SkaterCross 2003

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SkaterCross 11/03

Pro skateboarders Salman Agah and Steve Caballero have been riding dirt bikes together for some time now. With Steve living in NorCal and Salman in So Cal, they seldom get to put all the trash talking to the test. Thus an event entitled, SkaterCross, was developed. Pro Moto racers and Pro skateboarders converged for three days of dirt, mud, and transition. I’ve been told that many skaters ride MX, and I wondered if all these claimers were going to show. I was also curious to see how the moto guys would fare on a skateboard compared to the skateboarders on dirt bikes.

On Friday November 14, well over 30 people gathered at Perris Raceway for the first day of SkaterCross. I arrived later in the afternoon, so I wasn’t sure who was who. I brought my YZ250F (which I haven’t ridden in 8 months), and I hoped someone there had comparable skills to that of mine. As I walked trackside to find everyone, I noticed how fast everyone was riding. It was insane fast! It all made sense when I was told the names of the Pro Moto riders that were out there: Mike LaRocco, Nick Wey, Sebastian Tortelli, and Steve Boniface. I know these names probably aren’t too familiar with most of the skateboarders reading this, but I’d compare it to skating with some top Pro skaters for the first time. And speaking of the skaters, Salman Agah, Steve Caballero, Wade Speyer, Dave Metty, Anthony Furlong, Jason Ellis, Brian Patch were all there riding.

It was cool to see the comradery between everyone. I noticed that after a few laps everyone would pull off the track and talk. The Moto pros’ were giving key advice to the skaters to help increase their lap times and then they’d all go back out to see if the advice helped. I believe there was a mutual respect for each other out there.

Later that night, everyone went the Vans park at The Block for the skateboarding portion of SkaterCross. The same comradery showed, but this time it was the skaters helping the Moto pros. Mini ramp king, Nick Wey, was getting advice from everyone and rippin it (sort of)! Mike LaRocco brought his family along and enjoyed watching the vert session that went down. I’m pretty sure that no one expecting to see Mike skate. We were all just amped that he showed up.

The vert deck was full. I believe that there were more camera people than skaters. The session was a good one though. Cab, Salman, Anthony Furlong, Wade Speyer, Brian Patch, and Dave Metty all skated well. Patch moved over to the Combi and annihilated it with his smooth/fast style. I believe he was the last one to leave, and the last one to leave the track the next day as well. I guess that’s why he rips.

I’ve been riding for close to five years now, and when asked about it, I’ve always compared it to skateboarding. In the sense that it’s just you and the bike, like you and the board. The desire for progression is there, along with the feeling you get when you finally ride away from something clean, and everyone who skates knows that feeling. It’s mentally challenging just as skateboarding is. Your body has to go through many motions at once, and staying focused all the way through is key. There is no room for slack! Especially when you’re travelling 75ft. through the air or grinding/flipping down a 12 stair.

So, who’s faster, Cab or Salman? Who talks more shit? Which is gnarlier, skating or Moto? And why do Cab and Salman both get free bikes? I asked Salman all these questions and more. Read his interview below to find out all the answers.

Salman Agah Interview :

What prompted the idea of organizing and holding the SkaterCross event?

What prompted the idea of organizing and holding a skatercross event was simply Steve Caballero and my desire to hang out together and ride together. Over the years Steve and I have developed a close friendship and shared a lot of the same interests and riding dirt bikes is just one of them. Because I live down here in Huington and he lives in SJ, we don’t get a lot of time to hang out,so we put some dates up on the calendar. With Steve’s natural ability to promote what he’s into and doing it just naturally turned into SkaterCross.

Who all showed?

I’m sure that I’m going to leave people out because I was on the track the whole time!! Sorry! But here is a list. Surprise! Pat Shutte, Nick Wey, Mike LaRocco, Steve Caballero, Jason Ellis, Wade Speyer, Anthony Furlong, Brian Patch, Chad Shetler, Shrugy, Dave Metty and his mom, Keith Divirgilio, Libor Janicek, Larry Smith, Eric Magnuson, Scotty Greathouse, Geoffrey Shenk, Chris and Nate, Andy Jenkins, Ray Dillon, Mike Healy, Kenny Miller, Todd Hicks, Malcolm McCassy, Jason and Andy from Fineline Suspension, Kevin and Dave from Fasst Co., TWS Motocross magazine. Simon Cudby from RacerX Moto Magazine, Shanna Bridges and crew from Fox Sports 54321, Myself and Eddie Gravline from MotoPress.net and Ryan Boothe from MotoOne RaceShop in Fresno Ca.

Who were you threatened by? Like, who was the one person you did not want to pass you (if any)?

I really wasn’t threatened by anyone all weekend. I ride a lot and with all of the shit talking that all of the guys from Nor Cal were dishing out I rode even harder to prove the point that I’m the fastest skateboarder. Haha. Keith was the only one that I really thought about wanting to be faster than. I still think that he is faster, but I can definitely ride more laps! Cab really rode good to considering what type of terrain they have up north. I know that being able to skate good really helps to ride good and it shows when Cab is on the bike. He is just as smooth on the bike as he is when he’s skating.

There was a good vibe all weekend between everyone, do you think there is a mutual respect of sorts between skateboarders and motocross riders?

In talking to the Pro Moto Racers I know for a fact that there is mutual respect. They know how hard skateboarding is and they respect the fact that we can skate on the level that we do. We know how hard it is to get fast on a bike and respect what the pros are doing in races and practice. So I know for a fact that there is respect. Nick Wey and Larocco even came out to the Vans Skatepark at the Block in Orange to watch and skate with us. I was coaching Nick a little on the half pipe. I do have to say I think that it would be easier for a skater to learn to moto than it would be for a racer to learn to skate!

How long have you been riding MX and how would you compare it to skateboarding?

I’ve been riding MX for about 7 years now and it is really different than skateboarding. The things that are similar are carrying your momentum much like you do on a skateboard and the technical aspect of doing a combination of things at once. For instance in skateboarding you have to think about your body position. The same in moto, your speed, same in moto, flipping your board which inmoto relates to braking or feathering the clutch for speed. Carving on a skateboard is much like railing a burm on the bike. As far as the physical side of both sports, I think that MotoCross can be a little bit more cardio oriented and skateboarding isn’t unless you skate vert.

How often do you and Cab ride together and who’s faster?

Between you and me. Cab and I are pretty much at the same level. I have an advantage here down in So Cal because there are so many good tracks to ride and I ride them all the time. However, I know that if I were to go trail riding at Hollister with Cab and his cronies, I’d get left in the dust. So it all depends on the terrain. Now If I was talking to Cab, he ain’t goin to hear nothin, “But I’ll smoke you foo!

Motocross is pretty damn gnarly, has your worst fall been on a dirt bike or on a skateboard? Explain.

I’ve taken some pretty good spills both skating and on MX. I’d have to say that my worst fall was on my dirt bike. Here’s why. I blew up my motor over a 70ft double that threw you up about 25 feet in the air. So think about it. As I left the face of the take off my back tire locked and it sent me over the bars in an endo and I went kart wheeling down the track end over end about 5 times or so. And when it was all said and done, I had severely bruised ribs, a hurt lower back, a loose collar bone, a severely bruised femur, and my wrist was very sore. I was out of commission for over 6 months, maybe close to a year. Not only that, mysponsors all questioned whether or not they should sponsor me anymore! When you get hurt skating it is usually one thing, not many, that get hurt. Hence my broken left hand that wore a cast for close to 4 years!

What’s the deal with Kawasaki giving you a free bike?

Well I don’t get bikes from Kawasaki that is false. I do however get bikes from Clawson Motorsports up in Fresno and it is their Race Support Program that I’m on. Basically the way it works is that I get a bike and I have to pay tax and registration on it. When I’m done with the bike I can sell it or buy it for cost and then get a new one. So essentially, I pay a few hundred dollars for a bike and the best part about it is that through the Syndicate, which is a team that I’m on, I get all the trick parts for my bike from companies like MotoOne RaceShop in Fresno, Works Connection, Pro Circuit, Dunlop, and Moto XXX. I’m also hooked up with Fox Racing which has been down since day one to help out with gear and clothes (they make the best denim)!, Alpine Stars, and Fasst Co. handle bars, which are the best bars on the market and you’ll never get arm-pumpagain!!

What was your personal highlight of the weekend?

Being able to ride with Nick Wey and Mike LaRocco!!

My personal highlight of the weekend is hard to pinpoint. I’m very thankful for all of the sponsors that got behind (SKATERCROSS) and everyone that came out to support our event. That includes Pat Shutte, Steve Caballero, Steve Van Doren from (Vans shoes), Mike LaRocco, Nick Wey, The Syndicate (Eddie Gravline), MotoOne Raceshop (Ryan Boothe), Clawson Motorsports (Darlene Kawasaki),Fineline Suspension (Tom & Ginger, Jason and Andy), Pro Circuit (Travis), Works Connection (Andrew), Bloodshot Eyewear (Kenny Miller), Bell Helmets (Toshi), Fox Racing (John and Todd), Alpine Stars (Malcolm McCassey), MotoXXX (Jordan Burns), Honda, Renthal, Powell, Sessions, Black Label Skateboards, Bones, Dragon, Onshore Boardshop and Derrick Shaw for printing all of the T-Shirts you rock!! all of the NorCal Heads, SKATERADE(functional refreshment) Me, Scott Weber and Brian Childers).

When will Skaterade be available?

Skaterade will be available late spring early summer 2004! Just in time for Summer.

Thanks again to everyone that came out and helped to make it a success. I hope that more people can make it out next year!

>

Hope you all have a happy thanksgiving and see you soon!
Kindest regards, Salman

The future is now-—Join the revolution
www.skaterade.com

n my dirt bike. Here’s why. I blew up my motor over a 70ft double that threw you up about 25 feet in the air. So think about it. As I left the face of the take off my back tire locked and it sent me over the bars in an endo and I went kart wheeling down the track end over end about 5 times or so. And when it was all said and done, I had severely bruised ribs, a hurt lower back, a loose collar bone, a severely bruised femur, and my wrist was very sore. I was out of commission for over 6 months, maybe close to a year. Not only that, mysponsors all questioned whether or not they should sponsor me anymore! When you get hurt skating it is usually one thing, not many, that get hurt. Hence my broken left hand that wore a cast for close to 4 years!

What’s the deal with Kawasaki giving you a free bike?

Well I don’t get bikes from Kawasaki that is false. I do however get bikes from Clawson Motorsports up in Fresno and it is their Race Support Program that I’m on. Basically the way it works is that I get a bike and I have to pay tax and registration on it. When I’m done with the bike I can sell it or buy it for cost and then get a new one. So essentially, I pay a few hundred dollars for a bike and the best part about it is that through the Syndicate, which is a team that I’m on, I get all the trick parts for my bike from companies like MotoOne RaceShop in Fresno, Works Connection, Pro Circuit, Dunlop, and Moto XXX. I’m also hooked up with Fox Racing which has been down since day one to help out with gear and clothes (they make the best denim)!, Alpine Stars, and Fasst Co. handle bars, which are the best bars on the market and you’ll never get arm-pumpagain!!

What was your personal highlight of the weekend?

Being able to ride with Nick Wey and Mike LaRocco!!

My personal highlight of the weekend is hard to pinpoint. I’m very thankful for all of the sponsors that got behind (SKATERCROSS) and everyone that came out to support our event. That includes Pat Shutte, Steve Caballero, Steve Van Doren from (Vans shoes), Mike LaRocco, Nick Wey, The Syndicate (Eddie Gravline), MotoOne Raceshop (Ryan Boothe), Clawson Motorsports (Darlene Kawasaki),Fineline Suspension (Tom & Ginger, Jason and Andy), Pro Circuit (Travis), Works Connection (Andrew), Bloodshot Eyewear (Kenny Miller), Bell Helmets (Toshi), Fox Racing (John and Todd), Alpine Stars (Malcolm McCassey), MotoXXX (Jordan Burns), Honda, Renthal, Powell, Sessions, Black Label Skateboards, Bones, Dragon, Onshore Boardshop and Derrick Shaw for printing all of the T-Shirts you rock!! all of the NorCal Heads, SKATERADE(functional refreshment) Me, Scott Weber and Brian Childers).

When will Skaterade be available?

Skaterade will be available late spring early summer 2004! Just in time for Summer.

Thanks again to everyone that came out and helped to make it a success. I hope that more people can make it out next year!

>

Hope you all have a happy thanksgiving and see you soon!
Kindest regards, Salman

The future is now-—Join the revolution
www.skaterade.com