye view of the road we skated, as well as both the eastern side of the Santa Ynez mountain range and it’s western slopes as they spilled into the endless Pacific. The location was truly an inspirational place for any event. The excitement level was huge and it manifested itself as Cheshire grins on the faces of all who attended. The sun was out, not a cloud to speak of, and the temperature was in the low eighties. Shredding went down all day long. I’m pretty sure that no one left those mountains feeling like they missed out on skate-time.
The actual event was organized in a way that felt more like an all-day session than any sort of contest. There were two heats of thirty something riders, and then that was brought down to one final heat of twenty. Ultimately, the rippers ripped and the shredders shredded. I was a judge, but this was merely a titular position, as I mostly shot photos and walked around kissing babies. The other judges took a more serious approach, and in the end Louis Piloni received 1st, Kyle Martin was 2nd, and Aaron Grulich came in 3rd.
The highlights of the day for me were Kody’s shuvit-slide body-varials, Kyle Martin’s speed and power, dudes crashing into each other but not getting hurt, Tim Del Rasario shredding on a banana board, Max Dubler breaking his Sick Tail ©, the epic dirt race, LP’s almost 360 off the kicker, skating with 60plus riders all at once, the BBQ grub, water-tower viewing, Liam’s standup toeside nose-grab drifters, and just chilling with the homies. Serious good times!
I’d like to thank Max Myers and the whole Santa Barbra skate community for having us; especially Max and his roommates for letting us camp/rage in their backyard, Max Capps and Gunmetal for helping with the gas and snack supply, all the sponsors of the event, Eric Singer and his grill-master for hooking up the BBQ action, UCSB, Woodstock’s Pizza, and to all the skaters thank you for making me feel so welcome.
I can’t wait till next year. . .