August 17 and 18 was CenMass, aka ‘The 4th Annual Central Massachusetts Longboard Fest’. Mason Mayday McNay, Team Rider at RipTide, Surf-Rodz and G-Form, tells us how it went down for him, and Khaleeq provided the awesome pics…
We were on the road by 8am when we were shooting for 5, then in North Carolina by 11am but waylayed three hours because Garret had to go back and get the skateboard he forgot. On a skate trip. We break every few hours to do slappies at rest stops to keep limber, but the creeping ache of fatigue still rises in our knees and shoulders and necks and eyes. Garrett eats shit trying to roll up a curb and goes to sleep for the rest of the drive. By hour fifteen Kevin is sparking like a live wire. Charged by Red Bull and exposure, he laughs with no bidding. Hysterically. For hours. Every single road in the state of New York is a toll road. Half of them are under construction, and the detours are separate tolls roads. This is the fifth time I’ve driven up from Atlanta to compete in new England, and every single time I wonder why I put myself through the torture. It takes about five seconds for me to remember. The four of us fall out of the car ,and before we bother getting back up Kathryn Hitchens is trying to feed us, take us to hills, give us gear, and letting us play with her sword collection. In Zombieland you gotta let off some steam every now and then. By 3am we are in Brookfield, Connecticut.
Miles conquered: One freaking thousand.
Hours of sleep: zero.
Day two is spent lounging and lurking, sore from the drive. Brandon sets up his brand new chop suey and shits a brick. Garret eats it trying to hop a storm drain. We watch a lot of Regular Show and the only topic of discussion is the race in the morning.
Miles conquered: zero.
Hours of sleep: like two.
Of course we’re running late in the morning but no one gives a flying flashback. Kat’s driving and we’re trying not to let the remaining four hours of car trip tie us in knots. The event hasn’t even started yet and we already feel like we’ve spent the morning taking slams. The moment a trip really solidifies is when you’re rolling in and you lay eyes on the first kid in a brightly colored helmet scooting along the side of the road. It was also the moment where things started to get a little blurry.
Miles conquered: 150ish.
We bump elbows with all our old friends, make a few new ones, try really hard not to get motion sick on the bus, poach as many runs as we can during juniors, get knocked out of the race early then poach a few more runs. Everyone gets really stoked when Kim Kong Kevin Kang takes second in Am. #1 Korea. Garret eats shit rolling over some gravel while pushing to the car.
Poach a few more runs.
Dad is running things like a champ, never once raising his voice, never once letting the stress of skateboarder management get to his head. I’ve never seen a better behaved bunch of hoodrats then under the megaphone of Mike Girard. For a second, the admiration makes me forget that he never returns my emails.
Poach another run.
The Earthwing guys start to fiend after sitting still too long. They put on their cute little matching vests and hats and friendship bracelets and their little skateboards and cavort on the race course – showing off their handsdown buffoonery and noseblunts and twerks. Everybody’s loving it except Bandy, who does the adult thing and makes sure no racers get bucked by the Connor Gang.
Poach another run.
Some people win the race. It’s awesome. We check in to the hotel and Garret eats shit trying to skate on the carpet. I have one of the top 5 showers of my life, and there’s a party. Behind a wall of colored lights Squnto is looking like cousin IT and getting dizzy with a bunch of horses. Drunk groms are bouncing around the crowd like pinballs. I tell Kat that I’m definitely not trying to drink tonight. I wanna be able to skate well tomorrow. So we only drink a few pitchers. Whoops. There’s a tiny mosh pit consisting mostly of Shredward and me leaping off a pool table into it.
And then somehow we’re at the slidejam. First run of the day and I tangle with a grom a foot taller than me, but it’s still his face getting mashed into the pavement. He toughs it out like a champ, but I feel shitty about it for the rest of the day.
A lot of people do some really cool stuff, especially Royce, and this new Dax Pradarits guy I’ve never heard of is getting mad technical.
Anybody who knows anything knows that the most important event is the hardwheel jam. Andre gets slippy on the features, Josh gets lofty, and Sanchez is clearly having more fun than us. I finally stomp a Sabotage (That’s what the blunt-lateflip is called, Dad) but I’m not proud of how many tries it takes me. Dad gives me best trick anyway. I am however, very proud that Max Gnar’s blunts look more like mine than any of his crew’s. Whether or not it was actually inspired by me is speculation.
Michael Poli and Noel Korman are mostly just doing their jobs in their little tents all weekend, but they’re so cool to me between heats and runs that I remind myself to try and squeeze in a shout out to them in my writeup. Garrett eats shit trying to fullcab his downhill board.
There are some more cool things and some more people win, and it’s rad, but I’m getting tired. I finally get the pleasure of Meeting J-raw, and it’s about time, too. Not like it’s my fifth trip to New England or anything.
By the time awards roll around I’m feeling like I washed up on a beach somewhere, totally spent and bobbing in the current. Usually I like to stick around and bump a few more elbows, but I’ve got nothing left. It’s time to go. Somehow we manage to haul our sorry multicultural asses back into the station wagon, which is now overflowing with gear for the hundred fifty miles back to Brookfield and then the other thousand back to Atlanta.
Can’t wait to hate all that driving again next year.
Words: Mason Mayday McNay