Monday, 7 November 2016

Hogtoberfest - Hog Hill 2016

Words By Dan Ravenall

This year the UKDH skate scene has been busy with the BDSL events, growing the skills and competiveness of the UK riders. As the year draws to a close and the weather starts to get bleak there is always Hogtoberfest to look forward to! With ominous looking forecasts riders still showed up with some coming from as far as Scotland.

Hog is always a great place to catch up with riders you don’t get to skate often with or mates you’ve seen at previous events. This year’s event was rammed with fresh faces and eager skaters. After sign ups open, shop stalls setup and boards tweaked its time to hit the hill. 

Riding my trusty Makali DH that I’ve been riding all year I felt super comfortable and stable. I was lucky enough to get in a lot of pack runs with about 8 more solid riders each time some of which I’ve rode with abroad this season.  Tucking down the hill with everyone in sync, overtaking, drafting and barrelling through the corners was so much fun! During this time I think the slide jam was going on with the addition of some ramps and some of the most stylish freeriders I’m sure it was tight to judge. Running at the same time as well the slalomers were going head to head in the hybrid – darting between the cones with precision and speed.

After a lot of lurking and skating day 1 was over just as the weather started to turn. I dropped some skaters of at the campsite and got some shut eye before race day. Waking up to day 2, wet roads and dampened spirits I arrived at the track only to see everyone still skating assuring me the track is still grippy and it’s all good to go. After a few wet runs which were really not so bad racing started quite quickly at midday. I had signed up for Luge despite not knowing what I was doing but I was game to give it ago.

Pushing off with your hands, lying on your back, hovering your legs and leaning into the corners felt really alien but so much fun. Despite being terrible at it and the track still being wet- its always worth a go! Extra skating is extra skating. After that Womens, Groms and Opens kicked off. Or did the freestyle/dance…. I can’t really remember… What I do know is the freestylers and dancers were going for it. I did catch a glimpse of some sweet grinds, fancy footwork and steezy flips. (kickflips not front flips… imagine that!)

Luckily after Luge racing the track was pretty much dry. The race heats were stacked! I managed to get 2nd in my first heat , 6th in my second heat due to crashing out  with someone while going for a sneaky overtake in the chicane, and 1st in my last heat. All in all so enjoyable! Unfortunately it started to rain again meaning the semis and finals would be sketchy. With races finished, it was packing up time and prize giving drawing hogtoberfest 2016 to a close.

Shout out Timmy from Das Industries, Sam Gordon and the amazing people that volunteer to get this event going!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Hogtoberfest 5 - Mindless Longboards

Words By Dan Ravenall
Follow him on Instagram

­Hogtoberfest 5 lived up to the hype being the biggest hoghill event so far! With riders from London to Wales, Beginners to Shredders the scene turned up in full force.

Saturdays sign up opened midday-ish (skater time) with special shiny event wristbands and free stickers- what’s not to love already.  All the shop tents were set up along the sides of the hill with a mouth-watering array of gear. Once the hill opened most people started to chuck on the big wheels and go for a few pack runs down the hill. I was riding my quiver killer the Makali SK and Mindless talismans set up the way I like em , with just a wheel change for freeride and some big wheels for downhill the set up was prime for hog hill.

*Dan's Makali SK Above*

Pretty soon it was time for the Slide Jam on the freeride hill. There was a pretty big crowd all sitting on the hill ready to compete. With the music pumping it was the hard wheeled tech sliders who kicked it off first. Using the kickers and blasting sweet 360s and dank blunts, it was going to be a tough one to judge, everyone brought something different to the party. From knee slides to laybacks it was a spectacle to watch.

Up after the hard wheels was the soft wheel slide jam, which had a lot more people participating in it. The freeriding every Hog event just keeps getting better, with people going faster, bigger and ultimately better. Whether you liked steezy sit downs or a long toeside the freeride jam had you covered.

While the freeride jam was happening the slalom skateboarders battled it out on the hybrid course, making use of start ramps and a tight rapid course. It’s always great to watch them in action in 1v1 races where the racing is so close it comes down to less than a second.

After the slide jam was over there was still time to cram in some quick runs on the hill and make use of the great weather before day 1 came to end. Everyone packed up, crammed in to sticker bombed cars with loud music and convoyed out to the campsite. With tents pitched and the Sainsburys food run done it was time to relax!

Campfires, music and skateboards what more could you need?

After a cold night and a damp dew morning we all packed up eager to get warm skateboarding. It was time to practise those tucks and go draft some packs! With a lot of close skateboard riding accomplished the chicane was closed off while the slalomers hit the big hill on the GS course giving us plenty of much needed lurk time. Before you knew it, it was time to line up because it was all downhill from here.

MC Higgins and Mr Tharp were sending down the race heats in a quick time. With some of the UKs best racing it was a fun experience! Blasting through the chicane as photographers and medics blur past with less than an arms distance between riders it was pretty close at times. After the scores had been handed in it was all over and it was time for the prize giving.

The winners took their place on the podiums and the all the swag was all shared out which sadly meant hog was coming to a close. With the cars loaded up all that’s left was to ride on home and grab some much needed shut eye.

Many thanks to the Great Timmy Peters , UKSSA and everyone who makes it happen. Catch you guys next time on the hill!

Bonus Images:

Monday, 5 October 2015

Hogtoberfest 2015

We are super excited about this year's Hogtoberfest, and being the 5th annual event, it's set to be better than ever!

So want to see what's in store? Here's the schedule:


- Dual Hybrid Slalom

- Slide Jam 
- Freeride

- DJ and maybe live music at the campsite


- Giant Slalom

- Mega Dance Jam 

- Freeride

- Race

For more information, head over to the official Hogtoberfest blog. 

Here are some highlights from last year's event, including some appearances from Mindless rider, James Allen:

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A closer look at Mindless Longboard Talisman Trucks

Mindless Longboards Talisman Trucks
Researched and developed to be unique in design and performance.

 Light weight gravity cast construction and heat treated for strength.

Raw & Sandblasted finishes are all hardwearing and wont chip or flake after a few hard impacts or grinds.

177mm width and 50° baseplate
Faced hangers to reduce the chance of bearing scrub.

Mellow bushing seat, providing the perfect amount of resistance whilst retaining great bushing rebound.

Fixed kingpins make changing bushings a painless and quick process.

One of few cast trucks to use Skull ball pivot, making turning seamless.

6 hole base plate allows the Talisman to be used on every deck.

Remove the pivot cup with ease with a purpose placed hole.
Light weight, 800g per pair.

Mindless signature eye shaped king pin hole, a wink to the voodoo origins, but primarily allowing  maximum kingpin clearance giving huge lean capabilities.

Make everywhere your playground, slashing between everyday obstacles and making gaps others simply can't. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Makali - Change Is Coming!

Introducing the Makali range of boards. These premium set-ups are designed for versatility and serious performance!

There are 3 styles in the range and they each come with adjustable wheelbases, catering for different set-up / riding style options. Choose from double kick, single kick or downhill / free ride.

The stunning graphics on the Makali range are by guest artist Bodilpunk.

Premium quality epoxy decks, CNC shaped and finished with walnut veneer and fibre reinforcement.
All of the boards in the Makali range are fitted with the highly acclaimed Talisman trucks, Juju Bushings and Maji wheels with precision skate rated bearings. 

For full spec information, visit the official Mindless website. This great range of boards will be available from all good longboard stockists. 

Check out this mini edit of team rider, James Allen, killing it on a prototype of the Makali DH!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Mindless Cayuga II Is Here!

We are stoked to introduce the new Cayuga II to the Mindless Voodoo range!

The first Cayuga was our most evolved and focused board to hit the Mindless range. This great formula continues with the Cayuga II with its W-concave switch deck and subtle micro-drop platform, armed with our awesome Talisman trucks and Kabila wheels. 

Not only that but it also has a new Epoxy pressed deck with stained plies and fibre reinforcement on the nose and tail, plus CNC wheel wells.  

The graphic has been updated and printed onto a stained bottom ply and this whole set up is topped off perfectly with a sweet laser printed logo on the grip. 

The Cayuga II is a great board for long distance pushing and freeride, and you can find it in all good Mindless Voodoo stockists. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Longboard For Little Hearts - Santa Cruise 2014

The Santa Cruise 2014, what a great day from start to finish.
Photo by April Whitlow
Words By James Allen

The day began with clear skies and a meeting of Skateboarding Santa's, outside the Hammersmith Apollo. I arrived to see many Santa's already gathered, showing off their boards and outfits, and ready to get going. After many introductions and waiting for others to arrive, it was almost time to leave, so the Longboarding for Little Hearts crew gave a short speech reminding us why we were doing this event and then briefed us on the 20 mile route and the pace to be taken.

We were all pumped and ready to go, so after a few photos and cheers we set off on our journey towards Windsor.With everybody so excited, the first leg was an easy one, the skaters were pushing through the streets and paths of central London, weaving through the crowds, cars and any other obstacles we could find. Already we knew this was going to be a fun journey. As we made our way along, there had to be a few pauses to gather everyone together making sure noone got lost or left behind, not that it'd be hard to find a santa riding a skateboard.

After a while the group approached the main roads, which meant one long straight path alongside the traffic. Most passing cars would see us all and start honking their horns, which we would return with waves, smiles and cheers.

It was alot easier keeping everyone on the right path, but it did  however mean faster skaters would get too far ahead and the slower ones were getting left behind, so after a brief lunch/dance break at a McDonald's drive thru, the pace was reset and everybody was motivated
and ready to get back on track.

After following the main road route, across a variety of different paths clogged with wet leaves and muddy puddles, or journey led us back onto small town roads, waving at passers by, spreading cheer, and even stopping in Slough to have our picture taken with the Mayor.

We met with a few latecomers to help guide us through the last leg and into Windsor. As we skated into the town and up the hill to the castle, we were greeted by a friendly crowd and some of the charity organisers who were all cheering us on through the finish line.  Everybody was happy to have finished and rest their tired bodies, after more photos with the organisers and crowd of course.

So we headed through town to a pub/restaurant where we had 50+ seats reserved for the tired and hungry Santa's. But the FUNdraising didn't stop there, with raffle tickets sold out, then the prizes being drawn and the drinks flowing, we all sat back and enjoyed the rest of the evenings festivities.

Thanks to everyone involved in the organisation of this event for a much needed cause.
It wouldn't be possible without Dean Lake, I asked him about the charity, Mindless Longboards involvement and the great things he's doing, this is what he said:
    "Obviously with my daughter Olivia having the heart condition and needing open heart surgery at 7 months old to save hear life was extremely hard! I've managed to turn such a dark and worrying time of our life into something as positive as Longboarding for little hearts! It takes up a fair bit of my time and is a real challenge at times but is very much worth it when it all comes together like it did at the Santa Cruise. And the support is always over whelming as it expands the awareness of what myself and other families go through to another group of people who wouldn't usually think about children with serious heart defects. 
Having Mindless behind me means a hell of a lot! When I first started out creating LB4LH I sat planning all I wanted to achieve.
Sponsorship was a big thing to get people behind me to help this cause get recognised! 
I approached Mindless as I knew their offices in Amersham were close by and told them my intentions. They wished me luck but said they get a lot of requests etc.... They must've watched LB4LH grow over a few years until they come back to me last year and said "we want to be part of this" that feeling was incredible and makes the hard work I put in worth while that a big skate company like Mindless recognised that and it was a worth while cause!!"
" Helping other families through tough times is another thing I do assisting the Children's heart federation. If they get a parent call up asking for support I chat to them about my experiences!
I documented every aspect of Olivia's surgery in pictures etc and Have used them to prepare other parents for their child's big day.
I'm Thankful Olivia's went as smooth as it did as other children I know wasn't as lucky and a few I've supported really wasn't lucky and lost the battle!"

Thanks again and see you next year!

Special Thanks:

Dean Lake for Organising the great event!

April Whitlow - Shove It Mag - For the images.
 Check out Shove It Mag for event coverage and awesome images.

James Allen for the write up!