Andy Packer tells us about The Wheels Festival 2011 event & the Ride The Hill Demos, with loads of fantastic photos…
2012 see’s the 20th birthday of Mountainboarding and there is no hiding that it hasn’t got to where it should be by now, we all know this incredible, breathtaking sport has every prerequisite to be the next best thing, but just as it was getting there, the bankers in the city cocked up the whole country and ruined the growth of the sport.
It was time to be proactive towards this situation and in 2008 we decided to construct our own ramp to take around and raise some hype and to find more recruits. Inspired by both the Mountainboard.be and MBS Europe ramps, we aimed to take an easy-to-build ramp to a series of shows & festivals around the UK. After a great start in ’09 (Nass was brilliant) and in 2010 adding Defest & The Race for Life to the list, 2011′s tour took us to a massive 9 events including Wheels 2011, The Priory Park Show (pictured), Defest & NASS, and gave us the chance to teach hundreds of people our awesome sport on the way.
Our last stop took us to Littlehampton in Sussex for Wheels 2011, a fitting place for the final show as this was the event that we first tried our ramp concept all those years ago. It was also my favourite of all the shows as it was right on the seafront and about 15mins from RTH team rider, Ieuan Jehu’s home, so for this show, we could actually go and have a barbie, shower, beers & bed once we are done!
Wheels is a two day event featuring anything with wheels, from new cars to go karts, unicycles to mountainboards. This was our 3rd time here, so it always had a warm reception for us, ideal for the end stop of the tour as the riders wanted to try all the tricks they hadn’t already tried and would need some really good crowds to get them going……this was definitely the place!
The Saturday’s shows featured Ieuan, Alan, Ryan and myself. Knowing that Sunday was going to be a mental day, we had to steady the pace and make sure we were all feeling the ramp layout. Fortunately at Wheels we always have a big bank after our landing which gave us a great place to stop, turn around and roll back down towards a box (see in the video, link later)
Saturday saw Ieuan styling some giant tweaks, Ryan planting several Ugflips (Barrelroll backflips whilst looking like a caveman) and his own trick, nodeos (rodeo backflip switchback) and I landed my first FS 7 which felt amazing! Alan also tried the Corked BS 5, a trick he had been trying all year but so far had not landed, once again though he crashed out and the hit was enough to put him out for the day’s demos, understandable given the nature of the trick and switch landing!
Sunday was the nuts. We all woke up to blistering sunshine and no wind, ideal for a demo. After munching a quick round of bacon sarnies and downing a mug of tea we were back onsite. All the riders were rested and we were joined by “all the skills, all the thrills, Pete Hills” for some sick riding. Ryan was again going huge and Pete was planting some sweet grabbed out spins. Ieuan was helping on the mic and Alan was chucking some sick grabbed flips. I worked through the spins, a 3, a 5, then I landed the 7 again and after a drunken promise the night before, I had to try the 9… I gave it a go and got it first time! So Stoked! Alan also put claim on his BS Corked 540 after months of trying, making it look like he’d been doing them for years. Sick demo.
Eveey Ruth was there taking photos…
Touring with the ramp has been a joy, an experience of a lifetime, one that I will never forget.
We have had the pleasure of being joined over the years by Gary Crowhurst, Sam Nicholas, Tom Reese, Kynan Goggin, Nicky Geerse, Matt Brind, Ben Rye, Tuai Lovejoy, Joe Dickson, Pete Hills, Jamie Johnstone and Frank Adams. All of them showing Mountainboarding at its best!
We have seen so many gnarly tricks happen, fronts, backs, rodeos, nodeos, corked craziness and every spin you can want, even 9′s! A mahoosive thanks to all you guys for rocking it everywhere we went.
Massive props must also go to the Ride the Hill team riders; Dave Compton, Ieuan Jehu, Alan Newman, Ryan Roberts, Seb Cox and Rob Dryburgh, as well as helpers Rob Phillips, Toney Newsome and Steve Bickerton, without you guys the tours would never have happened and we would still be stuck in 2008 wondering where we were headed.
To celebrate the end of this third year touring the big red Demo Ramp, here are some of the best photos from the Ride The Hill archives…
So, if you take anything out of this, it’s got to be some kind of euphoria from our sport, some good vibes in what we are all doing. We all want what is best for Mountainboarding and we can all chip in in our own ways, whether it is riding demos or helping on have-a-go’s, teaching at your local centre or editing films, taking photos or just showing your mates videos on YouTube, keep doing your thing and remember that we will get there in the end.
For more info on Ride The Hill check their website. Cheers!
Words by Andy Packer. All Photography Copyright Ride The Hill, except Wheels 2011 by Eveey Ruth.