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Slacklining – First time tips

7 Aug

I’ve been seeing slack-lining everywhere lately and was always intrigued by it.  At the rock climbing gym I’ve been going to, they have all sorts of different balance and agility tests you can practice on and one of which is a slack line.  Let me be the first to tell you that this looks much easier than it actually is.  You will probably see someone twirling and walking back and forth on one right before you try which will give the illusion that this is a cake walk.  I’ve only attempted a few times now but in the times that I’ve tried, I have picked up some important tips.

1. The wider the slack line, the easier to balance.  There are different variation in width and the wider the line, the easier to start out.

2.  Starting near the ends of the line is easier than the middle.  The line is more taught on the ends and you will feel more stable.  However be careful when you fall near the sides as you will be very close to the supports.

(Brie picked this up pretty quickly!)

3.  Commitment is half the battle.  Once you have stably placed your foot on the line, try to stand up quickly.  This way the rope doesn’t have as much time to toggle.

(Daniel)

4.  It’s easier to get the feel for the slack line if someone sits on one side of the line.  I know this may technically be “cheating” but it can be scary when you first try.  This allows you to get the feeling of the balance you are going to need.

(Tuckey helping stabilize the line)

5.  Starting straight forward is the way to go.  I would not suggest jumping on perpendicular to the line.

(Moss demonstrating the correct way)

(Me demonstrating the wrong way HA!)

6.  Once you get comfortable with the feel of the balance (which you should always start with your dominant foot/leg), try starting and balancing on your other foot/leg so that when you want to start walking along the line there will be no surprises in balance.  They are both pretty different to get the feel for.

(Tuckey)

7. Have fun with it!  Brie’s friend Daniel had the slack line which can be set up anywhere there are sturdy posts so we just set it up in the park overlooking some of the lake and just played around with it.  The more you try, the easier it becomes.  It’s an interesting activity but provides a lot of entertainment!  We all kinds of random things we were trying for fun like 2 people on at the same time, etc.

 Dog friendly of course 🙂

At the end of the day, we took down the set up and headed home.  It’s one of those work outs you don’t realize you are getting at the time but I slept so great that night.

Slack lining is the ultimate mind and body balance challenge.  It is the ultimate yoga and if you can conquer this, you are demonstrating immense discipline and balance.   The following video is slacklining at it’s finest and craziest.  I believe I first saw this video on Transmission’s blog here but now have an entire new feeling about the video.  Slacklining is an entire new extreme and this video is AWESOME!

Lean into it – Moto GP at Laguna Seca

2 Aug

This past weekend in Monterey was one of the largest motorcycle races of the year, the Moto Grand Prix.  Some friends invited to me to come down and hang out, so of course you know I would not be missing hang time with some of my good friends and something thrilling.  I have to say, this was extremely exciting to be watching in person.  The bikes move so fast and the riders are practically half way off their bikes the entire time.  It’s hard to catch the detail when they are moving so fast but we cruised around to all different parts of the track to really experience the event.

First things first.

People were scattered all around the 2+ mile track.

With Lacey and Shannon watching the bikes zoom around in record time.

The world famous corkscrew!  This is also one of the most dangerous parts of the track.

The riders tilt their motorcycles sideways practically.

Close grid of racers.  You can see here how they lean to get through the top curve of the corkscrew.

Bottom curve of the corkscrew.

Knee to the ground.

Helicopters were constantly circling the track trying to keep up with the motorcycles.

This gives you a little more perspective.

Spectators.  They’ve got a great view!

Standings.

There were a few motorcycle spectators at MotoGP.

MotoGP at Laguna Seca was an awesome event and I have now I have an idea of how exciting motorcycle races can be.  I’ve now seen maybe car races but I’d never seen Moto so this was a thrilling experience!

What’s your favorite kind of racing??

Weekends are for fun

30 Jul

This past week/weekend were a string of events based around spending time with a friend who is moving from Northern California to Southern California.  We had a group dinner and also went down to Laguna Seca for a weekends worth of fun.  I also tried to squeeze in some decompressing time and I have some more photos from my DSLR of the past events to share this week.  Until then, here’s a few iPhone photos.

Being silly at Lacey’s dinner send off in North Beach.

I’ve been checking out rock climbing/bouldering and I really enjoy it.  It’s like figuring out a puzzle and getting a work out, what more could you ask for? 🙂

We went to Laguna Seca for the Moto GP this weekend and it was AWESOME.  I have some photos to share from that.  The bikes fly around the course.

With Nicky Hayden in the Oakley Lab.

The good stuff!  I’ll be sharing more action photos some time this week 😀


X-Games VERT!

9 Jul

Massive.

Jamie Bestwick was majorly impressive and made it look effortless.

A few spills but everyone was OK.

HUGE.

Medal Ceremony.
Gold – Jamie Bestwick, Silver – Vince Byron, Bronze – Simon Tabron.

The elevated balconies in the middle is where I got all my shots from.  Media access is AMAZING.  Talk about incredible views all around.

Park Warriors

6 Jul

I thought I’d add some of my Park photos to kick off the weekend.  Also, some photos of the actual event and what it looked like.  It was overwhelming in one of the best ways possible.  I felt like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve.  I couldn’t help but want to see everything.

The X Games was massive.  They completely took over the streets of downtown LA and slathered them with action.  Here’s just one entrance.

There were blimps, airplanes and helicopters constantly flying overhead.

The Hot Wheels Loop!!  One of the coolest things ever.

Also, one of the most dangerous stunts.  Seeing the concept of little action toys brought to life.

There were features everywhere for little kids to play on as well.  Here’s a balance inflatable structure where kids were competing to see who could stay on their skateboard deck the longest.

The Rob Dyrdek Street League larger than life skateboard!  I personally LOVE fantasy factory and this skateboard was massive.

Another awesome area of the X Games was the park.  They held contests here for BMX and Skate.  This course was more amusing in the sense that because there were bowls and dips everywhere, the athletes seemed to just have one long run as opposed to 5-10 different lines of tricks.

Some shots I looked at after the contest and just thought, you would never know this athlete made if back on the bike but he did.  It’s incredible the extension they can pull off with such little air time.

There’s Pete and Zack – I was there with them shooting photos while they shot episodes for their CW TV show B-Sides.  They interviewed all major athletes and showed me the ropes around X Games as they’ve been a few times.  They were the ones awarding me the amazing opportunity to go shoot some photos.

About to kick off Skate Park.

Hand plants.

Andy MacDonald.  Veterans throwing down.

Shadows!

Little skater, big air.

Style for days.  Ben Raybourn was one of my favorites.  He had awesome flare and he was always pushing the limits on the tricks he was going for or trying something different than the other skaters.

Gap.

Pedro.

BMX Park standings: Gold – Scotty Cranmer, Silver – Ryan Nyquist, and Bronze – Pat Casey.

Skateboard Park standings: Gold – Pedro Barros, Silver – Ben Hatchell, and Bronze – Rune Glifberg.

I still have so many more photos to share.  We haven’t even gotten into the indoor events so I hope you’re not bored yet 🙂 Happy Friday and I hope you have a great weekend!

Sky high

5 Jul

One of my favorite events to watch/shoot at the summer X Games was the Big Air BMX contest.  I unfortunately missed the Big Air Skate contest which I’m sure was just as cool but there was nothing like standing at the top of the Mega Ramp watching these athletes fly so high into the sky.  These are some of my absolute favorite pictures from the weekend.

The lighting and shadows were awesome during practice.

The landing of the big air before the mega ramp.

Helicopters filming as well as all the ground coverage.

I got to shoot some photos from right under these guys behind those Geico signs.  The shots are unreal as you are about to see.  Such a surreal, incredible experience.

The under side of the ramp!

Huge.

Top of the Mega Ramp.

My favorites.

Doubles!

Successful.

The magnitude of the height of these tricks in person is unbelievable.

Dropping!  That has to be the craziest feeling.

Upside down.

Above the crowds.

The riders were all flying.  I saw some MAJOR spills and the sound of the rider hitting the ramp is terrifyingly loud.  Luckily, everyone made it out OK but what a thrill to watch.  Truly a dream come true to stand at the top of the Mega Ramp and watch it all go down 😀

Taking gold was Steve McCann, silver was Zack Warden, and bronze was taken by Kevin Robinson.

Gaps, Ollies and Hips – Getting up to throw down for the gold at X Games

3 Jul

This past weekend at the LA Summer X Games the top athletes from all over the world were stepping up to claim medals in a wide variety of events.  I cannot tell you how grateful I was for the chance to snap photos of these events.  I took so many photos and choosing some of my favorite shots was definitely hard to do!  I’m going to share Skateboarding Street Finals first.  These guys were going trick for trick trying to land a run and then stepping it up on the next run.

Clearing the entire picnic table.

Huge.

Chris Cole.

Paul Rodriquez.

Ryan Sheckler.  Crowd favorite for sure.

In the end it came down to Paul Rodriguez and Ryan Sheckler.  P-Rod took the Gold, Sheckler took Silver, and Nyjah Huston took Bronze.  I’ll fill in all of the skaters names tonight when I’m done playing catch up!

Everything is right about getting extreme in the summertime

2 Jul

I had the pleasure of shooting the summer X-games this weekend in LA.  Talk about a dream come true.  I cannot wait to share all of my photos and stories with you this week 😀  Until I upload the DSLR shots, here’s a photo re-cap from my iPhone photos.  Enjoy!

Big Air!

Vert!

Street skate and bmx course.

Rally pits!

Staples Center for Moto!

Finals on Vert

Where all the press conferences were held for all podium athletes.  So interesting to hear them answer any and all questions.

Hot Wheels loop!

BMX Big Air from the top of the ramp side.  Un-real view.  I can’t wait to share these photos.

Skate and BMX bowls.

This was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had as a photographer and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.  I can’t wait to share all of the photos that I took of these talented athletes!

I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless and in this moment I am happy

11 Jun

Where to start with this one…  A few months ago I had a friend ask me if I wanted to go skydiving for her birthday.  This is something that I’ve always wanted to do but never really had anyone around me ready to pull the trigger on actually going (except my brother but he’s been all over the world and we haven’t had the chance to go together).  This time around my friend was asking me because there was a Groupon and when I “accidentally” missed the deadline on buying it a few months back, I instantly regretted not getting it.  Little did I know, this is peak season for skydiving and she couldn’t get her reservation until this past weekend.  On top of that, one of the girls had to bail because of a recent small medical issue.  This is where it all swings back to me.  I was offered her Groupon less than 24 hours before our “jump.”  For me, this wasn’t enough time for my mind to mentally prepare myself for what I was getting into but knowing that I had two friends going who were just as scared was a major relief.

Of course your mind floods with all of the terrible thoughts you can only think before you go defy death and that youtube of that poor 80 year old woman that slipped partially out of her harness replays over and over in your head but as soon as we got there, those thoughts all seem to become more and more distant.  The hardest part for me was that I would be jumping without my friends in the plane because they didn’t have room for all of us in their tiny planes.  They had a few different planes just hot lapping basically as the different jumping groups came throughout the day.  That was one of the most exciting parts, seeing the people landing and how happy they were.  I knew I had made the right decision.

With all of this being said, on this major adventure I had my guide jumper and a photographer with me on my journey.  I jumped at Nor Cal Sky Dive in Cloverdale, CA (pretty much Napa/wine country area).  We used a GoPro which as always are the best option for anything high speed.  All photos below were shot with a GoPro.  Enjoy!

I met my guide, Tyler, and he just told me to follow him.  At this point I didn’t realize we were about to take off.  No real instruction, just follow the man my life was in the hands of.

The photographer, Josh, did such a great job.  He was there every step of the way.

Tyler give me the low down.

This is when it started to get real.  He was explaining how we were going to have to climb out on the wing a bit…  Also, I didn’t even get to say goodbye to my friends!  I didn’t know we were actually leaving haha but that was probably for the best : )

Taking my instructions very seriously at this point.

There’s Josh, I don’t know how he stays so steady but he’s truly a bird of flight.

Loading up.

Just trying to talk it out while we take flight.

He was very reassuring, thank god!

Starting to climb above 9,000ft.

Telling me how it’s all going to happen.

Checking the altitude.

Getting connected to Tyler.  This was reassuring because I could feel the harness tightening which is exactly what you want to feel at this moment.  However, I’m looking out thinking holy $#@! this is really high but beautiful at the same time.

At this point, when the door opened I was terrified!  But also beyond curious.

This is what it looks like to be over 9,000 ft above the earth.

Pretty surreal.

Birds eye view.

Josh climbing out of the plane.

Realizing this is really happening.

Trying to stabilize in the winds up there is so hard!  You also have the heavy hum of the propellers in your ears.

At this point, I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing just a little bit.

Most people say the jump is the best part for all the views.  I just didn’t even want to see the moment I jumped.  I closed my eyes and let him gently guide me out of the plane.

Free fallin’

You know those dreams where you are falling?  That’s what the initial fall from the plane felt like and then as soon as our bodies stabilized, the feeling was indescribable.  One of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced.  It was also incredibly quiet.  I couldn’t believe it.  I just had my eyes wide open and couldn’t help the HUGE smile on my face.

Above the world.  I don’t have to wonder what it would feel like to fly anymore 🙂

I don’t know how he did it but Josh caught up to us and as we were free falling we were just all sharing this moment of awesome-ness.

What it feels like to go 120 mph with no machinery.  All free fall.

Deploying the chute!

All of the sudden, you are just halted as the chute starts to expand to catch your weightless bodies.

At this point, you really start to enjoy the views as everything starts to slow down.

Another favorite part of this experience for me was turning once the chute has deployed.  It’s one of the coolest feelings to just be swooshed from side to side in the completely quiet skies.  It’s like you’re a feather flowing from side to side all the way back to earth.

Getting ready for landing.

And just like that, I was back on the ground again.  Like nothing had happened.  Except, everything had happened.

I literally could not stop laughing and smiling.  I couldn’t even fathom what had just happened.  I had just gotten one of the most amazing tours of Northern California a person could ever experience.

Feet on ground.

I can’t even explain what this felt like.  However, I can say that I would have been very sad had I not ever done this knowing now how amazing it is.

We also took a few iPhone photos of each other and I thought I’d share those as well 🙂  Below are personal photos.

Gearing up!

Candace gearing up!

Candace coming down!  Since I jumped first, I got to watch them come down 🙂

Both of them floating in.

Sam and her jumper.

Candace and her jumper.

The three of us bonding over this insane moment we shared.

Post jump lunch at one of the most amazing BBQ restaurants in Cloverdale.

Every kind of meat you could ever want.  I mean after all, we deserved it!

What a fun way to end a life changing adventure.  There was nothing notable from the rest of the weekend that could top my Saturday’s event so for the rest of the weekend I just relaxed and reveled in all my dare-devil glory.  After all, doing the scariest things often lead to the most satisfaction.  Not to mention, I never in a million years thought I’d ever say… I’d do it again 🙂

Happy Monday everybody!