The Adrenalina Skate Marathon is held once a year on Fiesta Island in San Diego, California. In 2014, 142 skaters from all around the globe came to compete in this major skate event. There’s a 3.5 hour limit for this 42km battle of fitness, endurance and skateboarding prowess. On this November 07th, a new
Since 2011, the Adrenalina Skate Marathon has been committed to raising awareness for Parkinson’s Research. A percentage of the skaters’ registration fees will be donated to the Summit for Stem Cell (S4SC). S4SC is a grass roots, volunteer-led fundraising organization supporting non-embryonic stem cell research, and operates under the nonprofit status of the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego (PASD).
Ionic Flux Team Rider Thomas C Slager (NL) came in 2nd in 2013. Last year, he came back determined to win, and after 1 hour and 33 minutes Thomas was the first skater to cross the finish line. As Thomas told us in a recent interview, he’s aiming for even better results in 2015.
In the women’s division, Lexi Hutchings (USA) has won for 3 years in a row and is the reigning queen of the marathon.
Check this vid of last year’s Adrenalina Skate Marathon to get a taste:
We’ve got the results from Fiesta Island! Thomas C Slager and Joe Mazzone were neck and neck during the entire race. Thomas crossed the finish line just milliseconds ahead of Joe: 01:37:03.74 versus 01:37:03.95.
Ionic Flux Team Rider Harrison Tucker came in 5thwith a time of 01:48:15.37. In the women’s division, Allyssa Monteiro from Chicago took the title from the reigning champion, San Diego’s Lexi Hutchings. For complete results, you can check the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon official results page.
It was an amazing day and an awesome race! Congrats to Ionic Flux Team Rider Thomas C Slager on keeping his crown! Check out Adrenalina Skate Marathon’s facebook event page for some sweet pics of the marathon.
Name: Thomas C Slager
Hometown: The Hague
IONIC FLUX: You’re an ambitious and competitive rider, and we really admire your drive. When did you start competing?
THOMAS C SLAGER: When I turned 15.
Tell us about the Haagsche Longboard Marathon. When did you start it, why did you start it, and (for those who might be interested in doing something similar) how did you start it?
I started this organization because I wanted to promote the sport. It started in 2013. My crew and I had a hard time finding sponsors for the event, which is how you organize — you find sponsors for goodies and payment for the racetrack.
What is your involvement in the Dutch Summer Solstice Ultraskate? Just as a rider, or are you involved in other ways?
I’m at the event every year. That’s all. I’m not with the organization, and my interests are in the fast marathons, not the slow ultraskates, but it is fun to be there.
What is your training like? How do you prepare for marathons?
That is my secret.
You ride a Maha board, right? Tell us about it.
The Maha decks are made with tech other than the normal everyday plywood decks. The deck is made out of solid wood pushed together from the sides, so Maha decks show racing stripes. That’s not a graphic but another layer of another kind of wood.
Other than Ionic Flux, who are your sponsors?
I have Seismic, my wheel and bearing sponsor. I’m very happy with them; they make high quality bearings and their wheels roll out long. In combination with the Ionic Flux formula, it makes for the best ride.
What’s the ROGUE team?
The Rogue team is suppose to be a team of Long Distance Skaters. All members are highly skilled in at least one discipline in the sport. At the moment I can’t advance the whole thing because there are no sponsors for it.
What’s your local scene like?
My LDP scene… Well, I’m not very populair in the main LDP scene here. I train alone and I never meet up with them, and they don’t meet up with me either. The overall longboard scene is nice here. We have shops like Rollerwave and Sickboards, where people hang out and get advice for their boards if they need it. Those two longboard stores also sponsor my events every year.
You seem to have a lot of clear goals, several of which you’ve already accomplished. What are some of your current short- and long-term goals?
My short-term goal is to win the Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon once again. The long-term goals are to keep winning—wherever I race, whenever I race, and however I race.
Alright, time to talk about Adrenalina. In 2014, you competed in California and took first place ahead of Joe Mazzone and Andrew Andras. What was that like for you — both the race itself and winning it?
My start was clumsy as hell, but I made up for that in the second lap. I left the lead pack and went ahead of them, found a good pace and kept going with that. I opened a time hole of at least five minutes. Winning was amazing. The whole San Diego thing is so big and overwhelming; the sunset there makes me feel small. There is nothing like it, it’s so amazing, and the race is also much more overwhelming than other races. In short, I still cannot believe that I won this great marathon.
Ready for Adrenalina 2015?
Yesterday I checked my stamina level. Well, I could do a little better, but I should be ready.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yeah, this summer me and my organization from the Haagsche Longboard Marathon started this new sprint event called RACEDAY. Its focus lies on short distance LDP racing, like 500 meter, 5 km, relay and more brutal speed limit pushes.
You can find Thomas on Facebook.
At the beginning of this last round of the International Downhill Federation’s World Cup Tour, three riders were battling for the Men’s Championship: Thiago Gomes Lessa (BRA), Carlos Paixão (BRA), and Dillon Stephens (CAN). The World Cup Tour starts every February and ends in November, and has 8 World Cup rounds and 13 World Qualifying Series rounds.
According to the 2015 IDF rankings, 1008 athletes from 51 countries competed in the World Cup. Brazil was the last stop with the Mega Grand Prix taking place from October 30th to November 1st. The Mega Space is a 1.2km track, has 5 turns, and the riders can achieve around 70km/h going downhill. It received over 200 athletes from all around the world competing in all categories (Open Men and Women, Master, Junior, Classic and Street Luge).
During the first two days, the riders were competing in open qualification runs. Dillon Stephens set an early lead, closely followed by Carlos Paixão who was trying to improve his time. Thiago Gomes Lessa qualified in third, leaving the World Cup decision for the final day.
Photo by Thiago Maciel
Photo by Luciano Lima Jr. Photography
On Nov 1st, Ionic Flux rider Carlos Paixão (aka Guto Negão) pushed out in front for an unprecedented win by a Brazilian rider since the IDF’s creation. Dillon pushed out 4th and made two passes, but ultimately came in 2nd place. Douglas Silva was 3rd and Thiago Gomes Lessa ended up in 4th.
Photo by Longobarding Republic
For the Women’s category, the end result was no surprise: Ionic Flux rider Emily Pross was the 2015 IDF Champion.
header photo by Stephanie Abreu
Name: Jürgen Sarjas
Hometown: Tartu, Estonia
Riding for: Statum, Ionic Flux, Vans
IONIC FLUX: So, Jürgen, we first met you when you were giving lessons at the skate school in Tartu. You guys look like you have a lot of fun there! You must get a kick out of seeing the kids you teach figure out how to handle their boards?
JÜRGEN SARJAS: Yeah, we have a blast with the kids. It has given me so much. I have gained so much in my own skating by breaking down the tricks for the kids to learn. It’s really rewarding to see a kid doing their first drop-in or shove-it. Pure happiness in the kid’s eyes. I think that’s what skating is all about.
Tell us about the Tartu skate scene. Is it growing fast?
Now that we are running the skate school, a new generation is getting started. Skaters come in waves in Estonia. Right now we have this scooter mania that is absurd, and we are trying to change that with the skate school. There is definitely room for improvement, but some of the best Estonian skaters are from Tartu and they are taking their skating to new levels, banger tricks and smooth styles.
Do you think you’ll take the skate school beyond Tartu and open up in other locations?
Right now I only have time to run it in Tartu. It’s more like a hobby that I’m doing alongside my studies at the university. If anyone needs any help to start something similar in their home skatepark, I am more than happy to help. I hope they open one up in the new skatepark that is opening in Tallinn. It would do good for the skate scene.
How has the community in Tartu reacted to the skate scene? Do they get involved? What’s your dream for skateboarding in Tartu, or even in the whole of Estonia?
The community is very supportive. Tartu’s indoor park is funded by the city, and there are rumors that the big outdoor park is getting a full renovation. Last year, a new small street skatepark opened as an addition to a playground. Also, every summer we do demos in the city center with a youth center for little kids. My dream would be to make Tartu a destination for skate trips and for some skaters to get noticed so they could turn pro. There are no pro skaters from Estonia, and that speaks for itself.
There are plans for a new skate park in Tartu. Why do you think it’s important to have this park when there are already three others?
They should open another indoor park because the one we have is getting overcrowded. The more they open, the better—if they can take care of them. The big outdoor park is hazardous for skating. Even the asphalt is bad, not to mention the obstacles that are falling apart.
You must have been totally hyped to be skating in the Simple Session for the first time this year (2015). What was it like?
It was dream come true. It’s been a must every year to skate that course. I love that high speed and flying around. This year they canceled the extra riding day for everybody, and I was like no way, I can’t skate it. I was drooling over the course design the day it came out. Luckily I got the phone call that I could compete.
What was it like skating alongside top riders from around the world? Any nervy moments?
The course is so different than parks I ride in all year long, so it took some time to get used to it. I thought I would be shivering there, but the park is so big you don’t even really notice the spectators. I just tried to do my best and have a good time. But the level of skating there is amazing. Jaw-droppers all the time. Really cool to see it so close.
You can find Jürgen on Facebook.
Name: Harrison Tucker
Hometown: New York City
IONIC FLUX: We know you race every distance from sprint upwards, but you chose to crack out 324 kilometres (201 miles) during the 24-hour Dutch Summer Solstice Ultraskate in The Netherlands this year. What was it like?
HARRISON TUCKER: The Dutch Ultraskate is a long story, but I’ll try to tell it quickly. The day before the race, I had to take an important statewide Regents Exam at my high school in New York City. Immediately after completing the exam, I went to the airport and hopped on the flight to Amsterdam. I couldn’t sleep on the plane because I was so excited and nervous, and it was only 6:30 PM (NY time) when I boarded the plane. I landed at about 7:20 AM in Amsterdam and, with only carryon luggage, I was able to take a taxi to the race track and get there 20 minutes before the race started. However, I was ready to race. I started out skating with my good friend and Don’t Trip teammate Andrew Andras. I knew that, due to the conditions, I wasn’t going to do very well. But I figured at the very least I could give him someone to talk to and help pace him, in addition to giving him some moral support. After all, Andy was “the guy” to beat! At the end of the 24 hours, I had completed 201 miles, which is far from my best of 232 miles in my last Florida Ultra, but respectable for being up for at least 48 hours straight. I was certainly happy with it. I skated 99% of my race with Andy. Just taking laps off here and there which I would normally never do in an ultra if I had properly slept before the race and wasn’t also subject to jet lag. It got to the point where I was thinking about his race more than mine. I even had to stop for a while to fix Andy’s board after a malfunction. But hey, that’s what teammates are for!
So distance skating is taking you round the globe. What’s the worldwide distance scene like? Where are the best places to skate ultras?
The distance scene is getting increasingly more popular and more competitive. I’m going to say the 188 mile, three-day Chief Ladiga Silver Comet Skate Challenge (from Smyrna, Georgia to Anniston, Alabama and back) is the best place to skate, but damn you’ll take a beating in that race.
How about in the US? Is it popular in New York? Where do you ride there?
I would say that it’s bigger in the US than in other countries, but that could just be ethnocentrism. The distance scene in NY is definitely small. But pushing for basic transportation around New York City is HUGE. I usually train in Central Park, which is four blocks from my apartment. It has a nice six-mile loop. Or I train on the West Side Highway bike path along the Hudson River, which is 30 windy miles along the water with great views.
How do you prepare for a 24-hour race?
Tough question. Long story short, but it basically requires many, many hours of what’s called Zone 2, an easy pace, and what is known as the fat-burning zone. It requires that you go at about 65% of your maximum heart rate. I train about 150 miles a week on my board in primarily Zone 2 to properly train for an ultraskate.
Do you get blisters on your feet? At the Dutch Summer Solstice Ultraskate, we saw some pretty awesome photos of riders wearing right through their shoes over the 24 hours. Has this happened to you? Have you ever passed out while riding?
I use Body Glide to prevent blisters. I always show up to an ultra with new shoes to ensure that I don’t wear through them. I wear through shoes in training, but never in a race. I’ve passed out twice while riding. Once, at the Dutch Ultraskate, when I put my hands on my knees and started coasting, then went off into the grass and fell over. However, I don’t think anyone saw me! The second time was when I was doing hill repeats in Central Park on an empty stomach and fell unconscious near the top of the hill. I woke up a few seconds later, sat down for a few minutes, and then skated home.
Thomas Slager looks like he’s set on driving the distance scene in Europe forward and grabbing a bunch of World Records at the same time. Did you meet him when you were in The Netherlands?
We talked briefly. It looks like we are headed in pretty different directions. I think he really wants to pursue the marathon distance while I want to pursue the ultraskate and multiday races. But the guy is fast, no questioning that.
Harrison Tucker with Thomas Slager
The distance scene feels like it is growing all over the world. What’s your take on it?
It’s definitely growing. I love it and all I can say is bring on the competition!
Where’s your dream place to ride?
I love the Chief Ladiga Silver Comet trail from Georgia to Alabama, which runs through all sorts of interesting scenery and countryside. But there is still something meditative and relaxing to me about going in circles on a small course, like Central Park in NYC or during an ultra.
Your Instagram feed is packed with some pretty tasty looking photos of vegan food. Is eating right – for your sport and your principles – important to you? How long have you been vegan?
I initially became a vegan for athletic reasons. Many of the world’s best endurance athletes have found success in plant-based diets. Even the Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis was a vegan. However, I don’t want to be that guy who says that I’m superior because of what I eat. A lot of vegans do that. But if you are interested in being healthier and being able to recover faster, I would look at the research and start incorporating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, starches and nuts into your diet. I’ve been 100% vegan for about a year. I was doing research on it and slowly transitioning towards it for about six months before that. Although my initial interest in veganism was for athletic performance, I also have discovered loads of other reasons why it’s positive. I no longer have the severe hay fever allergies I used to have each year, and I haven’t had a cold in a year. Coincidence? I don’t think so. If you are interested in what I eat and what I’m up to, definitely check out my Instagram.
You can also find Harrison on Facebook.
Name: Hector ‘Chino’ Reyes
Hometown: Barceloneta, Puerto Rico
IONIC FLUX: You get lots of family support, especially from your father. What does it mean to you to have your family behind you all the way?
HECTOR ‘CHINO’ REYES: It means a lot to me because they know that this sport is very dangerous.
You’re the youngest rider on our team, but you’ve already achieved so much. How do you see your career shaping up?
Well, I’m only 15 and I have already done so much, but I see my career as a rider shaping up very well.
You’ve been winning junior divisions, so what do you think will happen when you enter the men’s division?
Maybe it’s not going be that easy to win everytime. But as a rider, everyone carries two bags: one for losing and one for winning. I think it will be fine; I’ve just got to get faster.
We know you’re a fan of Hi5ber boards. Which do you skate, and what’s so good about it?
The board that I’m currently skating is the Hi5ber Python, a prototype version. What’s so good about it is that it has a variable tub with a concave rocker and effective foot platform, so it keeps me very stable. It also weighs only 2.85lbs, so it is very lightweight which is great for pushing.
Tell us about the hills in Puerto Rico. Is downhill is a religion there? Is Puerto Rico somewhere every skater should get to?
Most of the fastest hills in Puerto Rico (and by fast I mean 55mph or more) you will find up in the mountains. No, downhill is not a religion here; it’s more like a sport. Every skater just skates whenever and wherever they want to.
What’s your local riding community like?
Well, it’s a nice, classic place to be. The hills are not that fast, but they’re good to skate.
With both surf and skate, Puerto Rico is pretty blessed. Do lots of people get involved?
Yes, lots and lots of people get involved. That goes for the youngest to the oldest.
Tell us about Guajataca Downhill. What is it? How did it get started? What do you love about it? Who is El Pajaro?
Guajataca Downhill is the biggest event in Puerto Rico. Over 200 athletes and 5,000 spectators. It got started back in 2007 when El Pajaro, Jose El Loko, and other riders found the hill. El Pajaro is the oldest rider in Puerto Rico. For us, he is a legend.
And what about Crash Boat? What was that like?
Crash Boat is a beautiful place. It’s got a fast and very technical hill. It was super awesome, a great experience, and I hope next year it will be even better.
Do your beliefs impact how you skate?
Yes, my beliefs do impact how I skate. I have great talent thanks to God who created me.
So we know that talent runs in the family, with both you and your brother Gabriel up in the Top 5. But Gabriel is a man of few words, right? Our final question is: How the hell do we get in touch with him?
Well, yes, Gabriel is a man of few words, but you can get it touch with him with my help because he doesn’t speak English.
Awesome, we’ll do that! Thanks for your time, man.
Names: Gage Cowling and Olivier Caudle
Hometown: Saugeen Shores, Ontario
IONIC FLUX: You guys run North Bound Skate on Instagram and YouTube. What is it and why’d you start it?
GAGE COWLING AND OLIVIER CAUDLE: North Bound Skate is a way to get more creative on our boards and with the community. It’s just two brothers searching for adventure using our passion for downhill skateboarding.
So basically you’re using Instagram and YouTube to document your adventure. What people have you met as a result of this online presence?
Yeah, well, we met our homie Chris (of Ionic Flux) and a couple of other up-and-coming brands, but really haven’t reached out to too many people yet.
What’s the longboarding scene like in Canada, and where you are in particular?
Currently we’re dwelling in a smallish town called Saugeen Shores, Ontario. The longboard scene here is pretty much non-existent in our town, but we got the good hills. It’s just us two shredding our town, but we’ve had a bunch of stoked kids come up and say that was awesome! It definitely adds a little extra smile on our faces. It is growing in the cities around us, though. Actually, it’s growing super rapidly, which is super sick to see.
We figured it made sense to interview you two together since you ride together. How’d you meet?
We met through a friend we had both known for a while. When he moved away, we just started chillin and the rest is history.
What’s the Schomberg Shit Show?
It was this really fun outlaw race in Ontario. Chill vibes and some fun surfy sandy pavement.
So this was your first time there? Was it your first time competing?
Yeah, it was. We loved the hill and the race, but we’re not really keen on the go-for-the-win attitude.
Did you get the chance to meet any awesome downhill pros at this event, or was it more geared toward the local guys? Anything interesting or out of the usual take place at this race?
We met a couple pros, but we’re more focused on meeting kids like ourselves and just interacting and comparing skills. At first packs were very tight. We had a blast getting sketchy with new riders and vibing off their pure stoke.
The first Ionic Flux playlist was put together to get you pumped for riding. Our Smooth Ride playlist, on the other hand, is for those times when you want a chill ride. Forget your worries, get out your board, and just fly away…
1. Hookworms – Teen Dreams
2. Earl Sweatshirt – Molasses
3. Fat White Family – Is It Raining In Your Mouth?
4. Neu! – Hallogallo
5. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Lakers
6. The Gaslamp Killer – Shattering Inner Journeys
7. No Age – Teen Creeps
8. Cloud Nothings – I’m Not Part Of Me
9. LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls
10. Sleaford Mods – Tied Up In Nottz
11. Flying Lotus – Zodiac Shit
12. Joy Orbison – Big Room Tech House Dj Tool Tip!
13. Dizzee Rascal – Pagans
14. Trimbal – Confidence Boost (Harmonix)
Nestled in the northernmost region of Continental Europe lies Estonia. With a meager population of 1.3 million people, and the farthest distance across being less than Andrew Andras’s 24-hour Ultra-skate world record, this country seems quite small and pretty insignificant for the longboarding scene. However, when countries of this size are exposed to new ideas (or, in this case, longboarding), these ideas spread like a disease.
History of Estonian Skateboarding
Estonian skateboarding was born in 1980, when Estonia (then part of the USSR) was hosting the summer Olympics. As more western influence spread to the area right before the fall of the Soviet Union, underground punk and skateboarding shared the common cause of going against the norm. The birthplace of this movement started in the small beachside city of Pärnu, located in the south. A furniture factory based in Pärnu began experimenting with new board designs as seen in the western movies at the time. These boards, equipped with roller skate wheels, became the new underground craze. Given that there were no parks in Estonia to street skate, the early days of skateboarding were focused on the skateboard high jump, slalom and skate hokey (aka Standup Skateboard Paddling).
Early days of skate hokey / Photo Credit: Olavi OllinoSkateboard High Jump / Photo Credit: Olavi Ollino
The Longboarding Scene Today
The Estonian longboarding scene barely existed three years ago. Maybe you’d have a friend who ordered one off the internet, but probably not. Although Estonia has had quite a mature street skating scene for the last two decades and is home to Simple Session (one of the largest street skating festivals in Europe for the last 15 years), the last two years have seen an insane growth in longboard culture. Now, nearly every city in the country has a longboard crew, and a plethora of independent skate shops, local brands, and event organizers have cropped up to help develop a strong and ever-growing longboard community. So whether you are into the push, free-riding, cruising or downhill, every corner of this country now has something to offer.
Tallinn: Capital of Skate
Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn, where over 30% of the country’s population lives, is unsurprisingly the main arena for longboarding. Whether you like to distance push along the gulf of Tallinn between the Old Town and Viimsi, or visit your local Surfhouse or Surf Garden skate shop, there is plenty this place has to offer. The community is strong here. During the summer months, there are a number of cruising events and longboard clinics set up by the local skate shops and a ton of free-riding activities. More daring adventurers hit the hill on Highway 2 straight into the heart of the city at night.
Pärnu: Beachside Cruising Town
Pärnu is the birthplace of Estonian skateboarding. It is home to Estonia’s first and oldest skateboarding competition, KuldRula (golden skate). If you visit Pärnu, especially in the summer time, the entire city is skateboard-friendly and cruising is the best way to get around, whether you want to grab coffee at a local café or head on over to the beach to skate on the boardwalk area.
Joulumäe (Christmas Hill): Shred Central
If you head out a few km’s just east of Pärnu on Highway 4, you’ll find a sweet little shred spot called Joulumäe (Christmas Hill), which is a cross-country skiing track in the winter. In the summer, it’s a running track with smooth asphalt and nice hills that make for perfect slide and downhill sessions.
Otepää: Downhill Turf
Otepää is Estonia’s winter capital and has the highest points in the entire country, which means only one thing: HILLS. While the tallest mountain in Estonia is just shy of 300 meters, there are tons of places to bomb, carve, and cut. Otepää is one of Estonia’s less-skated regions, but that is already changing.
Valga: The New Frontier
Valga is one of the smallest and southernmost cities in Estonia. Despite its lack of population, it is home to the biggest longboard maker in the country, Beercan Boards, which opened up its Baltic headquarters just last year. Since this region is among the hilliest in all of Estonia, it is becoming a major hub of longboarding in the region, especially with its shared neighbor city Valka, to the south in Latvia, where the downhill scene is already well-established. Longboarding has increased dramatically in popularity here and is gaining even more strength over the course of the 2015 skate season.
Tartu: Pusher’s Haven
Tartu is in the heart of Estonia and with a population just over 100,000. With a ton of flat land to skate, it has become a major area for cruising. It boasts massive potential with new bike paths to push yourself with distance skateboarding. As it’s a university town, youth culture is vibrant here. This becomes obvious when you’re skating through downtown. Last year, the first longboard cruises were hosted here.
Longboarding has clearly been spreading over the last 2-3 years, Estonia included. If you ever find yourself here and are itching to skate, no matter where you go, there is a little something for everyone and you’re guaranteed to find a fellow skater. The community is close-knit here; it’s like a family and everybody knows everybody. And it’s a growing family, with more and more people looking to spread the stoke, bomb some hills, and shred some thane — and we welcome anyone to join us.