It was about having fun and nothing more at the fourth annual Giants Head Freeride long board event for Billy Bones Meiners.
Meiners was among the 130 skaters from around the world who attended the three-day event at Giants Head Park.
Meiners, known as Billy Bones since he usually wears leather skeleton gear, said the Giants Head Freeride is perfect for fun.
“This isn’t really the event that’s like kind of about the race,” said Bones, who helped the event max out in partipants in just one day. “Some events it’s all about who can win the race. If you can come here and not get too messed up than that’s a good weekend.”
Meiners managed that other than the odd little scrape near his elbows.
The course gives skateboarders 13 expert-level hairpin corners and 700 vertical feet of drop which stretches out to 2.1 kilometres of what the Freeride website describes as “intense riding.”
Meiners said it is a challenging course which skateboarders can approach a few different ways. Because it’s about one lane wide, he said it’s wise to pick one and stick with it.
“You’re kind of fighting your speed the whole way down,” he said. “With each corner it’s how am I going to shut off the speed before I get to this one.”
And the thought process repeats itself.
“You definitely go through wheels pretty quick on this hill,” said Meiners, who is from Portland, Oregon.
Meiners said the event gets better every year. He was also pleasantly surprised by the number of spectators, who found locations in the trees and to the edge of the path to watch from.
“It’s cool to see younger guys come out and get jazzed on it,” he said.
For some heats on Monday, skateboarders came down alone and near the end, some went head-to-head such as Charles Chip Wood and Casey Morrow.
The two finished the heat side-by-side after they had taken turns grabbing the lead. Neither wanted to waste anything during the quarterfinal heat and would have liked to faced each other in the semi’s or final heat.
Morrow nearly lost control of his board on the last corner of the track.
“I was about to come in the back,” he said, adding that staying low is a good way to avoid crashing. “The road rash is better than tumbling or taking an impact. We’re pretty comfortable riding each other so we can kind of shove each other around if we needed to.
“It’s just a really steep, narrow road,” continued Morrow. “Not really a lot of straight away, which means that you can’t let the road take you down as fast as it wants.”
The two came from Portland to skate as much as possible.
“This is definitely my favourite hill,” said Morrow, who has been longboarding for five years and skateboarding for 15.
Event organizer Andrew Monoghan said the weekend went well. He noted that only one minor concussion was suffered while no one had any major injuries other than a few scrapes.
“People just try to get the most runs,” he said.
What made the event a success, Monoghan said, is that the course is one of the best in North America and it attracts skaters from around the world.