Is The Downhill Skateboarding Scene In Trouble?

The last few years have been pretty tough for longboard producers and retailers. This year feels like we’re about to hit the bottom as the number of riders dropped to its lowest since 2009. Many businesses shut down because they simply couldn’t manage to survive on such low numbers and now the crisis has finally reached downhill skateboarding events.

Google Trend for Longboarding search term.
Picture: Google Trend for “longboarding” search term

During their Annual General Meeting, IDF (International Downhill Federation) reported a small growth in the number of their members in 2018. They had 1111 members in 2017 and 1146 members in 2018, which is only 35 members more. Compared to the total number of members, the small improvement is basically insignificant and also represents the smallest growth in the number of members since 2013.

Looking at the number of IDF members attending the races, there were only 78 more members attending the races. The improvement is again very small compared to the drop the events have been experiencing since 2015 when IDF had 1667 members and 1047 of them attended the races. To sum it up, compared to 2015, IDF now has around 521 members less and 429 racers less.

Last year’s incident at an IDF sanctioned race in Brazil, where a rider tragically died in a collision with a vehicle on the race track, seems to have affected the rest of the IDF races around the world too. So far, there’s only one rider from Brazil listed on IDF Kozakov Challenge riders list.

Kozakov Challenge struggling, KnK Longboard Camp already near full

For as long as of 2009, Kozakov Challenge (Czech Republic) has been to racing what KnK Longboard Camp (Slovenia) has been and still is to the freeride scene. A little over a decade, these two events had led the scene by having the best organization, best racing track and attracting the biggest numbers of riders.

Other noteworthy events, like Alpenrauschen (Austria), Velefique (Spain), Gioasteka (Switzerland) followed closely but never really got to hit the big numbers like KnK Longboard Camp which was running as a two weeks long event for 10 consecutive years. In 2016 it reached a record attendance by hosting more than 450 riders from across the globe.

Recognizing the drop in the number of riders attending the events, as organizers of KnK Longboard Camp, we decided to reduce the event to only one week this year in order to avoid struggling to fill it up or potentially being forced to cancel one of the two weeks. The decision proved to be good since, at the time of writing this article, we have 228 riders registered for the event out of a 250 riders limit. The numbers are still good and we are more than happy but the current numbers show that the general number of riders reduced more than expected.

It looks like KnK Longboard Camp will once again count the biggest number of riders and while the target of 250 riders is not far away, there’s still a solid month till the event. It just might fill up.

However, Kozakov recently had to make an announcement on Facebook urging riders to sign up in case they intend to participate in the race.  This obviously shows that there are no riders around, otherwise, they would normally already register.

Currently, Kozakov’s riders list counts 128 riders and they are still far below their usual attendance at around 200 riders. Considering that Kozakov’s announcement came out less than a month prior to the event the timing is quite tight.

Another European IDF race, Transylvania DH falls short with only 31 riders currently listed on the IDF riders list. The organization of the Transylvania event also took a blow earlier this year as the two main organizers decided to split ways. In order to organize a quality event and provide with sufficient safety, more than 31 rider registration fees will be required, so we’ll likely see this event fading out in the near future unless they come up with the money elsewhere, like from the sponsors.

Do we need more events?

As the number of riders was growing in 2016, more and more people started organizing events around Europe hoping to make a few extra Euros on a side or even make a business out of it. Some organizers stretched as far as organizing 4-5 events in a season and not giving a damn if that’s maybe too much.

However, the bigger number of smaller, unsafe and not properly organized events will not likely do much for the scene but will bring it further apart as the riders stay limited to their local scene instead of connecting internationally as they used to a decade ago.

On the other hand, this is a good situation for the riders since they are able to attend the events by having to spend less money on traveling.

Anyway …

Could event “sponsorships” help keep the scene going?

Looking at the event sponsorships, the situation becomes even more worrying.

Before we can continue talking about so-called “event sponsors”, we have to clear up one thing: Businesses are not “sponsors” at an event … They are “advertisers”. They pay for the exposure, the right to be present with their branding and to interact with the riders at the event.

Unfortunately, since longboarding businesses are run by skaters and not marketing wizards, they failed to recognize this throughout the whole decade. Obviously, they didn’t have to pay much attention since the sales where OK and nobody really expected the good times to end so suddenly.

Compared to other sport industries, longboarding brands always managed to get away by “paying” the advertising with goods by giving a few decks to the event organizers. Obviously, for a smaller event, everything they can get their hands on will come in handy, but for big event organizers who actually have to provide with big media teams and much more complex event organization, a few pieces of gear is basically not sufficient compensation.

However, there were and still are a few brands left who are actually paying some money for the services delivered by the event organizers but their involvement is getting smaller from year to year as they make up excuses like “We are a small company and don’t have money”.

To sum it up, instead of investing in the scene to help it grow and promote their business, producers and retailers are cutting their financial involvement even more which doesn’t help anyone. After all, who can blame them when at this point they are basically fighting for their own survival.

Will skateboarding at the Olympics save the day?

The hopes are now all-in on the Olympics, hoping that someday downhill skateboarding will be a part of it and the sales will pick up where they stopped in 2016 … But let me ask you something – Does it really make sense to take an effort and include downhill skateboarding while, compared to other sports, there’s basically only a handful of downhill skateboarding riders around the world?

Thanks to less investing and thanks to the declining number of riders in general, we might see even more events disappear in the upcoming years while those who manage to stay intact might raise their prices.

Who can we blame, for real?

While this article is not aiming to blame anyone for the drop in the number of riders attending the events, probably the only thing we can all blame is the generation shift we started experiencing during the past few years.

Those who started skating back in 2009 when the boom started, are now 10 years older and most probably have other interests in life like a serious job, kids and so on … In simple words, they are not skating as much as they did and one thing the event organizers started noticing is that they are not coming back to their events.

Instead, there are more underaged riders on the scene. They are still in schools and they are financially still dependent on their parents. Getting the gear, traveling to an event and paying the registration fees is a big expense that’s only growing from year to year. Next to that, one thing to note is that they don’t own driving licenses or cars yet, making it so much harder for them to travel around on their own.

Finish line

What can we do now to make it better, you ask?

It will take a great group effort to get the scene back to where it was in 2016. The biggest events like Kozakov and KnK Longboard Camp will most likely continue running as usual but the advertisers will eventually have to step in or the number of riders attending the events will have to increase. Otherwise, the remaining riders might end up paying higher registration fees which could lead to the attendance to drop even further.

Rather than organising smaller events to continue breaking up the scene, it could be much better for local riders to organise classes and demo days in order to introduce new people to the scene.

Seismic releases new Race and Freeride Slide Gloves

Seismic releases new Race and Freeride Slide Gloves

Seismic recently released their new longboard slide gloves for both freeride and racing. These high-performance slide gloves are described to be made from advanced materials with an ergonomic design for a snug, yet comfortable fit.

With a closer look at these new models of slide gloves, one can immediately notice a robust goatskin exterior and an added layer for a much-needed reinforcement of the fingertips and other high-stress zones.

These well thought out reinforcements are also placed right underneath the puck and on the Purlicue, better known as the space between the thumb and the index finger. This especially comes in handy in both disciplines at times where you need to grab rail or act quickly by putting your hands down.

Another feature that we find interesting is the cuff design paired with industrial-strength Velcro. This form-fitting goatskin/neoprene hybrid features a pull-on extension on the bottom of the wrist for easier use and bigger coverage of the palmar side of your wrist.

The differences between these two longboard slide glove models are mainly in the outer design. The Freeride slide gloves feature a breathable synthetic material on the back of the hand that is paired with a stretchy neoprene knuckle accordion. This keeps the gloves light, breathable and flexible, perfect for freeride sessions.

Their Race gloves offer a bit more durability and protection as the back is made from perforated goatskin with an integrated Kevlar® knuckle bar.

Last but not least, Seismic also replied to the common nuisance known as seam placement. The seams are strategically placed for a better wearing comfort and durability, while the Velcro split is positioned so it compliments the natural palm crease.

For more info visit www.seismicskate.com.

Loaded Boards Freeride Longboard Slide Glove Version 7.0 (Large)

Loaded Longboard Slide Gloves
Poron XRD® palm padding and viscoelastic foam knuckle pad for protection, Cordura®, Kevlar®, synthetic suede and Lycra® outer construction for durability.
Amazon.com
$49.50

Rayne Idle Hands Leather Slide Gloves XL, Longboard Skating Slide Gloves with Perforated Leather Fingers and Adjustable Neoprene Wrist Cuff, Delrin Dish-Shaped Puck

Rayne Idle Hands Longboard Slide Gloves
Superior fit & knuckle safety so your hands never get thrashed. High wear areas are reinforced & critical seams are double layered for maximum toughness.
Amazon.com
$32.48

Pete Connolly in the Guinness World Records as fastest downhill skateboarder

Pete Connolly's Guinness World Record. Photo by Harfang Wheels.

It’s been a few months now since gravity sports enthusiasts gathered in Canada to take part in the second L’Ultime Descente – Top Speed Challenge.

Top athletes from 9 different countries and in 6 categories gathered in an attempted to break the world top speed records while descending down a 2 km long track with the maximum grade of 18%.

L’Ultime Descente – Top Speed Challenge 2017 record holders. Photo by Louis Laliberté Photographie.
L’Ultime Descente – Top Speed Challenge 2017 record holders. Photo by Louis Laliberté Photographie.

The top speed in the inline category was reached by Game Holm and his 132.19 km/h, Cédric Touchette reached 126.31 km/h on his gravity bike, Frank William reached 150.41 km/h on his buttboard, on a street luge Damian Andrey reached 163.88 km/h and with a street sled Diego Campos Gasparelo went as fast as 159.29 km/h.

The fastest speed recorded was from Doug Anderson and his gravity car reaching a whopping speed of 164.13 km/h.

The fastest downhill skateboarder on the track was Pete Connolly who descended down the track at a top speed of 146.73 km/h (91.17mph) and beating the unofficial speed record of Kyle Wester. The fastest female skateboarder was Emily Pross who beat her own record with a top speed of 135.00 km/h.

Now, Pete Connolly got recognised by the Guinness World Records and officially became the fastest downhill skateboarder, making his mark in the history books and setting the bar for new world speed record attempts.


RELATED: Kyle Wester sets a downhill skateboarding speed record and hits 143.89 kph.

Just a day before L’Ultime Descente where Pete Connoly achieved a whopping 146.73 kph, Kyle Wester set an unofficial downhill skateboarding speed record of 143.89 kph.

The Italian Downhill Skateboard Championship Calendar 2017

The Italian Downhill Skateboard Championship Calendar 2017

Several months passed since the end of the Italian Downhill Skateboard Championship 2016. With the late arrival of cold winter weather, our thoughts of rubbing shoulders with fellow racers on the road and hearing the sound of wheels sliding still warms us. Making this holiday season even better is a Christmas gift that is the CIDHS calendar for 2017!

The Italian Downhill Skateboard Championship (CIDHS) promised an interesting tour for next year with substantial news regarding the race tracks. The championship tour will take part from June to August, taking in account all other IDF competitions across the globe.

The stages for the Italian Downhill Skateboard Championship 2017 will include four events and two new race tracks.

Italian Downhill Skateboard Championship 2017 calendar

Downhill Falls – 24th and 25th of June, 2017

Downhill Falls Track – 24th and 25th of June, 2017As the new entry in the CIDHS series, Downhill Falls will take place in the province of Frosinone, in the center of Italy.

Held in a very special city called Isola del Liri, it’s also the only European city with a waterfall flowing right in the heart of town. As something I never thought I would see, it is also the particular characteristic that gave the event its name.

Apart from seeing the beautiful waterfall, you shouldn’t miss the 1.3 km long race track with brand new asphalt. We invite you to take a go at it and try being the first one to win the podium at Downhill Falls.

 

Official hashtag: #downhillfalls

Ambrose Challenge – 1st and 2nd of July, 2017

Ambrose Challenge – 1st and 2nd of July, 2017Ambrose Challenge was a part of the CIDHS circuit last year and got a very positive feedback from all the racers attending. It is located in the province of Verona, in Valpolicella. For next year’s season, we are expecting another pleasant weekend on this road that will cater to all adrenaline seeking longboarders.

The track is 2.8 km long with an average gradient of 6.5 % and a maximum gradient of 10 %.

Here is the 2016 video from Ambrose Downhill Challenge:

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugxgmDWWP3s”]

Official hashtag: #ambrosechallenge

Verdicchio Race – 27th to 28th July, 2017

Verdicchio Race – 27th to 28th July, 2017The next new/old entry of the 2017 tour is Verdicchio Race. As the third edition of this race, its coming back better than ever after a years break. Verdicchio will be held on the Poggiocupro race track in a village called Cupramontana, the capital of Verdicchio.

As one of the most technical and fun packed tracks in Italy, riders will descend down the 2.7 km long race track with 6 hairpins and long straights with fast corners.

This event will last for four days and is going to be a part of the IDF Eurotour 2017, as a World Qualifying Series. Two days of the event will be dedicated to the Italian Championship.

Official hashtag: #verdicchiorace

Euroskate 2017 – 3rd to 6th of August, 2017

Euroskate 2017 - 3rd to 6th of August, 2017The 14th edition of the Euroskate will finish the CIDHS circuit. The Roll Club of Padua, led by Sandro Marandin, is back with the Euganean Hills and an impeccable organisation which includes big shows and the famous torchlight ride along the race route.

The track is famous for its curve called “Schivanoia”, the first one of a series of hairpins following one another and inevitably leading to racers showing off their best skills while pumping and taking advantage of the hairpins apex.

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/videoe20/videos/10154808745674239″]

Official hashtag: #teyolo

Surely the 2017 Italian Downhill Skateboard Championship FISR will not fail to surprise us. In the mean time, while waiting for the race season to start, go out and skate. Get ready, because the starting line is waiting for you!

Juergen Gritzner Pro Model Longboard Deck by Kebbek Skateboards

Kebbek - Juergen Gritzner Pro Model

Juergen “Ill Eagle” Gritzner‘s pro model longboard deck by KebbeK Skateboards has finally got it’s own promo video. We are stoked to finally see Juergen back on screen since he went under the radar after the “Lost in Havana” premiere at KnK last summer.

KebbeK Skateboards completely redid their lineup and presented the new longboard decks at ISPO 2016 in Munich. We were stoked to see Juergen’s pro model in the stack, representing the Austria’s finest.

Watch the video and read the rest of the post to learn more about Juergen Gritzner Topmount 38 longboard deck and its features.

 

The Juergen Gritzner Topmount 38 longboard deck features

The Juergen Gritzner Topmount 38 is a versatile directional top mount longboard deck which features a fully functional kick-tail, flushed mount and 9 ply maple construction.

The board is 38 inches long, 9.75 inches wide and it provides multiple wheelbase options, ranging from 23.8 up to 27 inches. It features a micro drop and a 0.5 rocker concave for perfect freedom over your foot placement, while providing a good locked in feeling.

KebbeK Skateboards: Juergen Gritzner Top Mount 38 longboard deck

 

Price & Where to buy

Currently, the Juergen Gritzner deck comes with a 160 Euros price tag in Europe and around 120 Dollars in U.S. You can get one on Concrete Wave (free shipping EU) for 159,90 Euros or on Amazon.com (free shipping U.S.).

For more about KebbeK Skateboards, visit their website or follow them via Facebook or Instagram.

Graveyard Longboards Full Collection Overview

Georg Mekisch, Graveyard Longboards team rider

If you’re looking to buy a new longboard or just discovering new longboard brands, you should know about Graveyard Longboards from Germany. These guys have that good, literally homegrown stuff, definitely worth checking out.

In this article, you will learn about Graveyard and the people behind it, plus,  I will describe in more details each one of the seven longboard decks they currently offer.

Here’s a list of the decks and a shortcut link to jump straight to its section:

If you already own a Graveyard longboard, you are welcome to share your own opinion with the rest of us via the comments bellow. This way you will also help someone to choose which longboard to buy. The same goes for any questions you might have, which I will gladly answer.

Meet Graveyard Longboards

Christian Weiss and Christoph Schmalz from Northern Germany started Graveyard Longboards in 2014 and it took them around 1 year to perfect and launch the initial 3 deck lineup in 2015.

In the beginning of 2016 they launched the upgraded collection of 7 longboard decks built for freeride and downhill.

Christian and Christoph live together and share a room while the rest of the flat is a workspace where they spend many hours handcrafting the boards. When the weather is nice, they take their stuff outside, open up a beer and do the final scrubbing. It doesn’t get more real than this.

Chris Chros sanding the boards. Photo by Graveyard Longboards.
Chris Chros sanding the boards. Photo by Graveyard Longboards.

No complaints have been heard up until this day. I’m quite sure that you can expect nothing but the best support from them. In case if you got an impression that these guys are relaxed… It’s true, but when it comes to Graveyard and their products, they are serious about it and mean nothing but good business.

Graveyard decks are available in multiple longboard stores run by skaters, which also confirms that their decks are good as well as popular in the community, even though it all started just 2 years ago.

Graveyard Longboards Team Riders

Graveyard Longboards crew. Photo by Markus Knoblechner.
Graveyard Longboards crew. Photo by Markus Knoblechner.

Graveyard has a big family of team riders; Janto Just, Dana Akatuna, Dominic Rico Gomez, Daniel Krug, Robert Ganscshow, Arno Tien, Patrick Bartel and Dani Haller all rip on their Graveyard longboards and give input for the further development.

Recently Graveyard also welcomed a very dear friend of mine from Italy, Andrea Skizzo Moreni.
Here’s a cool clip which features his addition to the team…

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/graveyardlongboards/videos/1097801316924116/”]

Let’s check out the decks

OK, so here they are, Graveyard Longboards, each one of them described and explained. If you want to know more or would like to add some info yourself, leave a comment below.

Graveyard Vindicta 84 & Vindicta 88

Graveyard Vindicta 84 & Vindicta 88

Graveyard Vindicta is a symetrical top-mount deck wich makes a great choice for both downhill and freeride. It comes in two length versions. As the name suggests, the Vindicta 38 is 38 cm long and it offers a wheelbase options from 60 cm to 66 cm, while the Vindicta 88 is it’s longer version, being 88 cm long with a wheelbase range from 64 cm to 70 cm. Flared wheel wells will allow for bigger wheels as well, up to 75 mm or even more with the help of some risers. The platform is 24.5 cm in width at its widest point and thanks to the 8mm pockets it will provide a solid foot lock for huge standies. In case if you don’t feel that’s enough, you’ll be happy to know that this deck’s platform has a microdrop as well. I find that especially useful when freeriding as it provides even more support and stability. Graveyard Vindicta is priced at 209,90 Euros.

Graveyard Medicus

Graveyard Medicus Longboard Deck

Graveyard Medicus is a directional top-mount deck, great for downhill and freeride, measuring 94.5 cm in length and 25 cm in width with the wheelbase range from 61.5 cm to 67,5 cm.  The platform has a radial 18 mm concave and 9 mm centered rocker. The Medicus comes in with a fully functional kick tail, as well as with lightly flared wheel wells to accommodate bigger wheels and provide a solid foot lock while freeriding or railing corners. This deck is priced at 189,90 Euros.

Graveyard Pestilentia

Graveyard Pestilentia Longboard Deck

Graveyard Pestilentia is the smallest board in the Graveyard’s lineup and is most suitable for younger riders or girls. Since it has a fully functional kick-tail, it can be easily taken to the streets, skatepark or bowls / pools. The Pestilentia is 91 cm long, including the kick-tail and is 24,7 cm wide. It offers a wheelbase range from 55 cm to 61 cm. Its directional top-mount platform features a radial 18mm concave and no rocker. The deck is priced at 164,90 Euros.

Graveyard Scriptum

Graveyard Scriptum Longboard Deck

Graveyard Scriptum is what its creators, Chris & Chris call “the racemachine”. The Scriptum features 15 mm concave, one of the biggest out there. In combination with the 10 mm rocker, its platform provides with maximum stability and extreme foot lock and responsiveness . There’s no kick tail for goofing around, but then again, this board is meant for serious racing and high speeds. The Scriptum is 88 cm long and 24.3 cm wide and also has flared wheel wells which create nice pockets to keep you on the board even when performing the gnarliest slides. You can set it up with a wheelbase ranging from 62,5 cm to 68,5 cm. The Graveyard Scriptum is priced at 189,90 Euros.

Graveyard Sepulcretum

Graveyard Sepulcretum Longboard Deck

Graveyard Sepulcretum is another freeride deck from Graveyard’s collection. It’s platform is basically the same as Scriptum’s with and addition of a fully functional kick tail. This board will take you places… Any places. It’s 97 cm long (including the kick tail) and 24,7 cm wide, with the wheelbase options raging from 62,5 cm to 68,5 cm. The Sepulcretum deck is priced at 199,90 Euros.

Graveyard Anthrophopagus

Graveyard Anthrophopagus Longboard Deck

Graveyard Anthrophopagus, a deck with the most complicated name in the Graveyard’s lineup also features the most mellow rocker of 5mm. It’s a top-mount directional deck made to be simple and to provide a comfortable ride to those who are not fans of the flared wheel wells. Its purpose is to shred fast downhill. The Anthrophopagus is 93 cm long and 24.8 cm wide at its widest point (front). It offers the most wheelbase options, raging from 65,5 cm to 74,5 cm. It’s priced at 184,95 Euros.

There you have it! The complete Graveyard Longboards collection. Be sure to follow them via Facebook for the latest media and product releases.


Where to buy Graveyard longboard decks

Graveyard doesn’t offer direct purchase via their website, but you can find your favourite dealer on it. Knowing Chris & Chris, I can recommend their products with a confidence – you will love the quality and the mentality backing up their products, that’s for sure.

www.graveyard-longboards.de

Kyle Wester’s speed record of 143.89 kph announced just a day before L’Ultime Descente

Kyle Wester’s downhill skateboarding speed record announced just a day before L’Ultime Decscent

Just as the L’Ultime Descente race is about to happen tomorrow to set the new world record for various downhill disciplines, Santa Cruz Skateboards and Kyle Wester announced Kyle’s successful attempt to break the downhill skateboarding record by reaching the speed of 143.89 kph (89.41 mph).

I’m still trying to comprehend this because of the massive 13 kph difference from the previous record set by Erik Lundberg being 130.63 kph in Les Eboulements. I guess it’s hard to imagine matching that speed as the L’Ultime Descente track is only 1 km long and the top speed for downhill skateboarding stand-up is around 130 kph+.

The location of the road where Kyle did his run is unknown to the general public.

Check out the speed suit!

What is known and you can see in the video (or see the screenshots below) is that Kyle used some kind of a special speed suit he developed in order to be as aerodynamic as possible and to be able to achieve the maximum speed.

Previous speed records

Erik Lundberg set a world record (WGSA) in Les Eboulements (Canada), documented by Red Bull in May 2016. His descent was measured at 130.63 kph and with going faster by just 0.55 kph, he managed to beat Mischo Erban‘s record of 130.08 kph, witnessed back in 2010 on a road in Colorado, USA.

But Erik Lundberg’s speed record is not safe anymore, due to a new three-day event happening tomorrow, where 100 downhill skateboarders will try to beat it.

L’Ultime Descente, World Speed Record 2016

Until now setting new speed records was kind of a private endeavor with just the athlete and officials recording the stunts and preparing the documentation required to obtain the title.

L’Ultime Descente welcomes locals and visitors to Les Eboulements to witness top line downhill skateboarders, street luge skaters, in-line skaters, and soapbox 2.0 drivers, descending down this legendary road.

The event will take place this weekend, from September 9th till 11th. During the time of the event, the road will be closed for traffic every thirty minutes, where riders will be able to do their run from 8 am to 18 pm.  For more info follow their Facebook event page here.

L'Ultime Descente 2016

So far we haven’t noticed any public riders list, but we’ve done some research and Erik Lundberg is flying in to hold his record, as well as Max Ballesteros, Pete Connolly, Emily Pross, Adam Persson, and Mauritz Armfelt, just to name a few…

To give you a taste of the drop, here’s a photo showing the top speed section.

Route du Port in Les Éboulements. Photo by Norman Richard via Panoramio.
Route du Port in Les Éboulements. Photo by Norman Richard via Panoramio.

UPDATE: Pete Connolly in the Guinness World Records as the fastest downhill skateboarder

In 2018 Pete Connolly, the fastest downhill skateboarder in the ”stand-up skateboard” category at L’Ultime Descente, got his record confirmed by the Guinness World Records, making his mark in the history of downhill skateboarding.

Olson&Hekmati Bromodel 2016 longboard deck with Alex Dehmel

Olson&Hekmati longboards - Bromodel

Since they started, Olson&Hekmati longboards focused mostly on cruising and freestyle, but recently they added a downhill longboard deck to their collection as well – the Bromodel.

With their classic collection perfected, this year they focused even more on its development and have done some improvements to it. Here’s a sneak peak of the latest Bromodel with Alex Dehmel.

Olson&Hekmati longboards - Bromodel

As Alex says, the O&H crew spent a lot of time on a development of the Bromodel and there have been many revisions of the board. Getting to a point when they decided to make it a “production series” was challenging, but after investing a bunch of resources, the crew is finally satisfied with the results of their work.

The Olson&Hekmati Bromodel is 98cm long and 25 cm wide top-mount deck offering the wheelbase options from 66.2 to 70 centimeters.

As its previous version, the new Bromodel also promotes two “pockets” built up with wheel flares to offer a better foot lock. The rocker is still there as well. The new version now features a deeper concave with a slightly shorter wheelbase to offer even more turnability and grip.

Olson&Hekmati longboards - Bromodel

The Bromodel has a wooden core made of Ash veneer pressed between the layers of fiberglass and carbon sheets to provide a lightweight but strong and stable platform suitable for high speed skating. If you’re down for popping some tricks, the Bromodel longboard deck has a nice kick tail as well.

Alex’s setup from the photos – O&H Bromodel downhill longboard deck with custom SKOA 165mm trucks and Cult Rapture wheels.

Stay tuned for more info!
http://olsonhekmati.de/

Longboard SpeedMeter App – What’s your top speed?

Longboard Speedmeter

Longboard Speedmeter

The folks from the Longboard Spotfinder app, have been consistently working on and improving the little sister of the Spotfinder, the Longboard SpeedMeter. We are stoked to announce that the SpeedMeter is available for both iPhone and Android, and is plastered with new features.

Use this app to record your run. See your top speed, average speed, distance, elevation drop, and even a recorded line on a map of your run. New features show you WHERE on the run you hit your top speed.

Did we mention its free?
Use this app to tweak your line to get to the bottom as fast as you can.

Download the Longboard Speedmeter

Download on Apple Store Download on Google Play

Stick to my ass as close as possible – filming a run with a car

Filming a longboard run with a car

Recently I watched a raw run video featuring Austrian racing machine Quirin “Qui” Ilmer. The Tyrolian beef-cake is really pushing his limits to the max and is always eager to get down the road as fast as possible. Check this raw run to make sure you understand what I’m talking about.

[vimeo 140597286 w=300 h=150]

Watching him hitting the roads in such vicious race mode makes me even more stoked about skating fast. Quirin doesn’t care if he’s racing against three other guys, when he’s on the top of the hill, it’s just a nip-and-tuck race between him and the road.

As I was wathcing the raw run video, I couldn’t overlook how damn close to Quirin the follow car was.

Did you realise how damn close to Quirin the car is as he hits the apex? That’s really close! Both the rider and the car driver are not allowed to make any mistakes in these kind of filming sessions.

This reminds me of all those SkateHouseMedia edits done by Alexander “Bad Decision” Ameen. Everybody knows him for beeing really fearless follwing down the skater as close as possible to catch some good footage.

But who’s the guy that rips down with a car like this over here in Europe? Let’s hear it from Quirin:

The filmer is called Nussi (Gregor Nussbaummüller). The wicked thing working with him is, that if you make a mistake, he knocks you over. And that’s the way it should be! The follow car has to stick to your ass as close as possible. Thats the way a raw run should be filmed these days, because then you get the best footage out of a run! ~ Quirin Ilmer

Nussi, a Salzburg (Austria) DH skater is responsible for this kind of action. As I talked to him about this later, he told me that he was putting his first car sideways all the time.

After he passed his driving license, his first car was a rear-wheel drive BMW and this kind of forced him to drift through corners, especially during winter when he was driving up to the mountains to go snowboarding. “Often I would end up in snow off the road”, said Nussi while laughing out loud.

Nowadays he still drives up to the mountains but mostly during summer. He either skates down or follows a skater with his car and a camera fixed to it as he sticks close to the skater’s ass to get the raddest footage possible.

When it comes down to filming with the car, Nussi has some strict rules.

It is very important to know who is in front of you. Every rider has an unique style and tries to transfer it to the road. Downhill bombing or some stand-up freeriding make a huge impact for filming. So mostly I like to skate a run together, to get to know the skater I am about to film. ~ Nussi

When Nussi and I got together, we decided to hit a fun and fast track somewhere close to Salzburg, to show you how he handles the car. If you pay attention closely, you will notice how he drifts “sideways” in a second corner!

[vimeo 147670334 w=300 h=150]

When going out filming a raw run, Nussi uses a tripod car mount and a Canon DSLR for filming in high resolution and 25 frames per second.
By the way, this raw run was filmed with a VW Polo, which is “small & crispy”, just as Nussi likes a follow car to be. Still, Nussi also has a slightly passion for big old cars 😉

Skateboarding is fun and always should be – The Jürgen Gritzner Interview

Jürgen Gritzner is a badass and well known downhill skateboarder from Austria. He’s also the first and so far the only Austrian who’s got his pro model deck produced by a non-Austrian company. We’ve met for a chat and talked about how his relationship with Kebbek Skateboards started in the first place, how he ended up on the RAD Wheels and Caliber Trucks flow team as well, about his alter ego “Ill Eagle” and his views on racing. Let’s drop in!

Jürgen Gritzner shredding a bowl. Photo by Markus Knoblechner
Jürgen Gritzner shredding a bowl. Photo by Markus Knoblechner

“Be true to yourself. Skateboarding is fun and always should be.” ~ Jürgen Gritzner

Hey Jürgen! How are you dude?
I’m fine! Thank you for asking. Partying and skating with the homies, you know, the usual business.

Great! To start off, tell us about how you got hooked up with Kebbek Skateboards?
It’s funny how that went down. My buddy, Felix Rupitsch (Bigmountainskate.com) was partying at a local Bastl Boards Bash and met the German distributor for Kebbek. They talked, had fun and in the end he mentioned that Kebbek’s looking for a European skater to represent them. Felix told him some s*** about me, how I love skateboarding, creating music and art, plus all other kinds of things I care about very much. It all ended up with Kebbek being pretty excited to get me on board and the next time I’ve met Felix, he asked if I would like join Kebbek’s team. I said “F*** yeah”, got in touch with them and sealed the deal. Later on, when I was already on their team, I finally got to meet Ian, the founder of Kebbek Skateboards.

That’s great. So, Kebbek was your first sponsor. How did you manage to get involved with your other sponsors? You’re also on a RAD Wheels team, right?
Yes, Kebbek was my first sponsor. Joining their team spiked up my motivation to travel to the USA and get some skate action overseas. I went there by myself and got to know the Skate House Media dudes. We were skating together all days long. A year later, in winter 2012/13, I managed to get back to the States, but this time I went with my homie Flo Wagner (Landyachtz Longboards, Hawgs Wheels) and we stayed there for five weeks. We’ve met Louis Pilloni in San Diego and showed us around the Sector 9 headquarters. That was exciting. He hooked us up with some wheels and a bunch of stickers. Loads of stickers. At some point, he finally turned over to me and asked “You wanna join the RAD crew?”. You can assume what my answer was, haha!

Jürgen Gritzner at Bela Joyride 2015 © CK Photography
Jürgen Gritzner at Bela Joyride 2015 © CK Photography

Of course, your answer was “F*** yeah!”. And you’re repping the Caliber Trucks as well, right?
That’s true, yes. It was not long after we’ve returned back home to Austria when I received a phone call from Dave Tinachi. He told about James Kelly joining the Caliber Trucks, but what really flipped me, was when said how each pro skater on their team gets to choose one “flow team rider” as well and that James chose me! Pretty rad!

What’s expected from you as a team rider for Kebbek and the other sponsors?
Basic stuff, you know. Going out skateboarding, snapping some shots and doing some other media works, like movies and sharing online. Once I mentioned that I would enjoy doing some graphics as well and Ian gave me the chance to do the designs for some flyers, stickers, posters and similar for Kebbek in 2014. Later that year, I also proposed that we could produce a promotion video for my pro model boards. Teammates Katiana Torrebella and Benjamin Dubreuil joined the party and we went on a nice skate trip for filming in a skateboarding heaven, Barcelona. My homies over at Frame Fatale from Vienna did a really good job filming and editing this movie.

That’s a great video. How did you end up with pro model boards?
After ISPO 2013, Ian and I really got to know each other. After we did a promotion tour across Europe he arranged a job for me in a German company where he was working as well. We talked a lot about skateboarding, my visions and other stuff. I guess he enjoyed having me around and wanted to push my skateboarding even further. He kind of mentioned once something about the pro model deck, but it didn’t seem to be so serious at that time. It was as all nice and chilled until at ISPO 2014 he pulled out a catalogue with the new boards. As I had a look at it, I saw my pro model downhill and pool decks in there. A big surprise! F***, Ian just knew that I also love to shred trannies and street. I was very happy about it.

Jürgen Gritzner - Alps by Kebbek Skateboards
Jürgen Gritzner – Alps by Kebbek Skateboards

So, Ian kind of secretly examined your skateboarding mind?
Haha! Well yes, if you want to put it that way. In order to pull that off with the pool deck, he definitely had to sneak into my mind. Regarding the downhill deck, he already knew what I like. I told him that I would love it if the board would feature a kicktail to be able to play around and that a platform has to be wide enough for my big feet. The same goes for a solid concave and a rocker. He did a pretty good job! I got even more stoked about it when he included “Ill Eagle” in the graphics for both boards.

What is “Ill Eagle”?
It’s kind of my alter ego, my artistic name. For example, I build skateboards with old snowboard moulds and create lots of art pieces with my hands. And in the end, it stands a symbol of my rebellious personality and skateboarding style. I’m always flying around! Haha!

Jürgen Gritzner - Ill Eagle
Jürgen Gritzner’s alter ego Ill Eagle
Jürgen Gritzner in his workshop
Jürgen Gritzner in his workshop

Most people know you for your badass freeride style, but probably for some racing as well as you where “flying” at Kozakov back in 2014. Where do you draw a line between racing and freeride?
Phuu, I think those two are hard to separate. Personally, I think in racing there are moments and situations which almost never happen while freeriding. And this is good as it is. Those special moments give me the thrill of racing on a skateboard. Only in racing you push your limits to 110%.
With freeriding it is just all about fun, racing is really serious. I never freeride without my homies. You know, I want to enjoy a good sunny day full of skateboarding without any stress and unhealthy competition.

Jürgen Gritzner at PND 2014 © Dmitri Elson
Jürgen Gritzner leading the pack at PND 2014 © Dmitri Elson

But you are still a competitive skater?
Hm, that’s a hard question. Probably, there are times when I get extra ambitious, especially when racing. But I’m not that eager for winning like some riders out there, who are ready to subordinate everything just to win a heat or a race. I’m definitely not that kind of a skater. I love racing and getting that adrenaline rush, but some people are just going to crazy about winning. You can often see how they f*** each other up. This is not something that I stand for. What we do when racing is still skateboarding. Be true to yourself. Skateboarding is fun and always should be.

Great words and a nice closure for our interview. Any more last words, Jürgen?
Yes, I think so as well. Go out, skate and have fun. And of course big thanks to my sponsors Kebbek Skateboards, RAD Wheels and Caliber Trucks as well as a big shoutout to my homies!


Follow Jürgen Gritzner via Facebook or Instagram.


Also check out The Juergen Gritzner transportation project


Anton Lindén & Deen Mondt featuring The Secret Road of The French Alps

No time to ride because of your job, uni, or school? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Well, more precisely, Anton Lindén and Deen Mondt got you covered. These guys enjoy their downhill sessions early in the morning, preferably somewhere where the roads are long, perfect and extremely fast! They found this road in the French Alps where there’s no lack of exciting corners, really fast sections, lean sweepers and tricky parts that constantly tested their skills.

Anton Lindén repps Acid Longboards, Cloud Ride Wheels and Atlas Trucks
Deen Mondt repps Rayne Longboards, Riptide Bushings, PNL Trucks and Crash Test Dummies Pucks.