The laguna Seca Invitational By Spaceman Spiff
The Laguna Seca Invitational kicked off the West Coast race season with the return of skateboarding to one of the famous race tracks in the universe. Pretty much the best excuse ever to ditch work/school on a Thursday – am I right? The last Laguna Seca downhill race was held on July 12, 1981. On that day Roger “The Kid With No Respect” Hickey turned the downhill racing world upside down when he beat John Hutson in a stunning duel to the finish – stunning because Hutson usually won everything, has better style than you, and his tuck is so awesome it has its own nickname (the “Hut Tuck” – Ed.). Thirty-two of the world’s most awesome skateboarders did not take the day off, and proceeded to shred near-virgin asphalt in front of a raucous crowd, estimated at close to 2.1 hundred people. Kyle Wester brought his business face and took home first place and the $2,500 top prize. Mr. Wester set up the win with a sweet draft pass of Erik Lundberg coming out of Turn 6, which was actually Turn 1 for the skateboard race, but backwards. Everyone was stoked for Kyle, because he skates like a Man – and he rocks a clear visor, which all the photographers love (hint, hint).“Laguna Seca was a top-notch event! Super stoked to win such a nostalgic race! Lining up next to your buddies and knowing that every heat is like a final made it super exciting.” – Kyle WesterThe final heat was super close. Andrew Mercado brought home second place, with Graham Buksa (third) and Erik Lundberg rounding out the final group. Top qualifying time went to Tim Del Rosario, with a run of 56.933 seconds. Graham Buksa added 500 American dollars (which is like $12,300 in Canadian) to his podium finish with the fastest speed recorded during qualifying, at 47 mph. Fastest haircut went to Malachi Greene, who really captured the general sentiment for the day: “Laguna Seca was rad – we got to go on a race car track and f**k s**t up on our skateboards.” The weather was pretty much awesome, as expected – isn’t California great? You really should come out here: skateboarding, Mexican food, girls, the beach, and super rad hills all over Nor Cal. I heard they have good spots in So Cal too, but that’s really far away from Santa Cruz and they steal all our water, or something.
Marcus Rietema and the IGSA crew were there to keep things professional; it was great to have their support in sanctioning the race. They ran a tight, clean event that actually went off on time, which is always impressive when skateboarding is involved. And big ups to the Sea Otter Classic cycling festival for hosting this event. The Sea Otter organizers were super cool about everything, and even let our photographers lie out in the middle of the track to try to get run over. Anything for a shot! There may have even been beer somewhere too, but we were way too busy running a flawless event to know about that. After the race, the Santa Cruz Boardroom threw an awesome after-party with lots of beer and pizza and dudes talking about skateboarding. Then some girls showed up and totally messed up the dude ratio, but it was still super rad. Huge thank you to all the kick-ass sponsors of this event: Road Rider, Independent Truck Company, Sector 9, Dekline, Bones Swiss, International Gravity Sports Association and Concrete Wave. See you next year!