Seattle Cyberslalom

Slalom Skateboarding in the Pacific Northwest U.S.A.

Moderators: Gareth Roe, Jonathan Harms, Ron Barbagallo, Maria Carrasco, Russel Cantor, Lynn Kramer

Seismic - Bad ass slate technology

Postby Michael Dong » Mon Feb 24, 2003 6:39 pm

I've been getting quite a few questions about the latest cyberslalom time I posted so I thought I'd answer them in one place.

The seattle area guys have been running cyberslalom exclusively in a covered parking garage (aka, the batcave). This place is dead flat down the length of the course and quite long. It has a tiny slope perpendicular to the length of the course (probably to prevent water pooling). The surface is textured concrete. Gareth refers to this texture as "Cheese-Grater". This texture isn't ideal setting fast cyberslalom times because these rough texture lines run perpendicular to the course creating a fair bit of rolling resistance.

We have been looking for an outdoor asphalt cyberslalom venue for many months without too much luck. Gotta find a place with good asphalt, dead flat (the need for drainage normally makes this one difficult), long enough to make the entire 174ft course + runout, no car or foot traffic, a place that dries quickly after raining, and a place where cops or security won't care.

This elusive venue has yet to be found so we continue to run at the batcave.

Previously, my best "official" batcave time was 8.58. A few days previous I ran an 8.43x (light breeze aided) and an 8.39x (wind aided) but couldn't post the times due to the wind aid.

Last Friday, a unique opportunity came up to run cyberslalom on a much smoother surface. I work at a place with a huge open assembly building for huge precision automated machines ( It has a perfectly flat surface that varies probably not more than +/- 1 inch over the entire 300ft length because we test our machines on this surface. When built about 5 years ago, the concrete surface was sealed so it is quite slippery (would have been perfect for cyber if they hadn't done this).

This building is filled with huge, heavy steel machine parts, two enormous horizontal mills, and generally heavy shite. Friday I noticed that they had just shipped a whole bunch of these big machine parts, and that there was a clear section running a good length of the building. I was pacing it off and it was about 175ft but no room for runout. Right when I shrugged it off as too short, someone suggested that I open the huge doors and have the runout into the parking lot (doh!). I spent about 2 hours using the crane to moving heavy stuff & sweeping a cyberslalom isleway.

Drove home very exited (definitely not adhering to the speed limits) any got all my skate gear. After doing a few pumps on the surface I was hesitant because it was quite slippery and I wasn't looking forward to breaking my shoulder for the 3rd time in 1 year. What the hell, I thought I'd set the course and take some times. This opportunity to set a course in this place may never come again.

Took another hour to set the course using a little laser for perfect straightness. The finish line ended up about 4 feet from the garage doors and the runout was into the wet and rain in the parking lot.

First run felt really slow because I was afraid to pump hard due to the slippery surface. 8.85 - very surprising. Next run 8.41 but I hit a cone! I was stoked. For the next 2 1/2 hours I couldn't best that time. The floor was really grimy and oily right at the start box and my push foot would slip a little bit at the initial push. I finally got out the degreaser and cleaned the start box and my push foot shoe.

This foot slip was really hurting me because my first run after cleaning the start box was 8.291 (did a 2 minute victory/rain dance in an empty warehouse at 1:00am). Second run was 8.280. All subsequent runs were slower and I was completely exhausted (and still sore 2 days later) I called it a night at 1:30am.

I had a pc with internet access at the finish line so I could post my fastest times as I completed them. Deluxe.

There are lots of factors for running a fast cyber time. Is a time in the 7's possible? Definitely, but I think it will take a smooth surface with more grip, better conditioning, and a little bit of help with equipment improvement.

I was running the prototype PVDs without the lastest bushings. These trucks don't have as good a rebound as the newer PVD versions and the new bushings are supposed to have really good rebound. Especially noticeable with PVDs was the wheel-to-rider interface feedback. Some runs I would be sliding most of the way down the course, but I could feel the slide immediately and correct for it. I am sure this is due to the lack of a grommet/bushing between the wheels and my feet, damping out the slide feedback. These trucks make me (and my shoulder) feel safer than ever.

My feeling is that there is no better way to improve your pump that practicing cyberslalom. I can feel my strength and reaction time increasing each time out. It also allows a uniform venue to try out new pumping techniques, foot positions, etc. It also forces you to push yourself 100% because the timer doesn't lie and gravity laughs at you.
Michael Dong
Location: Bothell, WA
Posts: 59

Postby Dan Hughes » Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:06 pm

Way to go! That is too cool! I can't believe it, no wait, I can. You clearing out a space and running cyberslalom at 1am.
You were still running the same wheels as before right (92mm up front and 88 in the back)? What about bearings? Think a bearing swap would have helped shave a few digits?

Hey, wanna better practice for cyberslalom, set some cones up a hill! HA!
Or you could set cones up in the Ballard Bowl, now that sounds like fun.
Great Job Mike!
Dan Hughes
Dan Hughes
Dan Hughes
Location: Renton, WA
Posts: 44

Postby Vlad Popov » Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:07 pm

Thanks for the story, Michael. I'm still stuck in Eight Fives, already thought of wearing a tight suit, then -Boom!- you post Eight Two. The surface at Vans is far from perfect. So is my shape :smile:
Looking forward to meeting you in May.
Vlad Popov
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1543

Postby Adam Trahan » Mon Feb 24, 2003 8:06 pm

Hello Michael

Thanks for the (idea for someone!!!) story post. Man, I was genuinely excited to read about your adventure. I must say that you write well.

Actually, before existed, I tried to apply for an access code for the cyber slalom forum to login my own time.


This was the last straw!

I made a decision at that moment to build what you see here.

So this is ultimately why this site exists, just thought you might want to know.

On any account, I strive to contribute and or present an official forum that ANYONE could post a time to, myself included. Perhaps you can help.

My question to you: Is there any revisions and or a different format or something of that nature that we here at the site could adopt and or promote? Do you have any ideas?

I am afraid of legal ramifications based in my personal history with and it's Webmaster in promoting their idea. I have tried ad nausea to rectify this and with out one single answer. I have asked many independent individuals to investigate this matter as well with all reporting the same response, none.

Setting this entirely aside, I would like to say, "Thank you again." For the great post. It was a genuine look into the mind of a slalom skateboard racer, much regards for it. Don't let my personal view taint the cyber slalom idea. The actual idea is excellent; its implementation is what I question.

Adam Trahan
Adam Trahan
Phoenix, AZ, USA
Phoenix, AZ, USA
Posts: 795

Postby John Gilmour » Tue Feb 25, 2003 3:32 pm

Actually if you go way back in history you'll see that the first virtual slalom course was discussed with myself and CMC. We set the first on in the Boston Common and later we went to the tennis court format. I tried a moving crow hop start for one of the runs- not the single push start.

Virtual slalom isn't trademarked AFAIK-

We originally were discussing how people could compete without "gathering" - a High School Swim team in Hawaii has most of its meets in a virtual format.

From CMC

On 11/7/2000 cmc wrote in from
The starting line was 10 feet from the center of the first cone. Using that starting line a box was chalked 3 ft back given us a chalked 2'x3ft box. The course must be started with the board inside of the chalked box. John's time was done with a running crow hop onto the board which remained in the 'box.' Prior to that we had done a one push start only from within the box and no further touch down of the feet. We literally only ran this "virtual course" about twice each before the police asked us nicely to leave. I actuallty forgot Terence and my times but the time to beat for now is John's. Hopefully we can get together to have a better run at it without getting the boot. While Terence and I set the course up John stated that he had to go get a bite to eat. He was full of shi*. He was hiding behind the brick wall drinking a can of whoop ass! Because of the little time and the big boot, no video was taken of the virtual course. But I will post clips from the longer courses we set up in a different spot which were sweet. I just have to back to Vermont to my computer. I will also post the exact course settings in a day as my notes are elsewhere. The stop watch was stopped as soon as the last cone was reached or the last cone which was the 25th was the finish line/time stop,nose of the board. I will also post pictures of Silverado's downhill Turner. According to Bobby, it was the only one of its kind ever made and is a real gem! Will post clips tommorrow.

From Me

On 11/8/2000 John Gilmour wrote in from
CMC's last post is the accurate one.

I agree it will only get a ball park figure. We could ship a line to line timing system...etc... but still competition really should be head to head. One interesting note. University of Hawaii has swim meets which are always with other schools in a virtual format. They only get one run.

Real competitions involve pressure, which does not exist for this virtual format. I think the best use of this format is to give people a ball park figure of where they are now and what is possible.

So if you trace the posts before this one- you'll figure out the concept-

It's 22 degrees out- I ain't slaloming.

But when it warms up- I might make a canned course with offsets to run in virtual format.
John Gilmour
Team Roe Racing
Team Roe Racing
Location: USA
Posts: 1205

Postby Gareth Roe » Sun Mar 02, 2003 12:59 am

Michael D. and I went to his top-secret indoor cyber slalom venue this morning! Floor is PERFECTLY flat (a little bit too smooth and slippery), cones were laser aligned and measured! Lots of amused engineers standing around watching.

The image on the left was taken from the start box looking down towards the finish line. The one on the right is from outside in the parking lot looking in, finish line near the door with uphill run-out.
<img src="">
More pictures from here coming in the near future -stay tuned!

Tomorrow we are heading down to Portland to race with Pat Chewing, Dave Mitchell and the rest of the Portland crew. The weather is supposed to be great (sunny and 55!), the hill we are riding is nothing short of perfect and I can hardly wait!!! I will post pictures and race results tomorrow night.
Gareth Roe
RoeRacing Team Captain
RoeRacing Team Captain
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 138

Postby Hunter Singleton » Sun Nov 30, 2003 3:12 am

ther is an awesome place in lynchburg. completely flat, freshly CONCRETED, not asphalt, does have some loose stones on it, though.

I wonder if i made some huge risers, i could put my mountainboard wheels on my slalom board. If I do, I'll write a review, so look for it in january!
Hunter Singleton
Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Posts: 51

Postby Tod Oles » Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:49 pm


I'm looking at doing the same thing for the winter. that surface your running looks to have the same type of finish as the venue I'm looking at.

My I ask what wheels you're using to avoid the gnarly sidelines??!

Thanks, Tod
Tod Oles
Lone Stranger Racing
Lone Stranger Racing
Location: orangeville, illinois
Posts: 375

Wheels for Cyber-slalom

Postby Gareth Roe » Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:46 am

I only ran on that surface once with Michael D. It was slippery to the point that you couldn't get a 100% pump without sliding around. The roll speed was really nice though - smmmmmoooooooothhhh!. We were both running Abec 11 Flashbacks, 92a in front and 88a in the rear if I remember correctly.

You definately want a surface that is not polished and has a little bit of a bite to it.

Hope this helps!
Gareth Roe
RoeRacing Team Captain
RoeRacing Team Captain
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 138

Postby Tod Oles » Thu Dec 11, 2003 1:28 am

Thanks Gareth, 92-88a, umm, I not that brave yet.

I hope I don't jinx myself but the only time I've slammed "for real" is doing cyber slalom. "One" last run when you're too tired will getya every time! I'm looking into a hockey girdle!! T.O.
Tod Oles
Lone Stranger Racing
Lone Stranger Racing
Location: orangeville, illinois
Posts: 375

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