All photos by Sam Weaver
As a skater who started riding on the East Coast, Maryhill always existed more as a myth than a real place in my mind. All those curves in 2.2 miles? It sounded too good to be true. And yet, after a few years of watching GoPro videos of people riding the hill, my mind started to go numb. Kinda like going fast on a skateboard, you get desensitized and forget what a rush it was when you started. Watching video after video of those same curves, I forgot why I ever wanted to go to Maryhill in the first place. Then I arrived at the hill and it became abundantly clear.
When downhill skateboarding is officially given status as an organized religion, Maryhill will be among the first sites to be declared holy ground. It’s not the biggest, fastest, gnarliest hill, but it’s perfect in its beauty and simplicity. The freerides organized by Deano and the Maryhill Ratz complement the hill perfectly. There’s no need for sideshows or competitions, all you need is to ride down the hill and get carted back to the top, as many times as possible.
I’m a lousy skater, with less meat on my bones than a two piece dinner from KFC, but even spaghetti legs weren’t going to stop me from having a good time on that hill. There’s plenty of room for everyone, so the hardcore homies can get their race on while the mellower souls find their groove in the back.
Don’t roll up to the freeride expecting any rowdy parties, everyone is too tired to get wild after a day spent mashing down the hill. Despite this, one dude managed to pass out by 11pm and woke up to find his face and back thoroughly covered with graffiti. So it goes.
After two days on the hill, I was ready to sleep for a few days but couldn’t stop smiling. As Max Dubler said, the Maryhill freerides are the platonic ideal of downhill skateboarding events: All you do is skateboard down a hill. You don’t need anymore than that to have fun.