There has already been a few write-ups, images, and videos featuring this particular slide jam, but like a good pizza pie, sometimes you gotta eat 3 or 4 slices before you get your fill and are satisfied. The Talega New Years Slide Jam was such an event, so help yourself to one more slice of radical:
Josh Hunt, Danny Connor, Max Capps and myself were given the opportunity to judge the slide jam, and so once everybody had arrived and signed up, the four of us pulled our picnic chairs together and decided that we’d do well to separate the 30 riders into 3 heats of ten, give each heat a thirty minute session, pick the top three riders from each of those heats, and then have a final of those nine riders. Our judging rubric was to be focused on four categories: speed, style, consistency, and tricks.
The Rad Zone
The Rad Zone has been stated as being my personal creation, but this is not the case—I just added on to it. My friend Danny Connor actually made up the idea of the Rad Zone a while back, at another slide jam. He was a bit buzzed at the time and was heckling people who skated by, claiming that the general area around his person was the “Rad Zone!” Guys would ride by him and he’d lift his beverage and say, ”Get Rad—get rad!” After some reminiscing of that day, Danny and I decided that for this particular event we’d mark-off an actual area on the road and give the riders double-points for throwin’ down within it’s boundaries. I’m not sure we actually gave any extra points out, but the Rad Zone was our baby, and we were proud her. “Get rad!”
All three heats were super fun to watch. There was a broad range of styles and some really fast riding.
In the first heat, Kody Noble laid down some smooth backside no-comply slides as well as switch 180s off the ramps; Jimmy Riha hit both ramps, rode fast, and slid the shit out of everything; and Tomio Choy killed it on his short board with a broad range of stylish, long slides.
The second heat was just as badass. Lonnie Leonelli threw down some unique moves with style, Chris Sharp shredded some killer 360s and lengthy standups, and Wyatt Gibbs skated faster and slid farther than most everyone.
The third heat was stacked with shredders. In the end, Matt Kenzle, Hunter Shwirtz, and Chance Gaul stood out with their unmatched speed and stylee slide combos.
We ended up with some time left after the preliminary heats, so we decided to have a consolation heat. The winner of this forth heat would be added into the finals. Everybody killed it. Les San Jose threw down the fastest-ever heelside slide to shuvit-crossstep and Kyle Chin came correct with his brand of steeze and solid technique. When time was called, it was apparent that Trevor Watkins was gonna be the comeback kid for sliding the hell out of Talega. There was no doubt amongst the judges that Trevor’s speed, consistency, and multiplicity of slide variations deserved the tenth and last spot of the finals.
The finals were def one of the highlight of the day. The riders were warmed-up and frothing to shred. Most dudes hit the ramps, shovit slides were the norm, and everybody skated fast. The finalist all killed it, but there had to be a top three. When the urethane dust (and actual dust) settled, Hunter Shwirtz won, followed by Cody Noble in second, and Trevor Watkins in third.
What a great day! I’d like to thank Trevor for getting me involved and everyone else for coming out and being a part of our growing community. I’d especially like to thank my Brother Dave at Collected Exposures for snapping these images.
I’d also like to give a shout-out to all the event sponsors:
Randal Trucks, Honey Skateboards, Abec 11 wheels, JLB Longboards, Sector 9, Gravity Skateboards, Advanced Slide Labs, Gunmetal Trucks, Ladera Skateboards, Macbeth Shoes, Venom, Madrid, and Orangatang Wheels.
For more photos of this event click here: Collected Exposures