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Epic Flail

I am atop a 70-foot wooden landing, the timbered horizon of Butler, Ohio set before me in full view, a scenic panorama flanked by low, rolling hills and a buffet of marshmallow clouds in my sights. At my feet, I am confronted with steep, lubricated slide that finales into a goliath human takeoff ramp, shooting its [...]
Danny Hamen



I am atop a 70-foot wooden landing, the timbered horizon of Butler, Ohio set before me in full view, a scenic panorama flanked by low, rolling hills and a buffet of marshmallow clouds in my sights.

At my feet, I am confronted with steep, lubricated slide that finales into a goliath human takeoff ramp, shooting its victim 25 feet into the air and into an underground pool.

The only guidelines I am given is to get a running start, dive headfirst, and to not look down once I am airborne, as it will cause me to careen forward and land on my face. As I make my way to edge of the structure, I look down with worry. Surely, no one has died on the Slip N’ Fly I remind myself, but goddamn a belly smacker sure seems painful.

In truth, the Slip N’ Fly is actually just a repurposed ski ramp designed by and for the true adrenaline freaks of Ohio. It belongs to the Ohio Dreams Network, an action sports training camp for 7 to 17 year olds. In order to practice tricks, like a no-hander 360 can-can, (you can’t make this shit up) riders would take their extreme ride of choice, be it a pair of skis or a BMX bike, down the ramp, landing safely into the swimming pool below. Well, one hot summer day, a 14-year-old camper facetiously suggested that they turn the trick ramp into a slip and slide for a day. Enthralled by the suggestion, camp owner, Chris Ashcraft, ran straight to Home Depot, bought a shit-ton of black tarps, and voila, the prototype of the Slip N’ Fly was birthed into creation.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t really that safe at that time, and only the adults were aloud to do it. Eventually, they decided to contact some builders and engineers to come up with a more permanent solution. That solution? A top-secret propriety, super slippery material that shoots its riders down the slide with comfort, grace, and a ludicrous amount of speed. For a while, the slide was just for the campers, until the adults started throwing private parties. Slowly but surely, the parties grew, until over 200 friends and acquaintances toppled one final private bash, triggering Ashcraft and his business partner, Justin Travis, to start throwing official events.

Soon, the slide sparked viral attention, the official “Legendary Slip N’ Fly” YouTube video now boasting well over a million hits. The first of its kind, The Slip N’ Fly has also been featured on popular fail compilations, such as Fail Army, of riders unsuccessfully completing their front flip and falling in excruciating looking positions.

Want to ride the Slip N’ Fly? Well, there are two events happening this month. First off is the Slip N Fly Country Fest on August 13. The official flyer depicts a gentleman wearing a turquoise studded cowboy hat and a Confederate flag button up shirt, viciously shredding a silver Fender held up with a yellow police line guitar strap. This, I would say, sums up what to expect at the country fest: A lot of good ol’ boys and girls playing honkytonk hits, and a lot of flying and falling.

Next up is the Sports and Music Fest, held August 19 – 21. Sponsored by New Belgium, there will be a full beer garden, camping, live music, and a lot of midair smiles. Tickets are going fast for this one, so get yours today if you want to face the Slip N’ Fly in the flesh.

Fortunately for me, I get to watch my tour guide, Bobby “Thor” Peterson—a ripped, longhaired thunder god of man—barrel his way down the slide before me. He skids down on his knees and wrists, whooshing forward like robotic ski dog, ramping into the air, and doing a couple back flips while he is at it, gracefully landing into the water feet first.

Easy right?

Now it is my turn. Being told to jump headfirst, belly down, essentially off a cliff is as intimidating as it sounds. I take a deep breath, step ten paces back, and pray to God. I start running forward, hesitate at mouth of slide, and kind of just plop my body onto the polymer luge. I glide downward, shrieking all the way to the entrance ramp. As I launch into the air, I focus on the horizon, try to not look down, and to give the Triple H, “Suck It” move a try. Splash!

Yeah, I was hooked. Over and over, I run up the stairs, fling myself down, and try to not scream obscenities in front of the children campers. All hail the Slip N’ Fly I say—truly an extreme wonder of the world, right here in rural Ohio.

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614NOW Survival Guide: Asian Festival

Mitch Hooper



Every year, the beautiful and lush space at Franklin Park Conservatory plays host to The Asian Festival. It's a festival where Ohioans come together to celebrate all Asian cultures and cuisines ranging from China to India to Vietnam. Whether it's inspired dance, martial arts, or new-to-you desserts, this festival offers a chance to explore Columbus's rich Asian culture while enjoying a day at the Conservatory.

And before you head out this weekend, here are a few tips to making the most out of Asian Festival.

Let's Just Get This Out Of The Way Now: It's Free

Obviously, food and drinks, and anything else you want to purchase costs money, but it's totally free to hang out. Bring your little ones! This time you won't have to use the classic white lie to get free admission. You know the conversation I'm talking about: "Ok, today, you guys are all 10-years-old, got it?"

Hot From The Sun? Cool Off With Dessert

Asian Festival is mostly outdoors and Ohio's summers can be just as brutal as Ohio's winters. J-Pops are popsicles, but these send your local ice cream truck guy running home to his mom. These gourmet pops come in flavors like lemon basil or watermelon mint. On the other hand, options like Aloha Ice is your stop for shaved ice in a multitude of flavors. And of course, rolled ice cream courtesy of Simply Rolled Ice Cream LLC is your Insta-aesthetic option.

So You Think You Can... Art?

You don't have to be exclusive to being a spectator throughout the weekend, there's plenty of ways to participate. Saturday is loaded from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with craft-driven activities like Chinese calligraphy at 10 a.m., or paper animal construction at 4 p.m. Sunday keeps this ball rolling with activities like kimono design at 2 p.m.

Step Out Of Your Cuisine Comfort Zone!

The classic American/Midwesterner in you might only think of that takeout joint down the road from your house when you think of Asian cuisine, but I'm here to tell you, you're sorely mistaken and missing out. Asian food spans across many different countries. Do you love Ramen? Ok, admittedly, that's an easy one, but your kids will know it and probably love it* (*no promises, kids are unpredictable).

What about Bahn Mi? Never had it? It's a Vietnamese sandwich that will change your damn life. There's also the opportunity to try the popular Hawaiian dish, poke—a rice bowl that typically features raw fish with veggies and sauces. Even your vegan friends can find a delicious Indian meal from Flavors Of India.

Have A (Tea) Party!

Saturday also plays host to tea tastings for those looking for something new in their mugs. The first of the two is slated earlier in the day while the second will serve as one of the last events to cap off the first day of the festival.

Asian Festival is happening Saturday, June 25 from 10:00AM- 8:00PM and Sunday, June 26 from 10:00AM0 6:00PM at Franklin Park.

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614 Survival Guide: Dime-A-Dog Night

Mitch Hooper



Warmer days are finally here and it's that time of the year everyone can't stop talking about. No, it isn't patio season. We aren't talking about summer festivals, either. We're talking baseball, and more specifically, we're talking hot dogs you can buy for just 10 pennies.

The Columbus Clipper's Dime-A-Dog Night is not only a chance to enjoy America's pastime, it's a chance to test your eating endurance. How many hot dogs can you put down in nine innings? To beer, or to not to beer; that is the potentially bloated question. And you do realize how many dogs you can get for $20 right? That's 200 dogs, dawg!

Surviving this madness, however, is an art unto itself. You can expect longer lines, but everyone is just getting hot dogs so you can also expect them to move relatively quickly. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, and we are here to help. Here's a six tips to making the most of Dime-A-Dog night.

6.) Bring the Tums, hun

Don't be a hero, bring the anti-acid. Hot dogs are hotbeds for hidden ingredients, and you don't know when one will drop a missile of indigestion upon you. Be prepared, pack the little chalky tablets.

5.) Bring The Little Ones

Dime-A-Dog night is a great way to change up the speed of things throughout your weekdays without having to tank a ton of money into entertainment. Beyond the insanely cheap Sugardale hot dogs, children under the age of 2 get in for free!

4.) Be Early (duh!)

This is a no brainer, but it pays to be in the know. For 7:05 p.m. starts, the gates will open 90 minutes prior to opening pitch. On the other hand for 6:35 p.m. starts, the gates open one hour before opening pitch. Being first in the gates means you have first crack at the fresh hot dogs that weren't made at lightening speed to keep up with orders. This leads me to my next point....

3.) Know The Flow

Dogs at the beginning of the game taste better than dogs later, but there is a Goldie Locks point. At a certain moment during the game, bellies are going to get full and the rush for more food slows down. This is when you should have your second wind. The hot dog slinging has slowed down and the lines aren't nearly as long. Take it easy on the first run through and save some room for dessert: more dime-a-dogs.

2.) Beer: Your Enemy, Or Friend?

This tip is more of a "check yourself before you wreck yourself" thing. For some people, beer is the magical elixir that allows them to devour hot dogs like Joey Chestnut (*not literally). If this is you, you know the fuel to your fire. For other people (me), beer and carbonation fills the stomach too quickly leaving no room for more hot dogs. If this is you, mixed drinks are your happy alternative.

1.) Go Crazy And Buy More Expensive Tickets

#NotAnAd. Seriously, though. Think of the money you'll be saving on dinner (and potentially breakfast the next day if you wear cargo shorts). Two quarters will get you five hot dogs and that's damn near an entire pack from the store. A few extra bucks could be the difference between catching a fly ball and never coming close. Protip: the seats along the third base line are nice, but make sure you bring your shades because that sun set shines directly in your eyes blocking your view... of more hot dogs.

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3 ways to fill Game of Thrones gap until next week

Mitch Hooper



In the world where Netflix has made series available in its entirety for maximum binge-watching, waiting a week for the next episode of Game Of Throne feels something like an eternity. It seems like there's not enough fan theories to dig through, reviews to confirm your beliefs (or send you into spiraling rage), and the famous three words "Winter Is Here" is practically tattooed on your forehead.

Last night's first episode of the final season has taken the world by storm, and here's a few ways to get your fill of GoT until the next episode aires.

Game Of Thrones Pub Quiz at Fado Irish Pub | 4022 Townsfair Way
Monday, April 15, 7:00 PM

So you think you're the smartest fan in the city? Put your money where your mouth is then! Hit up Fado for their quiz night on all things GoT and finally prove all those hours on the fandom wikipedia page were worth it. If you're victorious, you'll win a the King's Feast which is dinner for eight. And $10 specials on buckets of beer is always a win in our books.

Game Of Thrones Night at Ruby Tuesday | 1978 Summit St.
Monday, April 15, 8:00 PM

Let's face it, anyone who doesn't watch the show (AKA most of your co-workers who don't pay for HBO) aren't really looking forward to your Monday morning ramblings recapping the latest episodes. Instead of being avoided at the office, stop by Ruby Tuesday to discuss in-depth all the rumblings and developments in each episode with all your other fellow fans. Your co-workers are already relieved, and Ruby Tuesday will have pizza and beer.

Game Of Thrones Dinner at 101 Beer Kitchen | 7509 Sawmill Rd.
Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 PM

It's a feast fit for royalty at 101 Beer Kitchen as they'll be hosting a large dinner akin to the Purple Wedding—hopefully your name isn't Joffrey Baratheon—for $75 a ticket. Your food and cocktail menu will include specialty GoT-themed entrées and drinks, and it's encouraged to wear a costume so you can have a chance to win prizes!

Looking for more ways to show off your fandom? Check back periodically for an updated look on what Game Of Thrones events and parties are going on in the city.

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