Skate The Forest: Cruise, Slide, BBQ and Auction
This event is an awesome Vancouver tradition for the Longboarders in the area. Formerly known as King of the Forest, Skate The Forest brings all kinds of ages and skill levels to cruise the majestic North Vancouver Demonstration Forest. Nearly 20k of butter smooth car free trails with all your best buds at your side. Great for the heart and even greater for the soul. After the 12pm Skate The Forest, join the crew for a Slide Jam at the nearby “Stables”. Many a great skaters have hit up the Stables and if you show, you’ll know why. It’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with. Starting at 2pm, The BBQ and Auction is just another reason to spend this Saturday September 22nd with the Longboard Coalition and their supporters.Located between Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and Mount Seymour Provincial Park in North Vancouver, the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve comprises roughly one third of the 18,000 hectare Seymour Watershed.
Within minutes of downtown the reserve contains some of the most impressive and diverse landscapes in the Vancouver area. Previously known as the Seymour Demonstration Forest, (Demo forest) and renamed in the spring of 1999, almost 25 miles (40 km) of roads and recreational multi-use trails run through the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR).
This forest is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure of riding my longboard in. We still call it the Demo Forest even though officially the name has been changed. Nestled in this forest is a 10 kilometer paved path that winds through the trees with breathtaking views, creeks, wildlife and a few nice long rolling hills. This paved path is closed to motor vehicles and used by all manner of recreational activities such as bikers, walkers, joggers, rollerbladers etc. After spending some time riding with friends along this path, I was sitting down with my good buddy Tony Bag of Donuts Moberg discussing the possibility of developing a unique event for the Vancouver longboard scene and he suggested that we think about the Demo Forest. This was the birth of The King of The Forest 20k Longboard Endurance Race. The first year we decided that begging forgiveness was easier than asking for permission so we ran The KOTF as an outlaw race. The race went off without a hitch and the awards ceremony/after party was an absolute blast. However, a few days after the event I did receive a letter from the man in charge at The LSCR. He was not happy with our outlaw race. I wrote him back and in my letter I let him know that we would like the opportunity to learn how to use the reserve responsibly, (Begging forgiveness). They set some simple guidelines for us and we met them.
July 7th 2006 we met at 6:00pm at the gazebo, near the starting gate for the race meeting. The energy level was high, the anticipation strong. Standing by, prepared for the worst and hoping for the best were The Saint Johns Ambulance volunteers. Along the course, racers would find five race course Marshals dressed in red KOTF t-shirts, armed with two way radios. In the flats there were water stations that Im sure all the racers were happy to find. This is a grueling 20 KM race against the clock; not for the casual cruiser. The first heat of four left the gate at 6:30 sharp. The remaining heats followed in two minute intervals. Again, this race went off without a hitch and we raised close to $1000.00 for a local humanitarian organization called The Harvest Project. Each racer paid a $50.00 entrance fee with half of that fee being donated to the local charity.
Last years second place winner Mathew Haines was crowned King Mathew with a record breaking time of 44:29, beating The defending champion King Brians record of 47:50. King Brian fell into 9th place with 51:37. Last years third place winner Hugh Kibbling Johnston moved up a spot to take second place with 47:06. Matt Hoodie Shaw also moved up from 5th place last year to claim 3rd place with 47:26.
Good times had by all and another KOTF goes down in the record books. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the racers, the guys at The Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve and the sponsors (Landyachtz, Rayne, Redneck, OSB, Skull Skates, Wickwinder, Concrete Wave, Spectrum Skatepark Creations ; Lonsdale Board Co.) Special thanks to Tammy Anderson, Ari Barnes, Tim Watson and all the volunteers for a great event. Who will be crowned King of The Forest this year.
By Dan Pape