by Byron Essert
Photo Credits: Blake Smith & Chris Foito Last weekend in April, a crew of comet riders from Norcal including Blake Smith, Jesse Breiman, and me (Byron Essert), hopped on an airplane and cruised over to Ithaca, New York for ultimate chill-out sessions with the comet crew and the first Ithaca Slide Jam.
When we rolled up to the slide jam hill, it was pretty insane because it was directly in the middle of this mellowed out college town, yet still quite a bustling area. After 2 hours of warming up, preparation, and waiting for the crowd to show, it was time to start the jam. A ripper named Ben Dubreil brought out some insane obstacles that added a whole lot of challenge and variation to the jam, such as a huge launch ramp, a banshee bungee, and a wedge to pvc rail combo thing. This pvc rail was one of the gnarliest things I've ever seen in downhill skating so far, and it provided for some radical maneuvers, lines, media, and endless stoke from the crowd. The only three people to hit it all day were Comet Riders Eric Jensen and Jesse Breiman, along with the mastermind behind it, Ben Dubreil himself. Lots of people showed up to this event, from all over the east coast, canada, and even one excellent shredder from Puerto Rico. Everyone was destroying every last bit of asphalt on this super steep and narrow road, and even some people were gutsy enough to branch out onto the sidewalks and flowy driveways, as well as a roof of a nice person's house. After many many hours of going up and down this hill, the finals were announced, which funneled the riders from junior and open categories to two brackets of 10 people each, who would take some more runs prior to that. In the end, Ben Dubreil was crowned a well deserved first place in open, and everybody was stoked off the smooth flowing and fun slide jam. OPEN RESULTS
- Benjamin Dubreil
- Byron Essert
- Jesse Breiman