Jason Mitchell, Seismic Nationals 2007, Hybrid Slalom.  Photo by Greg Fadell Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association
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Blog: Paul Dunn, 60-days to Hood River

 
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Blog: Paul Dunn, 60-days to Hood River (177 Posts)
Topic Entry
need help
On 2/9/2006 poo wrote in from United States  (12.215.nnn.nnn)

im new to skateboarding and i need tips on any good companies for trick boards, because i have no idea wat to get

 
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WAVES TODAY
On 1/7/2006 HACKETT - BLACK LEATHER RACING wrote in from United States  (68.66.nnn.nnn)

FOR THE LAST 2 WEEKS, I HAVE SURFED MORE OVERHEAD
WAVES THAN THE ENTIRE SUMMER OF 2005!


Image hosted by TinyPic.com
I know it's a far away shot- But Zannah's camera has no zoom. I got at least 8-10 waves besides this one this morning.

HACKMAN - BLACK LEATHER SURFER

 
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need help
On 12/28/2005 ali wrote in from Morocco  (196.206.nnn.nnn)

i'm ali from morocco i m verry happy to find your web and i'm the only one who do longboard sk8 in my city so and all my friends like this extreme games and hope to pratique it with me but here in morocco there is no skate shop where we can find longboard and most of my friends can't sell it .....that's why i write to you for help me and send me mybe some old boards or trucks just to help my friends to began ...........please write soon
i'll waitfor word

 
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advertise
On 10/5/2005 to ride wrote in from United States  (207.200.nnn.nnn)

need to advertise- 1st step to acceptance

 
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point breaks on the Central Coast
On 10/4/2005 mike maysey wrote in from United States  (66.214.nnn.nnn)

FYI, there are no point breaks on the Central Coast...Santa Barbara got 'em all.

 
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Stoke
On 9/20/2005 WAHL wrote in from United States  (192.45.nnn.nnn)

PD,

Did the point breaks go off up near you?
Malibu was on fire as well as Secos.

 
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Oh yah...
On 9/12/2005 Miko wrote in from United States  (66.81.nnn.nnn)

And of course... Good luck to you all at the Worlds! I hope it's all it should be... I'll miss racing with you all.

 
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Stoke or lack thereof...
On 9/12/2005 Miko wrote in from United States  (66.81.nnn.nnn)

On 7/19/2005 FLU wrote >> .... Having hills that are no bust, and a timing system, and a little bit of outreach is what it takes to get started... It's important that the scene you create is inclusive, and not some old guy gnar club that beginners need not apply.
I've consistently found that if I made the time to drag some young skater along to a session, they left pretty stoked. My main problem is that our hills ARE a bust mostly, and the surfaces in our aging community are really bad. The two local venues which aren't a bust are very short, and both poor surfaces. And because I don't have all that much time to ride, I DO choose to ride 'gnar stuff, which most other riders avoid.

It's much easier to get people out free-carving and eventually downhilling because you don't have the conspicuous cones announcing your activity. It's also perceived as a more free activity with less restrictions by the new-school street/park skater. The fact that I also LOVE downhilling divides my attention as well. So it's been an uphilll battle to get anyone involved in slalom. My schedule issues with work, parenting/divorce and school have been the main reason I've not been able to spearhead any leadership role in this area.

>> 50 year old World Champs would be cool and lame at the same time. .... We will glide nicely into the Masters because those kids will be kicking our asses.

If there actually were a Masters Division. How many of us would actually choose to not race with the pros if we're competitive at that level? The masters thing is a great concept yet it's hard to not want to race in the 'big show'.

I hate to be catty about the "Masters" concept, but I've stood by and watched a few of the older high profile "name" racers continue to somehow get recognition (And it's great that they do get it... I respect each and every guy who's involved here... this is more a perception issue.) yet find that I'm perceived as somehow younger than them and compared more often with the pros and fast open riders, when I'm in fact 52 years old. I won't name names, but I've consistently beaten all of the "Masters" quite regularly, and managed to race in the pro ranks most of the time in 04. The "honorable mention" I received at Breck for the most improved racer was nice, but it felt strange to be passed over because I was now qualifying as a pro! I guess that's my fault as well. Anyway... my failing finances, lack of recognition and lack of local activity have pretty much left me feeling fairly apathetic at this point. I guess if I was fatter, grayer and less fit, I might be perceived as the fast master that I really am. I'm fairly confident that if I pursue racing next year I will make that top 32 slot at least some of the time. I did it consistently in '04.

Another bitch: I strategically attended the 3 biggest races in 04 in an attempt to be counted against the best. I went to La Costa, Breck, and Worlds. La Costa was cut short, and it was my final that got scrapped where I would have finished two places higher... second to Maysey. Breck bracketings were pared down to top 16 and 24 (instead of top 32) to move things along faster due to bad weather, and I still managed to make the pro cut. But I didn't get to race the mid-pack riders I would have raced in a 32 man bracket... I was instead pitted against the fastest qualifying pros, which cut my advancement short. Only the worlds managed to allow for the bracketing stated in the contest boilerplate.

In those instances where unexpected changes took place, I was mature, accepting and poised, yet I still feel a bit cheated when I consider the limb I climb out on financially and with my family every time I attend a race. It hasn't been easy emotionally... There is always harsh conflict around each race with my (now ex) wife. My son's perception of all the hostility at home around the sport has poisoned his desire to join me at races, so I really have to go it alone if I want to skate... it's divisive on the family level which sucks.

 
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Stoke, or lack thereof...
On 9/12/2005 Miko wrote in from United States  (66.81.nnn.nnn)

My diatribe continued...

Mom's acceptance of mountain biking and DIRT JUMPING is the real irony here. She thought slalom was dangerous!? outlaw!? She hasn't come out to the trails or dirt lots to watch Jackson and I jumping our bikes, but I believe it's at least as dangerous as any kind of skating I've ever done (and I'm a downhiller as well); it's far more outlaw... illegal trail grooming and riding... urban/street riding damaging public property... and no entry at the local skateparks... It's interesting to see how public perception of it is so much more accepting, possibly due to the larger, more successful industry with more organization and maturity at the events... NORBA and IMBA with huge ranks and subscription numbers; publications etc. I love biking as well, so at this point it works for me as a father to do things with my son... so we're bikers now. We'll see how the skating thing manifests for me in '06, but if it's the same lack of organization, infighting and growing pains, I'll only ride speedboard-downhill and mountain bike.

The slalom-skate community was initially a place of refuge for me, yet the continuing fragile organization, continuing bitchfest between promoters and riders, and poor real-time decision making at most races has really left me feeling less than enthused. When it comes to hill-time, I'm super stoked, but we also come to race and receive fair treatment, and I don't feel it's been managed that well. I know it's easy to criticise and I know how hard it is to put on races. The fact remains that I know other riders feel and perceive many of these minor shortfalls, and eventually they add up... some riders just aren't as excited about attending anymore.

>> Pool skating survived underground (and still does) for decades. Now there are parks everywhere and more everyday. I can only hope skateboard racing survives long enough to make it to that place where it is sustainable.

I'm starting to believe that Hackett is on the right track with the Skatepark Racing angle. Get them hooked on timed, competitive racing on their own turf. It not only solves our limited venue/road problem using an existing resource... it goes to where the skaters already are and engages them on terrain that's familiar to them and NOT a bust.

The fact that young riders will almost certainly face the police in their attempt to practice slalom is not a good thing. A young rider's parents who aren't riders themselves, who hear of run-ins with the law will have a hard time accepting the sport as wholesome, safe and reliable as an ongoing activity. I've already heard this from moms of youngsters I've ridden with.
These same kids will want to ride in the street on their own when they're not attending more organized sessions with adults, and they'll find a lack of respect from police, drivers, and homeowners in the neighborhoods they're frequenting... I've witnessed the same cops who show me courtesy and respect, treat my younger college and high-school age friends quite poorly most of the time, and am bothered by the 'hoodlum' treatment younger riders receive. They're wearing pads, helmets etc. so it's only their age and communication skills working against them. The very people we want to shepherd into the sport receive the harshest treatment from the authorities and outsiders.

So bring on the organization boys and girls! If it's not organized enough for people to go away satisfied after they've made the efforts to attend a major race, Slalom racing will not find the good faith needed to sustain smaller regional efforts... at least in communites like the one I live in. I realize I could move to a hot pocket of activity and possibly enjoy the sport again, but that's not a real possibility in my life at this time.

 
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World's Practice...
On 9/11/2005 PD wrote in from United States  (24.180.nnn.nnn)

Hi crew,

Actually skated today -- the 1st time I've skated since Hood River. Whoa.

Anyway... my tight slalom game still totally sucks. I really think it's all over for me. My eye-sight and my "fast-twitch" muscles are slowly going bye-bye... Sad, but true.

I'll be around for the world's contests -- but I won't be a factor... To put it bluntly:

I Don't Got Game.

See ya there.


--Pablo

 
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My late great Humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apua'a' - I was tellin' ya about @ 2002 Worlds ......
On 8/29/2005 renecarrasco.com wrote in from United States  (71.134.nnn.nnn)

From the 'BIG PILE OF PHOTO'S ON MY DESK' Dept. - - -


Image hosted by Photobucket.com

PHOTO: By Rene C.

WWW.RENECARRASCO.COM
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

whoa - is this slalom related?
.....here ya go -

BELOW: 2003 -
RENE 'CANNONBALL' CARRASCO - DAVE 'SKATERBUILT' HEGSTROM.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

 
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Paul Dunn Please Contact
On 8/12/2005 TK wrote in from United States  (66.30.nnn.nnn)

TK at the above email or by phone 603 235 6429

 
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?????
On 8/5/2005 Pauliwog wrote in from United States  (64.5.nnn.nnn)

Hmmm, this is getting pretty dead, Me thinks I'll go shoot my mouth off on some other forum.

 
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team time trial
On 7/26/2005 Fluitt wrote in from United States  (192.18.nnn.nnn)

chris- that's a great idea. keep it 17 and under. Force the issue. I'll put a team up to compete.

 
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TTT
On 7/21/2005 Chris Chaput wrote in from United States  (66.116.nnn.nnn)

Team Time Trial. April 11th, 2006. Youths must be 17 and under on the day of the race. $30,000 cash - the winning team takes all. The cash is layed out on the podium like in the poker games. 3 kids per "team". Matching jerseys mandatory. There's money. That makes it professional, so look the part. For each of the 3 disciplines (TS, Hybrid and GS), every member of the team gets 3 timed runs. Each racer keeps only his fastest time, but the team has to take the SLOWEST of the 3 teammate's times. You add up the times for each team in all 3 disciplines, and the team with the best total wins. A perpetual trophy (like the Stanley Cup) bears the names of the Team and the Racers. TV and magazine and Web coverage is manadatory.

If you could get 3 kids in your area to skate as a team, and to compete against other teams with kids their age, you just might have something.

Otherwise, it will be an old man's club forever.

 
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Same Thing
On 7/21/2005 Same Guy wrote in from United States  (64.5.nnn.nnn)

OK, so I'm back now. My main point was this: There's avenues out there other than races to give slalom exposure and draw people in. OK, So that's about it. Later-Paul Howard

 
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My 2 Cents on the future of slalom
On 7/21/2005 Paul Howard wrote in from United States  (64.5.nnn.nnn)

Hey, PD- Thanks for the truck info.

OK, Here's what I've been doing: I practice most of the time doing hybrid and T/S in a completely legal high visibility location on a riverfront walkway (which is also near a skatepark). This does inspire the interest of a few flipper skaters, tranny skaters, but more interest from longboarders and surfers as well as the nonskating public- which I make sure they do NOT feel threatened, harrassed or intimidated,etc by my activity. I almost invariably have a 2nd board I can loan out for others passing by to try slaloming if they are interested. So far it's slowly catching more skaters interest who actually try it, and one has made the purchase of a slalom setup. And, it's becoming more and more in the minds of kids skating by who don't try it but they know me as "you're the guy that races".

Secondly, I put on BBQ slalom events at a Soap Box Derby Hill with 2 courses, a big open course and a smaller general slalom course. Word of mouth gets around in the town I put it on in as well as post in on the NCDSA contest calender and CSA email list. I run the event VERY low-key with the BBQ cooking the whole time, there is some single lane minor competition, we do count it in our CSA Series(sort of), but it's very geared toward beginners and all the experienced slalomers are encouraged to bring "loaner" boards.

This makes slalom cheap, available, non-intimidating,etc. Plus the Seattle crew puts on weekly practice sessions as well. As a result, the Northwest scene is growing slowly and steadily. The whole CSA thing may be not very competitive as a whole(Dong of course is our flagship racer) and is a big fun "bro" scene, but it's slowly getting more competitive, but more importantly, it's growing. Hood River had more locals this year than ever. I was the one and only "local" entrant from 150 miles away in 2002 with my reentry to slalom. The Seattle crew could have been called "semi-local", as could Tay Hunt. This year, a whole bunch of Portland/Vancouver skaters as well as Hood River's own Brian Carlstrom entered as well as a strong Seattle contingent. There were definately less "pros" showing this year(due to Stockholm, finances, burn-out, etc), but the balance was made up for with more amatures from the Northwest. Smartly, Gareth and Steven King expanded the A group, B group, and added a C group to include everyone or nearly everyone and keep them all racing and thus included and interested and having something to shoot for with their $100.00 entry. EVERYONE WHO PUTS ON RACES PUTS OUT A LOT OF TIME, ENERGY, AND $$$, and I respect and love all of you who do, but I really admire Gareth, and S King for everything they did to make this race happen. Maybe it's more personal for me since Hood River is always my "homecoming" race, it's the race Mollica got me back into racing with by threatening to burn my house down if I did'nt show up to in 2002. I'm at work so I gotta go- Paul Howard

 
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FUNDING
On 7/21/2005 MARK MCCREE wrote in from United States  (69.34.nnn.nnn)

Paul, You have a great grasp of diagnosing the state of skateboard racing.

I sometimes wonder why I dump the money I do into this. I think it's the "tree falling in the woods and hearing it" sort of thing. But at least I and my friends are there. (or is it am?)

All the pep talks in the world are just what they are--pep talks.

Action is the answer. There are alot of successful people in various endeavors paralleling this activity to model.

The ball is rolling..money spent has been educational...more will be spent proactively..we all will be smiling in a few years.

 
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the future of slalom?
On 7/20/2005 grass roooter wrote in from United States  (68.114.nnn.nnn)

REVEL, France - (KRT) - Lance Armstrong is counting down the days now, and the rest of international cycling is counting right along with him.

"It's been great, but it's time to do something else," Armstrong said as he approaches Sunday's finish line of his seventh straight Tour de France victory.

He doesn't get any argument from the other riders who have tired of chasing the Texan for all these miles over all these years.

The American domination has become something of a sore subject, particularly in France. It is one thing for the French to be second-best to Italy, Spain or Germany - all great cycling nations - but to constantly finish behind a rider from America, where cycling is about as popular and well-understood as team handball, well, that is something else.

The French newspaper L'Equipe cattily noted the other day that if you combined the times of the top five U.S. riders in the Tour and the times of the top five French riders, the American were 3 hours, 24 minutes faster. In the interest of completeness, the paper pointed out that the home team was also behind Spain, Italy, Germany, and the states of the former Soviet Union.

It is little comfort that in the United States, not only could the average citizen not name the four other American riders among the top 20 overall in the Tour - Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, Bobby Julich and George Hincapie - but it would be the rare person who could pick even one out of a police lineup.

There is no question that bike racing has a higher profile in the United States than it did before Armstrong and his storybook comeback from cancer, but no one knows whether the blip will remain on the screen after Armstrong has retired.

"We Americans have definitely gotten spoiled with Lance winning, and how easy he made it look," said Julich, who rides for CSC. "I think the interest will be there, but honestly, even myself as an athlete, I've gotten tired of seeing the same old thing develop year after year. I like the changing of the guard."

In the United States, however, where Armstrong's string of wins prompted daily live television coverage of the race, casual fans will still know about the Tour de France, but significantly fewer will tune in to see Floyd Landis fighting to make the top five.

"If you ask most people if they watched the seventh game of the Denver Broncos' season, they'll say no. But they watch the Super Bowl," Julich said. "Americans are after the big (events) and the mentality that it's first place or nothing. You know, second place is the first loser. I don't think Lance could have changed that even if he wanted to."

So interest in bike racing won't diminish simply because it is ... bike racing. It will diminish because there won't be an American victory to celebrate every year.

"It's always been a fringe sport compared to the big sports in America and it always will be," said Landis, who is originally from Lancaster County. "Here in Europe, it's a big sport because it's been that way for 100 years. On the other hand, football and baseball and basketball will always be the big American sports. I have no misconceptions about cycling taking over the world."

USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport, is hoping to ride Armstrong's coattails and ramp up its elite youth development programs while increased interest makes it a little easier to raise money.

"The Lance factor is certainly going to taper off at some point, but I don't think it's going to happen right away," said Jim Ochowicz, president of USA Cycling. "I think Lance will be around cycling and help promote those activities for young riders."

Best of luck, but finding a guy who can win the Pittsburgh Criterium is not the same as finding a guy who can win the Tour de France.

Even Armstrong's Discovery Channel team, the most identifiable American team in the world, is a veritable United Nations when it comes to its top riders. Italian Paolo Savoldelli, who won the Tour of Italy this year and finished first in Wednesday's flat stage from Pau to Revel, could be the team leader in next year's Tour de France. Or it could be Yaroslav Popovych from Ukraine, who is currently in 12th place and wearing the white jersey of the Tour's best young rider. Or it could be seventh-place Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakstan, who informed his T-Mobile team Tuesday night that he wasn't going to re-sign for next season.

If the average sports fan wouldn't be particularly captivated by an also-ran finish by an American, would that fan care even less about a Discovery Channel win for good old Yaroslav Popovych? We may find out.

"We're an American team and U.S. riders are interesting for us," team director Johan Bruyneel said. "But the sponsor is a company with a global focus. They've never said we need to have good U.S. riders. They want it to be a good team."

In the long run, presumably, that will be good for Discovery Channel ratings - in Ukraine.

"I think the quicker we develop a young American the better," Armstrong said. "All countries have droughts. While I hope that doesn't happen, it very well could."

The big question is whether anyone in the United States would notice.

 
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evangelism
On 7/20/2005 Adam wrote in from United States  (198.144.nnn.nnn)

www.freecarve.com

 
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evangelism
On 7/20/2005 Chris B wrote in from United States  (204.78.nnn.nnn)

Getting street skaters to try slalom is harder than you may think, at least up here in the midwest....but slalom and downhill have more in common with snowboarding than they do with streetskating....so.......does anybody know of websites, similar to NCDSA or SS.com that are geared to the snowboarders?

It's the perfect summer trainer .....and it looks like it's working well for Martin up in Utah, aye?....

 
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not just money ...
On 7/20/2005 hg wrote in from United States  (208.14.nnn.nnn)

PD - I wandered over here to see how things went on your trip to Hood, and caught your comments on slalom futures.

I suppose money was a factor in applying technology improvements to 30-year-old designs, and it certainly helped in raising the bar for the quality of organized competitions, but the heart of slalom always seemed to be based around local concentrations of enthusiasm, expertise and effort. That's what you're seeing now with the Colorado crew, and that's what we had previously with Golden Gate Park, La Costa, Cambria/Morro Bay, Revere/WLAC, etc. It seems like these pockets of activity burned bright for a few years, but then faded for a variety of reasons.

I certainly brainstormed on this when looking for ways to expand the market for wheels and decks, and came to the conclusion that "grass roots slalom" needed to be institutionalized somehow at the YMCA / school athletic program level, akin to roller hockey, soccers, etc, so that enough pockets of local activity would eventually add up to a critical mass at the national (and eventually international) level. That all sounds nice on paper, but the effort to organize something of this magnitude is huge, and it was more than I felt prepared to take on.

The potential was always there, as slalom is a really a good sport in many ways, though the vision of 40 year old guys swooping downhill on ESPN missed the target.

 
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50 year old champs
On 7/20/2005 Chris B wrote in from United States  (204.78.nnn.nnn)

I've been trying to be a "read only" person, but Paul made some great points below.
As for the 50 year old champs though, i think there's another angle to that. True, it's good to see the young guns pushing the sport, but there's something to be said for older guys taking the podium. From what i understand, guys like Mollica, Fluitt, Maysey, and many others have been running cones for many years. They didnt take top honors when they were younger, but they kept at it until they were on the top of their ranks.
Perseverance. It's an admirable quality. It took years for many of the top skaters in this sport to go from good to great and it's a testimony to how difficult it is to get to the top..
The knowledge, experience and above all else, the conditioning. These guys are pushing 40 and are all in great shape....that's not typical of middle aged guys in America...

"It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll".......

If it was something that was easy to attain, it wouldnt be as great of an achievement....

Just a different take on it....

 
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What He Said
On 7/19/2005 MG wrote in from United States  (216.52.nnn.nnn)

Thanks for the insight Paul. What he said is depressingly spot-on. I was skating the banks at Revere the other day and marveling at the old days when you could call a session and some of the best skaters in the state would drive hundreds of miles just to skate slalom in a flat asphalt parking lot.

Now there is not even any races to go to around here. With the demise of West LA, there is not much of a race scene left going on in So Cal at the moment. Hackett did a fantastic job with the pump station races. The competition was fierce on a great hill, but an old guys gnar club describes it pretty well. I mean I loved it, but a beginner would end up hospitalized on a hill like that. If I want a race, I pretty end up having do one myself. That's cool to a point, but JPL is no hill to be spreading slalom to the masses either, it's not getting any smoother, and there were a couple bad falls on the runout last time.

The money thing is pretty accurate as well. I mean it's great that McCree can fund the Bad News Bears go to Europe, but they're going to find a pretty non-existent race schedule when they get back to So Cal.

 
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Okay… the money thing.
On 7/19/2005 toddc wrote in from United States  (198.39.nnn.nnn)

I noticed the other day that the race in LATVIA had sponsorship from Converse, McDonalds and other major corporate entities. It mystifies me that big sponsers show up for small races in small countries, but have no interest in big races in big countries...any ideas?

 
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