Greg Noble is back again to tell us about one of the hottest events on the skateboarding calendar. Texas will, for the 2nd year, host longboarders from across North America in a Garage race of epic proportions – with a $7000 price purse.
Hey buddy, great to have you back. How was your weekend?
It’s so awesome to be back & chatting with you! The weekend was great cos it involved skate! The Texas skate scene is excited for our winter race & event season – when y’all are getting buried in snow we are welcoming the cooler weather and the start of stacked weekend events. I’m recovering from what has been a blur of many weekends. There has been an event almost every weekend down here since October and it’ll continue right up to the Bayou Battle on January 8-10.
What are you recovering from?
I am getting over an injury I suffered at Kaspar Heinrici’s event in Dallas – Rock Around The Rock. I never thought that I would get injured in an LDP race but I got messed up bad. My heel got shark bit by another competitor’s board. Who knew that I would get messed up in a friendly 10 mile push race.
This past weekend was Zachary Piccolo’s event the Wham Bam Slide Jam which is in its 5th year. Zachary always kills it. It is one of the best events in Texas for those that want to just have fun and show off their sliding skills. It is such a unique event given its location tucked in the Hill Country in Wimberley Texas. The event had record attendance this year and always showcases how talented Texas’s riders are and especially the up and coming talent. This years event was won by Rory Bruemmer with George Michel, Sam Taylor, Chance Wiggins, Jargh Hammons & Granger Williams rounding out the top 6.
The Turkey Jam happened late last year, right?
Yes for Texas Thanksgiving always means it’s Turkey Jam time at Houston’s historic EZ-7 Ditch. Last year marks the 32nd year of the event. Surfhouse which is Texas’ oldest skate shop has hosted this event for years. Aaron Estrada, Michael Niemann & Carol Sandel are the event organizers this year and they always kill it. This years event was thrown in memory of skater Arturo DeLeon and as always it will be one of the largest events in Houston for skateboarding. There really is nothing like it. For those that don’t know the history and iconic nature of the EZ-7 ditch just take a look at the videos on YouTube. Houston is built on a Bayou so intertwined throughout the city are drainage ditches and one of the best spots to skate is EZ-7. The ditch has seen the world’s best skaters grind it out for almost 40 years.
What does a memorial skate mean for the community?
There is no better way to bring the skate community together around a cause than an event or a race. Every event I have ever been around which is a memorial or for a purpose has a vibe which is so humbling. The skate community is like no other when it comes to causes and supporting families. We are all a family and whether its for an injured skater, an opportunity to help someone going through struggles or for someone that has passed it always blows me away how the community rallies.
What other causes have Tx skaters rallied round in the past?
The two that really stick out in my mind are Kristin Maxwell & Jake Sharp. Kristin of Team NoBull seriously injured her ankle and didn’t have health insurance we held an outlaw garage race for her and raised over $2,000 for her a couple of years ago. More recently Jake Sharp was traveling with everything he owned in a pickup truck and it caught fire this summer and he lost everything. The skate community rallied around Jake’s plight and raised him enough to get him back on his feet.
There are countless examples of random selfless acts of kindness which we see everyday in the skate scene. It’s one of the many things which I love about the skating community, it has a sense of family to it. We all have each others backs. I’ve met the kindest most generous beautiful people because of skating.
Last time we spoke was before the Carve Opening weekend, how did it go?
It was great. The Texas scene and Team NoBull is so grateful for all that Scotty Sheridan and the shop has done for skateboarding. Their new location on 6902 Longpoint Road is and will always be the hangout and clubhouse for both Longboarders and skateboarders in Houston. Carve has a huge back yard which will be perfect to accommodate the crowds we expect in January for the Bayou Battle. Any given Sunday you can usually find Scotty grilling up his famous fajitas and skate videos playing on the big screen. We all have been trying to get Scotty to build a half pipe in the back but so far to no avail. Hey Scotty, if you’re reading this all we have to say is, PLEASE BUILD ONE!
Did you have a fun summer?
It was phenomenal. The scene is so vibrant down here in Texas and summers are always a blast. The Team hit the road and travelled to a ton of events and races around the U.S. & Canada. Team NoBull was involved in so many events this summer throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas – sponsoring events, throwing races, and racing. Our involvement with the NoCoast guys led by Kyle Ramsey of Team NoBull continued to intensify with some collabs.
The best part of the summer for me was travelling to Chicago and hitting up their garages. I was shown around by Tyler William, Joseph Kirasich & Marissa Olivia of Team NoBull. It was an absolute blast… and I thought we had some gnarly garages, holy shit Chicago garages are rad.
What events was Team Nobull involved in?
Team NoBull and its members are all about events, throwing them, travelling to them and competing in them. We were part of Talimena this year which is an epic fast downhill meetup. We co-hosted the Machado with Kyle Ramsey & the NoCoast guys which is an epic outlaw downhill race in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Gnarathon in Waco thrown by Ryan Richbourg was epic and lived up to its name. We even had an extreme buttboard race at an abandoned water park thrown by Bob Hoppes. Also this was the first year that the Patriot Race in Austin was legal. This annual event hosted by the Austin Longboard Club & Josh Davis is the premier summer event in Texas.
Our team travelled to all of the usual national events and we sponsored several events throughout the U.S. Of course Team NoBull’s roots are embedded in the garage scene here so there we lots of great outlaw races that our members Willie Graham, Micheal McDonald, Stephen Page and DJ Damen were involved in.
How did the Team do on the IDF circuit this year?
Several of our members raced the IDF circuit this year : Riley Harris, Stephen Dumaine and Anna O’Neill to name a few. Riley finished in the top 20 in IDF rankings and his best finish was 2nd place at Pikes Peak. Riley is one of our new members on the Team and rides for Landyachtz.
Speaking of Riley, he and Joshua Jake came to Texas to compete at the Patriot Race on Labor Day. Their performance at the race and their contagious stoke made them an instant part of the NoBull family.
We will definitely be having more of the Team competing in the IDF races next year. I look forward to attending Marc Dean’s events in Vermont (my home state).
“We are a Team in the sense that we all support each other and share a passion for skating. We are an unaffiliated, self-funded Team focused on fun.”
Your question I think deserves an explanatory answer. When people hear the word “Team” I think they get a vision of a professional organized corporate funded sports team… you know, a Team that travels in our own bus, rolls into a race with a strategy, lives hang in the balance whether we get podium or not or get in the top 50 year-end and is all “us against them”. That Is Not what the “Team” in Team Nobull is. We are a Team in the sense that we all support each other and share a passion for skating. We are an unaffiliated, self-funded Team focused on fun. We try to help the members pursue their skate dreams, fill in the gaps financially when we can. Yes we are all about racing and competing but we are more about having a good time and hanging with our homies, you know, the purer side of the sport, the community aspect. We will typically roll deep to events with a ton of us showing up, but to us, it’s about more than where we place. It’s about being the best we can and pushing the sport to new heights. When you see someone with a Team NoBull shirt on you know several things, they are an awesome skater, they are passionate about the sport, they are genuinely a great individual and they are an ambassador of the sport.
Any changes in the team?
We just recently completed our annual additions to the Team and it marked the largest and most diverse group of riders we have ever added. Beyond Joshua Jake & Riley Harris the new members of the Team are: Francis Cooper Darquea Mauro, Marissa Olivia, Freya Jardine, Daniel Jardine, Tyler William, Joseph Kirasich, Hunter Ruppert, Rolando Davila Jr., Remington Schofield, Amber Burger, Jeffrey Vyain, Garrett Grossman, Eric Roiz, Kacey Moon, Spencer Steelman, Joanna Bleedover, Eduardo Cordero and Kelechi Fletcher. Each and everyone of these was voted on by the Team. They all represent skill, stoke and are all truly longboarding ambassadors. We added members from around the country and Mexico as we continue to expand the family outside of Texas. We are most excited about the 5 women we have added to the team as we are supremely focussed on getting more women involved in the sport.
Stoked! Is Edu the first International addition to the team?
We love our Canadians! Eduardo is our first (not counting Canada) and we are so psyched to have him on board! As a Team we are really starting to look for riders from other countries, get beyond our Texas roots. He has been on our stoke radar for a while. Chris Cade shredded with him this past year in Mexico and couldn’t stop talking about his skills and stoke. He is our first international rider and we will be adding some more. We expect some great things out of Eduardo and of course expect to see him on a bunch of podiums.
When will you stop adding people to the team?
We won’t stop till every stoked filled shredder is wearing a Team NoBull shirt! I’m kidding of course..The Team will decide, it’s not my choice. Last year we added very few riders and this year we added a bunch. The Team nominates members once a year and everyone has input. It is not a “numbers” thing with us, it’s about a family of like minded shredders. Everyone that is on the Team has a bond and a similar passion for the sport. Naturally we have a lot of members that were involved early on but aren’t so much now because of their careers or life just happening – so we do have a turnover of involvement of sorts. We have a very strong core with a commitment to racing, throwing races and just having fun. Its important to us that when you’re a member you actually give back to not only the sport, but to the team. We all have things we do to contribute, Stephen Dumaine is our race bracket guru, Neal Roberts, & DJ Damen are amazing event organizers, Kristin Maxwell with The Southern Squeegee does shirts, Jay Cronin of Jay Cronin Designs does all of our graphics, Zac Sharp & Joey Specht typically man the Carve Van for skate trips, Erick Barrandey, Kyle Ramsey, Kameron Denman, Michelle Kitchens, Zachary Hooper & Katlyn Beachy and more do photography. An entire slew of the team members hosts key events and give back to the scene. I can honestly say that as a group we are all, each and every member, involved in the success of Team NoBull. I always get uncomfortable naming members cuz I know I’m gonna forget someone!
“It’s really important to me that everyone that’s a part of Team NoBull continues to carry on the tradition when I’m gone. Team NoBull will always be a family with or without me. When we started this we never expected it to become as big as it has.”
What are your personal plans with the Team going forward?
I just want to make sure it continues. It’s really important to me that everyone that’s a part of Team NoBull continues to carry on the tradition when I’m gone. Team NoBull will always be a family with or without me. When we started this we never expected it to become as big as it has. We never expected that we’d be able to have the legal races we have, travel together all around the country, make the connections in the industry or be able to get the exposure we’ve gotten. I find myself in a really uncomfortable position recently, you know, in interviews like this. When I say uncomfortable I mean Team NoBull isn’t about me. The team is about the community and all of our members. We have some amazing people that are a part of the team that never get mentioned or talked about. We have so many that are so involved and race at every race, spread stoke and give their all to pushing the scene. I could literally spend an entire interview calling out each and everyone of them individually for what they’ve done. Our love for the sport and its people have been our driving force in being involved. The Team has been a great vehicle for affecting change and getting more people skating. I have no personal plans for the Team besides continuing to support our skaters and find new ways to promote the sport. My main focus personally next year will be getting more kids & women skating, more safe races & supporting more legal garage races throughout the United States. I’d love to see a garage race series in 4-6 cities during the winter. We believe that the Bayou Battle Garage Race is just the start of something really big.
How will the next Bayou be different from last year’s?
The companies that came in this year to support the event really have made the difference. The Bayou Battle would not occur if it weren’t for the support of Carve Skateshop & Scotty Sheridan. Having a local skateshop be the headquarters and open their doors to the hundreds that are travelling to Texas is so huge. The best part of this event will be seeing everyone show up at Carve and hanging out there.
Landyachtz really was huge for our race this year. They came in as our Premier Sponsor and beyond providing gear, funding and the trophies they are also sending several of their riders. It has been so great coordinating with Billy Meiners on our race, their input and involvement assures a fantastic race this January and a bright future for our event. We are so stoked to have Anna O’Neill, Billy Meiners, Riley Harris, Stu Pettie, Troy Grenier and Edward Avina from Landyachtz all competing at the race. To have a true scene-centric company like Landyachtz come in and provide so much support to include sending their riders is awesome.
“We had over 200 skaters from around the country last year. This event is really not a Texas event but is an event which brings the scene together much like Maryhill does. The Bayou Battle is truly becoming a pilgrimage for the skate scenes.”
Last year was kind of a “proof of concept” race for us. It proved that we could pull it off and frankly that people would actually show up. We had over 200 skaters from around the country last year. This event is really not a Texas event but is an event which brings the scene together much like Maryhill does. The Bayou Battle is truly becoming a pilgrimage for the skate scenes. We are expecting a big turnout this year for two reasons, one being the success of last years event and the second being the fact that we are holding it the weekend before Cameron Frazier’s King Of Kona. We’ve already been contacted by multiple crews which will be hitting both events. Zac Sharp and the Carve Skateshop Van will be headed East to Kona following the Bayou Battle. An example of how this event cuts through geographical borders is we will be giving away Coast Medals to the winners thanks to Bricin and Maryhill Freeride passes to some of the participants thanks to Deano.
The biggest changes for this years event is the fact that we have secured the Hobby Center race garage for the entire day and night which will allow us to handle more riders and classes – such as a switch race, masters, groms and of course butt-board! It is truly a 3 day event this year – we have secured the largest skate park in the United States, North Houston Skatepark, for Friday and we have grown the LDP Race from 6 miles to 16 miles and it will be an IDSA sanctioned Push Race. The last event of the weekend will be the ditchjam at EZ-7 which will be hosted by Wheelbase (our event media partner) will be on Sunday January 10th. This year we will be incorporating food trucks, music, Yoga and lots of other additional eclectic stoke.
With the support and sponsorship of BoardLife out of Austin & Denver and the planning of Rachael Jordahl of Team NoBull the Bayou Battle will have a loft for lodging aptly named the BoardLife Loft for all of the women travelling to Texas. We expect female racers from all around the country and Canada We are so stoked to make the Bayou Battle one of the most attended races by women in the scene. Thanks as well to CheapCaribbean.com, we are awarding the winner of the women’s race a trip to the Dominican Republic with a guest plus airfare.
Oh and I have to mention the after party… it will be ridiculous.
This race could not be happening without the support of all of our sponsors, the huge support from Landyachtz, Jenni’s Noodle House, BoardLife, Carve Skateshop and all of the Team NoBull members. We really look forward to this being one of the premier skate events in the United States that incorporates both longboarding and skateboarding cuz lets face it it all is skating! We would ask that all your readers learn more about the event at the website www.bayoubattle.com
This sounds too good to miss!
If you miss it you’re blowing it.
What are you looking forward to most?
I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone to Houston Texas January 8 – 10 for the Bayou Battle.Personally I hope to get on the road next year and hit Maryhill, The Broadway Bomb and Marc Deans events in Vermont. I especially look forward to seeing the newest members of Team Nobull flourish and pursue their passion.
Thanks again for taking the time out for this! Happy new year and hopefully skate together soon!
Let’s make sure that happens bud.
Any last words?
Thanks to Team NoBull for all that they do in spreading the stoke and supporting the scene, my son Dawson for getting me skating and thank you Rachael Jordahl for being awesome!
This race could not be happening without the support of all of our sponsors, the huge support from Landyachtz, Jenni’s Noodle House, BoardLife, CheapCaribbean.com, Carve Skateshop and all of the Team NoBull members.