BACKSTORY: TRAIL LINE NAMES

When it comes to trails, its pretty much a given that the lines and jumps you and your crew build will have to be named in one way or another. Needless to say, this makes for some rather interesting and unique names. Think “Dip Buzz”, “Sloth Hawk” and “Whammo” to name only a few.

With that said… I thought it would be interesting to dig deeper (no pun intended) and find out how some of these names came about.

We spoke to John Skvarla from Keyko Trails, Chris Janis from Catty Woods, Clint Reynolds from Eastside, Cody Diggs from Scituate, Jeremy Muller from La Source, Jay Lonergan from POSH, Anthony Napolitan from Wetlands and Mark Potoczny from Hazelwood to get the backstory on how some lines/jumps at their respective trails got their names. Click below.

*Please note – this is only a small portion of interesting names and respected trails out there.

CATTY WOODS – DIP BUZZ

The run at Catty Woods called Dip Buzz has quite the interesting back story.

When that run was first being built alot of people dipped tobacco, and Treebell used to say “hey you got a dip buzz”, so it was called that. The run featured a big 360 berm which was awesome but it was always hard to figure out how to get it to work coming out of the berm. This run also had the giant roller that is famous for the Brian Foster scrub picture in Ride UK. That roller was turned into a giant step up and the 360 berm was turned into a pocket air. After about 2 years it was too hard to maintain the pocket air jump and it was turned back into a 360 berm. This time it was hard to get the 360 berm right so it was then turned into a big on off style elevated berm that dropped into a big step down. This creation has been there ever since and works the best. Shawn Shoener from Minersville trails fame built us a rad bench in front of the elevated berm and for some reason the run name was changed to Chick Fever. I’m not even sure how this name got started but it didn’t really last long and most people called it Dip Buzz anyway.

As for all the runs down at Catty I would say this one has had the most changes and took awhile to get right but it is definitely a favorite by many who ride it now. If you have never been to Catty hopefully these pictures and story paints a picture of the backstory of a run and gets you motivated to build your own creation. dig on.

Chris Janis

KEYKO – WHAMMO

I first started building BMX jumps in the “Key Co. (Company) Trucking” woods in about 1989 when I was 13. There were guys on dirt bikes, quads, 4×4 trucks, and hessians rocking out to Black Sabbath around burn barrels. I had built some jumps at the bottom of one of the hills since the hills themselves seemed way too steep to build jumps down back then, and honestly we didn’t even think to try to. All the trails on Long Island were built on flat ground at the time. With all the other activity going on in those woods at the time and the cops being called often, I moved on to other spots.

I always had something that I built after that, a small little circle track in some other woods that I called “SkvarLand”, then when my crew and I got licenses and cars we started going out east to the 7-Eleven, Sterrits, Oak Park, and Hooligan Trails. Around that time I started my home trails “Port Trails” in Port Washington which got plowed in 2001 I believe. For the next few years I rode and helped build at whatever existing trails there were and I tried to start my own new local spot, but none of those attempted spots were great locations or lasted very long.

In 2004 I had the idea to go back into the “Keyko Woods”. I don’t remember why I spelled it incorrectly, maybe I thought it looked cooler, but this is the spelling that stuck. By this time 15 years had passed since originally building in there, and all of the 80’s metal head rockers and Dirt Bike guys were gone. We had been exposed to downhill trails by traveling to Posh and Push in Pennsylvania so we realized downhill trails were a lot more fun and we saw how they worked. The first line I built at Keyko was the “Creature line”, which has a pretty unique story itself, but we can get into that one another time.

Before I explain where the name came from, let me tell you a little bit about the “Whammo” line… it’s like the Breakfast Sampler at IHOP, you get a little bit of everything. You take one pedal up top and drop in… it starts with a very predictable 6-pack that pulls to the right a little bit, the 3rd set of which is a trickable set (the one that has the infamous “Keyko Shovel Sign” built into the landing), you then go into a fast right berm, a medium sized set of doubles, and into a big 90° vertical dirt curved wall ride left berm, then immediately into a tall, short-gap, steep spine set, whose big steep landing puts you into a deep ravine down the hill, then you have a very long low skipper type set setting you up for the step up left-hip jump that has a rock wall retaining wall. The line takes full advantage of the contours of the topography of the hill.

The Whammo line is actually the only line at the trails that isn’t named after a Sci-fi/Horror film or character. I had just moved from Long Island to Brooklyn a few months before, and was riding at the Brooklyn Banks one day when I saw the only other dude with brakes and uncut Slam Bars in NYC, I start talking to him like “Hey I thought I was the only Trails guy in New York City right now, Who are you?” and he introduced himself as Grady, Grady Corbitt. We became fast friends, and I brought him out to Long Island to ride the trails where he ended up hanging out with myself, Pauly “Pirate” Cvikevich, and Pauly’s crew a lot. It was kind of a crazy summer with a lot of partying and whenever something over the top happened, Grady would say “WHAMMMMO!” in his raspy Grady voice. It was something that we all thought was really funny at the time. The section was a small unnamed roller section at the time, but we were working on building it up and without thinking about it too hard it just became the “Whammo Line”. At the same time Craig Passero and his friends were also riding at the trails and they were using the catchphrase too, and it splintered off into Craig’s video productions and other different forms, such as Craig’s signature S&M Frame. We have a special burger with a secret sauce that we BBQ at the trails called the “Whammo Burger”, Whammo Wednesdays are when we try to get sessions in during the season, #TheRealWhammo and #WhammoWednesday are tags on social media, but the “Real Whammo” always dates back to Grady!

John Skvarla

Photo – Jonny Clarke

EASTSIDE – QUARTER BACK SNEAK

A few people tossed some names out there for this line but this is the one that stuck. Nutter was watching a lot of football at the time and he just started calling it QUARTER BACK SNEAK. The line starts out on its own path and then sneaks back into the end of speedball line. For a while people started calling it Quarter Bag or Quarter Sack. Somehow the lines are usually named after some kind of drug reference. At one point everyone was calling it QUATERBACK FUCK FACE. Not exactly sure who started that one or how it came about but it was probably Nutter, haha.  I love this line! Has a mix of just about everything. Roasty, technical and never seems to disappoint. Go out and building something with your friends.

Clint Reynolds

SCITUATE – SLOTH HAWK

Just like any set of trails, everything started small. We had built a line with about four jumps that all seemed too small once we started riding them. As time went on, the line grew with our progression until it reached a point where only a select handful of skilled riders could enjoy it. After a year or two of riding the line that really roasted you when you dropped in (called Hawk Line), we decided the crew was getting too small and not enough riding was going down for various reasons. We decided to put bigger knuckles on all the landings so they weren’t so intimidating, and that began to get more people interested in riding!

So next we built a small beginner line that weaved in-between every jump in Hawk Line so at any point you could peel off and hit smaller jumps. This really grew the scene. The last step we took was to make all the landings so big and long that if you over shoot or land low you can still keep riding. This allowed people to go super high and also very low through the line and it worked for everyone. We decided you can ride this like a HAWK, or you can ride it like a SLOTH. Let’s name it SLOTH HAWK!

Cody Diggs

Photo – Vince Perraud

LA SOURCE – LOMBRIC

You may not be aware of it but “Lombric” is the French meaning for earthworm. I won’t lie, there’s nothing very original for a trail line to be called earthworm but that’s probably the most ridden line ever on our small piece of land.

It was 2004 when my brother Nounours (meaning Teddy Bear in French), Janot and myself were starting the first digging at La Source Trails near Toulouse. Since the spot was brand new, we reached the point where you start wondering what you’re gonna call the lines. Janot had proudly proposed “Vulva the intergalactic whore” for another line, referring to the very first adult movie he ever watched. Although that was quite emotional, you’ll understand why we commonly decided that Nounours and myself would pick a name for that new stuff we were currently digging out of the ground. The line was already meant to weave all around the trees and form a complete lap around the trails (kinda like the shape of a giant earthworm).

Late Fall / early Winter, we used to go there to dig pretty much everyday in the mud. Not only us, but hundreds of earthworms everywhere in the woods. They were the tiny workers turning dead leaves into our premium dirt. We hardly wanted them any arm but at some point, my very composed young brother had accidentally chopped a worm into two different pieces, both moving towards different directions. He chopped them both in half again and said “Look I’m multiplying the lombrics”. It was a silly move I give you that, but this is yet the reason why Lombric is thus named.

Today, Lombric is our longest line and probably one of the most entertaining ones as well. Not surprised that it is the most ridden one during our yearly Jam in September. Just a quick calculation: Let’s assess that we have for every jam approximately 300 people riding (sometimes less, but sometimes way more). On average, if they give Lombric 30 runs per weekend this means 9000 laps per jam. This year is gonna be the 14th event which means roughly more than 126,000 laps on jam time in Lombric’s history.

Jeremy Muller

Photo – Rob Dolecki

POSH – CHILLERS / QUALIMENTE

Naming a run at the trails is sometimes the last and final step of the build.  Coming up with the name for the run can be fun but it also can be challenging. Picking a name everyone agrees on that fits the runs personality isn’t always easy.  Sometimes the name has nothing to do with the run at all and sometimes it does.  Some names are straight forward others are not. At Posh, which was named after Posh Construction (a family business that owned the land Posh 1 was on), we have both types of names. Some are straight forward like “Middle”, which runs down the middle of the trails. Or “6 on the hill”, which has a 4 pack? on a hill in the middle of the run. Then we have names like “chillers” and “qualimente” that aren’t so straight forward. Here is the back story to how we named them.    

Chillers was named after a popsicle. It was built buy Gilly and Ponyboy and the last big line built at Posh. When we were trying to come up with a name for the line, one of our locals at the time, Chicken Wrap, would call down to the trails on his way in and take orders to see how many people wanted icy pops. He would stop and get these huge ice pops for us and we would get all psyched.  One time someone noticed the name of them and we couldn’t believe it. The name was perfect for the line. They were called “Down Hill Chillers” we were like that’s it! We will call the run Chillers for short. So that’s how the down hill chillers got their name.    

Qualimente is another name of a run down at Posh. Its basically a winding race track through the woods.  At the time most of the runs were being built down in the ravine and were straighter lines with no berms. When I first started going to Posh I noticed this mound on the hillside that I just pictured as a hip landing, so I started to build a set of quads that led to that mound. The first one was a set up jump and the hip was a blaster. One of the first days I was jumping them, Sandy Carson came down, saw me hit the hip and yelled out “that’s qualimente!” We loved that word so we named the run after it and used Qually for short. I worked on the run the next 6 years during college to finish it. That run will always be special to me and it puts a smile on my face thinking back to Sandy yelling “that’s qualimente!”

Jay Lonergan

Photo – Taka

WETLANDS – METH MOUND

We have a few different lines at Wetlands. Most of the lines we have funnel into our mainline and then exit on return line. All of those extensions have to be named. It’s how we differentiate the jumps and stories we tell about them. Mainline, return line, radderhorn and FOMO are some of the named lines. The one name that sticks out to me is the only solo jump at the trails that has its own name. Meth Mound. 

Meth Mound is always a conversation starter for new riders who come to the trails. Back when we started building all the line extensions we had a couple different groups of riders building out at the trails. My specific group of builders liked to get shit done. We would start a project and finish it within a couple days. There was one particular project that was pretty minimal that another crew started and just couldn’t ever finish for some reason. The project was positioned right next to a jump that was heavily photographed on and was a giant eye sore in photos and videos for almost 2 years. It was constantly changing but never finished. One hot summer evening we showed up to the trails for a session and I noticed that the landing was changed again. I walked over to investigate and I realized that things were just getting worse. There were all kinds of weird stuff buried in the dirt and sticking out of this mound. Metal pipes, wood, pvc scraps and even a toilet seat. We had enough. We rode until sunset and then suited up to have a night digging session since it was so hot. We weren’t prepared at all. We used old tubes and tied them around our heads and stuck our cell phones in them so that we had lights to see what we were doing. We tore out all the garbage, turned the entire direction of the landing into a hip and finally made this thing look like it belonged at the trails. Overnight we transformed what looked like a death trap into a piece of art. I think Breaking Bad was a super popular tv show back then and I believe that’s how we settled on the name Meth Mound. To this day you can hit the transfer line and go mainline #4 to Meth or you can hit “straight meth”. I think the name really does it for us. It keeps it entertaining and makes us laugh when we think back on it all. 

Anthony Napolitan

Photo – Brain Yeagle

HAZELWOOD – Ménage

Naming lines at Hazelwood was a slow process.  They had several names before one took, just like the trails themselves.  The Trails were nameless for the first year or so that Brian Yeagle and Tom Arkus were digging there.  They were just referred to as the Jungle and then the Dirt Buffet, named after the nickname for Brian’s favorite Chinese Buffet. 

The line “Ménage” is an extension a shorter line named “Chill”. The line weaves its way down the hill and crosses over and under the other three lines at the trails.  The original version also crossed “Big Foot” three times. The middle of the line comes to a point where a jump from three different lines cross in the same space, a three way. So we called it Ménage a Trois, or Ménage for short.  All the cross overs got really close at times; sometimes a little too close for comfort. It made for a lot of near mid air collisions and even more innuendo. Popple would have each and everyone of us belly laughing on the roll in with his usual sense of humor.  The jokes continued and the sessions got more heated for the first couple seasons.  We nearly took each other’s heads off a few times.  But we all had a good laugh while doing it.

Mark Potoczny

Comments are closed.