Birthday Buttboarding Bash, California May 19th 2002

Reported by Darren Lott. Photos by Kent Kochheiser.

I awoke on my 41st birthday to the sound of pouring rain. In fact, almost all Southern California was wet and drizzley. As an act of faith (and because no one called to cancel) Arlene, Kent and I slogged out to the Cheese Grater. As we drove above the cloud layer, I got my first and best present: "A Nice Day."

The initial idea was to have a Buttboard only practice session. Everyone seemed up for my notion of making each run unique, with a "kid's party" theme.

We were all there to have as much fun as possible.

Pat Moody brought "the Beast" which dutifully hauled all the riders up for each run. Even Biker showed up; although he stayed in the truck all day.

The first race was called "Washington Start."

Everyone had to run for their boards. A bit of good natured jostling ensued in the crowded outside lanes (ie Pickens cheated).

Jeremy Kahn was the youngest and spriest of the group. He figured anything that involved a mad dash for the boards was going to be all about him. He was, unfortunately, a little "too amped" and nosed his board right at the start.

The cross trainers (part time standup guys) had an advantage with a run, ride, roll and sit later start. I made a daring attempt to join them, but good sense overwhelmed me and I was forced to stop, sit down and then paddle. The worst strategy. Almost...

The group was quickly separated by varying success with start technique.

Oh. One more rule. You have to ride SITTING UP the entire race. Bend forward if you like, but no leaning back. Doing the first race as a sit race added to the fun.

Everyone had a BLAST,

Except Kahn. Who spend the first part of the race searching the weeds for his board after accidentally kicking it down the track. Pretty spry.

Pat Moody had a huge lead and continued to outdistance the other racers. Then he figured out why. He was the only one laying down. Oops!

First across the line (sitting up) was John Rogers, followed by brother Dave and then Birthday Boy in his only podium appearance for the day.

The next event was "Australian Rules."

The riders who finished last previously, had front placement and visa-versa. Except Pat Moody, who's DQ put him in the very very back of all the riders. Mr. Kahn had a place of honor.

Oh. One more rule. You have to ride with the board facing backward. Pointy end forward. Yeah, the wrong way.

I had a great start, leading the pack into the first turn about 40 mph. Then HUGE WOBBLES. Tank slappers. Scared everyone behind me. Almost came off. Twice, later down the track, I did come off at speed! (Patching leathers today before Scotland.)

Brent took over the lead. "Oops. Missed it!"

Oh. One more rule.

You had to stop at "Wonderview", the mid point of the track. Then run up to the truck and drain a Red Bull before continuing. Tip it upside down to prove it was empty.

Pam brought the Red Bulls and came up with the guzzling idea.

Pam also had a stylish plan for stopping at Wonderview.

Pitch it sideways into the gravel!

The truck was waiting with the tail gate down. Thanks to Julie and Kent for setting up all the cans where we could get to them. (Also for picking them up afterward).

One discovery. You can't OPEN the darn can with your gloves on!

The next problem was how to drink with your helmet still on. And remember, it's a race.

After draining the Red Bull, you had to hop back on your board, and continue down the track at speed, with a wobbly backward board and a belly ache.

Note the two "switchbacks" visible in the distance. The first is called "Berm Turn" and is taken in full slide. The last is actually a left hander before the finish.

Brent regained his backward lead and went on to Victory. He was closely followed by the Rogers Brothers.

The next event was called "Secret Teammate."

The group was divided into the "Fast Riders" and the "Faster Riders." The Faster group all wrote the names on envelopes, while the Fast riders wrote their names on index cards. Cards were later randomly inserted into envelopes and sealed.

Again we stopped at Wonderview. I managed to lead, but the dogs were at my heels.

Again to the back of the truck.

This time to search for the envelope you had put your name on earlier. Turns out the gloves make envelope opening difficult also.

Oh. One more rule. You have to SWITCH DECKS with your Secret Teammate before either of you can leave.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Fast group is anxiously waiting to hear who their "Secret Teammate" is.

"Pan? Who is Pan?"

"It's me, Pam! Give me your board! Let's go!"

"No. This looks like a N to me. Pan? Pan?"


Oh. One more rule. Your TEAM finished after BOTH riders cross the finish line. So don't mess up your Secret Teammate.

In a card and envelope snafu, Brent was assigned to the "Fast" group and then randomly assigned to Dave Rogers. Guess which team won?

Second went to Jeremy Kahn and John Rogers.

Third place was Mike Pickens and Pat Moody.

The most fun was the "Relay Race."

We checked the ongoing point totals from the previous races and determined four team leaders. Then each leader was given three colored hats for his team.

"Pick me! Pick me!" echoed as riders were selected one at a time for the teams.

One rider from each team was then dropped off at various Relay points on the course. Strategy ensued as to which rider on each team would be the best at which leg of the course.

Oh. One more rule. Your team only gets one deck.

The first relay point saw all four teams in almost a dead heat. From each relay point, you could see the hand offs of the other riders. Exciting.

The most brilliant draft choice was John Rogers's (Green Team) early pick of Pamela. Pam rode the 2nd leg of hard turns and developed a great lead for the Greens.

Jeremy moved the Red Team into second, and Bill Dozer, Gold Team, hit the last relay point a close third.

Each team had a different transfer strategy.

"Standing skateboard" worked well. Or "Push your teammate" was another good method.

Blue Team was the Big Boys. Three guys at 200+ lbs.

Rob Rhuman invented the Blue Transfer method: Skid, and then before you stop, lift up and let the board continue out from between your legs.

Pickins pulled into the transfer area last, but provided a fast exchange.

Blue team used weight and skill, gradually gobbling up the slower teams. But there was not enough track to catch them all.

It was all about GOLD TEAM.

Brent, Bill, and Pat put together the best runs and transfers, and crossed the finish line first.

The final event was "Blinding Ballons!"

I was accused of having thought up this event just to get a picture of all the riders wearing party hats and holding ballons on the start line.


Dave Auld arrived late and didn't get a party hat. He remarked sadly,

"I have Cone Envy."

The balloons were tied to each rider's wrist. String length was set to put the balloons right in the racer's face at speed (hence the "blinding" part.)

Oh. One more rule.

It's a 15 second penalty for each balloon that pops before the finish line. Worth protecting them eh?

Dave Rogers popped BOTH balloons in the truck on the way up. Finally a chance for someone else to win!

Once under speed, however, ballons started popping like crazy. Pat, Brent, and I lead into the first sweeper, and have already each lost a balloon.

By the last turn, only I had a balloon left. As a natural 4th, I was about half a second behind the Rogers, who were ripping it up unencumbered by Blinding Balloons. But with my 15 second penalty advantage, it was ALL ABOUT THE BIRTHDAY BOY!

Then it popped.


Pat held off the Rogers to take 1st, and bring home his mini Championship cup.

Mac Daddy brought a gas powered grill and we had a cook out.

Pam suprised us with a brilliant Lott Classic birthday cake, which was ironically, German Chocolate.

And it came complete with ABEC 11 Flashbacks in the softest durometer ever

We tabulated points from each of the races to come up an overall winner of the series.

The points race over 5 events was pretty close between the Top 3. Pat Moody gets an Honorable Mention for 4th.

There was also an award for a new rider who stuck it out with the big boys through all the racing.

Claudia got a medal which said "I MADE IT!"

Overall Points Results

1. Brent DeKeyser

2. John Rogers

3. Dave Rogers

Darren Lott ©2002