Archive for July, 2010
July 30th, 2010
The UCI downhillers are in Val di Sole, Italy this weekend for Round 5 of the World Cup. Sounds like everyone is fed up with washing wet, muddy clothes and are really all hoping for a dry weekend. Anyway, should be a cracker with just 13 points separating current rankings leader Greg Minnaar from 2nd placed Gee Atherton.
Here’s the latest from DirtTV, with a walk down the track …
July 29th, 2010
One of the most famous surf areas in the continental US, and possibly the world, the town of Huntington Beach has long been associated with the Southern California surf scene. Originally an oil town, it was in 1925 that Duke Kahanamoku brought the sport of surfing to Huntington Beach and the Southern California shores. The city’s first surf shop, Gordie’s Surf Boards, opened in 1953 and six years later, the first US Surfing Championships were held in Huntington Beach. It’s now the home of possibly the largest surf and music festival in the world, with the US Open of Surfing set to start on 2nd August.
Huntington State Beach, to the east of town, is a good stretch of summer beach-break. Very exposed to the south swells, it gets blown out every afternoon, but on early morning glass at 3-6 feet, it’s fantastic!
Huntington Pier is an icon in the surfing world. One of the most photographed spots there is, it epitomises Southern California’s surf scene. Peaky beach-breaks, sunsets, weird people on the beach when you come in. It takes swell from the south through nor west, and changes personality accordingly. South of the pier has A-frame peaks, and if the swell is south, some lined up lefts to 8ft plus. North side has lefts and rights, but some solid right outside peaks on a winter swell, running under the pier itself. All in all a consistent, quality spot, but no secret – you’ll share it with many. All tides, although high no good if small. All levels, 1-12ft.
A stroll or quick drive west of the pier can reward with a bunch of beach breaks that spreads the crowds out, although they hold a bit less swell due to the absence of jetties.
A couple of miles up the PCH is Huntington Cliffs. Another quality beach-break that gets fast and hollow at lower tide. Southwest swell hits with most power, and the spot holds considerable size compared to some. South swells make it a mellow experience. Needs early morning glass or is a serious mess. Crowds, 2-8ft+. All levels.
July 27th, 2010
Absinthe Films launched the trailer for their new snowboard flick last week. We’re pretty excited to see what the full production looks like, but in the meantime here’s a little something from their press release and then the trailer:
“Movement can give the illusion of progress. And they say that all the world is illusion. So what is the difference between exploring and being lost? In a winter that brought an exceptional amount of challenges to riders all over the world, Absinthe’s newest snowboard film reminds us how much our reality is affected by what we make of it. Whether you are lost … or exactly where you want to be … all depends on how you look at it.”
NOW/HERE RIDERS: Dan Brisse, Jake Blauvelt, Gigi Rüf, Lucas Debari, Fredi Kalbermatten, Sylvain Bourbousson, Romain deMarchi, DCP, JP Solberg, Annie Boulanger, Marie-France Roy, Bjorn Leines, Taka Nakai, Tadashi Fuse, Jules Reymond, Cale Zima, Blair Habenicht, Terje Haakonsen, Bode Merrill, Wolfgang Nyvelt, Nicolas Müller
July 26th, 2010
In Champery this weekend, Gee Atherton won for the second time this season to close to within just 13 points of Greg Minnaar, who finished second.
The 1,500m course was deluged with rain during qualifying but slowly started drying during the race. However, this only seemed to make things worse with the mud thickening and clinging to the bikes.
“It was really tough,” said Atherton. “You know, some races you really enjoy, and others it’s a battle the whole time. This I was just fighting the whole way, the run was hard work; it was like a battle from top to bottom. It was a matter of just finding that line, hanging it out and having it pinned, and not pushing too hard and crashing. I guess I was right on that line and right on the limit the whole time. I was half crashing all the way down the hill, just holding on, and luckily I got it dialed.”
Greg Minnaar continues to lead the World Cup standings with 830 points but Gee is only 13 points back with two races to go. Highlights after the ad:
July 24th, 2010
The WQS 4-Star O’Neill Coldwater Classic waiting period begins on Monday featuring a host of top South African surfers – Sean Holmes, Travis Logie, Royden Bryson and of course current world #1 Jordy Smith. Forecast looks like it could be pretty wild from Tuesday onwards, so we’re looking forward to watching some quality action on the webcast.
Here’s a preview (after the ad):
July 23rd, 2010
All the top MTB downhill riders are in Champery, Switzerland this weekend for the latest round of the UCI World Cup. Back in 2007 this was the scene of Sam Hill’s epic run in the wet. Here’s how Chris Ball describes it in an excerpt from his new MTB skills book:
“It looks like the finals of the 2007 World Cup in Champery will be on dry trails in mountain sunshine. Mid afternoon rolls in and all hell breaks loose. Torrential rain and storms smash into the mountain and the course goes from tough but dry to a near impossible river-cut run down the sheer mountainside. That day, the young Australian Sam Hill rode as though it was dry. His attack mode found grip where there shouldn’t have been any and he placed a time that beat most of the guys who’d come down in the dry. That moment changed many people’s perspectives on what can actually be done with a modern mountain bike. A lot of the younger guys, riding similar set-ups to Hill, suddenly found out just how far it can be pushed.”
Hill is currently 4th in the UCI rankings closely followed by current World & British National Champion Steve Peat. Greg Minnaar is leading the way and will be looking to stretch his lead from 2nd placed Gee Atherton.
Here’s a look at the course from Thursday practice from the guys at Dirt TV:
July 22nd, 2010
Quick update for everyone on our Snowfinder ski guide books for the coming winter season. As we announced a couple of weeks ago, we’re planning a total of 12 ski resort guides for the 2010/11 season covering resorts in France, Austria and the USA. Along with independent resort reviews, piste maps and handy summary descriptions of every run in resort we’ll also be including a special break down of each resort from a well known skier or snowboarder, featuring their favourite runs, apres-ski hangouts and restaurants. We’ve got Ed Leigh covering Val d’Isere, Pat Sharples on Courchevel & Meribel, Scott McMorris doing Avoriaz/Morzine, James Stentiford in Chamonix and James “Woodsy” Woods out in Breckenridge.
For a little taster, here’s a quick comment from Ed Leigh on Val d’Isere:
“I have visited a lot of resorts in a lot of countries and I still haven’t seen anything that rivals Val d’Isere’s diversity. With one of the highest tree lines in Europe it has fantastic bad weather riding, but it equals this with some fantastic high altitude big mountain riding. All this epic terrain is serviced with one of the fastest and best maintained lift systems in the world.”
We’re also looking at the possibility of converting all our ski guide books over to an ebook format, which will means you’ll be able to access all the info on PC’s, laptops, iPads, iPhones & other smartphones.
Stay tuned here for more information on our ski guide books and for profiles on all the pro riders involved.
July 22nd, 2010
About 100 miles south of Brisbane you’ll find Byron Bay with beaches, plenty of waves and, at times, insane crowds. There are a handful of quality waves to be had in the area, but we’re going to focus on The Wreck and The Pass.
Byron Bay, The Wreck – a beautiful R breaking over an old shipwreck on sandy rock bottom. Sand builds up round the wreck, creating a hollow 50-150m wave. The beach itself can produce the odd beach-break peak, getting in massive SE swells. Very crowded spot for all standards of surfer.
Byron Bay, The Pass – quality R off the rocks on S point. Breaks over sand and rock, giving a 3-400m ride into the beach. Holds up to 10ft swell. Heavy paddle-out, heavier crowds. Look for Bullies – a mean, rocky beachie round the corner in a cove. Check Wategos for novice beachies.
July 21st, 2010
The British Mountain Bike Championships were held this past weekend in Scotland’s beautiful Ae Forest. With rain affecting the course throughout the whole day the conditions were tough, but nobody could match the time set by Peaty, despite having ridden with a badly cut arm which he picked up on a previous run. He won his ninth national title, finishing ahead of Gee Atherton (Commencal) and fellow Santa Cruz Syndicate rider Josh Bryceland.
Jess Stone won the women’s downhill event, with Katy Curd second and Helen Gaskell coming in third.
Here’s a great video round up from the guys over at Wideopen Magazine featuring a fair few face spills.
The top three riders – Steve Peat, Gee Atherton & Josh Bryceland – all feature heavily in Chris Ball’s new book “Mountain Biking The Manual”, available now for pre-order.
July 20th, 2010
New movie from the guys at Matchstick Productions and the way we see it we’d like more … more, more … more, more, more!
According to their press release, “The Way I See It” is a modern take on the extreme sports genre featuring state of the art high definition cinematography and joins the grand tradition of MSP’s long line of award-winning films, including unprecedented six-time “movie of the year” honors. With the winter of 2010 providing record snowfalls and a roster featuring the best skiers in the world, this film leaves audiences inspired and excited for the coming season.
“The Way I See It” was shot on location in Alaska, Japan, British Columbia, Colorado, Switzerland, and many other locations worldwide in high-definition and features the most dominant cast of athletes ever compiled, including Mark Abma, Sean Pettit, Eric Hjorleifson, Henrik Windstedt, Bobby Brown, Colby West, James Heim, Richard Permin, Cody Townsend, Rory Bushfield, Ingrid Backstrom, Gus Kenworthy, Jacob Wester, Russ Henshaw, and others.