Justin Readings’ 2013 Adventures

In this latest part of Justin’s adventures – he tells us about having fun around the world. From Puerto Rico to California and down to a place he holds dear in his heart: South Africa.

LBAG photo

LBAG photo

Good morning Justin, how are you?
Pretty good kind of tired. Did a bunch of skating yesterday during the day then we were out until 2am doing night runs.

Isn’t it too cold to skate at 2am in Vancouver?
NO! But I’m not there anyways. Woke up to the mountains and sun in Cape Town this morning.

Word! When did you come down to Africa?
November 16thish.

How’ve you spent the last month?
Doing a lot and not much at the same time. It seems to have flown by, but mostly skating and then doing a couple of touristy things that I didn’t do last time. Then spending a bunch of time slacklining and braaiing.

Storm van Rooyen photo

Storm van Rooyen photo

Last time we spoke, you were hoping to recover from your torn AC to make it to the SA races last December – how did that pan out?
Last year I was almost recovered and in decent shape by the end of the year but didn’t have the funds to go.

How does it feel back to return after 2 years?
Awesome! I was really bumbed to miss year 10 at Hot Heels but it’s nice to get a break from Vancouver.

What have you missed most?
Probably the chill vibes and sun.

What is it about SA you love so much – Cricket?
Suprisingly not… I just love the people and the scene. The weather and hills are a bonus but I didn’t skate nearly as well last time I was here.

How does the skating compare to your home turf?
Different. Its mostly going fast, 80-90km and no sliding. Mostly in the city and mostly at night.

What events have you attended in your time there?
High Rising and Hot Heels.

How did they go?
Not as I had planned hahah. but that’s ok.

What did you plan?
To Win!

Did Hot Heels feel different as an independent?
Not really. Sanctioning never really did anything for Hot Heels. Maybe brought a few extra internationals.
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Are there any other foreign skater faces around?
Dominique Vukorep and Tommy Watson from Rayne came down.

Who is Tommy?
Another Rayne team rider. Used to help run Nersh and is now working sales at Rayne.

How did they do in the races?
Dominique fell in the first week and tore something in her knee so she’s been out. Tommy got Third at Hot Heels.

What was it like there when Mandela passed?
It seemed the same, just with a lot of memorial services going on and lots of radio talk. I think people had expected that he was already dead as there had been no news on him for a long while.

Do they have decent bacon out there?
Haven’t had any. I’ve been too busy eating lamb chops. Apparently that the cheap meat here.

Will you be spending Christmas down there?
No I’m leaving on Monday and will be back in Vancouver a while after that.

What are you hoping to get for Xmas?
Clothes. The best gift for me is the gift of not shopping. I hate malls and crowds of people.

After you got healed last December, when did you return to skating?
I had been skating all year.

How has 2013 gone for you?
It’s been pretty good. It started off having moved to Vancouver. I didn’t do a ton of racing this year, didn’t have a ton of money and I didn’t do all that well. The two races I thought I had a good shot at I got taken out.

What’s been keeping you stoked in the absence of racing?
Vancouver’s buses, a motorcycle, and the thought of going to SA and racing haha. I did probably go to over 10 events that’s just not as many as usual.

What was the first event you hit?
I guess it would be Puerto Rico.

Does the racing on the BC circuit get better with the year?
In some cases yes but it varies year to year. There were a few events this year that were worse than before.

What would make the perfect race series?
I’m not sure. All I know is that Catallina Classic was the best race of the year.

It must have been fun to hit the road with the Rayne team to PR!
Yeah it was good. I’m not one to party every day of the week so it got a bit much at times.

What sort of skate trips make you happiest?
One with a solid group of people who want to skate lots and go swim when we’re not skating hahaha. We had a pretty solid car 2012 in Europe all we did was skate, eat, and swim.

Is there anything from Catalina you’d like to see in BC races?
It starts with a good surroundings and that’s hard to get when the tracks are in the middle of nowhere. When you finished up the race, you cruised to your house and food and bars right at the bottom of the track.

What does it take to get invited to Catalina?
Not a lot… The first invite is just based on people the organisers know. The second round is just having someone vouch that you’re not a kook.

How did you do in the race?
A few rounds in then got taken out. I was really bummed.

Did you return for Angies?
No I didn’t have the funds and was saving to be able to pay Maryhill entry, and there was no space in that.

First year you missed Mary?
Yeah in a while it was another huge bummer.

Sucks. Did you do any IDF races?
Whistler was the only one I think.

Was it any different to previous years?

What did you get up to this summer?
Not a ton. Mostly just getting down to California every couple of months and skating in Vancovuer.

What took you to Cali?
Good hills and friends. Also Catallina. I’ll probably head down there in January sometime.

Nick DiVona photo

Nick DiVona photo

Were you still riding the Avenger this season?
Yeah can’t get away from it. Tried all the new stuff from Rayne and keep going back. Don’t get me wrong the Darkside is sick and the new Futurekiller is prime but I still love the Avenger.

What keeps you hooked on the Avenger?
Narrow top-mount.

How has your role in the Rayne family evolved in the last year?
I’ve been running the blog for the last year which is nice. Keeps a few extra bucks in my pocket and lets me keep traveling.

Still riding Abec11 and Aera?
No ways! Rayne wheels all the way. We’re doing great things with the wheels and they’re moving in a great direction. I recently also jumped back on some paris trucks and loved them again so I’ve been racing those.

Andy Russell photo

Andy Russell photo

How are your red wheels different from ones you rode in the past?
The new Rayne Lusts have an amazing slide and a lot of grip. Classic thane also had a good slide but tended to break away when you were really railing a corner.

Regular Paris trucks over Aeras?
Yup cast 50 180’s.

What’s given you the biggest smiles this year?
Booking my ticket to SA. It was a long time coming.

Will we see you back in Europe next year?
I hope so. I’m finishing this year with a bit of money (I think) so I should have enough.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
Computer work, or motorcycle work… I currently have half of my bike in my living room.

Andy Russel photo

Andy Russel photo

Any  last words?
I just want to send out a big thanks to Rayne and Switchback longboards, Dr Vie Superfoods, Fat Ant and my newest sponsor Boardyard Helmets! Amped for 2014.

Woah, you finally got SA sponsors!
Yeah haha, its cool. I’ve been running Fat Ant for a while!

Do you have slugs on your avenger?
I only just got some and haven’t had a chance to put them on.

Would you ever move there?
Have been thinking about it actually.

Who did you stay with while you were here?
Long Tom!

Thanks for your time, it was fun catching up. Catch you soon.
Thank you.