The sun was shining, vibes were good, stoke levels were high... its September and the Wheel Turners of Hawaii were geared up n' ready for the kick off of the Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series! A little over 50 skaters got together on the North Shore of Oahu on Saturday, September 14th for the Hawaiian Ridge Rusher 3. The 1st of 6 events in the series.
We all gathered at the beach to meet, greet and get signed up. Then the cars full of skaters paraded up the hill to the jam zone. Once getting parked we all HIKED into to road. The cool thing about this zone is its a heavenly slab of butter in the middle of the forrest... therefor cars have little to no access to the road. Pretty epic huh? Downside... its about a 2 mile hike to get to get in there and its nothing but hills. So your pretty beat just from the walk in! BUT, its soo worth it.
When we all got to the jam zone we went straight to warm up runs, no need for last minute clean up thanks to the early bird crew. There were up bright and early sweeping the course to ensure that it would be pristine.
Once riders got some runs under their belts and looked comfortable, we had our riders meeting, made the bracket for the day and got started.
The Ridge Rusher course is a fairly easy course. Just under 1 mile long, riders go through several dips, 2 quick uphill sections, and back to back sweeper turns. No drifting is needed, some of the top riders barley brake tuck for the whole course. Oh ya! We also have a limited push box at the start line to keep things fun. This usually makes for some tight, intense heats.
From the very first heat if round 1, this year was proving to be no different. Every 4 man heat was full of passes and held tight till they crossed the finish. With the road cleaner then we've ever had it, riders could take any line they needed to get that win. After everyone battled it out the top 2 from every heat moved on. Some series veterans moved on but there were also lots of new faces killing it!
Nikko getting dethroned!
Round 2 there were 8 heats of 4 riders, every heat was stacked.
The heats rolled on smoothly and lots of the past years event finalist were knocked out already... including Nikko Kamanuwai who had won this event every year its happened! The King of the hill has been dethroned.
Now its the quarter finals of event 1, the top 16 skaters on the hill are focused and ready. 4 heats of 4. Riders from all areas of Oahu.
The heats were tight from the moment i said GO!
All 4 skaters would sprint and jump on their boards at the end of the push box... from there it was a constant switch off. Throughout this course there are multiple prime spots to make clean passes and the skaters took advantage of every one of em.
Toa looking clean in his custom painted helmet by WheelTurnerHawaii.net
Rhys wins for nicest lid... ever.
Semi Final 1 was Ian Coronas, Kenny Bergstrom, Evan Twigg Smith and Rhys Morishima. And Semi Final 2 was KJ Nakanelua, Dante Alston, Josh Perry and Jordan Teets.
We gave the riders a few minute break, cleared the course and the consilation final was under way.
The consi was tight as the shallow end of a pool! As the riders came around the final right bend, Dante and Kenny broke away for a drag race to the finish. Jordan and Rhys followed closely behind.
BOOM! Finals Time.
"Racers ready, set.... GO!" i said and the racers were sprinting! KJ getting the front position out of the push box as the rolling 3 fell in line. Racers kept it close, Evan Twigg Smith managed to weave from 4th to 2nd in line through out the middle of the course. As they came around the last bend KJ's smile could be seen for miles! He knew he had locked down 1st Place. Within seconds of KJ coming across the finish, the rest of the heat came by in a line. Everyone stoked on a good day of racing.
Following the event we gave riders a little freeride time since the stoke was still in the air.
I went to clean up the tops bit and take a run down. This resulted in me crashing and breaking my clavicle, getting stitches and tearing all sorts of things... there goes my chance of racing H.W.O.S this year! Not the highlight of the day.
Once we all got off the hill, we headed down to the beach where we rewarded our top 8 riders with CASH MONEY to help them get to the next events. Then we passed out schwag to as many riders as we could.
Nothing but Smiles.
A GREAT kick off event to yet another Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series.
Thanks everyone for coming out!
Photos - WheelTurnerHawaii, Matt Hirata
The Hawaii Winter Outlaw Series
Event 1- The Hawaiian Ridge Rusher 3
1st - KJ Nakanelua
2nd- Evan Twigg Smith
3rd- Josh Perry
4th- Ian Coronas
5th- Dante Alston
6th- Kenny Bergstrom
7th- Jordan Teets
8th- Rhys Morishima
All of the Hawaiians would like to send out a HUGE MAHALO to all of our supporters. Hawaii skateboarding is staying strong thanks to you!
See everyone at event 2 over on the Big Island on October 12th and 13th.