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Event report: Paris Push Race V1

It all started with a question – why does Paris not have any Push Races? Events like the Broadway Bomb start off small and local, but can grow to have a huge national and international outreach. Back in September, the time felt right to sow some seeds of change here in Paris so that we could build on the success of the GreenSkate. We would offer a different format to previous events with the aim of drawing more attendance but also to provide a focal point for the French, if not European scene and help promote it – the shops,  the different associations and various groups. The support we received both from Parisian shops / brands as well those as further afield was tremendous – you just have to take a look at the flyer to see that.  The night before, with 46 people attending, we could tell that this event would go off. People were coming from all over the Parisian region and even further afield; Annecy, Caen and even Prague! The only problem that we had a huge thunderstorm (yes, you read correctly!) which soaked everything right through. I set my alarm the night before the race, thinking that we would have to call it off. Sunday turned out cold, but with little chance for any rain we decided to press on. I left the flat with a bag full of home-made orange carboard arrows, the prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, some string and of course, my board.

After having set out the course in the Bois de Boulogne we made our way back to the meeting point at Porte Maillot where a handful of people were already waiting for us. People just kept arriving…

We then left the meeting point and made for where the start of the race was to be held. The start was to take the ‘Le Mans’ format with the racers on one side and their boards on the other. After the countdown, each person would have to run to their board and before starting to race. We made sure there was a good 20 metres between the competitors and their boards…needless to say that the a getting a good start was even more important than usual – it was carnage, but all good!

Not many pictures of during the race have surfaced, but generally things went mostly to plan. In the time between having set out the course markers and the start of the race, some of the arrows had already been stolen (people were obviously impressed with their quality). This meant that a few participants took some wrong turns and either got lost, or took a massive short cut…still that’s part of the fun, right!

The good thing about Push Races is that they can appeal to a wide audience, everyone who can longboard can challenge themselves to push a little faster than usual. It is then up to the organisers to try and cater for different tastes, some flat sections to keep things interesting, some light downhill for the adrenaline-seekers and some uphill for the endurance lovers.

At the start of the race there was a big straight on some horrible pavement complete with wet leaves, but nevertheless I got off to a pretty good start. There was then ‘the uphill of death’ with lots of leafy mush to slow things down even further before the start of a wide straight section…

…then a downhill section and finally a tight (due to roadworks) twisty section leading to the finish. The whole course in the end was around 9km, which despite being a little shorter than we would have liked, gave people a taster of what Push Races are about. I heard a lot of comments at the end from people who wanted more!

After having waited for everyone to finish, we then went en masse to a nearby skatepark at La Muette which is famous for being the only bowl in Paris. As someone who usually skates with a couple of people, riding as a group of 40+ really is fantastic, the group just takes over the streets…cars move out of the way and bystanders cheered and clapped us on. At the skatepark, Blackkross, had organised some drinks and snacks and it was where we would give out the prizes to the winners.

The results of the race were as follows:

  1. Romain Bessière & Antoine Badin (Mastaflex)  19min 48secs
  2. Eric Guérin (Rike) + 20min
  3. Petr Pufler (From Prague!)
  4. Laurent Perigault (Eneone)

From what I heard, the finish was a spectacular sprint between Romain and Antoine – I wish I could have seen it!

Overall attendance was really impressive, considering the forcast for awful weather –  75 people came in total, of whom 60 competed. We would really like to thank all those who participated in this first edition of the Paris Push Race and especially to those how helped organise the day. Cyril Cabri for the flyer, the president of the Riderz association Yohan, Fernando, Arno as well as all our partners for the very generous prizes and support they offered for the event: Riderz, Skatefurther, but also BourreHouseMédia, Blackkross, Hawaii surf, AlphaLongboards, UrbanDrfift, OctaneSport, Concratewave.de and Board-Z.

Congratulations to our winners Romain Bessière (in yellow) & Antoine Badin (in green).

More racing to come soon…

Thanks to Pierre-Yves Guyot, Marvin Thine and Benjamin Defrocourt for the photos.

Subsonic Pulse 40 v3.0 Christmas Day build

What follows is a post sent in by a friend Tim Pritchard about his new LDP (long distance pumping) setup. Tim is a childhood friend which I introduced to longboarding back in 2007 – since then we have shared the discoveries made upon this journey of learning and stoke. The many emails crowding his inbox gave me the initial idea to start this blog as I thought the information may be useful for others besides ourselves. Merci beaucoup for this entry Tim!

I’d never thought I wanted an LDP setup before Goodwood Marathon this summer but I was lucky enough to ride a few boards and immediately, I was hooked! I’ve always dreamt about a nice slalom setup, but I only wanted to be able to pump. I now know that buying a slalom board would have been a big mistake, and LDP is the way. Riding an LDP board was exactly the sensation I wanted and something that I needed in my life and my quiver!

The next few weeks and months were spent researching setups, searching the internet, forums (Pavedwave), hours of reading, dreams and little sleep. I kind of get obsessed with the project in hand and this one was a major obsession.

I started looking into decks and trucks mainly and soon discovered that the art of an LDP setup is much more involved than just those two things. I knew that I wanted a Bennett due to costs and it was the nicer feeling truck at Goodwood. But the decision on width was a major one! I also liked the look of the Galac boards but ended up choosing the Subsonic Pulse.

The aim was to get everything together and build it up on Christmas day. A couple of bits were gifts, and I guess the deck was a Christmas gift to myself, so it makes sense.

The truck ended up being a Galacized Bennett from John Galac.

It’s been adapted in such a nice way I can see the huge benefit it is going to make. John also made the width narrower and fitted wheel spacers. This means it runs as a standard 5.0 with the spacers, and effectively a 4.6 without (halfway width between a 4.3 and a 5.0). I really wanted versatility as I didn’t want to get the wrong width. My Bennett will now serve me for a long time! The bushing choice for the Bennett to start with is Lime Reflex bushings as Galac suggests these are the best he’s found for LDP. I’ve smoothed off the edges as he’s done with a drill and some files.

The rear truck was an easy choice and of course is a Tracker RTS. After receiving the Galacized Bennett, I couldn’t believe how poor the Tracker casting was. So, I spent some time smoothing the bushing cups and pivot with some wet-n-dry paper. Its amazing how smooth they are now and how good they look! I’ve sure little improvements will make huge benefits. The bushing choice I was going with was red or yellow Khiro barrels but I’ve been trying to order them from a certain British online website for a while and they’re far from helpful. Christmas is just 6 days away and no bushings. So, I contact Michael at OctaneSport and I’m going to get some off of him. I’d rather support the good shops anyway! The bushings made end up being Sabres or Venoms? We’ll see.

As for the deck, a Subsonic Pulse 40 v3.0. When I started looking into the Pulse, Scott at Subsonic had just released the v3.0 and it sounded like the perfect deck for me. I got the deck through Michael at OctaneSport as he orders bulk decks from Subsonic. These two guys have been uber helpful along the way. I opted for the lightest flex, tiger grip and colouring fading from black at the nose to red at the tail.

Red Subsonic stickers finished it off amazingly! The deck is better finished than any deck I’ve ever handled. The routing on the edges of the deck is beautiful. The routing isn’t round, its kind of chamfered, but two different heights. This means that the routing chamfer sits just above the front wheel wells which looks and feels amazing. It makes sense also and shows how much thought has gone into the design.

As for wheels, I’m starting off with the Abec11 Gumballs from my Dervish as they’re not far off the ideal choice. My perfect choice would be Lemon and Lime BigZigs.

The Galac LDP website was invaluable for setup details. Riser angles and so much more that would have eluded me for months was explained for everyone to read. Amazing.

The only thing now to do is wait for my rear truck bushings, and build it on Christmas day.

Big thanks to everyone for their help so far:
Chris Vallender for introducing me to longboards, Corinne my fiancée for allowing to put so much time, effort and money into skateboards and Galac, Subsonic and OctaneSport for being so helpful.

Tim – make sure to send in a full review once the snow has melted!