Archive for December, 2010

skateparks of 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2010 by Aaron

Indoor:

1. RAD Skatepark – Menden, MA. It’s the kind of skatepark where you’re pretty sure the dudes put all their money into it and are living in the back. Every piece seems like it went in a bit at a time as they made a bit more money, the park flows nice, but it’s segmented out enough that 50 kids can fit in without it being a Haven session.

2. The Shelter – Albany, NY. It’s a bike park. It flows like a bike park. There’s a 20×50 area in the corner for flat ledge grinding, which is all you need for that.

3. Haven – New Haven, CT. But just the bowl. The bowl is amazing. Actually, the rest is cool too but there are always ten thousand kids and only one person can ride the main line at once.

4. Rye Airfield- Rye, NH. Rye is big, but it’s mostly stock park obstacles. The new hip/spine/mini/oververt section in the back is awesome, and the clover bowl is always empty and easy to go really fast in.

Outdoor:

1. Penticton, BC. I didn’t actually ride there this year, but it’s still the best park ever.

2. Wethersfield, CT. A testament to the fact that you don’t need a ton of money to build a rad cement park. It’s small but it has great flow and a killer pool.

3. Greenlake – Seattle, WA. The bowl has a great speed line and there’s a pool out back to keep the skaters happy. The main section is pretty standard, but there’s a nice tombstone for wallrides and sub box fun.

4. Windsor Locks, CT. I have a baby at home, so a park that’s ten minutes from my house will always be near the top of my list. It’s a pretty simple layout, a place you go to learn stuff, and that’s fun.

5. Killingly, CT. Another small and cost effective cement park. The quarter channel/vert wall setup is so much fun to air. I like that a lot of the ramps have no coping. It makes you do different lip tricks.

6. Bondville, VT. It’s super weird and small, but that’s what makes it fun. Figuring out lines is tricky, but once you do it’s really interesting to ride.

7. Hudson, MA. It has regular six foot transitions, which makes it an anomaly aorund here. It also has the best cheater skatepark rail  that’s almost full-sized.

8. New Poco, BC. If I was more adventurous I would totally love this bowl. It has lots of big lines, which makes it really fun to watch Travis Sexsmith ride, but I can’t do much in there. The main secton has a great steep bank feature and there are a lot of fun little jibs.

9. Northampton, MA. The bowl is fun for speed lines, and there are a couple other things to do there. The transitions are six feet and nearly vert, which is kind of nice for airing, but terrible for hangups. One of my favorite things to do is lean into a hip hanger and carve the whole deep end.

10. Green Manor – Enfield, CT. This park is so fun that several people I know are there every day for most of the day.

other people’s lists

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2010 by Aaron

1. We made Nic Ferreira’s top 5 list at ESPN. I’m pretty stoked every time anyone likes The Hinterland.

2. Brian Kachinsky appreciates Erik Elstran (more people should do this!).

3. Adam 22 lists too many parts from Cuts and not enough parts from Anthem II or Football (although I guess that last one can be explained).

products of 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on December 27, 2010 by Aaron

I don’t usually buy stuff a lot, but here are some of the products I was stoked on in 2010. 

Clear plegs. They don’t flex like the old ones and they maintain all of the other benefits. They’re quiet, they slide nice on cement, and you don’t damage other people’s property (I guess most people don’t care about that, but I do). They may have been labeled uncool by the bmx trend police, but at one point everyone hated crankflips too. 

Macneil cranks. They look cool mostly. Slade snapped a pair, but that guy breaks everything. I’ll probably keep my wombolts, but you never know.

Defgrip/Duo seat. I bought this. It looks cool. Can’t really ask for more out of a seat.

DK Chain. This chain is the best. I like sprocket grinds and derek dusters. This makes them way easier and way more fun.

Clear brake pads. Want to run neon rims and brakes? Now you can be Aaron Ross.

FBM Anthem frame. FBM may finally have found its niche. I don’t know too many people who’ve owned an FBM, and most of them broke. They’ve been all over the place in the past five years – big name pros, custom frames, crazy jams, etc. This type of special edition small run seems perfect for a shop like FBM. They can build strong, quality frames and they don’t have to build the types of bikes that 15 year olds like. FBM leaned on its roots a bit in 2010 and it was rad.  

T1. I guess that makes me a bmx elitist. I’m ok with that.

WTP C.R.E.A.M. frame. How rad does that front end look?

Hoffman Low Drag bars. Everyone wants to make these now. At first I thought these were super ugly. They’re still a little ugly, but they’re also awesome, and I’d run them.

a year in photos

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2010 by Aaron

Hereare some of my favorite photos that have been on the blog in 2010.

I hated this pool last year. I loved it this year. Photo by Dave Drury.

Albany pool. This pool is amazing, and there’s a rad pizza place two minutes down the road.

Andrew. The biggest event of my year.

Andy Roode at Garfield. He came so close to pulling this.

Greg Rooke at the Albany pool. We had a couple great sessions there.

Matt Horak at the Killingly Skatepark. I love the extra contrast that comes with real film.

Nate Delp at Killingly.

Ray’s trip. Photo by Justin Luong.

Seth Bernard in Vermont. Best ramp ever.

Seth and the trick that he invented. These are amazing. Photo by Justin Luong.

Tom K. Fakie wallrides are back!

Tom at the pool

Tom and the steepest bank in Worcester.

more lists

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 by Aaron

Videos that should be awesome in 2011:

1. Empire
2. Ten Pack
3. Blazeguard

Places to go in 2011:

1. Montana
2. Montreal
3. Canadian Maritimes
4. Vancouver Island
5. Washington DC
6. Vancouver/Seattle/Kelowna/Boston/NYC/Providence/all the usual places

Additional old handlebar designs that should be resurrected in 2011:

1. Basic Whammy Bars
2. Castillo Bars (normal sized)
3. Hoffman Love Handles
4. DK 4 piece
5. Powerlite (with the power bend)
6. More Whammy Bars

Tricks that people thought were ugly or dumb that will become popular again (and thus be done down stairs a lot) in 2011:

1. Dom Machs
2. No footed candybar
3. Rocket air
4. Cross handed anything

end of 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 by Aaron

It’s the end of 2010 and everyone’s making lists.

Best trips of 2010:

1. Kootenays with Dave, Chris, Andrew, and Richard. The Kootenays are amazing and we camped on an awesome lake in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t really ride that much and Andrew hurt his back, but just hanging out there is fun.

2. Philly. We got a little screwed over by the state of New Jersey (who switched our campground at the last minute), but cruising around the city was awesome and we found a ton of good spots. We also almost got ran over by a riot.

3. New England with Nate. Truth be told, I like to play tour guide more than I like being guided around. We packed so much stuff into five days and nate is a wicked dude.

4. Vancouver/Seattle. This is becoming a standard annual trip for me. We witnessed Andrew Carpenter with an American flag cape and rode the easiest double kinked rail ever.

Best videos of 2010:
1. Anthem. Obviously.
2. This is United. If only for Slattery’s part and Ian Morris slaying huge rails at 40.
3. Presence: You know time it is. I love the format, and the riding and filming are top notch.
4. OSS Football. Lots of people will hate this company because of the come up, but you can’t argue with a good product. Mastroni did a great job on this one.
5. T1 Colorado. Yes, a web video. Joe Rich knows how to capture the intangibles. There was too much slow motion, but the aesthetic of the video was amazing.
6. Mutiny: Dunkerque. Another web video. Awesome documentation of an adventure to a crazy place.
7. Animal: Cuts. Really long, but super nice to put on in the background and just chill.
8. Cult: Let ‘Em Talk. The zine was dumb, but the video was great. I wish more companys would put out short videos like this that just take a few months to make. Unless you have timeless riding like the riding in Anthem, spending years on a project is counterproductive.

Best video parts:

1. Geoff Slattery in Anthem II. It’s all about the spots. A lot of street riding happens on generic setups like ledges and straight rails, and that’s about tricks. Slattery rides a ton of unique spots in this where it’s more about figuring out what to do with that spot than hucking the latest greatest variation.
2. Sean Burns in Anthem II. Imagine how long it took him to find all of those roof setups.
3. Garret Reeves in OSS Football. His style’s a bit different, and he goes fast.
4. Geoff Slattery in This is United. In terms of videography it was the complete opposite of his Anthem part, but the essential elements are all there. He manages to make pegless street really interesting and does the best tables.
5. Mike Mastroni in OSS Football. He gaps from one cow to another cow.
6. Dakota Roche in Let ‘Em Talk. I like the song choice a lot.
7. Lino Gonzales in Cuts. Dude’s style is so smooth and effortless. I forgot about this part and then it was on at the shop the other day. It’s really good.
8. Clint Reynolds in Anthem II. Two great songs and a bunch of creative trail riding.
9. Luke Santucci in Presence. Has the same song as the last part in the hinterland. Luke can do anything.
10. Mike Aitken in Anthem II. And the rest of Anthem II.

Best tricks of 2010:

1. Fastplant
2. Boneless
3. Front brake nosepick
4. Table
5. Dom Mach

Sountrack for 2010:

1. Jon Rae and the River Let’s Roll
2. Duffy and the Doubters Planet of Vampires
3. Joel Plaskett Through & Through & Through
4. Daniel Romano Workin’ for the Music Man
5. Destroyer Streethawk I
6. The entire new Black Mountain Album
7. Attack in Black Half Moon on the City High

8. Treelines Cowboys
9. Coeur de Pirate Ensemble
10. Aidan Knight Jasper
11. Dan Mangan Robots
12. Shad A Good Name
13. Bend Sinister Don’t Let Us Bring You Down
14. Quest For Fire Set Out Alone

Life Changing Events of 2010:
1. The birth of my son.

I hope to come up with more lists.

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