Posts Tagged ‘Christian Young’

WetRacer Magazine January 2012

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

In this issue of WetRacer Magazine, I wrote the article covering the entire the 2011 Pismo “Rager” Freeride event from October 2011. This article features a ton of my good friends who rode with me that weekend including, Tanner Thomas, Zack Bright, Christian “Booster Nugget” Young, Pete Zernik, and Taylor Curtis.

Click here to view my own personal photo Gallery from this event.

Click photos to see each page in PDF form..

2012 Daytona Beach Freeride Recap

Friday, January 20th, 2012

This Daytona Freeride was yet another killer trip and way to kick off the new season. I landed Thursday morning in Daytona Beach around 11am and was picked up 1 bag short by Freestyler Michael Petro. Delta had been so kind to leave my personal bag full of my gear and essentials during my layover through Atlanta. Fortunately, they fixed their mistake and had it on the next flight and hand delivered to my hotel room within 6 hours. I cruised up and down the beach Thursday re uniting with old friends and meeting a few new friends as I walked along the beach. I only had my helmet and board shorts so I wasn’t too stoked to jump on any skis without shoes and gear. My friend Scott Stevens threw some large gear on me and got me to ride his modified round nose Superjet with a widened bond line, lowered tray, and minus 2 inches off the hull. That ski handled amazing, it was a bummer having only 1 foot waves to test it on. This was a great little ride to shake out the rust from not riding in a little over 2 ½ months.

That night everyone came together as later flights touched down and people drove in. I met up with Kyla and Ryan of Liquid Militia Clothing, and my hotel room mates DJ and Natalie Graham, Chris Anyzeski, Kevin Colins of LegDrag, and many more. We all ended up crashing Kyla and Ryan’s hotel room as friends would come in and out, some familiar and some new faces. I would then find myself harassing some of the drunkards on the 3rd floor balcony of the hotel with my RC helicopter which was really fun. It escalated to a helicopter dog fight when my friend Drew Supon brought his RC helicopter to the party. I got too blood thirsty after the first take down of his chopper and ended up loosing control and braking some parts on mine ending the dog fight permanently.

On Friday I decided to change gears of my Daytona freeride experience a bit since my recent participation in the flat water freestyle scene. I got myself a ride and spent the day at local Lake Diaz for “Flat Water Friday”.  There had to have been well over $160,000 in full blown top dollar freestyle skis along the lake side. Freestyle riders from all over would ride all the different brand and styles throwing down the baddest flat water tricks and then going huge off the periodical double boat wake sessions. I got to ride quite a few skis, and the one I had the most fun on was amateur freestyler Daniel Martin’s brand new X-Metal KDX 900. This ski was hands down the most powerful 900cc power plant I have ever ridden so far. Flat water back flips were as simple as pulling the trim and throttle and screaming, “WeeeEEEE!!!” all the way around. That night I went out to dinner with the New York Crew at the Crazy Horse restaurant which was full of laughs as always. We then waddled over to Dimitri’s Greek restaurant where I ran into familiar new arrivals like Mike and Arno of Hydro-Turf and many other friends. It was all fun and games until someone (as in me) got iced… Thanks Liquid Militia and Team Xtreme ya bastards!

On Saturday I finished up the final touches on the Yamaha superjet Kevin Colins of Legdrag brought back for me to ride and was the 3rd person on the water. The year before, I had brought my own shortened handlepole and steering system making the superjet very familiar and comfortable for me to adapt to. Kevin did his best, but was only able to find a stock length pole which after 30 minutes of riding left me very frustrated as I could not get back into the saddle of control and comfort in my riding. I brought the Superjet in and was given permission to ride my friend Scott Stevens Red Trinity Matrix ski. This is the Matrix that I had rode the year before that helped me choose what hull I would use.

After 10 minutes of riding his Matrix, I felt completely back in control and in my groove. I was able to ride fast and technical, slash lips faster without pearling, and over all I just felt unstoppable. I ended up loving this ski so much, I rode it all day! I also took it to the line of the Motosurf race where I raced it in the open ski class. Having an X-Scream 865cc engine with a 148 Magnum pump and short ride plate, it was fast as hell yet it was not the most ideal race set up. The hull handled extremely well, except for when I would jump waves all the power behind the ski would make it want to jump back up nose high. Scott and I tried to modify the ski with a longer ride plate which helped but still wasn’t quite enough to balance the power in the water. I believe I ended up 4th place and 5th place in the two motos.

Between the two races I rode in the sickest trick contest. Pro Freerider Taylor Curtis blew everyone’s mind on his Rickter XF-R when he stomped a back flip re-entry also known as an under flip re-entry. I was up next after him with two minutes to stomp something more amazing than an under flip re entry with crap for waves. I managed to get 3rd place for either the No handed barrel roll I threw, or the 2 rail grab re entries I did.

Booster Nugget, the 2011 15 year old amateur freeride champion Christian Young, took 2nd place with a solid look back surf stance barrel roll and back flip. Everyone packed up their skis and head up to the tower of power hosted by promoter Mikey Young for the awards and raffle. It was there where I received my 3rd place trophy and bought $40 in raffle tickets only to come out with nothing which was a big bummer. That night the shenanigans rolled on to club 509 where I hung out with Pro Australian Freerider Nick Barton. I decided to drink with an Aussie, so let’s just say the night ended in a bit of a blur.

Sunday morning got off to a late start after some much needed sleep and a quick pack to get my stuff out of the room we had to check out of. With most people leaving to get back home for their work week, the amount of available skis dropped considerably, including Scott’s Matrix and the Superjet Kevin brought. I ended up getting in the water mid day and rode some awesome skis though! I got to test out Nick Barton’s Australian built Krash hull which was rad. I also got to ride the Blowsion built Light Weight hull from Germany. I rode the Light Weight ski over to the far end of the beach to help the Blowsion crew and Photographer Ronny Mac set up the ski for a Pro Rider Magazine cover shoot, with a great looking swimsuit model. The last ski I got to ride was Mark from Rad Dudes completely gnarly and unique fixed steer Rickter FR-2.

That night I went out to dinner with Liquid Militia, freeride founder Nick Foederer, Hydro-turf, Jeff Bolte and a few other good friends. After a killer dinner we went down stairs to check out an mind blowing live band. Monday morning Kyla and Ryan took off to Orlando and I got a ride to Melbourne with Ronny Mac to meet up with Bobby Howering of Trinity composites, builder of the Matrix hull. Bobby and I got to Iron out the details of my new hull build featured in my last blog post. I spent the night at my local buddy Bronson Dafoe’s house and was conveniently transported back to Daytona by his fiancée Ashley who works at the Daytona speed way a block away.

This trip was yet another awesome freeride to be a part of. I was so happy to be able to ride so much and connect with so many good people.

Here is the link to my 2012 Daytona Gallery, which will have more photos as they become available.

I look forward to my next adventure of 2012 destination: Argentina. More to come soon!

My First World Title at the 2011 IJSBA World Finals

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Mark Gomez Practicing in Mission Bay, CAEarlier last year I attended the Marc Hahn endurance race in Lake Havasu, AZ to support some fellow Liquid Militia sponsored riders who were racing. It was there where I was approached by David Fekete of KMG Racing. He had a lot of great things to say about me especially how he had seen me race and podium in Parker just months before. He made an incredible offer that would ignite my competitive racing career. David and his wife Dawn Fekete support their Racing team called “KMG Racing“. Their out look on racing is not just being another race team.. they are the other guys. KMG Racing has a few race skis which they have someone who shares the same positive outlook on racing, race their skis free of charge. Also at the end of every race despite the out come they are always the first ones to pass around some drinks and celebrate their motto of having a good time. I rode a stock class KMG racing ski this year at the APBA Race in Parker, AZ. I qualified for the world finals placing 3rd overall in Novice ski stock and 1st in Novice ski Limited. From there I rode the KMG Stock Class blue ski at the Hydro -Turf Sponsored Las Vegas indoor race event at the South Point Arena.

With a few training sessions between Mission bay and Granada street beach in Long beach I was ready to race at the 30th annual IJSBA World Finals in Lake Havasu. Dawn and Dave also Mark Gomez Racing KMG Stock ski at the Vegas Indoorsponsored Toshi, a killer racer from Japan. Toshi and I shared the stock spec ski for our individual stock spec classes so his crew modified the ski to get every stock class legal advantage out it. This was killer because I knew I was riding one the fastest most competitive handling stock spec skis on the track. It took a little bit to learn how to ride like Toshi but in the end it worked out great because despite my back being on fire from riding so low, my lap times and track rhythm improved greatly.

Havasu Bound

I Left my house late Friday night to arrive in Havasu at the Liquid Militia rental house around 4 in the morning. Being completely wired from too many energy drinks I decided to un pack a little and do sHavasu Bound for the world finalsome finishing touches to the new freestyle ski I was potentially going to ride in the amateur freestyle class. Within an hour Pro Rider Magazine photographer and my good friend Ronny Mac showed up at the house. Within a few hours I met with the KMG Racing crew at Body Beach to practice racing and try to promote “Jr’s with the Pros Day”. Dawn and David are a big supporter of the “Jr. Stars” program which each year sponsors 1-2 international Jr. Class racers. These are kids who show great devotion and progress in racing as well as having a good personality and good grades. Its a super positive program which is how Dawn and Dave found Toshi who came up from the Jr. class all the way to the pro class and won motos at last year’s world finals! Unfortunately the message did not spread about the day with the pros event, but a few kids did come by who got spoiled with cool gear from Bomber Eyewear, Mystik Lubricants, Liquid Militia, and KMG Racing. I signed a few posters for the little guys and they were really stoked. The rest of the day Toshi and I practiced riding buoys. I spent over half the day diagnosing a completely fried MSD total loss ignition system in the freestyle ski. This would be the deciding factor in why I did not compete in amateur freestyle later in the week. Toward the end of the day, the KMG Racing team and I made our way over to Action Sports Clothing store in upper Lake Havasu City. We set up the Mystik and KMG Easy ups, set out all the race skis including my Freeride superjeKMG Team Autograph Meet n' Greet at Action Sports Clothing storet, and had a 2 hour autograph/meet and greet for all Action Sports customers. It was a great way to give back to the Lake Havasu city small businesses and build a little local exposure for the World Finals race event. The next few days we continued to test and modify the race skis all while getting as much riding in as we could all day. Monday was the official practice day where Toshi and I got to practice on the official World Finals race coarse. I did not have any races until Wednesday so I utilized Tuesday to practice at crazy beach to mentally and physically prepare myself for Wednesdays races. I was as ready as any freerider gone racer could be, so I got to bed early to be fresh for the big day.

Race Day / Qualifying

Wednesday morning started with one more practice session which was then followed by my first qualifying moto in Amateur Ski lites. That class is 2-stroke stand ups only at stock racing class specifiOn the line with my holder Jeff Decoitecations. My racing class was so big there was 2 almost full qualifying motos. With the help of my holder and great friend Jeffery DeCoite, I was the first off the line with the hole shot on the outside starting line. Unfortunately in the confusion of practice and not following anybody, I made a wrong turn off last buoy of the first sweeping turn. I lead half of the race around the first split buoy we did not need to go around. After that bad start the rest of the moto started to fall apart. I got into a battle behind one guy and tried to cut in on him to pass during a turn but got caught in his jet wash. The nose of my ski dove and I went completely under the water. This caused my race ski to die and take what seemed for ever to get started again. It wasn’t until the 1st place guy came to lap me when the ski groaned back to life and I continued the rest of the moto. Somehow I finished 11th out of 15, which did not qualify for the main heat right away. I still had my shot to do so at the Last Change Qualifier (LCQ) round later that day. At the starting line for the LCQ round I was ready. I studied the track and was pissed from the last crappy moto so I was ready for vengeance. Jeff helped me with another killer start as I hit the throttle and accelerated toward the gate I watched the starting line ban snap across the nose of my ski and I was gone. I got the hole shot coming around starting merge buoy and never looked back placing 1st to be 1 of the top 2 that qualified back into the main.

Main Moto 1

Within another 6 motos the first main heat of amateur lites was up. Back on the starting line I chose the outside starting position again because I knew that line and how to take it the fastest. At the band snap, I got the hole shot on my outside starting position but the guys on the inside got around quicker so I was about 6th or 7th coming around the starting merge Moto 1buoy. The 2 main heats were 6 lap motos, and by lap 3 I had battled my way to 3rd place behind fellow Kommander Industries sponsored racer Kody Copenhaver. Kody has been racing for years and is really fast. We battled all the way through the last 3 laps as I tried bobbing and weaving around his tight racing lines. This gave me nothing but dirty jet wash water to try and accelerate and pass through. We came around the back side sweeper turn with about 7-8 ski lengths between us. Kody went for the outside split and I dove for the inside split hauling ass through clean water. It was so exciting because I came around my last split buoy back into the merge with Kody now literally only half a ski length ahead, with the nose of my ski at the side of his tray. Kody, being the experienced racer he is, set a tight rail into the final turn as I set up from the outside to try and swoop in tight to pass. As soon as he was engaged in the turn his jet unloaded a bit blasting me, which caused me to loose my balance and slide out a bit loosing most of my turn speed. 1o feet away was the finish line as Kody flew through getting second and I came just a second behind him in 3rd, that was an epic race!

Main Moto 2

For the final moto I chose the outside starting position yet again to feel confident with my start course. At card flip, I accelerated and watched the band snap across the nose of my ski and Making the passI left the line ahead of everyone else. However as I came 10 yards from the first turn I noticed another ski coming in hot on my right peripheral. It was a rider who rented a very fast ski and got ahead of  me through the opening sweeper turn. As we came into first hard turn buoy I swore I saw the rider in front of me look back at me as I got a huge pump roost in the face from his jet pump. It almost knocked me over as I was committed to the turn. Now thinking he did it intentionally from the alleged look back, I felt like he had just unleashed the hulk out of me. My adrenaline spiked and my muscled tensed up as pure rage felt like it was seeping from my eyes with him being my target for vengeance. I came around the first merge turn in about 8th place behind that rider. I battled this guy the entire first lap until we came back into the splits. He dove in the outside split and I booked it for the inside split absolutely hauling ass. I came into the merger buoy 6 ski lengths ahead of him looking back across the back stretch shouting in a warriors rage tone as if I just fist fought a bear and won. That adrenaline sure lit a fire under me because it helped me keep the momentum up to fight my way from7th to 4th right behind Kody again. We battled for a lap until I was finally able to make a pass on him and keep charging for the last 2 laps. 1st and 2nd place were half a lap ahead of the me having clear water ahead of the pack the whole race. I finished that moto 3rd again but being that I beat Kody who placed lower. My good friend and KMG mechanic, Bobby Kerns met me at the tech inspection area immediately after the race. My holder Jeff DeCoite was there to give me a big hug and tell me that I had the 2nd place over all points. Bobby and I wheeled the ski out of the water and Into a tech tear down booth. This was new to me being a first time world finals racer, but the top 5Local Havasu Newspaper sports page shot from Moto 2 of every class get broken down per request of the tech officials to make sure every ski is within class spec. We tore down and checked everything the tech officials wanted to see and got the green light. The racer who won the first overall was still stuck in tech for over 45 min of us leaving. That whole night I was on edge not knowing if the rumors of  a possible disqualification were true of not. The next morning I awoke with a voice mail of Dawn Fekete and friends screaming “Congratulations World Champion Wooooooo!” The rider who came in first was disqualified for having after market carbon fiber reeds, making me the Amateur Ski Lites World Champion at the 30th annual IJSBA World Finals!

Pro Weekend & Awards

The Bomber Crew on wheelsThe rest of the week was great, I hung out at the event site meeting tons of people, I signed posters for fans at the Liquid Militia booth, and partied our socks off with the Liquid Militia crew at Kokomos night club every night. It was great to see all of my fellow freeriders show up like Zack Bright, Tanner Thomas, Chris Rosner, Taylor Curtis, John Howe, Jared Ajlouny, Christian Young and many more. I got to wake surf with Tommy Bonacci of  Bomber Eyewear, his wife, and Chris Fischetti. The awards ceremony was great, I was surprised to see how cool the trophies looked! Announcer Mike Young gave me a killer podium introduction and while I was on the podium I shouted a big “UP!” toward all my friends at KMG Racing who raised their arms and drinks and yelled back our team chant “UP!” Chris MacClugage came up to snag a last minute photo before I got down, it was really cool to see how stoked he was for me being a freerider showing up to my first world finals and leaving with a world title. I feel super accomplished winning this title because I worked my ass off fighting from a terrible start in qualifying, to winning the LCQ and battling with some solid racers to the top.

KMG Factory Mechanic Bobby KernsKMG Support CrewTeam KMG 2011 World Finals

The people I have surrounded myself with in the race industry are the most positive people. I am really happy to be supported by such a great family at KMG Racing. I cant not thank my Mom and my brother Philip at Patty’s Cakes & Desserts, Kevin Collins at Led Drag, and Larry Sarinana at QuickStyle Motorsports enough for making the entire trip financially possible for me.

Big thanks also to Bomber Eyewear, Mystik Lubricants for supporting Team KMG Racing.

This is a huge achievement and I sincerely can not thank all of you guys for your support along the way.

First Racing World Title!
GO KMG Racing….UP!!!Mark Gomez 2011 Amatuer Lites Racing World Champion!

Thank you again for your support,

-Mark Gomez

Liquid Militia Team Riders At 2010 Blowsion Surf Slam

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

In September I traveled 15 hours the second year in a row for the 2010 Blowsion SurfSlam Motosurf Competition. This was my first year competing in the pro freeride class placing 5th in the end. My good friends and clothing sponsor, Liquid Militia made their way up and put together this video out of all the footage they got there from the event.

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