Bustin Boards hosted the 2nd annual State Games of Michigan – Grand Rapids Urban Downhill Skateboarding event Saturday June 27, 2015 in the central downtown district of Grand Rapids, Michigan – in partnership with Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. State Games of Michigan staff assisted in obtaining permits and event logistics to close three of the best hills Downtown Grand Rapids, then added Downhill Skateboarding as the 40th event of the Michigan State Games last year. The urban course is 1 half-mile city-blocks on a 7% grade track that starts at the crest of Lyon Hill, drops to an off-camber fast corrugated concrete 90-degree left onto Ransom Avenue then another 90-degree right onto Fountain St. crash-corner. GRDH offered skaters 2 hours of freeride & 2 hours of we ran heats of 4 – ladies, grom & open classes.
25 sponsorships and 110 registrations closed the $14,000 price tag to host an urban downhill in GR. The logistics of hosting an urban event became very real to me in 2013 while planning State Games of Michigan 2014. Except, I was trying to host an urban Push event in Grand Rapids, because the hills are mellow and quick, uphill pushes max at a 1/4 mile and the Midwest appreciates push events – I like push events.
We created 2 courses for the 2013 presentation to the State Games & City of Grand Rapids, a PUSH course and DH track. The DH race was a smash hit for the presentation, the push was appreciated & considered but logistically not affordable. The cost of hosting an urban push event, closing streets, hiring officers, paying for meter hoods and barricades – shit’s not cheap. So we decided to only add DH to the State Games roster in 2014. I tried again in 2015 but the costs were scary, and we decided to throw an old-skool underground distance push – like the old days. Advertised the event casually thru Facebook, Chicago’s finest Joe Mazzone showed up, I showed up – we placed 1 & 2 in an 11.2mi Distance Push, respectively.
We closed registration for GRDH at 110 skaters 2 years in a row for the DH. That’s pretty consistent for a Midwest event. The crowd attendance more than doubled from last year. The demand is HOT for more downhill skateboarding in Grand Rapids and the City is on board. We’re now working with the city to design and build a gravity park, skateboard-supercross track & skate plaza Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Future is NOW.