Hey all, just a few questions I'm sure you older guys can help me answer.
I'll start here - Last Newtons is about the saddest news I've ever heard, Hitting this track is a dream and while i don't think I'll be ready this year I'd love to see the event continue. Is the reason this year is the final year purely financial? If so what can be done to save this - How can we attract more sponsors to give more money?
Secondly - Mid level racing. I've been talking a lot with a dude Vault sponsor in Barcelona about their racing scene. The amount of events he goes to... Its unbelievable. there are lots freeride events (like BTB) where people get a chance to push their DH skills. I'd love to see more of those here. How can we make this happen? I'm not just sitting here expecting things to happen. I'm keen to make them happen. I haven't been in this sport as long as most others here but I'm sure there are roads out there that we could use in places where the council's will be keen too. We need these kind of events to help put a step between local outlaws and grom races and the IDF.
Its like it is with any sport, the stronger your local and national competition is the stronger your international presence can be.
well that's about it - If you can answer any of my poorly worded questions that would be great.
yeah I knew about Kiera.
that's good about Newtons - thanks, I keep seeing people sight financial issues and it was concerning, good to know its just a change.
I don't mean to come across as complaining, just interested in the behind the scenes goings on and keen to get more closed road races happening.
Good post, and good to see someone with a bit more passion and concern for the sport, than the rest of them who could not even be half-arsed enough to give tghe sport a "like".
There are councils that will close a road for events. Townsville, Monbulk, and Mt Kiera are the prime examples.
There are also a couple of race tracks that get made available for skateboarding, as a result of skateboarders using their networks to get access and put on really great events for the benefit of their brothers and sisters.
We also have a national frame work and a set of rules for the events.
And we have lots of skaters who are prepared to travel, pay and compete, many of who are more than willing to point out to race organisers just how (in their humble opinions) things could have been done so much better.
What we dont have is enough skateboarders that are ready and willing to step up and organise events, or get involved with State and Local governments .
When I say organise, posting an event announcement on ASRA or facebook is NOT organising.
Organising also involves meeting councilors and selling them the dream, then working with council officers, community groups, police, insurers, first aid, caterers, printers, sponsors, advertisers, newspapers. It also involves taking on personal financial and public liabilty risk, which most skaters either don't understand, cause their parents always looked after all that, or are interested in accepting the exposure, or are not in any way finacially resourced to do it.
Unfortunately skaters, with their outlaw attitudes, are their own worst enemy when it comes to all, that organising shit.
So if you want racing to get better, get involved in your State's skateboarding association (so that you can get some recognition at government level) In Sydney it is the Sydney Reginal Skateboard Association and ASRA.
(Note SbA don't do racing, and even after an 11 hour mediation session with them, I doubt that they will ever will....that's right 11 hours...waste of time that completely f#@ked-up my Sunday!).
So, when I say "get involved" I mean go to the meetings and events, and help out, or get on the comittee.
Contact Robbo at the Hopshop, and let him know you can help with events, then when he takes you up on your offer, make sure that you do help, and show up when and where you are needed.
In your local area, get a meeting with the elected ward councilor for your area, and tell him about the sport, and what it needs, and how councils should get involved in working with professional organisations providing, like the one you now represent (ASRA), in providing safe alternatives for skateboard racers. Talk to council recreation officers about helping them put on well organised and respected events. (That is exactly what we we did at Monbulk, but all that comes with a cost, one of which is the fact that I have to give up next Sunday to help run the Upwey Slalom event, and I don't even race down-hill.....but I am doing so that skateboard racing is recognised by the Upwey community as being a viable and exciting sport that they will be happy to have their kids involved in, and so that the road will get closed next year)
If you, want to give up all your championship aspiratons, and loose hope of ever seeing an Australian take gold in the Olympic down-hill, skater-cross or slalom events, and never ever see any more Newton's races at Bathurst, then keep on going exactly as you all are now.
Otherwise, get off your arses and get involved....properly, and get some regular legit events happening with the support of your local council, and state sporting associations, and State Sport and Recreation ministries at State Government level.
(Federal sport is a waste of time, cause they only recognise SbA, besides their days are numbered)
What skateboard racing needs is YOU...that's right ....All of YOU, and your time, and money, and most of all passion for your sport. You can worry about the sponsors later.
Probably wasted time on this post, because so many now use facebook!
Jonny, I get where you're coming from and you don't sound complaining at all.
You're right about the lack of legit races. We have a bunch of outlaws, and a couple of BIG races, but not much in between. But that's changing a bit. We had legit races in Perth and Melbourne (and Tasmania?) last year in addition to Newtons and Keira. ASRA provides support (and insurance) for people wanting to put on a race. People often come to us with ideas for race locations, and we give them some guidance on how to get the ball rolling. The more the better.
Find a good hill, preferably with zero or few residents on it, and let's see what we can do. There's no special knowledge required - just about everybody that's ever put on a race didn't know what they were doing when they put on their first, ASRA included. But now we've learnt a bunch of stuff so we can help you avoid making big mistakes.
Thanks Bernie, I've already spoken with my council, that shit is a lost cause, but there are more to try :)
I was pushing them for a closed road slide jam (the rec officer I spoke to was keen as) but the final call was made that the council wasn't going to close any of the roads i offered as options.
that was only a minor deterrence and my struggle will continue.
Thanks Bugs, hopefully I'll find a hill soon so the ball can start rolling.
thanks for the pep-talk/advice, I'll certainly follow up on it. I've been wanting to get involved in ASRA and this year I will be keen to.
I organised a sanctioned event in Finland a couple of years ago, the next year I held the same race but this time outlaw. Much less bullshit, paperwork and stupid requirements that make no sense. At the end of the day, 99% of skaters just wanna skate and have a good time. You ask what the future is of high level racing in Australia but I don't think you need a closed and sanctioned event like Keira or Newtons to have high level racing from high level skates (not saying Keira and Newtons aren't rad, I was super bummed to hear that this years will be the last one too!). I think for a lot of race organisers though the thought of sanctioning a road is just a nightmare and outlaw is an easier and quicker option.
Bernie may try to sell short the work of those who put on outlaws but it is still a lot of work for one individual, and anyone who can pull off an outlaw deserves a high five and a beer. Posting an event on facebook does not change the amount of work that goes into organising an event and kudos to anyone who puts the time in. I would also venture a rough estimate that the VERY large majority of downhill skaters from around the world (I have travelled to a lot of countries and skated with a lot of different people) do not want races to be at an olympic level. The one race in the world that was trying it's hardest to be that kind of event was Teolo in Italy and that was probably the worst race on the whole world cup tour. Skaters (yup, even downhill racers) are simple folk who (and people may not approve but hey, it's true) like to smoke weed before, during and after the race and the final dubes will be smoked at an epic party with a shit load of alcohol. Olympics aren't really our thing (as a majority).
Things will change, they always do in skating but I feel like skating evolves naturally and when people try to hard to push it in a certain direction it bites back and goes wrong. Letting things just cruise along and develop naturally is the way to go when skating is concerned (I think, anyway).
Jonny, time for you to get involved in preparations for this year's Newton's. Send me your contact details.
Read it again, I have not tried to short sell Outlaw events or their organisers, and having run more than a few outlaw ditch and slalom events since 2007, fully know of the work that WE do.
But you have made my point clear about running an event being more far than posting something on facebook.....
quote Dani: " it is still a lot of work for one individual"
Why is that?
It is always one individual, because most skaters (quote Dani: 99% of skaters just wanna skate and have a good time) are quite happy to have someone else run around picking up after them, and hardly any of them have the courage...that's right courage..... or passion to step up and run events.
Unfortunately, for skateboarding to acheive some standard or recognised High Level racing it will need someone to do the heavy lifting with various governments, or race track owners, and by the looks of it now, the talent pool is pretty shallow.
As to the Olympic thing.....it will be a big shame if the "skateboarders" who want to win gold are never given the chance because of those that claim to be the sole and governing voice of "skateboarding" prevent those skateboarders who are be prepared to adhere to a strict set of drug rules, and put up with the politics in order to earn that right to compete, from competing at the highest level...even if those that claim to be "the voice" are in the majority.
In otherwords - twig-flippers, or down-hillers or slalomers who try to speak for any other skateboarder, are missing the point of skateboarding being a multi-disciplined sport that caters to a very broad "church".
Snow-boarding had a very tortured and upsetting path to the Olympics, and history would indicate that at the time what appeared to be the (vocal) majority of snow-boarders stood in the way of that path, for exactly the same reasons that you put up.......ie weed, self governance, etc. However, a few had the courage(or as some will still say.... duplicity) to step up, and accept the rules and politics and cop the scorn only reserved for traitors from the "majority", in order to compete.
Now I seriously doubt that the "majority as it exists now" would consider olympic snow-boarding to be such a bad thing.....but all this is another story, that should be debated elsewhere.
Back to the Topic:
If Skateboard-racing is to be a HIGH level sport........more skateboarders need to step up and make it happen, and those that do step should be recognised has having more courage than what is needed to drop into the deep-end at Frankston!
As to just cruising....don't forget......life is short.
Jonny....get the rep from your council to contact Sean Daly - Youth Services Officer at Yarra Ranges Shire. He will be able to tell them about the community benefit of such an event, and pass on the comments from the 2 ward councilors at the Monbulk event in December. Re-Sell the event as a fund-raiser for fire brigade or the local youth welfare cause.
Yes Jonny....Do it!
you will really dig being a part of the Newton's team.
Jonny, time for you to get involved in preparations for this year's Newton's. Send me your contact details.
im supper keen for newtons (just PM'd you bugs)
Im not going to go as far as saying it should be Olympic level but national recognition by sporting bodies would be a good start. More legtimate races, more funding, more races...winning?
i would like to see downhill skateboarding in the olympics. maybe then we can be taken seriously as athletes to the rest of the world and will be granted more opportunities to do what we love to do. as a professional athlete and someone who wants to do well in their field, i would not be the one to diss skateboarding in the olympics. lets face it Dani, the only people who dont want downhill skating in the olympics are the ones that wanna smoke weed, its so sad. nothing wrong with a lil bit of hootch here and there and im not going to say im mr clean i love a beer and a burn dont get me wrong, but if ur serious about ur sport its no a hard choice to make hey. do you wanna fart around as a stoner and never make much money from your 'job as a skater' and continue to just be a stoner who lurks at outlaw races and shitty IGSA events? or do you wanna be a somebody in this world and try to make a difference? ....who says outlaw racing and skateboard racing in general cant co-exist with olympic skating?
sound so me you dont take it as seriously as some might... i hope you dont call yourself a professional. If you paid much attention to those who actually win and act professionally you would notice that barely any of them would actually touch any substance before, or during an event, myself included. Those who take it seriously wont be up till all hours of the morning raging getting wasted because they want to perform at their best. Saying that 'most downhill skaters take drugs while racing' is a bad label for those who actually take this sport seriously ya know. maybe you'll take it seriously one day too eh.
Also, Berni is the man, hes always trying to help and is a great bloke, im pretty sure he wasnt dissing on outlaw races at all and im pretty sure he's all for them, but also has his eyes on the prize for the bigger goals as well. wanna know something else? he does it for the PEOPLE, not himself. Not to diss bernie or anything like that but lets face it he aint gonna be competing in epic downhill races against the world's best, but he put in the hard hard yards for folks like you and me to have a good time. that deserves a lil respect dont ya think?
. I would also venture a rough estimate that the VERY large majority of downhill skaters from around the world (I have travelled to a lot of countries and skated with a lot of different people) do not want races to be at an olympic level. The one race in the world that was trying it's hardest to be that kind of event was Teolo in Italy and that was probably the worst race on the whole world cup tour. Skaters (yup, even downhill racers) are simple folk who (and people may not approve but hey, it's true) like to smoke weed before, during and after the race and the final dubes will be smoked at an epic party with a shit load of alcohol. Olympics aren't really our thing (as a majority).