Monday July 13, 2009
Somewhere Outside of San Luis Obispo
Mystery Volcom Checkpoint Challenge
No one knew what to expect from the Volcom Mystery Challenge. There were rumors of bull riding floating around, some thoughts of rodeo type activities, and even a few murmurs of teams expecting mud-wresting—so, when the teams pulled up to a paintball course on an Army Reserve base outside of San Luis Obispo, they were relieved and psyched, until they found out the one stipulation that made this a true Cali Rally Checkpoint Challenge: The teams would be engaged in paintball warfare, but the catch was, they weren't allowed to wear shirts. Hence the name; The Volcom Central California Shirtless Paintball Challenge at Gladiator Paintball Park.
When we came up with the shirtless concept we and Volcom guys thought the teams would whinge and moan, but like true warriors, they ripped their shirts off and said "Lets do this!" Paintball!
The first round was Lost vs. Reef, and the Reef boys made mincemeat out of the young …Lost team. Their tactic of rushing to the front lines and shooting anything that moved worked to a T. In fact, the only Reef who guy who got shot was their team photog, Chris Straley who became victim of a sniper shot from TransWorld's Justin Cote because he was lagging behind. Yep, if you cowered like a wuss you got capped by sniper fire. Straley would not make the mistake again.
Second round was Billabong vs. Analog, and with Hoyer and Bones teamed up like skinny and psycho Navy Seals to take 'Bong out, who may have got the last laugh by stealing a bunch of Analog's gear while they were playing the final game.
In the final battle, Reef and Analog split the first two games, then in the last game, the rag tag Army of Chris Abad, Sean Moody, Paul Fisher, Nick Rozsa, and Straley channeled their inner solider and "killed" team Analog for 1000 points and the teams second checkpoint win.
After the war, Nick Rozsa and our new favorite pshychopath, Josh Hoyer, did an extra duel for 250 bonus points. Just like in the Old West, they shuffled twenty paces, turned and shot—both direct chest hits! It was one of the craziest things we've ever seen.
The teams on this year's Cali Rally have pushed themselves beyond the brink, and with one checkpoint left, it's still anybody's ball game—the Cal Rally rules.—Chris Cote
Special thanks to Nate and Jody Tyler for letting us spend the night in their yurt, to Volcom's Mikey Guarino, Jack Morrissey, and Tom Carey for coming up with the most diabolical challenge on the Cali Rally yet, and Dave at Gladiator Paintball Park for being a great host to a bunch of crazy people.