Laguna 4 kicked off the IDF North American tour in the small farming town of Atoyac, Jalisco, Mexico. Roughly one hour from Guadalajara, it's off the tourist trail and offers a beautiful, authentic slice of Mexican culture for attendees.

From scratch-made tacos to street mangoes with cayenne powder and salt; from cold Caguamas and Micheladas to cows roaming the sides of the track, the cultural experience is excellent. The locals are very friendly, but be sure to brush up on your Spanish. English speaking is rare.

A view of Atoyac from the hotel balcony. Photo by Mike Girard.
Photo by Mike Girard
A local farmer prepares fresh mango, served in slices with cayenne powder and salt in a plastic bag.
Photo by Mike Girard
Racers, Organizers and the IDF fuel up on tacos, made from scratch by one of the many food stands in downtown Atoyac. Photo by Mike Girard

The 4th annual Laguna Downhill event is organized by Gerardo Moreno and Fer Vega of Treee Skateboarding in Guadalajara. The event caters to a wide range of talents and interests. It offers a non-IDF Amateur category for up-and-coming racers, as well as a freeride on Sunday for all attendees.

The track starts fast then turns technical, despite only requiring one slide. On Thursday, the organizers, volunteer Humberto Valdes, Emily Pross, and IDF official Mike Girard set the hay for the course, with extra protection on the major crash corner.

Hay delivered by local farmers to the race hill, with organizer Gerardo Moreno ready to unload. Photo by Mike Girard
Setting the hay and pruning the overgrowth, starting with Crash Corner. A massive, mostly-dry lagoon with mountains behind it provides a beautiful backdrop. Photo by Mike Girard
Cows keep course workers company and share some hay. Photo by Mike Girard
Racers load into the vintage shuttle bus. Photo by Mike Girard

Immediately after pushing off the start line, racers descend into a fast straightaway, which dumps into a hard right turn - a classic Crash Corner. Most riders need to slide or footbrake to make it through crash corner, but not all. Some lighter (and more daring) racers can make it through Turn 1 by throwing a couple hefty airbrake-carves and then gripping the rest. This affords great exit speed, benefiting lighter racers who would otherwise have less momentum through the subsequent corners.

After crash corner follow six repeating turns, requiring precise lines, maximum tucking, and expert cornering and passing. The pavement is smooth and consistent, apart from the rumbly entry and rough exit to the final corner. IDF riders spent Day 1 figuring out their lines. Amateurs practiced in the morning and raced in the afternoon.

Crash Corner is tricky! Here it swallowed up Gerardo Moreno, who dislocated his shoulder, as well as the rider behind him. Photo by Elizabeth Torres.
Coming off a fast straightaway, some riders crashed initiating their high-speed slides into Turn 1 (crash corner). Daniel Caro rode valiantly after 3 years' hiatus, but eats pavement here. Photo by Yazper Maldonado

On race day, Women's Division kicked things off in round robin format. There was only a small women's field, but it was high in talent nonetheless. Sirley Tabares put up an impressive fight and crushed her way confidently through the course. However neither her nor Sylvia Cortes could overcome Emily Pross' commanding firepower. Emily swept her Round Robin heats and landed handily atop the Women's podium.

Emily Pross, way out front entering Turn 1. Photo by Yazper Maldonado
Emily Pross, pure focus through the apex. Photo by Yazper Maldonado.

Luge and Junior divisions also progressed relatively uncontested. Ryan Farmer cruised confidently to 1st place in each of his Round Robin luge heats, followed by Shane MacDougall of Canada and Daniel Engel on buttboard. Bruno Vieira of Brazil was the only IDF Junior competitor, so he took the win and raced with the big guns in Open.

Ryan Farmer leaning through Turn 1 towards another Luge win. Photo by Yazper Maldonado

The main event, Open Skateboard DH, provided some great excitement. After 3 rounds of Round Robin qualifying with mixed results, 8 racers advanced to a stacked semifinals. The Semi bracket featured equal parts Brazilian big guns, Mexican talent and American brawn. Emily Pross continued her Prossecution, beating Miguel Azanza and Daniel Caro to advance to the finals.

Dalua leaves a trail of smoke in his wake after stomping down a powerful signature footbrake in this Round Robin heat. Photo by Elizabeth Torres
Current IDF World point leader Daniel Engel, stoked to finish this Round Robin heat ahead of Oscar Gutierrez. Photo by Yazper Maldonado
This Semifinal saw Dalua and Oscar Gutierrez advance, but the heat was tight.... (1 of 2)
... Extra tight! Oscar Gutierrez and Daniel Engel battling through this lefty; Oscar would ultimately advance. (2 of 2) Photo by Sergio Nunez
Tiago Mohr, celebrating as he advances to the Finals with Emily Pross, Miguel Azanza and Daniel Caro in tow. Photo by Yazper Maldonado

The finals remained tight through the second-to-last corner, when Dalua slammed in front. Following him closely, Tiago and Emily crashed behind him. In the pileup, Dalua dislocated his shoulder, Tiago suffered some road rash, and Emily broke her toe after Tiago's loose board launched into her foot. Oscar managed to slice his way through the wreckage and advance to first place, securing the win on his local hill. Tiago followed in 2nd, and Emily notched a historic podium, the first time a woman has landed on an IDF Open podium. Dalua buttboarded down and had his shoulder reset by paramedics. Fortunately no one was seriously injured - hopefully everyone heals quickly!

Shuttling the Finals & Consis via pickup truck for expedience, to beat the rain. Luckily all heats finished without any rain! Photo by Mike Girard

Unfortunately we haven't (yet) found any clear photos of the finals, but here is an (admittedly shaky) video of the crash.

Emily Pross winces through the pain of a broken toe to finish finals in 3rd place in Open, a historic first in IDF racing. Photo by Yahzper Maldonado
Oscar Gutierrez celebrates after successfully slicing through the wreckage in the finals. Photo by Sergio Nunez
Oscar Gutierrez crosses the finish line, triumphant. Photo by Yazper Maldonado


  1. Oscar Gutierrez
  2. Tiago Mohr
  3. Emily Pross


  1. Ryan Farmer
  2. Shane McDougall
  3. Daniel Engel


  1. Emily Pross
  2. Sirley Tabares Builes
  3. Sylvia Mena Cortés


  1. Carlos "Cabos" Seoul
  2. Aldo Negrete Cladito
  3. Josue Contreras

Click here for all results.

Junior podium: Bruno Vieira. Photo by Mike Girard
Luge Podium: 1st: Ryan Farmer, 2nd: Shane MacDougall, 3rd: Daniel Engel. Photo by Mike Girard
Women's Podium. 1st: Emily Pross, 2nd: Sirley Tabares, 3rd: Sylvia Cortes. Photo by Mike Girard
Open Podium. 1st: Oscar Gutierrez, 2nd: Tiago Mohr, 3rd: Emily Pross, 4th: Douglas Dalua (not pictured), 5th: Daniel Engel, 6th: Daniel Caro. Photo by Mike Girard
Ponche all around! Oscar shares the spoils of victory with this popular local drink. Photo by Mike Girard
Those willing to brave the elements enjoyed a fun, rainy freeride day on Sunday. Photo by Treee Skateboarding

Thank you to Gerardo Moreno, Fernando Vega, Treee Skateboarding, all of the volunteers, racers, sponsors, citizens, the City of Atoyac, and everyone else who made this a memorable and enjoyable experience! We look forward to seeing what the future of racing in Mexico holds.

Treee Skateboarding shop in Guadalajara. Thank you to the whole Treee crew for the organizing, hard work and hospitality! Photo by Mike Girard

Mentioned riders

This post is related to Laguna DH 2017

Mike Girard

This post was written by Mike Girard

IDF Boardmember. Founder and organizer of the Central Mass Skate Festival in Harvard, MA. Organizer of the Killinton World Cup. Owner of Emgee Events LLC. New England Sales Representative for Loaded Boards, Orangatang Wheels, Pro-Tec, SPY Optic, Jones Snowboards, NOW Bindings and YES. Snowboards.
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