SA's best ready for the Showdown at Gunslinger Slidejam IV (plus win 2 brand new boards with full set-ups.)
by Iain Evans
The Gunslinger Slidejam IV takes place on Sunday 1st July, and there is much anticipation ahead of what is planned to be the biggest and best Slidejam to date. So much so that some of SA's best downhill talent is pulling into Durban especially at the request of the local Durban community, a move facilitated through the Durban Downhill forum on Facebook. What started out as online banter, soon turned into a fundraiser to get SA's best, like former Downhill champ Matt Arderne, and the Mayors of Stellenbosch skating from Cornerstone, Deon Van Der Merwe and Raoul Van Den Berg.
Matt, let's start with you. Talk us through what went down on the Durban Downhill facebook site that sees you coming to Durban for the Gunslinger SlideJam in July?
We have always been amped to get to Durban this year, mostly due to how many events the guys have been running, so when they announced this event, I jokingly asked how far it is to drive from Cape Town to Durban.
One thing led to another, cheap flights were mentioned, my lack of cash was noted, and things eventually led to Gavin Johnson suggesting everyone chip in for the flight. (Follow how things unfolded here - http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=326615124085594&set=o.150891034981421&type=1&ref=nf )
Then Keith "Da Sheriff" Hockly came forward and said he'd put R1000 towards the flight and asked if I'd be willing to do a slide demo and clinic type thing, this is also something I have been wanting to do for a while so was more than happy to agree, and I also am putting some Abec11 wheels up as prizes (although that was part of the original plan anyway!) Paul Munro is even putting us up in his B&B!
Massive thanks to all these guys for making it all happen!
Were you surprised by the reaction of the Durban community in terms of their willingness to get you to the event, especially considering many have never actually met you?
Ja it was pretty surreal, the whole thing happened while I was on Facebook on my phone, so once I had registered what had actually happened I was really blown away. It is a special thing in the longboarding scene where people are that welcoming and ready to help one another out. I travelled a bit in Europe last year and a few times I was picked up at the airport and given a place to stay by people who I had only ever spoken to online, sometimes only briefly!
What are your expectations ahead of the event and tell us about the training clinics that you're going to be doing, while you're in town.
Keith has put massive amounts of effort into this event, and he is clearly doing a huge amount for the Durban skating scene, so I am really looking forward to meeting all the new faces and getting to skate a bit in Durban, as well as seeing how things are done up there!
In the clinic I plan to go through all the levels of sliding, as well as some general stuff that people sometimes overlook when they are getting into the sliding style of skating. I reckon I have quite a few useful hints for the guys who are struggling with certain things so I hope they find it beneficial!
Can you comment on the level of the Durban scene compared to Stellenbosch or the rest of SA? What are your thoughts?
I would guess that they are quite heavily influenced in their style of skating by what they see online coming out of the States and Canada, as well as what the top Durban guys are doing. I have seen some pretty progressive skating from one of the groms up there, as well as some cool stuff from the last slide jam. Hopefully the level isn't too high so that they feel it was worth the effort getting me up there!:)
Can you tell us what setups you're going to be riding?
I'll be riding my freeride/slide setup;
Board - Fibretec Flying Pan
Wheels - Abec11 Grippins
Bushings- Fat Ant 88a
Trucks - Paris 180mm
I must say a huge thanks to Keith and the guys for making this happen and especially for getting me up there, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity!
Ok, now Deon - you guys are also making the trip up from the Cape for the event - What are your thoughts prior to the event?
After reading the facebook posts on what went down at the previous slide jam, we've been super amped to session Durban! Keith Hockly from Gunslinger Longboards has been putting in loads of effort to promote the growing sport of longboarding in SA and I believe that this event is going to be a massive success.
You're a cruisy kind of guy, and to me you embody a kind of leadership figure for the Downhill scene in Stellies. Are you looking forward to imparting a similar kind of wisdom to the frothing Dirtbin groms or are you just using it as an excuse to catch up with old mates?
I guess a bit of both. If there was one thing that I could share with the Durban groms it would be that longboarding is a family, it's not something we do to prove ourselves. It's all about having fun and supporting one another on and off the board.
Let's talk style for a second. The Bhangra is a board designed with style in mind. What are your thoughts on this board when it comes to style and how important is style when it comes to freeriding?
The Loaded Bhangra is a piece of art..with a length of 48.5", it's perfect for beachfront cruising and cross-stepping. The nose and tail kicks provide you with everything needed to do awesome manual and shuvit tricks..to find out more about what this board is capable of..please watch this video clip of the Loaded team ripping up the Bhangra:
Plus, if you ever have the privilege of seeing Matt Arderne and Paul du Plessis shredding up a hill near you..you will quickly realize how important style is. I believe that a good style will always count big time..same with surfing..it reflects the individuality of the rider and sets him apart from other riders.
Big thanks to Iain for giving us the opportunity to share some thoughts! See you guys at the slide jam...
Raoul, Over to you... You're more competitive as a skater than your partner in crime - are you worried about the Durban competition, or is this Slide Jam going to end up a showdown between the Kaapies in Durban?
As a competitive skater my competition lies within racing, but I do love going to Slide jams, they are events where skaters really get to show off their creative side by laying down the most sickest variations of slides. This for me is epic to watch and well, join in. Sliding is so much fun!
The level of interest in Downhill skating in Durban has just exploded lately - what are your thoughts from an outsiders perspective, considering you're a role player in this burgeoning little industry?
The Durban guys from what I've seen through their various media channels look really good! They shred hard and have developed their own unique style, and all this so quickly. Not long ago it seemed they were content at just cruising the beachfront. Progression is one of the elements in skateboarding that I enjoy the most, watching it develop within other riders as well as within my own skating. All this is why I'm so amped to go, to hang out and skate with them.
There is some real talent up here on the East Coast, but for the Durban guys to be competitive at a much higher level. What are the areas we need to focus on. Equipment, technique, experience, mental strength...those kinds of things?
From a freeriding/sliding point of view there isn't much advice I can give, other than keep on doing what they doing. They have it on the money... Oh and be supportive of your mates, their is no right way or wrong way, it's all skateboarding. Sure at the end of the day there is a winner, but that's not what it's about.
It's about like minded people coming together and having a jol.
Racing is where it gets a bit more serious, but even there it's just friends having a blast. One can be supportive and competitive at the same time. Skate as much as you can, technique and experience will happen by itself.
Finally, tell me about the Ceviche.
So the naughty little Ceviche... It's like a aggressive trick board with surf like attributes. I always tell people it's a sort of a hybrid skateboard.
It's small enough and has a tail for flip tricks, but then has the big wheels and flex that a surf like longboard has. It's size makes it nimble and easy to carry, so it makes for the perfect commuter.
"Win a brand new Bhangra or a Ceviche from Loaded with a full set-up , each valued at over R3 000 "
This competition is now closed!
Linda Sibiya, who won the Bhangra,
and Niall Heneke, who won the Ceviche
Loaded wanted to create a more compact dancing/freestyle board that you could basically
do everything on. A Board that has plenty of room to get your dancing groove on
and is smaller, lighter, and easier to throw around.
Something that is not overly huge, can bust out steezy slides, and can be carried and fit into a trunk easier.
Can you downhill on this board? Probably, but it is not a DH board
Value: R 3 600-00
With a built-in tail and subtle nose kick, this replacement for the Fish is a versatile link
between carving bliss and old school/street skating.
Camber and concave between the kicks allows for carving and pumping, while the nose and tail
create a more surf-oriented feel with lots of opportunities for tricks.
Loose and agile, it's time to explore the limits of your
sidewalk and hill thrashing abilities.
Value: R 2 950-00
The adoring fans!
Janek goes first in the stand up slide finals.
Da Sheriff in position to mark the distances...
A beautiful winters day for downhill!
Got something to say? Then leave a comment!
Posted by Dylan de Fleuriot on the 22/06/2012 12:20
Big up the exposure guys! our skating scene is taking off and the skaters have style!
Posted by Joshua Venter on the 06/07/2012 21:49
Just wanted to know if u know where some good hills are around Cape Town
Posted by Aad on the 20/07/2012 03:41
Appanretly this is what the esteemed Willis was talkin' 'bout.
Posted by Rivenbark on the 23/01/2013 09:52
you me llegaron mis oakley n me gustaron mucho...me quedaron a d . b . medida n no pesan zilch...estan muy ligeros g peso... search engine shedd recomiendo!!!