My weekend in Bend, Oregon was nothing short of amazing.
It was surreal to think about WHY I was there- the only reason I could afford to get to Oregon and race was because I was leaving from there to skateboard across the country. I had moved out of my house, left my job, said bye to my friends, and even had a going away party. It was surreal, but also simultaneously TOO real at the same time. At the time of my first race, it had been nearly two months since I stepped on a skateboard.
When I got to Bend, I spent some time picking out last minute gear, and hung out by the water. I was so ticked off about a few things: my roommate said he would pay the $60 Uber to the airport and consequently did not, and United Airlines lost my Pro-Tec hat. (Thankfully there is another in storage in California).
I hate flying. The plane rides weren’t so bad because I magically got an entire row to myself both times, but even still- fuck planes. When I got off in Redmond, Oregon, I had woken up and was the last off the plane. I quickly realized I forgot it, but the stewardess told me there was no hat. Funny how a hat can disappear! They wouldnt let me back on the plane (why?) And I ended up giving her blind, stupid face the middle finger. Fuck United Airlines. I hope that when somebody turns in my hat she feels like the piece of shit she is.
From Redmond I met up with Conan and we skated the 5k/10k routes planned for the races. That was my first time on a board. I was nervous about my ankle still, but it was fine. The route was fun- on race day, not so much.
We went to Lance’s bar later on, and I got VERY drunk. At one point, I went to the bathroom (single occupancy) and sat down to pee. Some girl walked in, and said “is anyone in here?” And I replied. She then said, “oh I must be in the wrong bathroom, there’s a boy in here!” And I told her I am not a boy. She proceeded to tell me it was okay I was a boy and she would wait until I was finished. I still have no idea why she waited IN the bathroom (weird). When I got out, she tried to hug me and I was like “FUCK NO!” And tried to go around her in the tiny room. She wouldn’t get the fuck out of my way so I pushed her against the wall. Drunk me thought I knocked her out but that wasn’t the case. Regardless, I freaked out and ubered home very quickly.
I was ushered to Lance’s house at 630 in the morning while Conan worked. When I woke up, Lance and I ended up having the most chill day of dabbing and drinking ive ever had in the history of time. We got breakfast and ran errands, then spent the rest of the day napping, dabbing, and drinking til he went to work. I received my final gear packages- neither ended up working out.
At this point of writing I want to call out Fugoo speakers for shipping me a broken Tough Jacket for my speaker- and having a super cheap strap mount for the product. Both were useless and cheap. Two days prior I had written to them about the quality of the speaker and asked for help with my skate through sponsorship. They said they reply in one business day- they chose to ignore me entirely. I think its shit business to be ignored. A simple “nope” is better than radio silence. When I wrote to them again about the broken, cheap parts, they replied in one business day, proving that I was ignored. They offered to send a replacement, but obviously missed the “I’m now homeless skateboarding across the country” part of my email. Plus, why would I want more cheap replacement parts? Anyways, fuck that company and fuck all who ignore those who are vocal and stoked on their products. They missed a prime chance to be on the front of my board, seen by the world, on CNN, Great Big Story, Vice, and Buzzfeed.
The next day I woke up hammered and ready to race. Its always so weird to run into a crowd of people you love- all those hugs are overwhelming. I tried to avoid it but couldn’t. Being drunk didn’t help. I introduced myself to the ladies, and you cannot imagine how stoked I was to have new competition and more girls in the scene. I fucking love girl power and I love seeing women kick ass. Every woman who raced is a complete badass- we pushed through a 5k and 10k with headwinds and stiff competition. For new girls, they still held it down.
I placed first in both races. That was the first time I placed first in an LDP race. I worked for it. Earned it. Was happy.
We went back to Lance’s, this time with 2 more people staying over. We made tacos, ignoring the upcoming barbeque. When the barbecue happened I was stuffed and ate only chips and guac. I felt bad, but who turns down homemade tacos? After that, we went to the hill for the 25k race. I was dreading it. Cold and tired, I had to motivate everyone to bomb the hill with me. I took the lead and ended up hitting 40mph on my distance setup. The stability was unreal for a 65/0 setup on extremely soft bushings. I was confident, but it was a total leg burner. I was pooped.
The night was mostly quiet. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at 10pm. The next day was the 25k race and I did not want to do it. I ended up walking most of the hill, coming in third to the top turnaround point. I was 5 minutes behind Autumn, in first. I knew that as the resident downhill skater, I could potentially send it down the hill to catch up.
I commend every skater out there for hitting that hill. 40mph full tuck is no joke for a bunch of people on squirrelly downhill setups. I passed a lot of people footbraking and airbreaking. I was ZOOMING. I caught up to Autumn just near the end and pushed my heart out at the end to beat her. That was such am intense feeling. I look forward to next year where she will bomb the hill after destroying the competition up it. There’s no way ill stand a chance.
After the race, Great Big Story, who is making a documentary of my skate, showed up to Aspect Boards and Brews to film the podium. Everybody there was in my same spirit- happiness that the races are over but sad to say goodbye. Every time I was near the bar somebody bought me a beer. I was stoked on the generosity of everyone. Beyond that, once I announced that raffle tickets purchases were donations to my skate, I ended up receiving $135 from everyone. The support for me was unreal. Back home in California I am loved, but not nearly as much as the LDP community is. How amazing it is to be able to call them family.
I did a lot of filming stuff, namely an interview and shopping. Afterwards, I spent the day perfecting my setup and gear. I am disappointed that our custom chops between Original and I didn’t work out- but we have something amazing being worked out for when I get to the warehouse!
Shout out to Ryan at Subsonic for designing me a super last minute platform. What I received was beyond anything I could have hoped for out of something so close to departure date, but he killed it. We set it up with the following:
Subsonic Illuminati 25
G|Bomb deep drop bracket
Don’t Trip Delirium
Orangatang secret wheels
Original Cell Ceramic Bearings
Riptide 75 fatcone/75 barrel in front and 90 fatcone/85 barrel in rear
Loaded Pushin’ Cushion on top
Covered in RDVX griptape
I managed to fall asleep around 3am for my 630 departure time. I was destroyed.