The Catalina Island Classic
In 1977, a small group of elite downhill skaters took over the City of Avalon to particpate in the original ‘Catalina Classic’. The Weekend of May 5th and 6th, 2012 saw a modern version of this island skate invasion with the ‘Catalina Island Classic’ presented by Riviera Skateboards. This event was homage to the forefathers of downhill skating and a weekend long festival of our culture that included a mini-ramp demo, a very special appearance by Ben Harper and a downhill skate race held on a never before ridden road.Day 1 – We invited our friend Mike Valley of Elephant Brand Skateboards to put on a mini ramp jam and demo to start off the weekend with a bang. When the demo was over, we donated the ramp to the Avalon Skatepark for the local kids to keep the good vibes rolling. That evening Ben Harper blessed a very small crowd with a live acoustic performance in honor of Mike V’s 25 years of professional skateboarding!
Day 2 – Fast, fun, technical and in a beautiful setting … The Catalina Island Classic course gave the 64 men and 6 women racers everything you could want in a competitive race.
“The whole weekend was a blast, we had a great field of riders from all over the world, Canada, Switzerland, Dominican Republic, Australia just to name a few. It was a beautiful race day with the sun blazing and blue skies all around. Racing was tight on a highly technical course, after it was all done, I had to come out on top, Hella Stoked!” – James Kelly
“The locals were welcoming and open to the invasion of the skater crowd and the over all event mood seemed to be at a perfect Californian – relaxed level at all the times!” – Tamara Prader
The logistics involved with putting on an event of this scale on an island proved to be a serious challenge. All of the endless efforts and help from our contributing sponsors, locals and City Council of Avalon helped lighten the load a lot. The unquestionable hard work and true love of skateboarding that the Seals Family showed us, and all of the Seals Family showed us, and all of the racers should not go unmentioned. Without them, you would not be reading this right now.
The entire community showed us so much support to help this event go off without and major hitches. The wheels already in motion for next year after the display of professionalism the competitors put on over the weekend. The reward of spreading skateboarding culture into such a charming little gem that is Catalina was worth all of the risks that were taken in committing to making this all happen! BIG LOVE CATALINA! WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!
1st Place – James Kelly
2nd Place – Patrick Switzer
3rd Place – Alex Tongue
1st Place – Tamara Prader
2nd Place – Christin Gregerson
3rd Place – Pam Diaz
Text/Photos Courtesy of Riviera Skateboards, Other Photo Credits David Ruano & Mark Golter