Central Mass 8 with the Original Skateboards Team

Written by Will Stephan, Donny Williams and the OS Team
Edited by Donny Williams and Justin Bright
On Tuesday, August 1st, Will Stephan touched down in Newark, New Jersey with a bagful of boards. Fresh off the red-eye flight from San Francisco, Max Vickers rendezvoused with him in the busy terminal. The boys grabbed an overpriced airport snack, then Will dialed the first number that most OS team riders call when they touch down in Jersey.
Jared Beers slid a finger across his broken phone screen. “Yeah, hey Will. I’m almost there.”
The Beersmobile rolled into Newark airport’s express pick-up lane. Max and Will played Frogger with taxi drivers stuck in traffic. The boys followed the shrill cries of Jared’s pop punk music like auditory breadcrumbs in the haze of honks. The gang slipped their boards and bags into Jared’s trunk and slammed the hatch; the Beersmobile was off for Original HQ.

Jankiel Carranza grabbed, slid, and tucked his way down the Slide Jam Hill.
Photo Credit: Nicklaus Suarez @nsuarezphotography
Max and Will spent the next few days helping out Jared and Warehouse Manager Neena Schueller around the shop. Skating, filming, and a dip in the local swimming hole ensued.
The team packed all their gear into the van early Friday morning for a quick four-hour roadie to Harvard, Massachusetts. Original pitched up tent in the center of town and gathered to gawk at team rider Dax Pradarits’ insane mini-ramp skating.
The first day of Central Mass was not only the mini-ramp jam, but an all-day street course session in the center of Harvard. As you can imagine, Josh Turner busted out some Apex lazer flips while blasting Ed Sheeran through his earbuds. Someone even gave Josh a hug in gratitude for his crisp hardflips. Praise.
Race day was Saturday morning. In the timeless East Coast event tradition, it rained so hard that Will claimed to have taken a few blind runs. Rain or shine, the racers rocked some great outfits, the spandex was plentiful. Someone wore only a Starbucks barista apron, another racer brandished just a trash bag sack and cowboys boots, and of course, the fashionable racer in the wrestling singlet.
OS Team Rider Calleigh Alice won 1st place in women’s! “I’ve been going to Cen Mass for three years now, and finally got a chance to close something I’ve been trying to do since day one. It wasn’t easy by any means, and there’s no denying that training out in San Diego paid off.”

Calleigh Alice charging down the race hill in the wet.
Photo Credit: Francisco Pizarro @dawncico
Will made it to the quarterfinals, only to slip off the course with the finish line in site. Racing can be a slick business.
Max also fell in the first round of race heats, but still ended up taking first place in the B-bracket. You best believe that we’re proud of our boy!
The OS hotel room smelled brutal after the race. Soggy, sweaty skate pads and soaked threads stunk up the place. Fortunately, the sun came out on Sunday, so everyone had a blast at the slide jam! Jankiel Carranza came all the way from Puerto Rico and tore up the slide jam course.

Jankiel is quick skater with no patience for inclement weather conditions.
Photo Credit: Francisco Pizarro @dawncico
“This was my first time competing outside of Puerto Rico,” Jankiel said, “Seeing people from different parts of the US and other countries join together at one big event was amazing. Everybody was having fun and sharing the same passion. It was great seeing how smoothly organized the event ran all weekend.”
Jankiel ripped alongside Team Riders Josh Turner and Neena Schueller. “Central Mass was nothing short of kickass,” Neena said, “It’s the one time of year when everyone from the east coast and others from around the globe gather to shred, party, then shred some more. I got injured at Cen Mass the past two years, so I don’t usually make it to day three. This time, luck was on my side! I had the time of my life whirling down the hill. I pushed myself to go as fast and sketch as I could without eating haybales.”
Neena’s favorite part of Central Mass is the Hardwheel Jam.
“All of the techsliders skate extra close together and get wild. We slide within inches of one another and go crazy with the spins and never-ending drifts.”

Will Stephan, folks. Blink & you might miss him.
Photo Credit: @obedbags
Central Mass boasts an annual selection of sick skate features and a lively party scene. Neena fondly recalls moshing in the pool hall to the Gasolina at the afterparty, then lurkin’ and dancin’ around a dumpster party until the early hours of the morn. Central Mass is a guaranteed rowdy time with a couple hundred of your favorite old and new skate friends.
Jankiel and Josh advanced to the slide jam finals. Even Brian Bishop came out for jam day. Bish and Will blasted some fast runs together and Will ended the weekend on high note by taking first place in the Big Air competition.
As usual, Central Mass 8 was a killer event. The immense amount of coordination and logistic work that goes on behind the scenes every year is nothing short of incredible. Mike Girard and the entire Central Mass crew do not disappoint. We can’t wait ‘til next year!

Jankiel makes slipping at the slide jam look easy.
Photo Credit: Bryce Stephenson @b_stephenson

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