What a wild 2 weeks in California we just had! The last trip of the season saw 2 coaches and 9 riders head out to California for 2 weeks of Snow, Sun, Sand and Cement. Thomas Panksep, Ben Wheeler, Joe Jedrej, Nick Smith, Taylor Estrop, Sam Koven, Simon Boutin, Cameron Spalding and Liam Brearley were assisted by coaches Devon Jack and Sam Marcotte.
Big Bear lake played host to our first stop. After a drive up into the mountains from Los Angeles international airport, the crew settled in to our two condos for the next 4 nights. The plan was to ride Bear Mountain, which unexpectedly closed down and shifted all their operations over to Snow Summit. Although we were a little disappointed that we wouldn't get to hit the slopes up at Bear, Snow Summit turned out a great park with a lot of variety for us to get stuck into.
Tubes, Flatbars, Cannons, Small Booters and Frontside and Backside Hips greeted us every day, along with some extremely hot temperatures! Snow Summit gave everyone a good chance to get their legs back under them before the trip up to Mammoth a few days later. Flips were flipped, rails were rinsed and Hips were sent. Everyone agreed that good times were had and we were all well warmed up for the 5 hr drive to Mammoth! That's a lot of W's in one sentence!
Our first two days in Mammoth were a washout.. Literally.. Flood warnings with extremely heavy rain.. But the crew soldiered on and were rewarded with a bright sunny day for the 3rd day and beyond. The Snow was perfect for learning and everyone set about improving and slowly building towards the end of the week. Standout performances on the jumps came from Sam Koven, Cameron Spalding and Liam Brearley dropping 10s and all manner of stylish twirls in-between. Cam and Joe sent the hip into space despite a rather flat landing, Nick Smith worked on some spins and learned backside 3's while Ben Wheeler sent some frontside 3's and 7's to the end of the landings. Thomas greased all the rails in sight, Taylor mixed it up on the jumps and rails and Simon Boutin stepped his riding up significantly, earning the most improved vote from the crew at the end of the Mammoth section.
Back to L.A.
Several hours of Wind, tumbleweeds, dust storms and desert drives was interrupted by a stop at the Holy Grail of Burger joints... In-N-Out.. If you've never been, you don't know what you're missing and I heavily suggest you get on that! Stoke levels were high and the crew hit the road again greased up and excited to spend a couple of days in L.A. Surfing and Skating, to be followed by a mystery day of activities.
First up was the Surfing. Local Huntington beach surf school Learn2Rip was our chosen purveyor and the kids set out to take on the Ocean. Simon and Sam would have stayed all day if they had not been ushered out of the water. Thomas sent a wave down the line and Joe lamented the lack of a shortboard to duck dive. Cam got more waves than I can count along with Ben Wheeler and everyone got stuck in and made the best of the onshore, but beginner friendly conditions.
Also known as our last day in LA.
Hints were dropped during the drive but the guys had no idea where we were going until Liam Brearley picked up the theme park hint. Six Flags Magic Mountain was the destination, with rumour of the World's craziest Rollercoaster located inside, X2.
The Superhero themed park took some time to figure out as the first ride we lined up for shut down immediately. The fear of a lack of action had us wandering the park looking for our first rip, which we found in the form of a face down Coaster that really got us going! Everyone went from 0 to 100 real quick and the mood for the day was set! We followed that up with a walk on return to the previously closed ride and then made the trek to X2... It was well worth the entire trip as we were flung backwards and upside down in a rotating seat over the precipice, then spun in more directions than you could keep track of during an intense 20 seconds.. Well thats what it felt like at the very back at least! What just happened?
The Six Flags visit for mystery day was capped off with a trip to Stoner Skate park, a legendary LA Street Park and chased down with Some more In-N-Out at the airport (we do eat healthy, I swear it.. just not on the driving days...). The entire crew agreed at the Airport...
The good vibes will be felt for weeks!!