Skurfboarding in Byron Bay

22 12 2009

I took an absurdly long train ride and arrived late Monday evening in Byron Bay. This small town is known for surfing, and the immense number of backpackers that infest its streets. All the reasonably priced hostels were booked, so I got drunk, and slept on the beach. The next day I was planning on taking Jim’s Alternative bus Tour to a hippie haven called Nimbin and a few parks, but Jim was all booked, leaving me with an entire day to kill.

So i dropped my bags off at the Cape Byron Hostel, and made my way to the Mojo Surf School.  Outside the school I met two of my instructors, both  with skateboards. Chris rocked a Sector 9 board (seems to be the most popular down under) and Chungy rocked a vintage torpedo board about 14 inches long. Both were barefoot skaters, as many Aussies seem to be, and were pretty damn good, especially on that mini-board. They tried my Bustin Cigar and liked how much it felt like surfing- awesome. 

Instead of surfing concrete, today I would try some serious Pacific Ocean waves. For a mere $60 I got a four hour lesson, which consisted of about two and a half hours in the water. I managed to stand up on my third attempt, and proceeded to ride a good number of waves. Although I did take some rather comical falls, I also had three really amazing waves I caught and rode like a champ. Waiting for and catching the right wave is the hardest part. I expected to be carving and tearing up and down the wave on my first time out, but that proved to be somehwat more challenging than I expected.

After a physicaly taxing surf sesh, I met up witha few longboarders and skated the small town, constantly forgetting about the whoile driving on the left side of the road thing, and pissing off quite a few drivers not used to an aggresive skater dominating the streets. I am about to catch a bus to Nimbin, and then spend a week at a communal farm called Jasper Hall. I plan on renting a surfboard again sometime soon and going for round two. See you suckas in 2010!


Skating Newcastle

19 12 2009

I passed through Newcastle on my way to the country to do some carpentry gigs on this 100 year old japanese style  homestead. This place was amazing. Apparently renowned for two things- surf champions, and the hometown of Daniel Johns, the lead singer of Silverchair. I took my board out for a skate to the beach and a peninsula that juts into the bay where the ocean and river meet called the Nobbys. I then skated down to the beach, and did some wicked body surfing, in which i accidentally elbowed a little kid in the face. That was a good deal of fun, and I realized my train left in ten minutes, so I pushed through the forieng streets in the general direction of the train, and skated onto the platform literally thirty seconds before the train left. Awesome.

Heading out to Byron Bay to spend X-mas and the New Years baking on the beach with some dirty hippies. I also plan on learning how to surf, and skating my balls off in town and through some tropical rain forests in the adjacent National Park.  Stay warm in that blizzard NYC. I recommend taking off your trucks and heading uptown to snowboard Ft. Tryon and the Heights.

Longboarding in Sydney

17 12 2009

As I flew out of JFK in a slughy blizzard, in a matter of minutes (775 to be exact) I found myself in the captial of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. Sadly, I got bumped from business class on the plane, but Etihad Airways had such an amazing media center, i was so entertained and drunk the entire time that I hardly noticed. I was only in Abu Dhabi for the night, and since my luggae was still checked, didnt have a chance to go for a desert skate. However, i did meet someone in the airport who shamefully admitted a longboarder had overtaken him on the scenic beach path the other day while cycling to work. Bikers, when will they learn to respect the speed of the longboarder?

The next day I winged my way into Sydney, checked myself into a graffiti covered hostel called Asylum, and went for a skate. I wasnt able to meet the other Aussies for a rip, but instead decided to explore all of Sydney solo. I started skating through a large waterfront park similar to Central Park called the Domain. This was scenic and smooth, and leads right up to the space ship known as the Opera House.

I then continued around the bay towards the bridge. I decided while there, i might as well give it a skate, and found it simlar to the GW bridge in length and grade. I found a huge series of hills on Upper Fort Rd near the observatory, a great series of ramps to assist bikers up the stairs, and then began my descent into downtwon Sydney.

The city is not very hospitable to bikers or skaters, with no bike lanes to speak of and frantic traffic, but I jumped in and did my best to dodge trolleys, monorails, and gorgeous asian women. The sun is brutal here (thanks to the massive hole in the ozone layer directly above) , and although it was overcast most of the day, i still managed to get a wicked sunburn. Although i wanted to stay a bit longer, I am leaving today for Dungog (about three hours north on the east coast) to work on a farm for a week. I will keep traveling north until it gets too hot or I find something better, before coming back south. I still need to return to Sydney to go for a skate, and get a new passport ( i was detained by Australian immigration as my water damaged passport was suspected to be a not so clever forgery). Looking forward to some country mountain skates in the rolling hills of theHunter Valley, so stay tuned….

– J. Hayes

Skating the Outback

4 12 2009

As the icy fingers of Winter tighten their grasp on  the denizens of New York City, most people head to the stores to buy hats, scarves and pea coats with comiclly oversized buttons.  Instead of buying a winter jacket, I decided to go to Australia for three months and avoid the bullshit altogether.

At first the trip was just an idea, a fantasy full of dingos and shrimps roasting on the barby. However,  with the acquisition of a free plane ticket, a new Bustin Board, and a 1940’s Swedish Army backpack,  I was fresh out of excuses not to go.

Australia is known as a continetnt full of  criminals and platypi, and I intend on exploring as much of the country as possible. Part of my trip will be spent Wwoofing (willing workers on Organic Farms), part hostel and couch surfing, and a big part skating with the locals. I reached out to some Aussies on the Australian Skateboard Racing Associations forums, and got hooked up with a place to stay and sessions with  local crews in every major city. I plan on skating the country (or bush as they like to call it) and city scenes alike. I am ecstatic to bring the New York City Push Culture to the other side of the planet on my brand new Bustin Cigar.  I will be learning about and documenting the different styles and aesthetics of the Australian longboard scene, and updating the blog as much as possible.

When i arrive in Sydney, I plan on hooking up with the Sydney City Bomb Squad for some rips around town, and then slowly move north along the East Coast. But before I even arrive, my first stop on the epic 26 hour journey is Dubai. I fly into Abu Dhabi   and will be stuck in the Middle East for 16 hours. So I plan on grabbing my board, and stretching out my legs as I skate through Dubai and try to avoid getting sold into sexual slavery. This trip is shaping up to be an epic adventure with infinite possibilites,  so stay tuned to the Brooklyn Barbarosa for constant updates as I skate the deserts of the Middle East and brave the harsh summer  Down Under…..

Remembering the Broadway Bomb 2009

2 12 2009

Due to technical difficulties, I temporarily lost these great photos  from the Broadway bomb.  Taken by renowned sports photo journalist El Nelson at 32nd Street, these pic reflect the excitement and thrill  of  skating with 250 friends in the most intense outlaw race in North America. Enjoy!