Local longboard company hosting first annual event

Hannah Breeland, Opinions editor

A local business, Homegrown Longboards, is about to host their “First Annual River Ride and Push Race.”

Homegrown Longboards is a business that offers customization of longboards as well as customized boards for advanced riders. The business was created, and is owned and operated by J.J. Gomez, 26, a Bakersfield local.

On Jan. 5, Homegrown hosted “Outlaw Downhill Race and Slide Jam” that owner Gomez said “went over well.”

“The event had 20 riders and 60 plus spectators giving their support. Their were 16 heats (races) altogether with prizes donated by Wavelengths Surf Shop,” said Gomez.

After the success of the first race, Homegrown wants to expand. “Thanks to the success of the first event, and the YouTube video that we put together afterward, we’re on to the next project: Homegrown’s ‘First Annual River Ride and Push Race’ on March 16,” he said.

They will be racing form Yokuts Park to Riverwalk Park.

“Simply put, longboard riders are organized into different brackets and heats. The course is a 10k, or six miles long,” Gomez said. “Before the start of the race there will be a fun run where riders of all ages can go down the same path the racers will take,” Gomez explained.

The event, Gomez said, has acquired the proper city permits and flyers will be released soon to local merchants.

“Its going to be sponsored by Hoggz Surfshop, Bako 420 Magazine, Happy Hydro, Wavelengths Surf, SBI Boardshop, The Skateboarders Journal, Silverfish Longboarding and many more,” he said. “Most official races are backed entirely by either a brand or skate shop, but this time it’s different. It’s local.”

The event is going to offer live music and lunch. Along with sponsor booths, giveaways and the registration tent. There will be over $2,000 in awards, prizes and giveaways.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and the award ceremony is scheduled at noon.

Gomez expressed his reasons behind putting on the races.

“We want to have fun and bring our families together to show the community that skaters, and longboarders alike, aren’t  a malicious group of bored punks, but rather, people who like to go fast and feel the wind in their face and get around,” Gomez said.