If one want a measure of how the downhill scene has grown in the past year, one has to simply look at the turnout at this years slide jam held by Cornerstone. There were well over a hundred nano grom, micro groms, ex groms and senior groms weaseling about leaving their urethane pasted on the tar. Once again arriving a little later than fashionably late, the proceeding well underway with the top of the hill open to skaters looking to stretch their toes before the business started, when the Baboons arrived, hurrying to set up the stand before the masses descended on the whole hill.
The official opening of the slide jam started with a riders meeting addressing the very contentious issue of skating and road safety. With the whole future of the sport crowded at their feet, Dave Hort and Gerhard Nel lay down the law on what and what not to do when skating. Not so much the content, which is known to most (at least to some extent), but the fact that it was openly stated by elders of the community and that an awareness was created to the importance of skating safe is what carries the most value. Most groms know they ought to skate safe, but they need to understand that if the sport is to grow and become legitimate and accepted they must practice safe conduct when skating.
Soon after the formalities, as the midday heat was beating down mercilessly, the skaters took to the hill and started weaving their magic. The tar, being heated by the sun, was in prime condition for freeriding with skaters slipping and sliding all over the show. Not only has the skating scene grown in numbers, but also the skill level of the skaters. Stand up slides as far as the eye could see, toesides, switch slides, you name it and the guys pulled it out of the bag. Sector 9 was also out in full force handing out prizes like flyers at a red light. The skaters were not to be thwarted by the heat and a steady stream of them came running down the mountain slashing and hacking at will all afternoon.
As the session progressed things started to get more serious and people prepared for the longest stand up slide contest with numerous skaters throwing down slides with some serious length to them. Baboon sponsored skaters Nick Hook and Alex Meyer were both in contention as well as Matt Arderne, Michael McIver and numerous other skaters. Eventually in was supergrom Camden Lategan from Noordhoek with a monster 20m something stand-up slide who was crowned the winner.
All in all the slide jam was a successful event with a great motive of safe skating being promoted. Lots of skating was to be had and plenty of bails to keep the spectators entertained. The Baboons are definitely looking forward to the next slide jam. But for now the pisspot helmet will be laid down and fullface helmet and leathers will be donned…racing season is upon us. Stay tuned for the High Rising race coming up on the 1-2 of December. Baboons will be present.
A great thanks goes out to Gaby Murray Roberts, Candice Bouwer and the Cornerstone team for holding a well-run, super fun event.