Striker’s Tales: Giant’s Head
“We’re pleased to announce that this year’s Giant’s Head Freeride will be broadcast live on the web! Tune in at www.livestream.com/giantsheadfreeride Sunday and Monday, August 5th & 6th, from 10am – 5pm to catch the action. This year is going to be the biggest, happiest, most-featured and fun freeride in Giant’s Head history! If you can’t join us in Summerland, join us online and get your vicarious stoke on!
Giants Head Freeride is a downhill longboard event situated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. This year’s event takes place on August 4th, 5th and 6th 2012 (BC Day long weekend) at Giant’s Head Park in Summerland, BC. We are anticipating over one hundred riders for this epic three-day freeride, which will also host a head to head race on Monday afternoon. We will be offering the same unique course features as last year like the banked wall, short cut and launch ramp. The course consists of thirteen expert level hairpin corners and seven hundred vertical feet of drop, which sends riders through 2.1 km of intense riding. The event is like none other in North America – come be apart of the fun or tune in live as I’ll be on the mic thanks to Andrew, and the organizers, sponsors and riders! A true honor to be apart of this ground breaking wild BC race!
This weekend was action packed! It was Coast Longboarding’s 12th birthday! It’s been twelve years of breaking bones and changing the lives of whomever we have crossed. Back in the good old days I was busy trying to keep the growing Coast community busy with events every weekend. Outlaw races, cruises, longboarding games, slide comps, push races, longboarding hockey, mountain tours and trips but after attack of danger bay and after the races started building the weekends slowly started to jam up and now after twelve years we have lost a whack of roots Coast events that brought us to this day.
For example we lost Sheep Creek this year on our eighth year because race organizers took the weekend we’ve been running on the same date for eight years because it was an outlaw race! F#@$!. I never thought I’d see the day that we would have a race every weekend in our scene. I dreamed but never thought it would happen. Because of the races we lost a lot of what Coast was all about, cruising, bombing, exploring and the community. But we still have the community today but it’s more about teams, money, image and racing. That’s cool but its forced me to jam a few of my favorite events in one weekend and that would be this past weekend in Vancouver.
Saturday morning at 4:20am racers met at the top of the mountain racing in one of the best races to date, also one of the most influential races in the world when it came to push races. It was the first of its kind and nine years ago when all eyes were on Coast Longboarding for our stoke, wild ways and mind blowing events we started the Lions Urban Assault. A down mountain cross city race that takes you over two major bridges to finish at the ocean while you can look north way above the ocean and over the clouds enjoying a ice cold Boo to reflect! This race inspired The Portland Pushers, The Dixie Cup King of the Forest and all push races to follow!
Not too many rules in this race. One rule is you must bomb the whole mountain top to bottom. No bush whacking into the British Properties. In the past we had riders doing that and then it was a full on race through the BPs while blowing stop signs so we had to put a stop to that. The other rules were no skitching, or taking rides. The main rule is and the best rule is if you get caught by the cops, stopped, questioned then your out! So out run the cops to win if they are on your tail.
This year we pulled up to the top of the mountain and Stumanchu had the Meth Lab there with a group of racers. I don’t talk about this race much because I don’t want huge numbers showing up and making me sooner than later quit this for the safety side of things. But there were around twenty seven racers with all their gear on and boards in hand ready to go. I must say in all the years of putting on this race I never had a group of racers so keen to start up. It was perfect!
We start the race when the road turns blue. The race starts before 5:00am and when you push off the starting line your bombing into darkness. No way to see potholes or any other hazards. By the time racers hit the highway its light out. This year everyone made it off the mountain safe and sound! I blew ahead in the car to snap some photos and as I waited at the bottom of Taylor Way I saw little Auzzie Kelly Carter come flying down only to have shifty luck and having to stop at the red light and lose all his speed. Oh I almost forgot! This race has no set route. Once down the mountain you can take whatever route you think is the fastest to the finish line! I started laughing when I seen this grom from out of country get caught at the light then turn right! Out of three choices two are the right way and Kelly took the one choice that was the total wrong way. I watched as he pushed out of sight in the wrong direction.
I was wondering why and how he got so far ahead of everyone. Off the mountain he was pushing behind two racers and they all had a good fast pace for Kelly to just take off on these guys like this really surprised me. Little did I know but past ower pusher and smoker Coastie Hugh Kibbling Johnston knew the game well and decided to play a little trick on everyone. Kibbling posted on the Vancouver Police Departments Facebook and riot page warning the authorities about this race in hopes of creating a little chaos! Well it worked! Almost everyone got caught! The cops had a roadblock set up just over the crest of the 12% bomb into park royal. By the time riders pushed up the hill it was too late, cops had blocked all four lanes boxing racers in with no hopes and no place to hide! But one sneaky kangaroo bounced right by the cops knowing full on what the rules in the game were and he knew that the gold Coast medal was up for grabs.
Next thing we know the butch lady cop got on the walkie talkie and out of nowhere three undercover cop vehicles came screeching on the roads form all angles chasing this outlaw down to punish his ass! Kelly as he told it aborted and jumped in some buses and bushwhacked to get away. He felt like a real fugitive! This is what its all about! This is what makes this race better than any other race! The adrenaline of out running the sirens and the fear of getting caught by the authorities! Kelly found himself lost and sneaking and peeking around till the sirens died off and he could make a move.
This kid had no clue where to go. Kelly is from Australia and he was in first place with a little time to spare while the cops were raping the other racers. Kelly had to frantically stop cars and taxicabs while out of breath looking for a way out! Looking for the way to the finish line and he did. I found him downtown still lost. He was over the lions gate bridge and just pushing in circles then he saw me and dashed for me with a scared look on his face. I gassed it and made him push till I got caught by a red light. He caught up to me and I asked him if he was in first place still and he gasped yes. He asked me where the hell he was and where to go so I gave him a hint and took off!
I crossed the second bridge and was out of gas so I went and gassed up and fifteen minutes later I’m driving back to get to the finish line and like last time I was stuck at the light and he saw me again. Again, Kelly was totally lost so I yelled “You’re close!” and pointed out the finish line, he finally crossed it and I awarded him his Coast gold medal! As the racers crossed the finish we enjoyed some ice-cold Cariboos and made our way to the beach for podium and some relax with friends time while the riders shared story’s beside the ocean and under the north shore mountains.
After a good couple of hours we cleaned up the beach and some went to have breakfast at Bon’s On Broadway and I made sure to get home and get a little playtime with Billie and sleep because the 12th annual Coast Longboarders take over the mother %$#@ing seawall cruise was coming up fast. It was now 9amish and we had to meet at he tree for 4:20pm. I slept till 3pm and started getting things ready! Every year I bring a pile of coast stickers and this year I brought a few Coast t-shirts just in case anyone wanted a shirt. Celine the sweet heart she is flashed them around and more than a few were sold. Thank god too eh! I always order way too many shirts so it was nice to actually get them out there.
The cruise went off without a hitch this year. Nick Hurly stopped at McDonald‘s half way then made it back to the tree to win the seawall cruise! Some peoples kids eh. The cruise is supposed to be a cruise but everyone every year is so pumped that you just can’t stop pushing!! Longboarders and high energy all over the place! Next thing you know your back at the tree and waiting for the rest to make their way so we can start up the slide comp.
I ducked out early because I needed to find strings for my guitar; I had a Loose Tooth show at Funky Winkerbean‘s that night. Too bad I thought of this at like 6pm and everything was closed and in the end I found two sets at my house after blowing it big-time, wasting hours when I could have been resting again. The Loose Tooth show did the trick! The best part is its at Funky Winkerbeans and Cariboo sells lots of cold beers there so they made sure we had a tab to hook up all the Tooth fans through the night and also to hook up the bands so we could use there gear instead of packing our own. Oh man I love the trade beer to use your amp trick… and it worked!
The whole inside of the place including the stage and the floors and walls were all renovated since the last time we were there! The sound guy with long grey hair was there of course! By the way a legend sound man. He’s been hooking up punk and metal bands with the best sound for century’s in Vancouver! It’s always a treat! We had a huge showing come out. new fans and a few oldies made the night! We had Fresh Breath on bass replacing Smoker Tooth Shit Show Shadow Boatman again because Shadow is in rehab after Lousie’s party in Richmond. Fresh Breath all polished up from playing in his other band Contra Code with Guff the Tooth drummer came in after writing a fourteen song Tooth set list and blew my mind! The boys were hot and drunk I must say. I even let loose and got right into it myself!
We cheers on stage for Shadow and because it’s been awhile and in true Loose Tooth fashion I found I was drinking a little more Listerine than normal. We all had some shots and I dumped a couple shots on the stage for our dead solder. Listerine really gets a guy going eh! I wish we had someone taking pictures this show but again we blew it. But I do have one pic that really sums up the night! Cariboo chalkboard and Loose Tooth proof positive!
I was getting hit with beer cans and calling for more and I could see people in the mosh pit beating the shit out of each other and other scavenging the floor for any beer cans they could find to chuck at me! The cans were bouncing off my shoulders and chest, wicked show man!!! I miss it! Were jamming more I hope soon because that’s just what the doctor ordered!! Shadow missed a dandy! I got given a tooth at the door so had to get my buddy in for free for that one and Buddy Chase got his forehead cut by another guy busting his tooth off Chases head. Blood all over the place!
Didn’t get out of Winkerbeans till 3am and I stole Auzzie Adam Yates to come with me on the F-Bomb to Whack Attack. It’s the third old-school Coast event of the Coast Longboarding birthday weekend! Yates was having a great time. Someone at the bar slipped him some acid in his drink or a pizza I don’t know but he was with me and the adventure continued!
This is what has to happened to make things work on the F-Bomb! Taxi to my house nab five more flats of Cariboo beer for the Whack Attack and the keys! Back in the cab rolling around town like gangsters on route to the bomb! Quick munch stop at McJesus then all of a sudden in North Van. Went to bed at 5amish woke up without a phone, watch or alarm clock at 6amish, drove the bomb to Landyachtz for 7amish loaded up the sucker with Whack Attack riders and off to Chilliwack’s King Brains house for 10am! So again a classic no sleep the show must go on kinda situation. We arrive in Chilliwack and at Brian’s house and the front yard was stacked full of groms and parents with old man king, myself and hurtin Yates! We were by far the oldest. Back yard of Brains was changed! He now had a giant metal full pipe just there to kill whenever you wanted. The King Brian slays this but it was the groms I got to see get punished!
I loaded up what I could in the Cribb and all the little groms got in and got the Chilliwack tour. We hit Chilliwack Mountain, the graveyard where Kyle martin learned his moves. A sick quite spot over looking Chilliwack with the smell of body’s in the ground. Great place for a skate and a picnic. This is where riders were judging for the slide comp and Kyle from yard waste won it all with a three trick combo slide. The kid killed it all day drinking Cariboo Root Beer and fast risky dialed out slides! By far the man of the day! If this kids stays drinking the Cariboo Root Beer he might have a real chance in this life as a pro skater! Oh yeah you gotta love the smell of a Chilliwack grom getting branded coast style stinking of burnt skin at the graveyard! Life’s good!
The next hill on the attack was my favorite Brightside a steep fast bomb that can get you ripping over 100km if your tucks tight and or your drafting. I’m slowly riding a bit more downhill since last years pile up! Even though I still get sharp pains in my head and phantom this and tweaked out that I cant just not go for run or three. Only problem was we had no shuttles for this hill so I had to work for my runs I guess that’s not a bad thing but I’m over hiking at the moment! I had some runs with Kiefer and Mike Yard Waste I liked it but I don’t like getting passed and they passed me, but to my defense I was just chilling and taking it easy! But still!
This hill has a history of pink slip challenges on it. So early on in the year racers make challenges and we have a showdown here. I’ve seen King Brian beat K-Rimes and break his board and used it to serve fish after. I’ve seen Sandman Team Green work Stumanchu, Kibbling beat Jux… I think! Haven beat believe it or not Andrew Chapman her boyfriend at the time! Brianne smoked her boyfriend flat spot at the time. Those were some great times. So next year we’re going to amp some pink slips because no challenges were accepted. One challenge I heard was a young man challenging Kyle Martin but Kyle was not into it on this day.
We did get some high speed racing in though with a chance of crashes. Heats were built and the old guys sat back and enjoyed some up and comers thrash away! The talented Nick Hurley might have lost to a fourteen year old Yard Waste punk at the slide comp but he defended team Chilliwack by winning the Brightside race beating Yard Waste and five others including Mike Bridge Yard Waste speedster in the finals… shirtless! What an action packed weekend!
While we are at Giants Head roasting, watching the best skating of the year, freeride style, the Yardwaste girls are hosting a Bikini Carwash to start fundraising for this years Push for the Cure Annual 3 day Hope to Vancity memorial skate to fight against cancer! We’ve raised well over a million dollars in seven years! So go perv out read the poster and get your car washed! Kelsey yard waste and Guff thank you for some of this weeks pics. Thanks to Cariboo, Landyachtz, S&J sales, Concrete Wave and Switchback Longboards for the Cribb Bomb support and thanks to Cottonmouth Smoke Shop we have stickers and a brand new vaporizer on board!!!!!! Summerland this weekend!
Tune in or Strike out!