St. Helena Freeride

Grom Crouchie Photo by Ben Bing

St. Helena Freeride

Written by Ricki Allardice
Photos by Ben Bing and Christiaan Swanepoel 

For a week straight the fires raged, consuming 5000 hectares of fynbos, eight houses, one hotel, countless tortoises and at least a million Instagram posts. The destruction was so massive that even the mighty Cape Argus Cycle race was brought to its knees, posting a pathetic 47km alternative route due to key passages through the mountain being off limits as a result of unsafe conditions. The diversion thus resulted in Llandudno being open to traffic on Argus day, much to the dismay of every skater in Cape Town as Llandslide would now be impossible. Luckily Mitch and the Boardhub crew had an ace up their sleeve, unlike the organisers of the cycle race, and presented an alternative venue which was every bit as good as the original.

So on Sunday the 8th the faithful made the 200km trek up the West Coast to what is literally a downhill skatepark. The course is perfectly perched on the side of a mountain with beautiful tar and ravishing hairpins and unlike Llandudno; it has no buildings on it as yet. Ah the joys of the sub-prime housing market collapse!

HBB going fast through the chhicane Photo by Ben Bing
The main run starts with a brick paved right hander roll-in, just fast enough to slingshot you into the course proper. This is followed by a mellow left (perfect for a little toey if you are goofy, like me) and then a fastish right sweeper. The run then veers left and starts to drop, at which point you are going fast enough to do serious damage. You are then presented with a dropping right-left chicane where bi-directional drifts are required to keep the pavement off your back and after negotiating this section you set up for a super tight right hairpin, which is made very tricky by the brick paved speed bump just before it. The run then ends in a right hander into a parking lot where everyone gathers for a post run fizz.

Kahlil Toeside Photo by Ben Bing
By 10am most of the skaters had arrived, which is pretty amazing considering the crowd you are dealing with and the distance that they had to drive. Needless to say, okes were keen. All of the usual suspects where there along with a bunch of undercover rippers, needless to say, everyone was shredding. By 2 pm guys (and girls) had gotten into the course and were racing each other through the super tight corners at warp speed.

Mikey Goes big Photo by Christian Swanepoel
The longest standy competition was held on a different hill which is steeper than Oscar Pistorious’ legal fees. Mikey Schein took the longest toeside, Gamielden the longest heelside and Felix the longest switch heel. A special mention must go to all the undercover shredders; it’s so good to see how talented the kids in our scene are!

Oli threw down hard too Photo by Christian Swanepoel
Huge thanks must go out to Boardhub for making the event happen; I still can’t believe that you guys managed to mobilize so many skaters! Also, all the sponsors who gave away plenty of swag to many a deserving skater, you guys are rad.

Kilograms of innocent thane was sacrificed Photo by Ben Bing
I hope to see this freeride become something much bigger, a 2 day race in the near future perhaps?


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