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Archive for August, 2014

5 Street Obstacles That Can be Tricked On

Posted on: August 28th, 2014 by Pulse

Freestyle scootering on the street can be a simple and fun way to work on tricks, and learn some new ones. A typical street provides numerous obstacles on which to perform tricks. One nice thing about street scootering is that you can do it anywhere, as long as there are no laws against it. For people who do not live near a half-pipe or skate park, the street offers the best place to practice tricks. However, scooter riders need to take care not to do tricks when there is traffic around, as well as take other safety precautions.

Parking Blocks and Curbs

Parking blocks & curbs

Parking blocks and curbs provide some of the most basic obstacles skateboarders, scooter freestylers and other extreme sport athletes use for tricks on the streets. They provide the perfect base on which to perform slides and grinds. In fact, any obstacle on the street that has any type of ledge offers a great opportunity to grind or slide. You can also jump over or off of a curb, or use it as a base on which to perform jumping tricks.

Stairs and Railings

Stairs and railing also are classic areas on which to practice many different tricks. You can grind or slide, or you can perform jumps and flips. The best type of staircases to use has limited pedestrian traffic and multiple levels with breaks in between. Stairs with may different levels provide more options on which to try tricks. You can jump and do tricks on the stairs themselves, or concentrate your tricks on the railings, or perform tricks that combines the two obstacles.

Planter Boxes

Many cities landscape their sidewalks and streets to provide a beautiful atmosphere. For scooter athletes, these become obstacles for performing freestyle tricks. Some planter boxes are higher up, offering a ledge for grinding or sliding. Other boxes or planting areas are ground level or slightly higher, providing an object over which to jump. If a street has several planter boxes, you can set up an obstacle course and practice doing more than one trick in a row.

Drainage Ditches

Drainage ditches provide excellent places to take the scooter and perform tricks. Many ditches offer a place similar to a pool, ramp or half-pipe. Some places may have laws in place for using drainage ditches, so it is important to look into the laws before going to perform the tricks. In some cities, a drainage ditch might provide one of the best places to take a scooter and perform tricks, and almost seem like a half-pipe built just for scootering.

Benches, Street Lights and Traffic Barriers

Some of the most unique obstacles on which to perform tricks are benches and other street furniture. This might be streetlights, taxi stands, trashcans, or even memorials and public sculptures. Many of these offer odd shapes on which to perform tricks, or they might be obstacles over which to jump. Traffic barriers also offer a great place for tricks, but care needs to be kept to ensure that the area being blocked off is safe for scootering and doing tricks.

It can be easy to find obstacles on which to perform tricks when you take your scooter to the streets. Whether you stick with the classics of the stairs, rails, curbs and parking blocks or find more unique obstacles, you can have fun trying all different kinds of tricks. It is important to keep your safety in mind, in addition to any particular local laws regarding using these areas for tricks. You can also bring your own obstacles with you, such as chairs and boxes, to practice jumping over items.

photo credit: Steven Vance via photopin cc

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp Provides Training For Going Big

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by Pulse

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp offers the perfect summer adventure for kids who want to learn more about extreme sports and train to become a professional one day. Located in Butler, Ohio, the camp features week-long camp sessions that teach different skills for extreme sports. Campers get to spend all day enjoying their sport under the watchful guidance of experts.

Ohio Dreams Sports

Camp Sessions

The week-long summer camp sessions at Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp are for children between the ages of 7 and 17. There are eight sessions throughout the summer months, and each session is limited to 100 campers. Keeping the sessions small ensures each camper receives plenty of time to learn with one-on-one training in his or her sport of choice. The camp has a five to one camper to counselor ratio, providing plenty of attention to each camper.

There is also a four-day session for adults to come and have a similar experience.

Activities

The main activity is the various extreme sports, including BMX racing and freestyle, skiing, snowboarding, scootering and skateboarding. The camp features 66 acres of activities, including indoor ramps, foam ramps, and trampolines, where campers spend most of their day learning and practicing their sport of choice. Examples of activities include learning how to grind rails over stairs, new tricks on indoor foam, or working on a trampoline.

The campers have sessions where they learn about the sport, and open sessions where they can practice what they have learned. Campers can concentrate on one sport, or they can participate in more than one. If campers are going to participate in more than one sport, they need to bring all equipment with them. The campers are taught by highly trained staff and visiting pros from sponsoring companies in the various sports.

In addition to the sports, the camp also features the famous Slip N’ Fly that is only open to people between the ages of 7 and 17 during camp. This is a long slide and ramp that leads into a pool. It plays a significant role in each session, and it features in the year-end Sports and Music Fest, where people over the age of 18 can play on it.

There is also free time, rest time, and time just to enjoy the pool during the day. Every evening, the campers also participate in a fun activity.

Amenities

The camp is located in the Mohican forest area in mid-Ohio, providing a beautiful atmosphere in which to stay and play. Campers stay in dorm style lodges. There is also a pro shop on the grounds, so if there are any equipment malfunctions, campers can get replacement parts so they can get right back into the action. There is also an Athlete Lounge that offers refreshments and a cool place to relax and watch videos between sessions.

End of Summer Bash

Every year, Ohio Dream Action Sports opens up the Slip N’ Fly to the public for a legendary bash that draws people from all over. There is music and opportunities to enjoy the Slip N’ Fly, but only for those over the age of 18. It is a fun way to say goodbye to another summer at the camp. This event is the only time the ramp is open to the public.

Ohio Dreams Action Sports Summer Camp offers a great experience filled with fun, adventure, and training. It provides a safe atmosphere to learn, and all staff members have gone through first aid training. Attending a session, or two, will help anyone become a better athlete in his or her chosen sport. For those hoping to one day turn pro, it offers a great opportunity to get one-on-one instruction from the pros to take their talent to the next level.

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UK To Put On Scootfest 2014

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014 by Pulse

Scootering

Scootfest 2014 is set to take place over two weekends in August in the U.K. Scootfest is an annual event celebrating the sport of scootering. The 2014 event launches a brand new multi-site event taking place over two weekends that provides a variety of events for the scooter fans in the U.K. This year’s event also includes the 2014 ISA World Championship competition. This is the second year that Scootfest hosts the ISA World Championships.

What is Scootfest?

Scootfest is an annual event celebrating the sport of freestyle scootering in the UK. It takes palce over a weekend and features competitions for amateurs and professionals alike. It also provides opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels to try out the sport on impressive skate parks. There is also music and other activities for scooter enthusiasts to enjoy between competitions.

Two Sites, Two Weekends

This year, the activities of Scootfest are spread out in two weekends in two different locations. This provides the opportunity for more people to come to the event, and for twice the entertainment for those who can make both. The first weekend of Scootfest 2014, called Scootfest North, will be held at Rampworx in Liverpool on the 9th and 10th of August.

The second weekend, Scootfest South, takes place the following weekend, the 16th and 17th of August, at Rush Skate Park in Stroud. Both events feature events for all age groups and skill levels, but they have different focuses and unique opportunities, making them two separate and distinct events. People can choose to only go to one, or they can enjoy attending both and still feel they have experienced something different.

Scootfest North

Rampworx Skatepark features 70,000 square feet of ramps, providing the perfect setting for Scootfest North. One of the main highlights of the weekend will be the UK Championships, which provides a space for the best of the British Isles to compete for a place in the ISA World Championships.

There will also be a superstar lie-up of 12 of the biggest names competing for the International Best Trick, including Dakota Schuetz (two time world champion) and Lewis Williams (current European Champion). Everyone can enjoy riding in the Scootfest Am Jam, including children. There will be a dedicated kids ramp build especially for the weekend that will be free to use for small children and beginners.

Scootfest South

Rush skate park is a brand-new park featuring five parks in one, and there will be two additional parks added for the event. The park has Street Plaza, Park section, Bowl, Resi jump box and foam pit, and a dirt park. It is the only park like it in the UK, and for the event Scootfest is adding the Scootfest G Ramp and Kids Park. The main event at Scootfest South this year is the ISA World Championships, which will have 50 of the best professionals vying for the title.

There will also be International Streets Sessions competition, and an Am Jam for all riders to enjoy. The Scootfest South will be similar to the original Scootfests, featuring a Scooter Trade Village, music, and offsite camping. This year, there will be a Parent’s Lounge, providing a comfortable place for the parents to relax while their kids enjoy the festivities.

Scootfest 2014 promises to impart an exciting and entertaining event for visitors and competitors alike. Scooter enthusiasts can enjoy watching the elite competitions, potentially learning a few new tricks. Amateurs can compete in the Am Jam, providing them with the chance to be spotted and turn pro. Even beginners can compete in the event, allowing them to feel the excitement of competition. All ages and skill levels can easily find some activity to enjoy during the event.
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3 Tips On How To Make A Scooter Video

Posted on: August 19th, 2014 by Pulse

Once you’re starting to feel more confidence in your scooter riding ability, videos can take your passion to the next level. Other people all over the world who are part of the scooter community can be introduced to you. A strong video is essential part of getting sponsorships, auditioning for teams, or just exposing your love and your talent to the wider world.  There are a few simple tips that can help push your video to the next level and be something that is going to capture our attention.

scooter-riding-ability

 

1)    Have the camera move

Videos should accurately represent the high energy and rapid movement of the scooter riding experience. Just having people move around while the camera sits still on a tripod is way too boring!  Instead, the shooter should move around with the rider, and follow him or her, so the viewer gets a feeling of full immersion in the riding experience. This means using a diversity of shooting techniques, including a wide-angle lens to capture the full scene, and then zooming in on a close detailed shot of the action. Don’t be afraid to change your point of view often to keep things interesting.  One really useful tool for the camera is a top handle cage, a series of rods and screws that can support the camera and give the shooter a lot more freedom of movement.  With a top handle, the shooter can get a lot more freedom of movement, even riding along on a bike, so it feels like we’re right there.

 

2)    Mix it Up!

Friends who already recognize your awesomeness may be content to just see cool tricks, but if you want to stand out among the thousands of scooter videos on Youtube and Vimeo, you need to be different from what else has been done before. The worst thing a scooter video can be is identical one that already exists.  Watch other people’s videos, not with an eye to imitating them, but trying to figure out what you can do differently, what will make you stand out. Think about what you can do to put a unique spin on a trick, and find a way to feature it so your video will stand out.   If you have time, try more then one type of scene, so we can see you riding on both a pretty natural street scene, some more gritty urban landscapes, and in a more focused and intense skate park.  Use your creativity and experiment with how you can best feature doing what you love in a way that is uniquely yours.

 

3)     Edit the footage and combine with music to tell a story

Start out with slow shots of the landscape, and do some filler shots to capture the riders’ personalities. Don’t just do the same tricks over and over, but show a wide variety of things, and take advantage of cross-fades and different types of shots to keep things moving.  Start out with some simpler stuff, and let things build up so the truly impressive shredding will feel all that more amazing.

Music can add a lot to the intensity of a scooter edit, helping to further draw the viewer in and experience how exciting a trick can be.  If a hard driving song can be timed to match the intensity of a well-performed trick, the combination can be a pure adrenalin rush that can’t help but draw in the viewer.  This means listening carefully to songs over the footage.  Low-key moments in the video should be accompanied by low-key music, so that as the intensity of the riding increases, we feel it in the soundtrack as well.
photo credit: Tom Lawrence via photopin cc

Red Bull Now Airing Extreme Sports Competitions

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by Pulse

Red Bull

The energy drink Red Bull has long had a relationship with extreme and adventure sports. The famous tagline, “Red Bull gives you wings” is often used in commercials, and imparts the adventurous spirit the company supports in a variety of areas. Since 1992, there has been an annual Red Bull Flugtag, which has flying competitions in more than 35 locations around the world where people compete to see who can fly the furthest in homemade flying contraptions. When the first person decided to sky dive from space, Felix Baumgartner, Red Bull was there as a sponsor. Red Bull also sponsors several extreme sports competitions.

It was only a matter of time before Red Bull would bring these competitions to air on its own channel. With Red Bull TV, extreme sports enthusiasts can now watch live events and associated content on mobile devices, computers, selected smart TVs, video game consoles, and other devices.

Red Bull Signature Series

Cable television, along with limited prime time spots, has provided space for Red Bull events for a few years. In 2011, Red Bull and NBC created a partnership to air Red Bull’s Signature Series. This partnership included Red Bull running and producing the events and NBC Sports airing 20 hours on their channels, which included some spots on NBC. The initial deal in 2011 had NBC airing 20 hours and NBC Sports airing 15 hours. However, in 2012 Red Bull found another cable outlet and signed a three-year deal with Fox that included their airing 180 hours of live and highlight footage on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2. In 2013, a deal between NBC and Red Bull was resigned, but with 15 fewer hours of airtime.

These deals with NBC and FOX provide opportunities for people to view these competitions; however, much of the airing is limited to cable or satellite television, which not everyone has. With Red Bull TV, some of these limitations are overcome, providing an easily accessible medium for these events.

The Rise of Red Bull TV

With modern technology making Internet streaming easy and affordable for companies, it is now really simple for companies to stream their own content. Red Bull has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the Internet by creating its own channel for airing extreme sports competitions and associated content. The channel is available online and connected devices, including Apple TV, Xbox 360, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, LG and Samsung smart TVs, several smart phones and tablets, and other devices.

What is on Red Bull TV

Connected users can enjoy hours of Red Bull TV, including clips from past events and live events. One of the main areas of content on the channel are global extreme sports competitions, aired live. Examples of streamed events include Lollapalooza, FMB Dual Speed and Style in Whistler, UCI MTB World Cup Downhill Finals from Windham and Mont-Sainte-Anne, and UCI BMX World Championships from Rotterdam. In addition to extreme sports competitions, there are also series that go behind the scenes of many extreme sports, including surfing, BMX riding, snowboarding, and more. There are also series that provide behind the scenes looks into the music business, graffiti art, and other fields of interest.

Extreme sports enthusiasts now have unprecedented access to live events with Red Bull TV. All a person needs is Internet access to view the events, and with connected devices, viewers can enjoy the events on their TV. The events stream live, so viewers can tune in and see the action as it happens. Red Bull TV lists the upcoming events to make it easy to plan to view the event and not miss out on any minute of the action.

photo credit: raniel diaz via photopin cc

Complete Parts Guide And Maintenance Tips For Scooters

Posted on: August 15th, 2014 by Pulse

Scooters are somewhat simple and straightforward in how they’re designed.   But an appreciation of the parts and how everything comes together is an important part of appreciating how to make sure everything stays in great condition so you’re scooter can continue to give you space to do tricks safely.

The parts that should all be there for a decent scooter:

electric scooter parts

               1 deck – what you stand on when riding. It includes the headtube that holds the bar, and the axle. So basically, the deck holds everything together, just like the frame of a bicycle.

1 fork – this connects the wheels and the steering tube. Two-piece forks will break down faster, and aluminum will be lighter then steel, which is easier for performing tricks, but less durable.

1 steering tube and handlebar– for steering. The bar’s width should be around the length of your shoulders, and go with something narrower for technical spins, something wider for no-hands tricks in the air.  The height of the tube should be low (up to your thighs and hip), to allow for better stability and control.

1 headset – a small but significant connecting piece that goes between the deck and the tube, enabling it to spin around freely and give you flexibility of movement.

One of several types of compression systems – a series of bolts and clamps that connect everything together, and keep things from going slack and remaining tight and easy to control.

2 grips – rough rubber that goes over each of the handlebars, to give your hands a firmer grasp and more control over how you steer.

2 wheels – each of which will also need bearings, spacers, and bolts to hold it into the deck firmly.  Flat profile wheels are better for getting a strong grip, and narrow profile wheels are better for speed.

Breaks – That can either be a foot break attached to the deck over the back wheel, or hand breaks attached to the handlebars.

 

In light of all this, some ways to keep your scooter working well over time:

1)    When performing a flip or other trick, land with your weight evenly on the deck, so that parts of the deck don’t take on excess weight and wear out faster.  Especially avoid landing too much on the front, as this can mess up the headset, bar, and fork.

2)    Every time before you ride, check the spacing between the tube, headset, and fork. If things are too loose, adjust and tighten them. Otherwise the scooter could be both dangerous to ride and likely to break down.

3)    Be careful to make sure the wheels’ bearings are completely aligned with the core (the wheel center), so everything moves together like it’s designed.

4)    Keep bearings lubricated often, to prevent the wheels from melting. Oil will gives a higher speed then grease, but grease needs to be applied less often.  Water removes all lubrication, so reapply if things ever get wet.

5)    In general, pay attention to all the parts, and replace with an identical match once they get worn down or loose smoothness of movement.

6)    When thinking about your options for parts (such as aluminum verses steel, or solid or hollow core wheels), remember that things that weight less will make tricks easier, but also decrease durability, so they’ll have to be replaced more often.

‘Freeboarding’ Starting To Gain Momentum In Actions Sports World

Posted on: August 8th, 2014 by Pulse

longboarding

The X Games is less then 10 years old.  Some sports and athletics are virtually unchanged since their origins thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece, but most extreme sports are breathtakingly new.  This sense of newness may be one of the factors behind the unbelievable amount of innovation that can be seen in the world of boarding today. Both athletes and gear manufactures are aware they are on the cutting edge of a new world, and so it sometimes feels like anything is possible.

One of the more exciting variations on the theme of riding a flat object on a surface in an attempt to achieve pure awesomeness was invented by Steen Strand in 1996.  While trying to earn his M.A. in product design at Stanford, he created a variation on the traditional skateboard.  By adding two spring-locked wheels to the center, that turned freely 360 degrees, and bindings that enabled more control and pressure on the corners, his new board design could slide latterly, like a snowboarder. The exciting end result was the ability to “snowboard on pavement.”  This new device, which Strand named a Freebord, a fusion of skateboarding and snowboarding gives the rider the ability to perform both carve turns and slide turns on any skate-able surface. The end result is a thrilling fusion of multiple actions sports, allowing a blending of techniques that would otherwise seem impossible.  Among some of the more than 5,240 Youtube videos that come up when I searched for “freeboarding,” I saw amazing examples of riders gliding sideways with the rapid smoothness, flexible dexterity, and quick rotations of the best snowboarders, but with higher jumps and flips permitted on the steeper, bumpier, terrain of skateboarding.

Although true masters make it look effortless, freeboarding can sometimes be tricky with a steep learning curve, and falling down at first is considered inevitable.  However, most riders say they are able to gain confidence by starting on gentle hills and getting more advanced with practice. Experienced freeboarders are able to carve down hills in wide sweeping motions, as well as sliding outward and close to the board’s edge.  There are also more advanced techniques such as jumping off ramps in a stall, or placing hands on the ground to rotate totally around.   When bombing a hill, an experienced rider can get up to 50 miles per hour.

Today, the original Freeboard company based in San Francisco has more then 92,000 Facebook likes. An official message board includes 227 threads of freeboarders from different places all over the world looking for likeminded riders. Thus, the popularity of this emerging sport is growing as more and more skateboarding and snowboarding enthusiasts discover it.  Freebord’s pro team features 9 riders between the ages of 19 and 30, people from all over the U.S., Australia, Spain, and Switzerland. Some are skateboarders like Daniel Clay excited by new possibilities of “bombing hills with speed control and maneuverability.” Others like David Schiotis were snowboarders who got impatient of waiting for winter, and wanted to shred all year long.  Both have reason to be intrigued by the freedom allowed by this new device that allows riders, in the words of Steen Strand, the ultimate flexibility to “carve, slide, slow down, and stop whenever they want.” People from both worlds can come together, brining their expertise to learn this new skill, adding to an exciting, growing community of enthusiasts.

photo credit: Trevorhall89 via photopin cc

Daredevils Compete In Moscow In Moscow City Games

Posted on: August 5th, 2014 by Pulse
Vladimir Filinov - Moscow City Games

Vladimir Filonov, “Moscow City Games,” The Moscow Times 07/28/14

Basketball, BMX, and breakdancing are just some of the more then fifty events showcased at Russia’s Moscow City Games, an annual sports festival held at Luzhniki Stadium.  The Moscow Committee of Sports organizes the event each year to expose the hundreds of thousands of attendees to the wide possibilities of extreme sports.  Through both exciting tournaments and demonstrations, people of all ages are introduced to a wide variety of thrilling options that can be part of a physically active lifestyle.

The most recent Moscow City Games took placed on July 26, 2014, attracting extreme athletes from all over the world, including MTB rider Lukas Knopf from Germany, who wrote on his facebook page that the event was “sick” and was an opportunity to “get some good stuff in practice.” This huge event highlights so many diverse activities from a wide variety of trick biking, racing, and skateboarding, gentler activates like chess and arm wrestling, and celebrations of what in Russia is considered “alternative” culture, such as beatboxing and graffiti art. The event is thus an opportunity to expose people to extreme sports they might not otherwise know about.

Thus, it was very exciting to the Freestyle Scooter world that this year, one of the featured events at Moscow City Games was the official Russian Scooter Championship, taking place on a skate park custom built for the Games.  According to the ISA (International Scooter Association),  “Russia has a strong emerging scooter scene with many enthusiastic up and coming riders,” a new but growing field spreading through the grassroots, recruiting many local youth excited by the freedom and possibilities of exploring scooter techniques.

isa championship awards

isa-championships.com

The Russian Scooter Championship was a wildcard championship, enabling any International Pro Rider a chance to compete for a spot at the World Championship, to be held at Scootfest in the UK August 16th -17th, in addition to cash prizes for the top three performers.  With local DJ Sokolov Yuri setting the atmosphere for the hundreds of spectators, each of the 40 riders completed two runs, with the top 15 going on to the final.  18-year-old English rider Ryan McNamara won the championship with a final score of 93.33.   It has been four years since an awe-struck Ryan first received his JDBug, and he recently reflected on his facebook page that “I did not have a clue how much a scooter could change someone’s life,” both through a life-energizing experience of riding, and the “hundreds or maybe even thousands” of friends riding has introduced him to and given such “great memories.”  The second place spot was claimed by 21 year-old French rider Flavio Pesenti, with a final score of 93.

The highest performing Russian rider, who placed third overall, and secured an ISA Wild Card spot, was 17 year-old Peter Bondar, with a final score of 92.67.  Peter will be the only Russian contender for the championship this year, but overall Russia gave us nine of the fifteen top performing riders for the Russian Championship.  In keeping with the Moscow Games’ emphasis on education and outreach, locals were treated to a “ride with the pros” open park event, in which anyone could ride with, interact with, and learn from some of the world’s greatest riders.  Thus, this event demonstrated that Russia is going to be very exciting field producing great enthusiastic emerging scooter riders, and I expect great things from the National Scooter Foundation of Russia in the future.

photo credit: ISA Championship via photopin cc