This thread is for those of us interested in growing the ESK8 Racing Scene! As the President of RipTide Sports, Inc., I am deeply involved with many aspects of racing skateboards. ESK8 Racing represents some unique challenges that need to be addressed so that it can grow so I will list what I see holding the sport back and I invite you all to add to these challenges in the hope we will find ways to overcome them.
ESK8 Racing includes but is not restricted to on road and offroad track racing, hill climbs, endurance events, stage rallies, drag racing, dual slalom, downhill and cross country disciplines.
1: Replaceable battery modules: Rack mounted battery modules that lock in place and can be easily removed and replaced during an event. Recharging your board at an event is slow and dangerous if pushed too hard. You spend more time recharging than you do competing. A solution for this will make hillclimbs, endurance events and many other events a reality.
2: Bulletproof electronics: There are three principles of Systems design in reliability engineering which can help achieve high availability.
A. Elimination of single points of failure. This means adding redundancy to the system so that failure of a component does not mean failure of the entire system.
B. Reliable crossover. In redundant systems, the crossover point itself tends to become a single point of failure. Reliable systems must provide for reliable crossover.
C. Detection of failures as they occur. If the two principles above are observed, then a user may never see a failure – but the maintenance activity must.
3: Wireless security to eliminate any cross control or hacking of RC signal to prevent cheating (this may already exist but I am not aware of it).
A simple way to classify race classes, my thought here is weight classes. If you want to race against a heavier class, you must add ballast. Restricting the electronics to level the playing field will lead to cheating and also retards the development of faster and faster setups. With weight classes, you weigh in at the start and weigh out at the finish and you are done.
In my world, ESK8 racing is just waiting to happen and we all need to up our game to make it a reality.
I think we need more events in more places of the globe and naturally it will grow more. I love seeing all the uphill races piggybacking off DH events and think it’s a great way to go.
Funnily enough I’ve never really raced esk8 despite a few opportunities to do so. It’s always hard because most of them are a ways away from me and that really restricts what I can attend and I think that’s one of the big reasons it’s not growing faster. Heck, I’m pretty close to the west coast ones and still haven’t gone to many near me because it’d be a longer drive than I’m comfortable with.
SF does this twice every year with single gear bikes and fixies, for more than 20 years. In fact Alleycat races are the largest “official” non city-recognized race events. They’re crazier than any others around. Regular skaters take over the entirety of the surrounding area of Dolores Park and do illegal hillbombs the entire day long in traffic, every year on 7/11. Tons of races get run in the city every year. I understand the concern, but this event is fairly tame compared to the other stuff that’s going on here.
We eskaters in SF wanna establish our own tradition. This year the race is fairly small as we’re just getting started. Many of the sponsoring companies are SF born and bred and know the risks as have been explained to them fully. We will learn and grow every year as things get figured out and the sport catches on. Eventually I hope it becomes something big.
SF is the Monte Carlo of Esk8, it’s an endurance race that we do almost every weekend. You won’t find another US city with as many variable road conditions, shitty drivers and just plain transient crazies who want to stab you with broken kombucha bottles. Racing is not just about going fast on a closed track, it’s skill and strategy and you’ll need plenty of both in SF. Nascar started with drunk hillbillies and dirt tracks, formula Esk8 starts in the street with working class psychos.
Tons of grip is already available, perhaps not with urethane except perhaps @hummieee but @MoeStooge race wheels as well as the new 3x6 Six Shooters from @Psychotiller and other pneumatics, grip is beyond what most people can ride