Nate Blackburn here to talk to you about one of the most amazing events that I have been to, the Saltspring Slasher, on Saltspring Island in British Columbia, Canada. The Saltspring Slasher is one of the best events out right now in my opinion because of the quality of the course, the environment of the Event, and the people that show up! One of the first things that you need to know about going to the Slasher is that it is going to take you a while to get to the event, but it is going to be worth it once you realize how beautiful the islands are, as well as how ideal the course is. The Road is pretty much an incredibly low traffic access road with amazing pavement, 3 big corners, 2 that need some speed management, and 1 that is a big left hand sweeper. The top speed that we saw on a Cell Phone GPS was 52 MPH or 84 KPH. The OMEN Skate Party Team headed up to the slasher in the Mobile Ruckus team van with Rain Daley, Martin Depass, Jacob Huff, Fitz Illingworth, Nate Blackburn, and special Guest Zach Newman.
Here is the gang getting ready for practice runs on the first day! The best part of the Slasher is the laid back attitude, the fact that the campsite is at the top of the hill also makes it an awesome time, because you get an opportunity to see all your favorite people congregating in the morning for some early calories.
Here is the Cul-De-Sac where loitering is strongly encouraged, and check our Event Co-Organizer Jude! When the event Organizer is smiling you know you are going to have a great time.
Once everyone got some protein and coffee the event began smoothly and on a relaxed time-frame of efficiency. The Slasher features practice runs and racing on Saturday, and then an All day Freeride on Sunday!
Here is one of the early runs on Saturday where Laine Jackart was absolutely hammering the course. Laine is affectionately referred to as the "Moose" because of his incredible power, and durability. Laine is also Part of @teamfatkid_DH on instagram, check it out if you want to see a lot of large skaters who shred.
Laine Jackart Squeezing every ounce of speed out of his NJK Leather Suit.
Here is Event Co-Organizer Maxwell Kaye, running the show, and doing a corner safety check.
Here is Hawaii Visitor Zach Newman banging into the last corner with a 1 Handed Predrift. Rachel Bagels is on the inside snapping some photos. You can also see the Coast Longboarding Cribb-Bomb is setup in the final corner, and you can bet that Bricin "STRIKER" Lyons was on the Microphone all day! You can See Max Kaye running the show next to the white Mini-Van, and you can also See Mischa Chandler of Flatspot Longboards Holding it down by cooking up some amazing meats in the black pop-up-tent.
The FlatSpot Longboard Shop really killed the whole event by making tons of hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone who came out. Special Thanks goes out to Mischa for also saving me with a bag of Ice after I popped out my shoulder.
Here is Mischa prepping coffee and Breakfast for the Squad after I dislocated my Shoulder!
This is Homie Paul. Paul is a trained magician, and quickly popped my shoulder back into place, here he is popping out a precision pre-drift into the final Lefty. Paul has been at most of the Coast Events I have gone to, and is always prepared. Paul, I owe you one!
Here is Rain Daley leading sudo-grom Martin Depass down the Fast Straight. It is in this part of the hill, where some of the fastest passes are made and where drafting really plays a large part of how you will be setup into the last corner.
After the Straight away you get spit into a Right-Left Shicane, followed up by a 160* hairpin. Here you can see Raggie Chasing down the Irish man, Pearse D'Arcy. Pearse was a rad traveler, and had tons of foreign stoke for the race! He was also crushing it.
A different angle of the Final Corner. The Cribb-Bomb and The Flatspot Tent were awesome, because they had a monopoly on shade during the event, which meant that after every run, friends got to hang out together and wait for the next shuttle under the Cribb-Spot Shade Emporium.
Laine Jackart doing some scientific Calculations on the Wind Dynamics of the Course. Using a lateral metatarcel horizontally aligned barometer gauge, very rare, but incredibly accurate.
Here are two tinted warriors tucking through the big Left hander up at the top of the course. This was a Corner where you could really extend your lead, by staying tucked into a ball, while still performing excellent cornering posture. Technique and skill was the make or break between extending or being caught.
Besides the Spiders on the Course, There were Bees in the Hay. Neither of which hindered the action.
Here is a shot of James Ware (SLIMER) about to get into Cody Lux's Insides. Both of these dudes are awesome people who are almost guaranteed to part of your next Canadian Event. Both are also incredibly fast, and talented Skaters. If you get a chance Go check out James New Pro-Model Board in Person!
Once Racing Started the event was still incredibly chill. High fives started every heat, and hugs ended every run. Here is a shot of a tight Pack getting nuts-to-butts into the final Corner. Charlie Darragh out in front with Rain Daley in hot pursuit. The course was very competitive, and allowed for some great tight finishes at the final corner, making the end of the course the place to be!
Here is Laine "the MOOSE" Jackart fending off some ankle biters as he clings to his advancing position. Laine is a cool dude in my book, because he freerides, and downhills, and still has time to be a super nice guy!
Here is Martin Depass Making his way into Second Place in the Juniors Division! Martin was so stoked on his Second Place Position that he somehow lost his ID in Canada, and was stranded in the Canadian Frontier with Griffin Gravel. But Luckily Martin has one of the best Dad's in all of Downhill Skateboarding, and his dad made the drive up from Portland to Vancouver to Bring Martin back into the USA. Martin Promptly lost about 18% of his winnings once he entered back into the United States.
Here is the final heat as Charlie Darragh leads Troy "yardwaste" Grenier into the Bottom Hairpin. Even though Charlie got into the Corner First, Troy was able to kick on his "V-tec*" and passed Charlie inches before the Finish Line. * ( V-tec is an engine type developed by Honda to increase Fuel Economy, but in certain situations provide lots of "un-harnessed Power)
Rain Daley Slips by on the inside during the final heat to move from 4th to 3rd.
Martin was the only American on the Podium for Juniors. It was July 4th when the race was held. Obviously the Little Ripper has some National Pride, and enough American Flag Swag to go around.
Troy Grenier First
Charlie Darragh Second
Rain Daley Third.
We were stoked to get to see two of our team get onto the podium, and we were just as stoked to see all of the amazing faces that were out there!
Till we meet again!
-Nate Blackburn out ¿?