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Longboarders Race Down Fort Lee Cliffs To The Hudson

Longboard enthusiasts brought their boards to Fort Lee to ride and race in a sponsored event.
Longboard enthusiasts brought their boards to Fort Lee to ride and race in a sponsored event. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Luke Ayata, the president of Shralper's Union, coordinates events during the race day in Fort Lee.
Luke Ayata, the president of Shralper's Union, coordinates events during the race day in Fort Lee. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Attendees walk along crash corner a curved portion of the race track at the Fort Lee longboard race event.
Attendees walk along crash corner a curved portion of the race track at the Fort Lee longboard race event. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Fort Lee held a longboard race at Ross Dock.
Fort Lee held a longboard race at Ross Dock. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Racers compete in the downhill event in Fort Lee at Ross Dock.
Racers compete in the downhill event in Fort Lee at Ross Dock. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Attendees in Fort Lee sit near the raceway at the longboard downhill riding event.
Attendees in Fort Lee sit near the raceway at the longboard downhill riding event. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Earl Stout Sr. and his son Earl Jr. operate Hogwash, an organic cleaning retail sales business. They shared a vendor table at the Fort Lee event.
Earl Stout Sr. and his son Earl Jr. operate Hogwash, an organic cleaning retail sales business. They shared a vendor table at the Fort Lee event. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

FORT LEE, N.J. — They came from out of state -- and beyond -- to skate at high speeds down a road along the Palisades cliffs in Fort Lee.

Dozens of longboard enthusiasts raced in the Major Stok'em 7 down to Ross Dock along the Hudson River on Sunday.

Riders competed in several heats.

“It’s not for everyone, but for the ones that have the talent it’s great,” said Ray Korman, whose late son, Noel, founded the event presented by Muirskate Longboard Shop, Ghostskate & Shralpers Union.

“Its a very difficult technical course," added Luke Ayata, the president of the Shralper’s Union and a former professional basketball player.

Some long boarders crashed into bales of hay, but no serious injuries were rerported.

Local police and other emergency responders were on hand, just in case.

Longboard racers of all ages from minors to middle-aged adults zoomed four at a time down a stretch of road closed off to regular park traffic -- on a downhill course unique to the East Coast.

The best in the race won a free longboard crafted by Trevor Dericks, courtesy of Alum Boards in Totowa,

Noel Korman and his girlfriend died less than a year ago in an carbon monoxide poisoning incident at a commercial facility.

His father is continuing the event in honor of his son.

"How many people’s lives he has touched in this industry?" Ray Korman said. "He taught kids with autism how to skateboard. So many people come up to me and tell me their stories.”

In addition to Alum Boards, vendors included STIM Trucks and Hogwash Organic Cleansers, who set up tents and barbecues.

Ayala said such events give enthusiasts -- especially youngsters -- a positive outlet for the sport, as well as mentorship. The union has roughly 500 union members who enjoy the various riding styles, longboards, and other sports, including surfing and snow boarding.

“It’s about the community coming together to do healthy events," Ayala said. "It’s about trying to have a platform for these things.”

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