Pump tracks are a great way to bring people of all skill levels together. Riding them is a blast and builds your skate skills. There are more pump tracks being built all the time, so there is probably one near you. We got a crew together and went to a Velo Solutions pump track, you can check out the video HERE to see what went down.
FIVE PEOPLE, A BBQ AND LOTS OF SKATEBOARDS
This pump track was an hour drive from our Global HQ in Vancouver, and packing the van was easy! All we needed was five people, a barbeque, and lots of skateboards, which is an easy recipe for success that anyone can follow. You can adjust the recipe slightly; if you don’t have a car, just ride your skateboard to the pump track. If none of your friends ride skateboards, you can show up at the pump track alone and make friends when you get there. Because pump tracks are so popular, there always at least a few people there, no matter what time of day you decide to show up.
Packed into the big ol’ Landyachtz van was a myriad of different setups. We had some drop through longboards, some top mount longboards, some ATV Category, Cruisers, and a few Surfskates. This gave us a chance to swap back and forth between different types of skateboards throughout the day. Trying out the different boards was interesting because it gave us the chance to see how the different shapes performed on the undulating curves and banks of the pump track. As it turns out, they were all fantastic, and no one could decide which board they liked the most. Even the Dance Category worked great on the pump track because of the long, stable wheelbase and the agile 50-degree Gen 6 trucks.
Riding the Quiver
The Surfskate was the most challenging to ride, but this also meant that it was potentially the most fun. The Ditch Life was very wide and stable and because it has so much standing platform, this created a lot of confidence, so it was probably the fastest. The Longboards were smooth and flowy and soaked up the bumps really well. The Longboards were more predictable than the shorter cruisers and ATV’s, so that made them very enjoyable to ride in the pump track. However, after doing a few laps on the Longboards, we would tend to gravitate back towards the ATV’s and cruisers because the agility and short wheelbase gives you more precise control over the board for those tight corners.
It didn’t take long before we were firing up the grill (thanks Ryan), so we grilled up some dogs, but Ed Avina was having so much fun that he couldn’t stop skating. We ended up having to hand him his lunch while he passed by on his Dinghy Blunt. Ed had taken the stock wheels off the Blunt and put some Doozies on, so he was carrying some serious speed through the track all day, and throwing some flip tricks. Kat Hill loves single kick boards and was taking turns with Ed on the Dinghy Blunt. And of course, Cam McGregor was only on the ground for 50% of his lap around the pump track. The other half he was flying through the air on his ATV Classic. That guy has some serious Pop. Clark busted out some serious steeze with his huge prototype double kick and brought some major surf-style into the mix which was a pleasure to watch.
"Ed Avina was having so much fun that he couldn’t stop skating"
It's almost impossible to show up at a pump track and not have a good time. One of the best parts about a pump tracks is rolling up to one that you’ve never been to before and taking those first few laps around the track because it’s exciting and you don’t know what to expect. It can be extremely satisfying to take your time around the track and just savor every curve. However, it can be just as rewarding getting to know the track, perfecting every inch of the track, and going as fast as humanly possible. We did a little bit of both!
It doesn’t really matter how you choose to skate a pump track because you are guaranteed to have a good time.
by Alex Hannigan
pUMP TRACK SKATING