NJ Slide Jam for Autism



This years NJ Slide Jam for Autism was quite the event. After months of being lead on by the local law enforcements of Hillsborough NJ, two days before the event was supposed to happen the mayor informed me that we were being denied our permit. This gave Kip Eichhorn, Tom O’Hearen, and myself, Ryan Callahan, two days to find a new location. We decided to choose our local skate spot in Flemington, since the neighbors there had always been kind to us in the past. The new location was announced last minute as an outlaw event, and the show was going to go on. We rushed around from 8 AM to 10 AM assembling the staff and gathering the arsenal of supplies for the day. Spirits were high and excitement was present in each breath of air.

However, as we began to register the first competitors of the day a faint drizzle commenced. This caused some concerns right away, as a slippery hill would mean lots of injuries. The riders, on the other hand, didn’t seem to give a second thought about the inbounding rain and began the shredding. This was so gnarly to me because nobody was going to let a little rain ruin the fun. Luckily, the drizzle eventually cleared up, the sun began to peek from behind the clouds, and the skaters were pouring in from all over. Around 10:45 AM the cops were called and the spot was blown. The cop said that we could continue our day at a local park but we were not to go to another hill. We immediately agreed to these terms and Ed Nieves congregated everyone at the top of the hill to inform them that there was a location change, which would be posted on Facebook.

Nick Pedro and Jesse Greenberg slingshotting each other **Photo by Jeff Vyain

This new location, however, was a a hill 30 minutes away sourced from Tyler Hill. Within minutes a grill, three coolers,two kickers, and 50 skaters piled into cars like circus clowns en-route to Basking Ridge. The exodus to Basking Ridge went off without a hitch and in no time the skating commenced once again. This new spot was a smooth, mellow, and welcoming spot; shaded by the dense forest of northern New Jersey. With the initial rush of registration out of the way, the rest of the day was smooth shredding and the competitions began. Everyone gave it their all and wore their well earned patches of road rash.

Dax Pradarits practicing his new levitation technique on Original’s Arbiter DK **Photo by Tijmen Schreur

At the podium Dylan Pearce took first place in the open competition and claimed a rad Earthwing Drifter, while Jake Scarberry took first place in the Ameature competition and claimed an Original Arbiter DK. A few other decks and wheels were given out for second and third place winners, but shortly after grip tape, hogwash, T-shirts, and hats were raining down everywhere, manifesting a mosh pit for free gear. This concluded the event and after all was said in done $1000.00 was raised for The A.Skate Foundation.

In the end, a lot was realized about the longboarding community. Being faced with all the adversity of two hill changes (one of them during the event), rain, and a little disorganization didn’t get in the way of everyones positive attitudes. Instead of complaints that there was a change in hills, all that was heard was stoke about the hill we were about to skate. This positive energy and momentum is what I personally love about the longboarding community. Everyone just wants to have fun. In fact, looking back, all of the imperfections in the event is what allowed our community to shine and I wouldn’t change a single thing about the day. So a big thank you to our (sponsors) for providing their donations but an even bigger thank you to each and every skater that came out to shred in the name of The A.Skate Foundation. This really was a special event, can’t wait for next year!

*Lead photo credit - Brian Fitch getting funky on his Faceplant Big Sexy ***Photo Credit: Khaleeq Alfred

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