Congrats! to Abraham Hochstrasser and Liquid Militia team riders Mark Gomez 2nd place and Brandon Lawlor 3rd place at the first round of the Jet Jump Extreme World Freeride Tour this last weekend.
Next stop Round 2 Newquay, UK this weekend.
1st Abraham Hochstrasser, 2nd Mark Gomez, 3rd Brandon Lawlor
The 2016 Blowsion Surf Slam event was like none other. It just seemed like John Dady was up there looking over the entire event. This was my 5th Blowsion Surf Slam I have competed in and by far the best weather we have ever had.
Our trip started off like any Jetski trip leaving really early in the morning. Brandon Lawlor, Jeff Bolte, Nick Collens, and I had a smooth trip up until we got a few blocks from our rental house. We ended up having to put the truck in 4×4 low at 9:00pm at night after being on the road for 16 hours and wheel up a steep gravel road with big pot holes towing our toy hauler. Luckily we made it through. Our house was at the top of the mountain overlooking all of Pacific City with the most amazing views!
Lawlor’s Pacific City, OR – Beach House View
locked and loaded
Thursday morning we got to sleep in a little, got a good breakfast and had the rest of the day on the beach practicing and trying to get used to the crazy surf that us Pismo Freeriders rarely get to see. It was like a huge washing machine out at the beach. Luckily all the warm-up and practice went well, we all were able to load up the skis without having to “wrench” on any of them.
Randy Lawlor everything is set
Lawlor’s all have custom painted Daylite helmets.
Friday morning everything was kicking-off. The Blowsion crew kicked butt and all the final touches of the set up were complete. The weather was beautiful and the good vibes of the Freeride Community was in the air. After the riders meeting I was antsy to get in the water and get a little warmed up before qualifying began. The surf was bigger then I had seen in a long time and it took a little while for me to feel comfortable. My ski was loading up a little bit on the bottom end so I had Tim Tynan with TNT Performance Engineering take a look. He adjusted my carbs and she felt pretty good. I went out with Tom Scaccianoce for our qualifying round. I focused a lot on surf riding and caught a couple of waves that felt amazing. After my run I had multiple people come up to me to congratulate me on my surf riding telling me they have never seen me ride like that before. I was really nervous that I had focused too much on the surf riding and didn’t get in enough big airs for my qualifying round.
Lawlor Bros. Beach pit dialed
Qualifying rounds with Randy
On Saturday morning the results for the qualifying rounds were posted and I saw my name in first place! I was so stoked!
The weather once again was beautiful, but the surf was gone. This made me a little nervous because all the big waves that I got really good surf points for were gone. The waves were only about 2-4 feet and we’re just crumbling. My first round was against Darin Anderson. I felt like I was struggling to find waves and spent too much time searching for waves instead of just riding what was there. I knew that that kind of a performance would not be enough to beat a legend like Darin Anderson. This put me into the LCQ against Bruno Jacob who came into the competition 2nd in the world so far in points. I know that I would need to step it up if I wanted a chance to beat him. I rode really good and felt good about it. I stayed busy the entire time and knew I got a lot of good surf riding in and several good aerials. It came down to a 2-3 decision with the judges and Bruno moved on. The wild card was given to my brother Brandon and I was out in the 8th finals.
Randy Lawlor Surf Riding- Photo By: BeRad Photography
It was 4:00pm and the tribute to John Dady was starting. There was an open mic where everyone was telling stories and reminiscing about all the great times they had with John and how much he did to help Freeriding and jetskiing get where it is today. After the open mic everyone gathered in a huge circle at the water’s edge with hops and flowers. Everyone that had skis were geared up and after the circle on the beach we all ran over to our skis and went out past the break to gather in a surf style paddle-out ceremony. After everyone threw the flowers and hops into the water we all rode back into the break and did what we knew best had a good 20-minute Freeride in John’s honor. It was amazing to see all the skis in the water and all the people at the water’s edge taking part in remembering John Dady.
Sunday morning kicked-off and the ocean reminded us of John’s presence. All the flowers, wreaths, and hops that were thrown into the ocean were all washed up onto the beach. It just made you stop and think of John again.
The surf had picked back up and was bigger then ever. There were many good rounds but it always has to come down to the top 4 to go head to head and determine the 2016 Surf Slam winner. Abraham Ho and Mark Gomez were riding for 1st and 2nd. Darin Anderson and Bruno Jacob were riding for 3rd and 4th. Right after the finals we went into a big air contest. We had a big donation from Salty Investments to help with some prize money for the big air comp, half was going to John Dady’s family and the other half to the winner of big air. We went out in two groups of three riders for a 5 minute round There were some big waves out there. I had a couple big back-flips and then I saw a wave with about an 8-foot face that was throwing pretty good. I attempted my first ever back flip re-entry. It really didn’t go too well. I flat-landed really hard about 4 feet in front of the wave and then was immediately swallowed by the big wave. I had no chance. The ski was torn from my finger tips and I was getting thrown around violently by the wave. Finally I popped up out of the wave and my ski was about halfway onto the beach because it surfed the same wave all the way in. Luckily within seconds the water rescue team was at my side so I was able to grab onto the life board attached to the back of his ski and hitched a ride all the way back to my ski. The Dasa powered Free Form 2.0 was still floating nice and fired right up!
I wanted to give props to Daylite Ramsey for painting my new helmet. It came out amazing. I am very thankful for the hard work he put into the design and style of it. It came out great! Thank you!!
Daylite Ramsey painted helmet
Abraham Ho won the Pro Freeride and the Big Air. Mark Gomez came in 2nd and Darin Anderson in 3rd. As always it was a blast and amazing to see how so many riders have progressed in the past year. I can’t wait for the 2017 Surf Slam! See you there!
Grayland Open Words from the amateurs who are ripping
Grayland open 2016 was one for the books for sure! I came into this event ready to throw down. I spent days and weekends practicing with friends and my Delta Freeride Crew. We traveled to Pismo Beach, our local training spot, almost every weekend leading up to the comp putting in a lot of hours riding and working on my ski.
Pismo training sessions going down
The crew at pismo, the last trip before Grayland.
Bryan working on his skills for the Grayland.
I traveled to Washington with my girlfriend Rheanna, and my buddy Neil. We piled into our motor home and hooked up the trailer and off we went. After a 14 hour drive from Cali to our amazement, we showed up to great weather and great waves. I was pumped!
Bryshady, Rhe, and Neil ready to the hit the Grayland express.
Practice Thursday couldn’t have been any better leading me into Friday for qualifiers. I qualified 2nd on Friday which brought me to Saturday heats. I was the last heat of the day which couldn’t come any quicker. They pulled up a rookie to compete in the amateur class which allowed Sean Starr to have a by while the rest of us amateurs competed to get to the top spots.
During my first heat, I started running into ski issues. All weekend after every heat I spent hours pulling carbs off, studs out, intake, replacing gaskets and lock-tightening everything in order to get back into my heat. Thanks to Blowsion for their 12mm wrench that I used all weekend!
With the hours of working on my ski I pushed through all my heats. With Saturday ending, leading into Sunday with the same issues. After every heat my ski kept me constantly wrenching with my buddy Neal by my side. Even though my ski wasn’t running perfect, I was making it work.
I went up against Damien Morgan, we both had a great run but I ended up coming out with the win which moved me into the finals for 1st and 2nd place against Sean Starr!
I came into that heat pumped and ready to give it my all. After my friends pumped me up on the side lines I was ready to shred. I went out with huge surf and great waves. I pulled multiple flips, can flips, 1 footed flip rolls, under flips, re-entries, 180 can stabs, no hand can stabs and more. Hands down one of the best runs I have ever had.
Grayland Open- Bryan Bourassa – Photo By Chris Marks
Grayland Open- Bryan Bourassa | Photo By: Chris Marks
Grayland Open- Bryan Bourassa – Photo By Chris Marks
I didn’t even know for one minute that Sean had ski issues. I was so focused on throwing down a solid run doing what I live for. I seen him go down once or twice and just kept putting it down to the ocean! I was pumped off my run.
Bryan Bourassa wins the amateur comp for the 2016 Grayland Open
The judges, fans, and friends came up to me and told me it was a great run, being the highest scored all weekend. The run was everything they expected for the overall win in the final for the amateur class! Nothing made me more Pumped and I appreciate everyone’s words and help.
Overall it was hands down a great weekend. Nothing but fun times and good riding.
I am now getting ready for this year 2016 Blowsion Surf Slam!! Looking forward to it and seeing everyone there!
Marissa, Zack, Sean, and Spark loaded and on the road.
This weekend was one for the books guys! Grayland open 2016 was off the hook. Starting off the trip, the legend ZB and I met up here in Orcutt my hometown nn Tuesday night to cruz for a bit and go over the mission ahead. First thing Wednesday AM Zack my home girl Marisa and I headed out to the TC Freeride shop in Paso Robles to meet up with Taylor Curtis to get the rig dialed in and ready for the road. After loading up myself, Zack Bright, Mark Gomez and Abraham Ho’s skis, gear bags, gas cans, and any other stuff we needed. We got the rig all dialed in and gassed up. We headed out of Paso on Wednesday afternoon headed for Grayland, amping to get to the event.
Pinned the whole way, switching off driving between me and Zack we drove through the night finally getting to the beach at about 11am on Thursday morning. 20hrs after leaving Paso, showing up on the beach was a great feeling to have made it safe and sound. Vibes were high, not a lot of sleep and not many people there yet but I was amping and itching to get in the water.
Sean Starr’s jet ski set up on the beach.
Sean Starr Practice Session in Pismo prior to arriving in Grayland, WA.
Nervous none the less from jumping from the rookie class last year to the am class in just a few months just barely getting flips around, I felt like I still had some major practice to do. After getting our rig unloaded and deciding to do my part to help set up the event venue was stoked to be helping such a great event. All the while, I was just itching to ride. Got a few guys together and launched the skis for a much needed squirt to wash the road trip off and get the bugs out! Time to bash some lips and huck some shit!
Sean Starr at the riders meeting 2016 Grayland Open.
Rolling around Friday morning at about 10:30 the rider meeting went down and we all went over the game plan for the contest and running heats, brackets, and heat times. yada, yada, yadda.. Then all of a sudden, I was asked to judge by Zack and Mark for Fridays heats until I had to ride my heat. That being such a rad opportunity for me all I could say was chooooooot. So yea, that was sick, I got to learn a lot about what the judges see from up top and what they are looking for. I had a rad time cruising up top with the big dogs until the amateur qualifying heats rolled around with my heat being first. I suited up, threw my helmet on, and was amping like none other. The buzzer goes off and it’s me in the first heat kicking off the am class for the weekend I threw it down and did what I do best, surf riding, wall bashing and squeezed in whatever big airs I could chuck after my 6 min heat, beached the ski and was done for the day.
Then proceeding to the rest of the days qualifying heats after the day was over the whole freeride family met up at the Cranberry Road Winery and got nice and sauced up with some good beer flowin. It was good to catch up with everybody and BS for a bit. Later in the night we all got hit with some very rough news from the Blowsion crew and the freeride fam about the passing of Blowsion owner and legend John Dady needless to say we all came together like we always do to do what we could to keep on trucking with the event.
Sean Starr Qualified 1st. He’s stoked
Saturday morning heats kicked off at about 11am and it was crunch time, it was elimination day, after the riders meeting they announced qualifying scores and the days heats. Looking at the heats paper, I had to do a double take. I qualified first in my class with a score of 64, whaaat… Going up against some serious shredders. I was freaking stoked!! and because of that I seated myself into the quarter finals. Going up against Matt Carte for my quarter final heat I scored some good waves and tuned in. They announced that I won the heat moving on to the semis yewww…
The rest of the days heats rolled on to the days end. Time to crack some cold ones with the crew and celebrate the good day. Wrapping up the night we head back to the cabin and catch some Z’s and get ready for the next day. Waking up Sunday, was sick in it’s self, I’m here, I’m riding today, I made it this far, lets get it going. Just frothing for my heats, showing up to the beach Sunday morning was nerve-racking, but I had to put that BS aside and just keep doing me and stick to my riding. In my semi heat, I ended up going up against east coast shredder Josh Bridges. Stressing in my own head knowing this dude kills it, we launched our skis and kicked off our heat. The buzzer goes off and its on! Doing what I can to get waves and put together some tricks. I look over, he’s throwing huge no handed rolls and no handed backflips and I’m like chit, time to turn on the gas. Was such a good heat, Bridges and I were killing it. I was getting some good ones out in the back sets with some solid surf riding and I managed to get a one handed roll, backflip, and underflip with some surf riding waves or 2 in-between. Then I over rotated a big flip bad in this heat. It took some time for the judges to figure out who was moving on to the final. I took the win and moved on.
I was amping so hard not knowing how I pulled it off, it was a go!!! My first am contest and I’m in the final!!! 20 minutes later it was what it all came down to, me and my good riding buddy and shredder Bryan Bourassa in the am final. We launched our boats and waited for the buzzer searching for a peak out in the back. The lollipop turns green and the final is on. I see a wave and freakin bash this thing till theirs nothing left, I pin my ski back out to get another wave on the super hollow inside section and sent a megaaa can re-entry right into the sand to my death… Within the first minute of the heat I’m down and maybe out. I come up and my lanyard is not on my ski and not on my arm I guess it decided to go for a swim haha leaving me and my ski dead in the water.
The rescue ski tried to pull me in but when hooking me up he gassed it too hard and snapped my tow rope. Once again I’m dead in the water and not able to start my ski. I sunk my boat, drifting about 1/4 mile south down the beach watching Bryan ride the rest of the heat to the top spot on the podium.
Grayland Open amateur podium top 4.
That was a bit of an upset for me, not to be able to compete in the final and battle it out with my riding mate but all in all I blew myself away with my riding. Being able to ride with these guys who are going big, killing it, and still somehow end up getting to the final and on the podium in my first go at the am class and score second place. The award ceremonies went down and I got back in the water to do what’s best when I’m pissed at myself shred out my frustrations.
I was the last one in the water at the event choooot, haha. We loaded up the rig and left the beach to West Port for a nice dinner at Bennet’s. With some good company before we all parted ways until the Blowsion Surfslam.
Quick pit stop to flush the skis.
Upon departing Grayland, our crew made a pitstop at Seven Feathers Casino and then stopping at Lake Shasta to ride and flush the skis out and let Marisa shred the new boat. The Grayland Open 2016 was one for the books for me with big learning curves to take note’s on and dial in my programming one step at a time. I’m coming in hot guys chyewwwww.
Time Lapse of painting the Freeride Helmet for Grayland Open 2016 winner of the Amateur Class By Daylite Ramsey
US Freestyle Championship Round 1: April 16th Lake Havasu, AZ – Pro Freestyle contest
Mark Gomez with Tanner Thomas
Monday evening I landed in LAX and had a moment to catch up with my mom over dinner. Then, I packed up my truck with the borrowed factory Rickter XFR freestyle ski, gear, and quickly washed cloths. 3-am the following morning I was 300 miles bound for Lake Havasu, AZ. Getting there early gave me a chance to meet up with my best friend in the industry and last year’s 900cc Freestyle World Champion Tanner Thomas. Thanks to the support of my family at KMG Racing, Tanner and I had a compound at Crazy Horse campground to call home base to come back to throughout the day. Through the week we ran errands, finished emails, worked on equipment, trained, and crashed out. This made a huge difference, as Tanner and I were able to hone in our skills within four days to become contest ready.
The weather at the event was great apart from the 40-mph wind. A large part of flat water freestyle is setting up two wakes to collide in order to make a “big wake” which is about a foot tall at most. This is difficult to construct when the water all together is chaos. Under powered in the 1200cc class with a 1000cc engine in the borrowed demo Rickter-XFR. I took it to my qualifying heat landing 4th place while riding in a heavy spot of the wind. For sickest trick run I was able to put together a no hand back flip, right into another back flip off the landing of the first. Coming into my main run I caught a mild break of the wind and was able to throw down a busy run. I got ejected during one of my opening flip combinations, pushing to get more out of that combo. I recovered, and put down a lot of tricks with many variations. Some were more difficult than others, such as the Scarecrow barrel roll, which is a corkscrew rotation in the air with only one foot attached and another no hand back flip.
Mark Gomez | Pro Freestyle Competitor
Wind was an issue, but Mark was able to hang on and podium.
At the end of the event I was beyond pleasantly surprised to end up receiving 3rd place in sickest trick and 3rd place in the 1200cc pro class. This was my second professional freestyle contest. I am absolutely thrilled to have made the best of the TC Freeride built Rickter XFR powered by a DASA 1000cc Engine and Skat-Trak 155-mm Mag pump. After the event I dropped the XFR off with my friend Brock Austin, who will be transporting the ski to Florida for the first two national tour stops around the corner.
Congratulations to the top 3
Group podium shot
Top 3 winners pro class
I couldn’t be going after this year like I am if it wasn’t for my incredibly supportive 2016 sponsors: Rickter – RRP Mystik Lubricants, Hydro-Turf, DASA Engines, WORX Racing Components, Liquid Militia Clothing, Jetpilot, TC Freeride, Skat-Trak, Jet Renu, Hot Products, Bomber Floating Eyewear, KMG Racing, Cold Fusion, Factory Zero, Performance Fiberglass Repair, Salty Investments, ADR Crankshafts, Jetinetics, My Mom and brother Philip Gomez.
Mark Gomez has arrived at the 2016 Huck N Hold Freeride contest put on by Krash Industries and the Bridge Builders Foundation at Gunnamatta beach Australia. A 2 day Jet Ski Freeride event starting today. Mark made his way safely and and is ready to put on show for the boyz in OZ.
I’ll be riding my friend Ben Daymans Rickter EDGE. Which I fell most comfortable competing on since I have a lot of experience riding the Rickter Products. The weather and surf is awesome, looking to take on the Pro class to get after the $2500 cash purse.