Face The Forbinator!
Come up with 10,000 dollars, get a crew of big-ups skateboarders to step in the arena, then make ’em battle for the world-record highest ollie. That’s a damn good idea, and Element made it happen with the Face The Forbinator Ollie Challenge on February 5-6 in Long Beach, California. Oh yeah, let’s talk shop.
The Element team rigged up a familiar sight to start the show¿one of those 33-inch-tall concrete “Jersey” road barriers. Those things are scary, if you come up short the barrier wins. The height was raised by means of one inch increments with some stackable square metal rods. With just three metal rods on top it stood at an even three feet and looked plenty hefty.
Skaters had to use their superior pop to ollie over the barrier without knocking down any of the bars. You could hit a bar and it would still count as long as the bar didn’t fall. The roll-away rule was in effect, too¿no hands down or foot-drag tactics allowed in this piece. Skaters had three chances to make it, and the height kept increasing until only five remained.
There were rumors of all sorts of people training for this event. Someone said they saw the Forbinator running up hills in San Francisco pushing school buses. Other unconfirmed stories included skaters running with ankle weights and walking around in those funny looking angled shoes basketball players use to increase their vertical jump. For ten Gs people were taking it seriously.
All sorts of people had the skills to clack over the big bad barrier, but a few people were letting it be known they were in it to win it. Some were even using new high-tech equipment, like Tim O’Connor, a.k.a. The Tim. He figured he needed a more lightweight aerodynamic outfit, and Spandex wouldn’t cut it, so he skated in just his boxer shorts. Tim’s outfit almost worked for him, but Brian Young and Stacy Lowery qualified ahead of him. One person that caught me off gaurd was Rob Gonzalez; the Long Beach local can pop like crazy, and he qualified rather easily.
Then there was Mr. Pop-A-Lot, a.k.a. Danny Wainwright. Sheesh, that boy’s got more pop than a fireworks stand. He half-Cabbed the barrier to warm up and would backside shifty ollie it for bonus steez points. But don’t count out the Canadians: Jake Stewart really stacked ’em up and had the snap to roll right into the finals. For all these guys to make the cut, they had to clear 38 inches. Reese Forbes automatically made the final because it was his turf, and Reese could’ve popped over that “puny” qaulifying height in his sleep. The finals were set for the next day, and the side bets were in effect.
Come time to get down, or up rather, people were amped and the crowd battled for positions to see the action up close. All the skaters were warming up except for Wainwright. Where was he? Some heads (me) had cash on Danny, so they started to get scared. But Danny showed up about three minutes before the action started and cleared the 39 with ease. One thing that all the skaters had going for them is they didn’t hesitate. When their name was called, they just charged and clacked over the beast. “Don’t think about it, just do it.”
Everyone snapped over rather easily until the 40 inch range. That’s when the crew started to get phased out. Brian Young was so close to clearing it but the bar fell down. Stacey Lowery’s smooth style and pop almost got him over the 43-inch road block. Jake Stewart was going for broke though! That kid was giving it his all; he snapped over cleanly but just couldn’t ride it out. Rob G skated fast and had a dope little side turn ollie technique going on, but he just couldn’t ride away from the barrier. So you know who that means¿ Reese “The Forbinator” versus Danny “The Ollie Pistol From Bristol” Wainwright.
Forbes Versus Wainwright
To tell you the truth, Forbes and Wainwright looked the best, and most people had them ppicked to go at it. It was crazy seeing these guys clearing everything first try. Their names were called and boom! They just ollied like it was nothing. Once Reese was down to his final try to clear 44 inches, he just threw it over without thinking twice, and the crowd was going nuts. The Element crew raised the bars to 45 inches, and it got a little crazy. These guys were not only popping up like mad, they were sucking up their legs to the point where their knees were right by their heads. Both Wainwright and Reese cleared it and rolled away, but the bar fell down from slight taps on the way over.
Luckily the Element crew was ready for this, and lowered the bars to 44.5 inches and gave a total of nine tries to try and make it. Now Reese and Danny were just alternating and ollieing right after each other. After about the sixth try Danny snapped off a mean one, sucked it up, and rolled away to the crowd going bonkers. Now the pressure was on the Forbinator. Clack! Over and rolling away, but the bar fell off. Clack! Over but couldn’t roll away. Clack! Almost over! Ahhhhhh! Danny Wainright took the world record at 44.5 inches. Danny rolled away Ten Gs heavier, courtesy of the Element team, and Reese got five Gs thrown in from Quiksilver. Congratulations guys, let’s get a rematch next year!¿Shad