This year we got to attend the Velefique International Freeride that took place from the 5th to 8th of September, 2019. The Freeride has been around for 9 editions already and is located just short of 60 km away from Almeria in the southeast of Spain.
It was our first time there so we didn’t know what to expect but we knew the event road is wide, dynamic and located in scenic desert-like surroundings. That eventually also made us want to go.
Velefique Freeride Location
The meeting point for the event was the municipality called Velefique. The ”town” is quite small and in 2017 it reportedly had only 247 inhabitants. Nonetheless, it had everything needed – a restaurant, a good-sized swimming pool, large parking and a campsite. If you planned ahead, there was also an option to rent a house/room in the town which quite a few people did.
The Event Track
The track itself is around 4 km long with a total altitude change of 265 meters and a bunch of 180-degree corners. Pavement wise, it is in good condition with some mid-run changes but without any major damage. On top, you could literally see the whole track with riders descending down and enjoy an amazing view of the surrounding hills.
Predominately visited by Spaniards, the riding style at Velefique is a healthy mix of longboard, trike, luge, inline and roller riders. Longboarders were outnumbered but there were a few international skaters from Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, UK, and Germany.
The day of skating at Velefique is split into three parts. A ”morning” session from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. is followed by a lunch break until 4 p.m. and continued by the ”evening” session until 8 p.m. Furthermore, the event had two large busses and numerous volunteers that made sure the runs went by fast and seamlessly.
During the break, one could take advantage of the free meal included in the rego or grab a variety of small snacks (”tapa”) from the menu list. The beer was also cheap with a caña costing only 1.5 Eur. The last day of the freeride was celebrated with a huge traditional Paella.
Overall Velefique Freeride was a great gathering of Spanish riders and a handful of international longboarders. The vibe was very relaxed and everything ran smoothly. For us the lunch break made it feel like we had 3 days in 1 so to describe it as ¡Muy bien! would be just.
Johnys Hill freeride organized by Asociácia downhill skateboarding – ADHS will take place from the 6th to 8th of September, 2019 in Slovakia.
Back in 2014 the track hosted the first-ever Slovakian Championship but went silent for 4 years. During that time the scene wasn’t up to much until the current organizers successfully brought it back to life in 2018. Check out the last year’s video:
The organizers of Johnys Hill are a crew of 3 skaters who, for the purpose of organizing longboarding events, founded a civil association ADHS (Association of Downhill Skateboarding) back in 2017. The crew consists of Dávid Watter, Roman Sándor and Michal Dzúrik.
The track is situated in the district of Bánovce nad Bebravou in Slovakia. If offers a 3.1 km long course with an average grade of 7.5 % and an elevation of 230 meters while providing some nice mid-run views. At last year’s edition during a top speed contest the crew recorder Vašek Čvanara going as fast as 81 km/h.
The organizers ensure the track will be closed off for traffic and protected with additional safety measures such as course marshals, hay and safety nets. As per usual, the even will also have an ambulance present during the event.
After a successful party last year, Johnys Hill freeride will cater with three live performing bands each night followed by a DJ to continue late into the night. For those who are not into dancing, the crew also prepared a raffle and mini-contests where riders can win prizes courtesy of the event sponsors.
With the rider’s limit set to 100, the 2-day freeride costs 45 euro for early registrations before August 1st. After that date, the registration is set to 50 euros. The crew will also provide 1-day tickets at a lower cost. With currently 87 riders, there is still a chance to join.
Seismic recently released their new longboard slide gloves for both freeride and racing. These high-performance slide gloves are described to be made from advanced materials with an ergonomic design for a snug, yet comfortable fit.
With a closer look at these new models of slide gloves, one can immediately notice a robust goatskin exterior and an added layer for a much-needed reinforcement of the fingertips and other high-stress zones.
These well thought out reinforcements are also placed right underneath the puck and on the Purlicue, better known as the space between the thumb and the index finger. This especially comes in handy in both disciplines at times where you need to grab rail or act quickly by putting your hands down.
Another feature that we find interesting is the cuff design paired with industrial-strength Velcro. This form-fitting goatskin/neoprene hybrid features a pull-on extension on the bottom of the wrist for easier use and bigger coverage of the palmar side of your wrist.
The differences between these two longboard slide glove models are mainly in the outer design. The Freeride slide gloves feature a breathable synthetic material on the back of the hand that is paired with a stretchy neoprene knuckle accordion. This keeps the gloves light, breathable and flexible, perfect for freeride sessions.
Their Race gloves offer a bit more durability and protection as the back is made from perforated goatskin with an integrated Kevlar® knuckle bar.
Last but not least, Seismic also replied to the common nuisance known as seam placement. The seams are strategically placed for a better wearing comfort and durability, while the Velcro split is positioned so it compliments the natural palm crease.
The 10th edition of KnK Longboard Camp is just around the corner and in less than one week’s time, the Bear’s Guts will once again awaken the stoked summer vibes by bringing together the international downhill skateboarding community in a small village based in the wildest part of Slovenia.
Close to the border of Slovenia and Croatia, the first week of KnK will take place from July 23rd to July 28th, while the second week will cater to everyone’s freeride needs from July 31st until August 5th, 2018.
The famed 18 hairpins of the Bear’s Guts track will provide the same consistent and smooth sliding pavement, with unchanged asphalt from top to bottom, as back in our early days of the event.
As an addition to the 6 days of full freeriding, you’ll also be able to join the Red Bull No Paws Down World Championship at the first week for a chance to win the grand prize of 1000 Euros or challenge yourself and your gear at the Single Set Surviors race on the second.
For this year’s winners of Red Bull No Paws Down, Fibertec Skateboards also prepared some special trophies as seen on the photo above.
With continuous support by KebbeK Skateboards, everyone joining us this year can expect the same good vibes and plenty of skating like the years before, with some extra goodies for the 10th anniversary.
Last year Joey Bidner took care of unique daily challenges on and off the track followed by sick prizes for everyone up for the fun.
With a special KebbeK shuttle bus for their last year’s Hype Free Tour, this year they prepared a great watercolor graphic inspired by KebbeK’s 2018 board collection, that will shuttle the speed-hungry longboarders up and down the track for 8 straight hours a day.
On top of the track KebbeK once again prepared their Core a Set – Get a Set, which will challenge you to destroy a set of KebbeK wheels in order to get a fresh set for free – this provides an unlimited supply of urethane during the whole duration of the event.
During the event, you can buy the first set of their Takawan and Libre wheels for 30 Eur, while their smaller, 60 mm Tepakan wheels will hold a price of only 20 Eur.
Down at the campsite, KebbeK will also host the TV game show inspired and the most misfortunate wheel of them all; the KebbeK Wheel of Misfortune. With distinct fun challenges live on our stage, everyone will get a chance to participate to win new longboard goods or just enjoy the show.
Steeze it up in our new event T-Shirts
Those who will join us at the 2018 edition can expect a new KnK T-Shirt design hand sketched by a Slovenian graffiti artist Maksim Azarkevič, printed and delivered by Sickboardshop from the Netherlands. Here’s James Kelly rocking the 10th-anniversary KnK Longboard Camp T-Shirt straight from the press.
Everyone shredding the Bear’s Guts will get the T-Shirt for free at registration and after the event, we’ll try to make this design available also in other color models, as well as hoodies, so you all will get a chance to rock it on the streets of your hometown.
Pack your street skate
Those who enjoyed KnK with us last year, know that we upgraded the party place under the Red Bull tents with a chill-out lounge with sofas to provide a place to relax your legs after a long day of skating. The set-up remains the same with a few improvements and one big addition.
We’re talking about the highly expected, special delivery straight from the lake to land – the minicamp courtesy of Red Bull! Be sure to pack your street deck along with your downhill gear for evening skate session under the starry skies.
What else to expect
In between runs while enjoying your falafel or swarma, you’ll be able to stroll around the starting line and check out Bam Bam Skate products that will bring even more fire to your runs, try out test boards from ROCKET Longboards, have a laugh with Joey from KebbeK Skateboards or head over to the Sk8bites booth and grab a set or two of freshies, grip tape and other longboard gear you just can’t have enough of.
During the freeride everybody will have access to free drinking water and free watermelons mid-day to sweeten up your hot summer day.
And last but not least, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who had fun with us at Bear’s Guts so far and everyone who is joining us for the first time this year. We continuously strive for improvement and we’re stoked you’ll be celebrating the 10th KnK Longboard Camp with us!
The RidersFly season opener will be the 2nd edition of Xert Freeride which will once again take place in a small town in Eastern Spain called Xert, on the 24th and 25th of March. The town is not more than 25 minute drive away from the sandy beaches of Vinaròs and only about 45 kilometres away from the Castellón–Costa Azahar airport.
Watch the video 1st Xert Freeride aftermovie by Bunker Media
With a population of 800 inhabitants where millenary olive trees, oil and typical pastas predominate, RidersFly expect nothing more that relaxed and friendly vibes.
The event’s track is located in “Les moles de Xert” on a 2.5 km long road with fast corners, forks and fast sections with speeds up to 75 km/h. The crew describes it is a technical circuit but at the same time very fun!
The price for this two day event is set at 75 eur and includes shuttles, rider insurance and an ambulance crew with a doctor, as well as camping and lunch.
This year, from 10th to 13th of May, Eat Concrete will host the Benelux Championship of Downhill Skateboarding. Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg racers will compete for the title of their own country. As a surplus there is also an international open competition for any nationality to attend.
Furthermore, girls, groms, classic- and streetlugers get their separate stage. The road is 3 km long with 3 corners but is not super hard to skate. This means that to win the Championship you have to skate almost technically perfect and push as hard as possible from the start. Choosing your line and moments very carefully during the race will give anyone an advantage.
This will be the first year that we will host the Benelux Championship. It’s quite the step forward in comparison to only the Belgian Championship. We want to support our neighbouring countries and got this question to expand the competition many times. Well, this will be the year. ~ Jasper D’haene
In addition the crew is also supporting the start-up for the Dutch Championship in the future.
The camping headquarters are placed 10 km away from the track, in Graide, Rue de Naomé. There attendees will find a mini ramp, bar, music, chill-out zone, indo boards, slacklines…From Thursday untill Saturday the crew also organised performances and DJ’s.
If you come to our event we do not want you to worry about anything, we provide all you need. Including insurance and medical aftercare, if anything happens there is a medical team with ambulance present to take you to the nearest hospital. No medical bills because we cover this. We have a professional catering team to give you a taste of our Flemish Cuisine. ~ Jasper D’haene
The organisers describe the event as a good mixture between competition and recreation, suitable for any skill level. With a four day race and two days of freeriding, the rider’s limit is set to 240 total, with 60 spots available for freeriders.
The Early Bird tickets are already sold out, but the registration for Eat Concrete 2018 will open on February 18th via the their website at www.eatconcrete.be.
Organized by Sbanda Brianza, a Sports Club based in Brianza, Northern Italy, the Ghost Town Freeride is run by multiple adventurous skaters with a passion for longboarding and obsession for extreme sports.
Affiliated to FISR, the Italian Skateboarding Federation, the association is active in the Italian longboarding scene through event organization and get-togethers for riders with a “sbanda (swerve) state-of-mind”.
The Association is also deeply involved in offering longboard classes/camps for beginners, with certified instructors.
GHOST TOWN FREERIDE
Ghost Town Freeride is a two-day event organized by Sbanda Brianza, and supported by FISR, the Italian Roller Sports Federation. It offers 48 hours of longboarding, skateboarding, music, adrenaline and bruised buttocks.
June 17th and 18th, 2017 will mark the second edition of Ghost Town Freeride.
Last year, more than 80 riders came from all over the Italian peninsula to skate the road that extends down from the peculiar ghost town of Consonno.
The track features1.3 km of pure asphalt, with 10% average gradient and a 2016 track record of a top speed of 82-kph.
Consonno is an ancient village hidden in the hills around Lecco, close to the Alps. After being drastically turned into a little Las Vegas, it fell from grace in the mid-‘70s and the town slowly became uninhabited.
Nowadays, it has become one of the most famous longboarding spots in Northern Italy.
Ghost Town Freeride promotes the longboarding lifestyle by combining the sport together with its cultural side. This translates into a weekend of not only longboarding, but also music concerts, skate ramps, street-art corners, BBQs, street markets and a Saturday-night party to scare the ghosts away.
The registration fee for Ghost Town Freeride 2017 is set to 50 EUR which includes the event registration and a FISR membership.
After a year of pause, Eat Concrete returns to Gros-Fays in Namur, located close to the Belgium-France border.
Held between the 25th to 28th of May 2017, this event is know for it’s relaxed atmosphere, vibrant nightlife and a mellow road that offers plenty of fun for beginners and pros, who want to practice their racing technique.
The first edition of Eat Concrete was organised back in 2013 as the first Belgian Championship Downhill Skateboarding race and is now continuing the tradition of bringing stoke to the local and international downhill family.
Eat Concrete event schedule
On the 24th of May, a day before the freeride is set to start, the Eat Concrete crew will open their campsite to welcome the riders and give them a chance to find the perfect camping spot, get situated and have a cold beer before the next day of skating.
The next three days will be reserved for freeriding and are not limited to only longboarding, but open their arms to all downhill sports (Classic / Street luge and In-Line are allowed).
On Friday afternoon, May 26th, the Belgian Chamipionship race will take place which will last until the 28th of May. This means a total of 3 days freeriding and 4 days of racing.
The crew’s plan is to provide as many runs as possible by starting the day at 9 a.m. every day and ensuring fast shuttles which take only 4-5 minutes.
If your are new to racing or even a pro who wants to fine tune his technique, this is the perfect event to make it happen.
At Eat Concrete, drafting is the name of the game with the addition of fun pack runs with friends and other racers.
The track starts with a big push into a straight that leads into a flowy S curve that follows into the first 90 degree corner.
This is also where the crew will set up a chill out place for spectators and riders where they can get their one free meal and drink a day, while watching the skating go down and sway to the music provided by a DJ.
After gripping or sliding the so called ”Red Bull corner”, the flow develops into a longer sweeper section where the race starts to get interesting.
With a heated game of drafting that last around 500 meters, this section will determine how good someones racing and drafting skills are.
After this pick-up speed section, the track turns into the second left corner just before the finish line.
Campsite and night life
The campsite is located 12 minutes from the track and offers all the amenities you need to get comfy.
The race camp was a real camping site at a river. It was fully equipped with nice bathrooms, showers and some really nice long time campers. Alex Dehmel
In the heart of the campsite a big circus party tent will be set up where riders will be able to enjoy the company of fellow skaters and shed off some extra energy on a mini ramp.
With some time to practice their skate tricks, attendees will also be able to participate in a mini ramp contest scheduled for Saturday, May 27th. The winners will enjoy their glory with a new board, hoodies and other goodies.
To keep the party going, the crew set up the evening entertainment with 1 – 2 live bands, followed by a DJ that will keep the party rocking until the early hours.
Purple Haste groove master, Florian Fellner is also set to provide some sick beats during the event and take the party to the next level.
Do you want to join the Belgian party?
The registration for Eat Concrete 2017 has already started, but you still have a chance to join the party until midnight on May 21st, 2017 via their official website.
As a resident of the EU traveling and skating across Europe, the minimum you can do to ensure that you will get the required medical attention in case of an accident, without ending up with a huge hospital bill, is to have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
In this post, I’ve compiled all the information you need to know about EHIC. Read through to know where to get yours, how it works and what it actually covers.
Be a good friend and share this post with your skate buddies, so that they can also learn about the EHIC card for themselves.
Why you shouldn’t travel without the European Health Insurance Card
The European Health Insurance Card allows you to receive medical treatment in most European countries as you normally would with your national health insurance card in your country of habitual residence.
It is issued totally free of charge and the only criteria of getting one is to be insured or covered by a statutory social security scheme in your own country.
A passport, an ID card or a national health insurance card are often not enough to get “free” health care in a foreign country. That is why you need EHIC.
Basically, the EHIC card is a document which proves that you are covered by a statutory social security scheme in your own country. If you don’t have it, the foreign hospital providing you with health care can’t know if you’re covered or not. So, as a precaution, they will charge you for the treatment.
Where to get your EHIC card
The EHIC card is issued by your national health insurance provider. You can obtain yours by visiting their office personally, as well as ordering it online on their website by filling an application form.
Follow these 3 steps to locate the correct EHIC application form for your country:
Find your country on the list of flags and click on it. You will be presented with a hyperlink to the official website of your national health insurance provider.
Click the link to visit your national health insurance provider’s website.
Once you’re there, look around for “Apply for your card” button (or something similar) and follow their instructions (fill in the form and submit).
Get your EHIC card on time (!)
In my country, it’s advised to order the EHIC card at least four working days prior to a trip.
In case if you forget to order your card in time, you can still visit your national health insurance provider and ask for a certificate which will temporarily replace the EHIC card.
List of countries where EHIC has you covered
The European Health Insurance card is valid in 28 member states of the EU and 4 member states of the European Free Trade associations (EFTA). This includes all of the European countries with the addition of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The European Union (EU)
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein (EEA countries).
However, it does not apply to The Chanel Islands, Isle of Man, Monaco, San Marino and The Vatican, but these are not popular skate destinations anyway.
Furthermore, if your EHIC for some reason is not recognised by the authorities in the European country you are visiting, you can request your home insurer to call the doctor or the hospital where you are treated.
Know what you can expect in a foreign country
In case you will need to use your European Health Insurance Card on a skate trip, you will receive state-provided healthcare treatments. This will be provided in the same manor as it would be to a local resident.
EHIC also covers treatments of chronic or pre-existing medical conditions, but be sure to consult with your insurance company before your trip.
EHIC does not cover rescue or repatriation services (flying you back home) nor does it cover dental treatment that can be delayed until you get back. It also does not cover any travel related incidents such as stolen property or lost luggage.
This means that EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance.
It would be best to also think about getting a valid travel insurance policy before you start your trip.
Because health care systems vary depending on the country, you should check with your national health care provider to find out what exactly is covered in the country you wish to visit.
Important tips that can save you loads of hassle in case of an injury
First and foremost make sure you have your European Health Insurance Card and your personal documents (passport or identity card) on you at all times.
This is important especially when you’re attending a longboard event in a foreign country.
Often times at the events skaters spend a long time waiting in the ambulance for their friends to finish their run, go to the campsite/hotel and search for their documents and EHIC.
Save yourself the hassle and be responsible, have it with you on the track.
Best thing to do is to tell your friends where you keep your documents. A good idea is to also have a responsible friend in charge of the car keys (they may need to drive or follow you to the hospital).
The next important tip is to always have some spare cash at hand.
It is true that the EHIC insures you get free treatment, but that’s not always the case.
In some countries you may be expected to pay the bill upfront. You can however claim a refund once you get back home. In this case, save the receipts and all of the paperwork. Once you’re home safely, get in touch with your insurance company.
Moreover, you may also be asked to pay a percentage of the state-provided treatment. This means you may also need to pay for prescription costs, also known as co-payment. This may not be refundable.
As mentioned previously, the card is free, so please note that if you order it through a business or a non-official agent who wants to charge you for it, it’s probably a scam.
A very useful tip for those who already have their European Health Insurance Card is to always check the expiration date before you start your trip. The EHIC can be valid anywhere from 1 month to 5 years, depending on your health insurance status.
Order your European Health Insurance Card at least 4 working days prior to your trip
Check the expiration date before you leave home
Always and I mean always, have your documents and EHIC on you
Let your skate buddies know where you keep your documents
Always carry some spare cash on you – you might need to pay for your treatment
EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance – it’s best to get additional insurance
If you find yourself in an emergency during you skate trip in Europe, dial 112. This is the European emergency number and is valid in all EU/EEA member states
That’s it for now…
If you have any questions or think something’s missing, let us know in the comments below. Also help you friends learn about EHIC by sharing this article with them.
Thank you for reading, now go out and skate and keep it safe!
Disclaimer: Please note that you should double check all the rules according to your country and inform yourself properly via the official EHIC webpage. Information provided in this article can eventually become outdated in case if EHIC regulations change. We will make sure to check and update the website with the new information. The featured image of this post represents a Slovenian version of EHIC and has been altered in order to protect the privacy of the card owner.
The story of the recent video I filmed with DJI called “One With Gravity” actually begins a while back, on a muddy, narrow bike path surrounded by dog shit…
A couple of years ago, when my hometown Mainz was still a hotspot for downhill skateboarding and we had some more active skaters here, a bunch of my friends discovered a new spot.
A fortunate coincidence
A really narrow and steep bike path with some hairpins and a bench on a side is really challenging to skate (impossible with my regular dh-setup) but also a big fun. In case you got curious; My buddies Leon and Max made a little edit from that spot.
One day a dude came out of a house on top of the hill. He said he also owns a longboard but he never thought that it’s possible to go down that path with it.
He was all stoked and asked if he might take some footage with his new drone.
Of course he could, residents stoked about people skating right in front of their houses is probably one of the best things that can happen to someone like us.
What we didn’t know at that point was that the “guy with the drone” was actually Ferdinand Wolf, one of the best drone pilots in Germany, who just became the manager of the DJI Studio Europe.
He is a rad guy with a preference for everything that goes fast, from rally cars to jet skis and drones. We went skating and filming together a couple of times and when he realised how much cinematic potential our sport has, the idea for a real professional video project “One With Gravity” was born.
When Ferdinand finally got to me and said that he has organised a budget form DJI to make it happen, I was more than happy.
I have been involved in filming downhill projects before but it was never more professional than duct-taping a DSLR camera onto a hood and go – but this project was some levels above that and needed a lot of planning and organising to make it work out.
Finding the right spot for filming
The first thing to do was to find a proper spot. I know tons of awesome spots around Europe which are gnarly and have beautiful sceneries, but finding a spot which is also remote enough so that we could block the road for a couple days of filming and getting a permission to fly a drone, turned out to be way harder than I first thought.
I came up with a couple of really good ideas, but we always failed at the point where we had to get the permission for the drone.
After some fails, I’ve been told to try finding something in Portugal, because it’s one of the few countries in Europe with almost no limitations on flying a drone.
Portugal they said? No problem for my network of awesomeness; some emails with my bro and Cult Wheels team mate Jorge Pernes later and the spot was set.
A mega gnarly spot somewhere up in the high mountains of eastern Portugal, surrounded by breathtaking views and basically in the middle of nowhere.
Together with Pernes and the homie Pedro Roque, we had a great local team to take care of everything at the spot.
The first meeting with the film crew was a test shoot at one of our local spots.
It was necessary because the filmmakers never worked with downhill skateboarders before and we had to try the equipment and think about possible shots.
The team was pretty big and all of them were professionals which have been involved in cinema movies and stuff. They even got a permission to shut down the traffic for our runs. A high level of professionalism!
It was a fun day working with the guys and because it was only a few days before the euro tour would start, Pablo, Jasper and Robbie were around as well to shred some gnar.
After two more days of filming interviews and the process of building a board in Olson & Hekmati workshop, the day of a flight to Portugal was getting closer.
Because I had the best time travelling with my brother Maxwell Kaye during euro tour and the DJI crew asked for some additional background-skaters, I got Max on board to be a part of the team.
The adventure begins
In October, we finally got on the plane to Porto. After a quick but delicious francesinha and a Super Bock with my mate Joao from Cactus Dist we drove out into the mountains. Thank you again bro <3
I have been to Portugal before, but never really travelled around the beautiful hills of the east, where Spain isn’t far. It was definitely something I had missed so far; I didn’t expect to see such a beautiful landscape.
Far away from any big town and really high up I felt like being on another planet. It really smelt like mega gnarly spots all over the place, it almost made me sad to stay at the same place for the whole time…
The actual process of filming the video was very different than what I am normally used to.
Instead of just taking steezy runs with my homies over and over again while being filmed, it turned out to be real work (oh wonder =D).
Especially the “stunt” was really hard to perform – crashing on purpose over and over almost drove me crazy but I tried to give my best and in the end everyone (except my bearings. I never saw the bearings being that much f***** up…) was happy with the shot.
Another issue we often faced was the “speed thing”. Unlike driving a car or a similar vehicle you can’t just go down a hill on a skateboard slower but still taking the same line and do the same movements.
Many times I got told something like; “Alex, that looked really great! But please do the same thing again, just very slow”.
Due to the fact that there are no brakes and that the way you move on a board really depends on the speed, that is just impossible.
I have never really thought about this, but I think it is something that makes our sport very unique and natural…
Fortunately the film crew adapted quickly and we always found a way to figure it out.
Filming with the Wildcat-buggy was really interesting too.
The off-road suspension did not allow it to go around the corners very quick but it was impressive to see how they mounted that big camera gimbal on it. The follow runs were quite scary because I got really close in some corners but it was really enjoyable ;)
It was also really inspiring to work with Ferdinand.
He really knows a lot about filming and he controls his drones like a champ! Every time we were filming with the drone, I had a feeling that the footage will be incredible and he actually filmed enough great stuff to fill a whole hour of downhill action and breathtaking landscape.
Actually the whole aerial thing really amazed me. In most videos I miss the connection to the beautiful mountain ranges in which we usually hang out – showing a close shot of a rider and then flying out to show the panoramic view in the same take is a really cool way to make that connection.
Everything’s better with friends
Even though the production was hard work I really enjoyed the time with the film team and my fellow skate buddies.
Unfortunately Max got smashed on day one so he was forced to be the safety officer for the rest of the trip and made sure everyone else was happy.
Even when we were sitting around in the cold for hours, waiting for the sun to come up or down for the lifestyle shots, the Portuguese spirit always spread laughter and a good time for everyone.
A big difference to normal skate trips was that we were staying in a really nice little hotel in the mountains (thanks to Paul, our host) with great breakfast and a fridge which was always full of delicious little Portuguese beers and got great lunch and dinner by a local restaurant – a priceless comfort when you work from dusk till dawn.
When the last day came, we all were really sore and tired, but super excited for the footage. The film business is really exhausting and from now on I will have even more respect for the guys who do that kind of hard work every day.
There are some things that I would have done differently if I would have been the editor (fortunately I was not^^) but I think that this is the reason for the result to be such a high quality downhill video for a big audience, not just for longboard nerds like us.
What I really like is the “behind the scenes” edit, because it shows how the video was done and we can also see Max skating, Olli and Björn get their part and I’m saying something that was not scripted ;)
In the end I can just send out hugs and kisses to everyone involved. It was an unique experience and not everyone gets the chance to do something like that. I have learned many lessons, made new friends and last but not least, helped promote our sport and my supporters to the outside world.
Longboarding took me to numerous beautiful places, made me meet many awesome people and gave me many opportunities that would have never been possible without it.
I am more than curious what else there is to come.
Riders featured in the video are Florian Wagner, Martin Diaz, Angel El Niño and Ripo Nano Canarion.
The first event of the BigMountainSkate season 2017 will be the hardly anticipated Arico – El Bueno freeride in the end of March, from 20th – 24th. While most people will still live on winter time, others will have the chance to enjoy the downhill skateboarding paradise known as Tenerife island for the full 5 days.
The track is 3.2 km long and leads up to the village that gave the event its name. 12 hairpins, numerous sweepers, smooth pavement and a breathtaking view over the Atlantic ocean is something you should expect while skating down the track with the top speed of 70 km/h.
Accommodation has already been arranged at Ecovillaclub, a hotel fully booked by BigMountainSkate for the event attendants only. It has all the amenities you might need, including an internet connection, and they will also serve dinner, breakfast and drinks for cheap.
The hotel is near the beach with a perfect spot for swimming or snorkelling, and the hotel has a pool and jacuzzi where you can freshen up in the morning or relax in the evening.
The track is just a short ride away from the hotel and the riders will be able to get to it with the official shuttle busses, so there’s no need for a rental car. To get to the hotel from the nearest airport Tenerife South (Raina Sofia), you can just grab a public buss or get a taxi. It’s a 15 minutes ride.
The asphalt is smooth, but be sure to bring an extra set of wheels and get stoked for thane lines :)
Arico – El Bueno might be your perfect no-stress longboard season opener that will give you a chance to stretch your legs after the long and cold winter.
The registration fee without the arranged accommodation is 250 Euros and with the accommodation is 290 Euros (Monday – Friday). In case if you fly in early and fly out a bit later, you can book additional nights at Ecovillaclub, right there on the spot.
RidersFly was a small crew of Spanish riders back in 2006. Since then, they grew and aren’t limited to only a group of adrenaline junkies anymore. Under their name you will find a competitive team, that takes part in national and international events, a school that prioritises safety and teaching newcomers, a junior team, swag longboard gear and of course freerides.
Their 2017 event plan includes 4 freerides, all taking part in small Spanish towns. If you’re in the mood to visit Spain next year, you should definitely stop at one of their events.
Xert Freeride, March 25th – 26th, 2017
First on the RidersFly calendar is Xert Freeride in March. The first edition of this freeride will take place in a small town called Xert in the province of Castellón (Spain). Located a few kilometers away from Salzadella and Sant Mateu, Xert is also conveniently located close to the airport.
The spot is amazing to skate and the town is very welcoming. We also like doing events in tiny villages because we prefer to bring tourism to small towns rather than large cities. Maria Giner
Besides the relaxed and local vibe, attendees will enjoy a 2.5 km long and dynamic road with a bunch of corners and sweapers. With the top speed of 75 km/h, Ridersfly makes sure you’ll get to feel the Spanish breeze.
Furthermore, Xert offers 2 days of freeriding with shuttles, rider insurance and an ambulance crew with a doctor. Moreover, rego also includes water during the event, two meals (lunch) and also a nice camping area in a sport center with showers and toilettes.
The riders limit is set to 100 skaters and the registration fee to 70 euros. If you are interested in Xert freeride, note that the registration starts on February 15th, 2017. All further information will be posted on their event page.
7 Horquillas Freeride, June 3rd – 4th, 2017
Second in line is 7 Horquillas Freeride in the beginning of June. This event will be held in a small village called Condemios de Arriba.
Until now the crew celebrated a birthday of a fellow team rider Tato with a small skate session, but next year they are doing it bigger than ever, as 7 Horquillas Freeride.
Located in the province of Guadalajara, the track is short but sweet. RidersFly said it’s technical, but offers a lot of fun with your friends.
Seven corners packed into 1.4 km of road promise a fun time, while the straights provide an adrenaline rush with a top speed of 80+ km/h.
The riders limit is set to 100, but there is no further information regarding the price at this moment. If you are interested in the 7 Horquillas Freeride, follow their social pages and website for fresh upcoming information.
Salzadella Freeride, July 28th – 30th, 2017
Salzadella is the most known event by RidersFly. Although last year they had decided to cancel their IDF race, because of the low number of riders, they made a decision to keep going with the freeride.
Furthermore, they are also considering doing a race, not and IDF race, but at this moment we can’t promise anything.
This well known track is 2.6 km long with fast corners and smooth pavement. Moreover, longboarders can reach a top speed of 105 km/h and streetlugers up to 115 km/h. In addition to the good protection of the track, marshals will be placed on every corner.
This three day freeride will host 100 riders. The price of the registration in not know yet, but RidersFly promise that everyone will get their moneys worth. As per usual, rego includes shuttles, rider insurance, an ambulance team with a doctor and a protected track. Moreover, everybody will also get lunch, water during the freeride and will enjoy a camping area in a sports center with showers and toilettes.
Sant Mateu Freeride, October 28th – 29th, 2017
Last but definitely not least, October will mark the 6th Sant Mateu Freeride. The crew will stay in the province of Castellón, but this time move to a different village called Sant Mateu.
This event is described to be appropriate for all riding levels with it’s 1.2 km length, a few corners and some fast sections.
Moreover, the riders limit is not know yet, but the registration price is going to be 70 euros.
As on all RidersFly events, participants will be covered by a shuttle, insurance, ambulance team and two day’s lunch. Besides the track, the camping area is also backed with showers and toilettes to keep you clean after a hard day of riding.
September marked our last skate trip of the year and we decided to explore Switzerland and end our trip with our first French event, Go-Goats Freeride.
The second edition of the Go-Goats Freeride took place on September 23 until the 25th. Organised by Laféedesrations Derideàroulettes, everything ran smoothly and the event had a super chill vibe to it.
While the price was more expensive for non-members, we really got our money’s worth. The inscription was 85 euros for men and 75 euros for women, a mere 10 euros increase.
The road was absolutely intense and super fun. The upper part of the track was fast and narrow and got your heart pumping. Once you got past the first two corners, it started getting interesting. The middle section had an open view of the road and tightly packed corners. Followed by a second fast straight leading into the final hairpin and finally, the finish line.
With a top speed of around 80 km/h, 13 corners packed into 2,3 km and an average grade of 10 %, everybody felt their legs in the evenings.
In addition to the great track, the camp was placed right next to the end of the track, on a big parking lot. In the middle of it was a big tent where riders had breakfast and lunch (included in the price), a beer and a big party in the evening.
In conclusion, I would recommend visiting Go-Goats freeride at least once. Everybody was super friendly, the track was immensely fun and the level of skating is super high. Besides the hospitality, the surrounding is also beautiful and offers much needed relaxation after a hard day of skating.
For more info about Laféedesrations Derideàroulettes and their activities, visit their website.
Last summer, the Devastation Longboard Crew from Romania organised their first big event, Transylvania Downhill. 124 riders attended the event for four days and apparently everyone had a great time.
Adi Shor, one of the organisers, says that they received great feedback so far and they expect more people to show up next year.
Quite a few people announced that they’re coming so we will put the limit to 250 riders. Eventually, if needed, we can extend it to 300. 100 riders for the downhill race and 150 just for the freeride. The event will last 6 days and the track will be a bit longer, with 0.7km adding to it by one hairpin on top and two more on the bottom ~ Adi Shor
In addition to the extended riders limit and the total length of 5.2 km for the race, the organisers plan on making additional improvements.
Next year, riders will enjoy Transylvania Downhill for 6 days total. The first day will be reserved for arrivals and registration. The following three days will host the freeride and the final two days, the downhill race. Adi also noted, that they plan on expanding their working crew to help run things smoother.
As per usual, riders will use a gondola as a shuttle. But rather than getting your skate shoes muddy, the paths will be improved with stairs and a nice walking surface.
Furthermore, the crew will also install additional side ramps on the freeride / slide jam area. A halfpipe is also to be expected at the chill zone. In regards to entertainment, the crew will set up a big screen Xbox game projection, videos and other activities. They also have big plans for the party area with the Astronaut Kru Soundsystem.
For season 2017, the Devastation crew announced three events in total, including:
Transylvania Downhill / July 3rd – 9th
Cincis Skate / August, 11th – 13th
Transylvania Freeride / August 31st – September 3rd
New to their agenda is Cinics Skate. This downhill competition by the Lake Cinicis, features a 3 km long downhill track including sweapers and a top speed of over 80 km/h. This event is manly dedicated to locals, as a national championship stage, but everyone is welcome to join the fun.
The Romanian crew also has another event up their sleeve, the Transylvania Freeride. Held in Pasul Valcan, on the same mountain as their Downhill edition, but on a different ski resort. As the most hardcore race track the crew ever skated, this 4 km long track has the steepest point of 25 %.
Due to a serious knee injury, Sara Mamone can’t ride a longboard anymore, but she continues to chase her adventurous spirit on a DIY gravity vehicle dubbed Bastard Board, built by Carlo Righetti Charlie.
Sara took the Bastard Board to Bela Joyride freeride where she sent it down together with Alexander “Tiki” Frischauf who captured the run on camera. Sara’s dear friends, Helene Folliard a.k.a. Li Lù and Guido Cipolla took care of the edit.
Watch the video and read the full story to find out more about Sara, her injury and the Bastard Board.
Meet Sara Mamone
Sara Mamone is 21 years old and lives in the mountains of Northern Italy, in a small village Preseglie near Brescia. She’s a big animal lover, a horse riding instructor and she runs her own horse riding school where she teaches as well.
* Photos via Sara Mamone’s Facebook profile
Unfortunate knee injury
Her passion for horses led to an unfortunate event in 2010, when a rampant horse hit her knee and broke her meniscus. The damage was big, but eventually she managed to recover and of course, she never gave up on horses.
In 2014, Sara started longboarding and this instantly became her new passion.
Her knee was not as good as it used to be before the injury and this extra activity put lots of pressure on it. Sara kept pushing it hard with a longboard anyway, which ultimately lead to another, even more serious injury.
I was stubborn and didn’t want to stop skating. So I kept skating until my tibia came out of its place and that put a stop to it. ~ Sara Mamone
In search for an alternative to a longboard
Sara kept her enthusiasm for downhill skateboarding and she was searching for an alternative to longboarding, but didn’t have much success. Street luge or classic luge would be the closest to it, but she would still need to use her legs in order to slow down or stop, so that was not an option.
Her luck changed in the beginning of 2016 when she joined to volunteer for Marguzzo Freeride (Italy), an event organised by Italian downhill skateboarding / street luge legend, Carlo Righetti Charlie.
Carlo quickly recognised that one of his custom designed gravity vehicles, which he had sitting in a garage for the past six years, might be perfect for Sara. They talked about it and she decided to give the Bastard Board a try.
Meet the Bastard Board
Back in 2010, Carlo was developing a new type of gravity vehicle dubbed Bastard Board. He was motivated to come up with a design, which would enable him to practice downhill as usual, even though he’s getting older and is not as agile as he used to be.
I’m a luger, “old” and not very agile anymore, but I thought that by this means, with a braking system, I could enjoy myself. But people judged this as a suicide and Bastard Board was left in my garage for six years. ~ Carlo Righetti
Bastard Board came out as a hybrid between a longboard and a dirtsurfer.
The base of it is an old longboard deck, built by Carlo in 2008.
On its front side, the deck is mounted with a single reverse kingpin skateboard truck and longboard wheels. The front of the deck also features an extension which serves as a support for the legs which was not a part of the original design and it was added later in order for Sara to be able to use it.
The back side of the board is extended with a frame, constructed of square metal pipes, which holds a 20-inch bicycle wheel, just like on the original driftsurfer design.
Originally, a dirtsurfer is meant to be used in a standing position and it features calf operated brake lever which enables the rider to control a disc braking system mounted on the back wheel.
Sara rides the Bastard Board in a sitting position, but the braking system has not been changed. Instead of applying the pressure with a leg, she leans back with her upper body against the brake lever.
Sara’s experience with Bastard Board
Getting used to the Bastard Board was a tough nut to crack, but Sara was persistent and finally managed to have loads of fun with it.
Riding a longboard was exciting and I felt more free standing up and using my whole body. At the beginning I was shy because it felt like a “loser thing” to ride a Bastard Board, but then I realised, that the way I feel when riding is more important than what I’m riding on.
I can honestly say that riding a Bastard board for the first time felt crazy, even to me, and I like crazy things! It was hard to break because it was challenging to learn how to use the right amount of force leaning back and figuring out how the disc break would respond to the pressure. At the beginning I didn’t know how fast I can go before getting wobbles. But the most scary things for me were curves as I was so used to skating with a longboard where you turn at a smaller radius than on a Bastard Board.
Fortunately my friend Fabiano Ferretti, a longboarder and street luger, thought me how to use my hands to turn at a bigger angle. Now that I got used to it, I feel safer and more stable with the Bastard Board and also I noticed that I get less wobbles at higher speeds. So far, I even managed to reach 100 km/hour. ~ Sara Mamone
Although Sara has fun with the Bastard Board, she says she will keep searching for a truck which could brake efficiently at higher speeds, to replace the BMX wheel as it makes the board more rigid and it slows her down in the corners.
If you have any ideas or would like to share any thoughts with us, drop us a comment below.
I would like to thank Dante, Giulio, Fabiano, Lilù and the badass guys of the Degenerous Crew for the support they gave me. A special thanks goes to Carlo who made it possible for me to have fun again riding down full of adrenaline! ~ Sara Mamone
If you’re looking to buy a new longboard or just discovering new longboard brands, you should know about Graveyard Longboards from Germany. These guys have that good, literally homegrown stuff, definitely worth checking out.
In this article, you will learn about Graveyard and the people behind it, plus, I will describe in more details each one of the seven longboard decks they currently offer.
Here’s a list of the decks and a shortcut link to jump straight to its section:
If you already own a Graveyard longboard, you are welcome to share your own opinion with the rest of us via the comments bellow. This way you will also help someone to choose which longboard to buy. The same goes for any questions you might have, which I will gladly answer.
Meet Graveyard Longboards
Christian Weiss and Christoph Schmalz from Northern Germany started Graveyard Longboards in 2014 and it took them around 1 year to perfect and launch the initial 3 deck lineup in 2015.
In the beginning of 2016 they launched the upgraded collection of 7 longboard decks built for freeride and downhill.
Christian and Christoph live together and share a room while the rest of the flat is a workspace where they spend many hours handcrafting the boards. When the weather is nice, they take their stuff outside, open up a beer and do the final scrubbing. It doesn’t get more real than this.
No complaints have been heard up until this day. I’m quite sure that you can expect nothing but the best support from them. In case if you got an impression that these guys are relaxed… It’s true, but when it comes to Graveyard and their products, they are serious about it and mean nothing but good business.
Graveyard decks are available in multiple longboard stores run by skaters, which also confirms that their decks are good as well as popular in the community, even though it all started just 2 years ago.
Graveyard Longboards Team Riders
Graveyard has a big family of team riders; Janto Just, Dana Akatuna, Dominic Rico Gomez, Daniel Krug, Robert Ganscshow, Arno Tien, Patrick Bartel and Dani Haller all rip on their Graveyard longboards and give input for the further development.
Recently Graveyard also welcomed a very dear friend of mine from Italy, Andrea Skizzo Moreni.
Here’s a cool clip which features his addition to the team…
OK, so here they are, Graveyard Longboards, each one of them described and explained. If you want to know more or would like to add some info yourself, leave a comment below.
Graveyard Vindicta 84 & Vindicta 88
Graveyard Vindicta is a symetrical top-mount deck wich makes a great choice for both downhill and freeride. It comes in two length versions. As the name suggests, the Vindicta 38 is 38 cm long and it offers a wheelbase options from 60 cm to 66 cm, while the Vindicta 88 is it’s longer version, being 88 cm long with a wheelbase range from 64 cm to 70 cm. Flared wheel wells will allow for bigger wheels as well, up to 75 mm or even more with the help of some risers. The platform is 24.5 cm in width at its widest point and thanks to the 8mm pockets it will provide a solid foot lock for huge standies. In case if you don’t feel that’s enough, you’ll be happy to know that this deck’s platform has a microdrop as well. I find that especially useful when freeriding as it provides even more support and stability. Graveyard Vindicta is priced at 209,90 Euros.
Graveyard Medicus is a directional top-mount deck, great for downhill and freeride, measuring 94.5 cm in length and 25 cm in width with the wheelbase range from 61.5 cm to 67,5 cm. The platform has a radial 18 mm concave and 9 mm centered rocker. The Medicus comes in with a fully functional kick tail, as well as with lightly flared wheel wells to accommodate bigger wheels and provide a solid foot lock while freeriding or railing corners. This deck is priced at 189,90 Euros.
Graveyard Pestilentia is the smallest board in the Graveyard’s lineup and is most suitable for younger riders or girls. Since it has a fully functional kick-tail, it can be easily taken to the streets, skatepark or bowls / pools. The Pestilentia is 91 cm long, including the kick-tail and is 24,7 cm wide. It offers a wheelbase range from 55 cm to 61 cm. Its directional top-mount platform features a radial 18mm concave and no rocker. The deck is priced at 164,90 Euros.
Graveyard Scriptum is what its creators, Chris & Chris call “the racemachine”. The Scriptum features 15 mm concave, one of the biggest out there. In combination with the 10 mm rocker, its platform provides with maximum stability and extreme foot lock and responsiveness . There’s no kick tail for goofing around, but then again, this board is meant for serious racing and high speeds. The Scriptum is 88 cm long and 24.3 cm wide and also has flared wheel wells which create nice pockets to keep you on the board even when performing the gnarliest slides. You can set it up with a wheelbase ranging from 62,5 cm to 68,5 cm. The Graveyard Scriptum is priced at 189,90 Euros.
Graveyard Sepulcretum is another freeride deck from Graveyard’s collection. It’s platform is basically the same as Scriptum’s with and addition of a fully functional kick tail. This board will take you places… Any places. It’s 97 cm long (including the kick tail) and 24,7 cm wide, with the wheelbase options raging from 62,5 cm to 68,5 cm. The Sepulcretum deck is priced at 199,90 Euros.
Graveyard Anthrophopagus, a deck with the most complicated name in the Graveyard’s lineup also features the most mellow rocker of 5mm. It’s a top-mount directional deck made to be simple and to provide a comfortable ride to those who are not fans of the flared wheel wells. Its purpose is to shred fast downhill. The Anthrophopagus is 93 cm long and 24.8 cm wide at its widest point (front). It offers the most wheelbase options, raging from 65,5 cm to 74,5 cm. It’s priced at 184,95 Euros.
There you have it! The complete Graveyard Longboards collection. Be sure to follow them via Facebook for the latest media and product releases.
Where to buy Graveyard longboard decks
Graveyard doesn’t offer direct purchase via their website, but you can find your favourite dealer on it. Knowing Chris & Chris, I can recommend their products with a confidence – you will love the quality and the mentality backing up their products, that’s for sure.
It is almost a full month since we said goodbyes at KebbeK KnK Longboard Camp, but impressions are still strong. We had good weather and got to skate so much… The word out there is that this was the best edition of KnK so far. To me it felt like balancing on a thin line between heaven and hell, but at the end, knowing that everyone got out of it “in one piece” and happy with it, makes me happy too.
One thing that excites me still is how every year, we see more and more young riders showing up on the Bear’s Guts and blowing us away with their freeriding skills.
This year was no different. Young guns like Patrick Lombardi, Sebastian Schneider, Ryka Mohammadian, Ian Freire, Nico Gallman, Mirko Paoloni and Jan Dederer rocked the mountain really hard. These are just some of the guys. There were so many others as well… and one of them is Nils Bodenheimer.
Nils Bodenheimer is a 16 year old from Germany, near Meinz. He’s skating for 3 years now and his dream is to work within the skateboarding industry some day. Although he’s aware that this one is a tough nut to crack, his skating obviously reveals his strong determination to progress and succeed.
Earlier this year, in February 2016, Nils officially joined the Olson&Hekmati team and is now besides downhill skateboarding sharing another passion with his O&H Vlog‘s frontman, Alex Dehmel – the O&H Bromodel deck. He represents the brand since shredding around mostly with his homies from Team Heckmek.
“I was anxious to skate with so many riders”
Until this summer, Nils was skating only local events. He was attending the KnK for the first time and the Bear’s Guts track left a strong impression on him. Finally, he was going to skate the hill he heard so much about and which so far he only watched via the Internet.
Here’s how Nils recalls meeting with the Bear’s Guts for the first time…
It was my first event ever besides small local events. So I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I really remember when we got up with the buses the first day. I was really scared about how steep everything looked.
Also, I was anxious to skate with so many riders. But I have to say that you improve so much there! It´s crazy! Since the track is so wide you can easily draft someone on the other lane and you don´t have to worry about sliding to late.
Due to the perfect organisation we got so many runs in for every day. That definitely helped to improve too. Just try to go little bit faster every run you take and then you are on the „safe“ side. All in all the Bear’s Guts is a super fun freeride track, where you really can step up your game!
~ Nils Bodenheimer
WATCH THE VIDEO
Bear’s Guts Raw Run Cut feat. Nils Bodenheimer
On a last day of the event, he managed to jump in for a follow car run. Andrea Pedrotti was the guy behind a steering wheel, tailing him not more then a meter away… Crazy driving skills.
The following edit is a result of it, but before you even consider pressing the play button, let me warn you accordingly. Obviously, filming with a follow car is really dangerous and we highly advise you to keep your skateboarding experience safe.
Warning! You are hereby notified that the stunts and tricks displayed in this video are performed by professionals in controlled environments, such as closed circuit road tracks. Do not attempt to duplicate, re-create, or perform the same or similar stunts and tricks at home, as personal injury or property damage may result. The producer of this video is not responsible for any such injury or damage. ~ Mihael Zadravec for Longboard Magazine
Video credits Special thanks to an awesome band from Brazil, Ancesttral who kindly allowed me to use their song Trust for this edit. Check out Ancesttral via YouTube and follow them via Facebook.
Awesome riding by Nils Bodenheimer was filmed by Andrea Pedrotti and then cut and put together by me, Mihael Zadravec.
Dominic Schenk likes to challenge himself a lot and this summer he went for a full stand-up run down the Kozakov Challenge track. For many of us, a run like that is just a wet dream, but Swiss downhill skateboarder Dominic handles the 90kmh+ track with high precision “no hand down” slides with much style and ease.
With another Red Bull No Paws Down race being right around the corner, Dominic was excited to announce the challenge via his Facebook profile. I’m not sure if anyone actually tried to do it, but the likes showered and many were eager to watch the premiere broadcast of the run on the big screen at KnK.
Full stand-up run time only 2:29:378!
Dominic’s full stand-up run down the Kozakov track took only 2:29:378, which would have been top 80 qualification time. I wonder if anyone will try to beat that time.
To get his skating on point, Dominic skates his own pro model deck “Domination” by ROCKET Longboards and RAD Advantage 80a wheels.
WATCH THE VIDEO
Dominic Schenk – Kozakov NoPawsDown
This amazing run was filmed with a follow car with Rasmus Klintrot behind the steering wheel.
Disqualified on the start line
During the racing, he blew the start too many times and unfortunately got disqualified from the competition. It seems that the excitement was too much to handle :)
Bad luck followed him to KnK Longboard Camp, where he got a stomach flu and had to cancel racing Red Bull No Paws Down. Last year he placed second, but unfortunately missed a chance to win the title. Next year maybe…
However, Dominic also attended the Cult Single Set Survivors race during KnK Week #2 and shared the podium with Andreas Mangold and Florian Fellner.
To stay on top of his adventures, you can follow Dominic Schenk via Instagram or Facebook.
The first KnK Longboard Camp was organised back in 2009 and has been setting records as one of the most “talked about” freerides in Europe since it was moved to the Bear’s Guts track in 2011. This year’s KnK Longboard Camp presented by Kebbek Skateboards returns with two six days freerides, including the Red Bull No Paws Down race at the first and the Cult Single Set Survivors race at the second week.
KnK Week #1 took place from July 25th to July 30th and KnK Week #2 from August 2nd to August 8th, in the wildest part of Slovenia, Osilnica near Kočevje.
After five days of warming up on the Bear’s Guts, the riders were finally ready for Red Bull No Paws Down World Championship which took place on the last day of KebbeK KnK Longboard Camp 2016.
This year’s Week #1 at KebbeK KnK Longboard Camp was blessed with good weather and we ended up by having in total only one full day of rain (two half wet days, Monday and Thursday). The rest of it was sunny and hot with the race day being the hottest.
Everyone had more then enough time to get used to the track and improve their stand-up sliding skills. The organisation crew was running things really smooth and delivered in average around ten runs per day.
Half way through the event it was becoming more and more clear that the competition this year will be harder then last year. Everyone were shredding hard to keep up with the rest but nobody really stressed about the race. Good vibes and fun times with skate buddies were the main focus of every single individual.
All together there were 195 riders participating at this year’s KnK freeride and 117 signed up for the RBNPD race. Some of them later decided not to race for various reasons so in total 72 riders raced to qualify.
After one warmup and three quali runs, 32 riders qualified and raced in the four man heats followed by the freeride runs.
Semi-Final live stream by Emily Pross via @redbull Facebook page
During the seventh run of the day, Emily Pross chased down the racers in Semi-Final and streamed live video to Red Bull Facebook page.
Emily got hurt during the run in the first hairpin, but despite the injury she skated all the way to the finish line. Everyone was amazed by her determination to finish the run. Later during the evening we were all very happy to hear the she’s OK.
Around 4:30pm the Consolation and Final heats dropped into the Guts. Both heats were intense and delivered much excitement to Corner 8 a.k.a. “The Root Corner”.
In the Final heat, RBDNP 2015 champion Ian Freire (Brazil) battled with Patrick Lombardi (Italy), Ryka Mohammadian (USA) and Nico Gallmann (Switzerland), but didn’t manage to keep his title. The stakes were high as the money prize for the first place was 1,000 Euros, for the second 500 and for the third place 300 Euros.
Red Bull No Paws Down World Championship 2016 Results
As all the other nights, everyone got together at the party place where the champs walked the podium once again followed by a metal concert performed by NCODNC from Slovenia, rap concert by one the riders Emil Birch – ZublimE and of course, Joey Biedner and Sebastian Schneider spun the KebbeK Wheel of Misfortune. As DJ Semo played some wicked tunes, the crowd was getting more and more drunk… What happened next should stay in Osilnica :)
Huge shoutout to everyone who helped running the event especialy to Course marshals and the whole KnK organisation crew, Maga and Rob McWhinnie, Ry Swanton, the Red Bull crew and Hotel Kovač staff. Word up!
Romania just had its first international downhill event, and we simply can’t wait for the next one.
“How about Transylvania?” read the message that I found in my inbox after coming back from Bigmountainskate’s Alpenrauschen freeride. I hadn’t heard anything about the event yet, but a quick look at the website told me enough; a fun looking track leading up to a ski resort, complete with a gondola and accommodation in the resort’s hotels.
Two weeks later I stepped off a plane in Cluj-Napoca, a city in the heart of Romania from where I hitched a ride to Straja for the very first edition of Transylvania Downhill.
The riders got set up in three hotels directly at the top of the track, next to the gondola’s top station. The hotels were well-equipped, with on suite bathrooms for every room and both breakfast and dinner included in the riders package. Noise was also not a problem, as the party area was a bit down the track, in the first corner.
On my first run, it became clear to me pretty quickly that I had been wrong about the track. ‘Fun looking’ is definitely not the way to describe this 7 kilometers long monster, while the race was held on it’s most challenging section stretching down to 4.5 kilometers.
The straights launch you into some seriously tight sweepers, of which some are followed by hairpins that drop up to 2 meters to spit you out with a load of exit speed for the next straight.
It seems to never end, and when it does, you’re back up within 15 minutes because the gondola is just a short walk through the woods away. Ludwig Forss apparently managed to hammer down 16 runs in one day, a number any organizer can be proud of, especially when the track is as long as this one.
The track is probably the best closed road I’ve ever skated, with a perfect balance between fast- and technical sections leaving you wanting more as soon as you arrive at the bottom.
Racing on this track was definitely a challenge. The race was held on a 4.5 kilometers long section of the track which, although shorter, is still more than long enough to make your legs hurt after tucking through it. The sweepers also get really tight when racing gets close, which makes it important to make your overtakes at the right moment.
Sebastian Hertler, Andreas Mangold, Ludwig Forss, and Anders Inde rode a tight final, with Hertler taking first, Inde second, Forss third and Mangold fourth.
After the race, the boys from Astronaut Soundsystem threw an amazing rave-like party with a huge soundsystem. People partied till sunrise, fueled by the locals’ homemade palinka schnapps and stoke that had accumulated over the last two days.
It’s amazing to see how a close-knit group of friends all pull together to make an event like this happen. Over 30 volunteers helped to make everything run smoothly, and although there were some minor hiccups, I have an endless amount of respect for the crew.
There haven’t been any Events in Romania on this scale, and none of the organizers have been to an event this size. To run your first event without having any examples of how things should be done is a big gamble, but it paid off. I had a great event and will definitely be coming back next year.
A new event announcement just popped up on the horizon and it’s a freeride in Switzerland! For all of you who are familiar with the beauty that is Switzerland, you will not be surprised that Wolzen Bolzen offers not only a fun road to skate but also a scenic ride.
This year’s Wolzen Bolzen downhill skateboard freeride will take place on the 1st and 2nd of October in Nesslau-Krummenau, Switzerland. Riders will be able to enjoy a nice 5.5 km long road, unlimited chairlift shuttles and a camping place conveniently placed next to the party tent on the top of the track.
If I tickled your interest, than be on the lookout for the registration that opens on the 14th of August at 12:00 MEZ. You can sign up via Freerides.org. Riders limit is set at 130 so make sure to grab your spot on time. The price is 100,00 CHF (currently 92,14 Euro).
The first KnK Longboard Camp was organised back in 2009 and has been setting records as one of the most “talked about” freerides in Europe since it was moved to the Bear’s Guts track in 2011. This year’s KnK Longboard Camp presented by Kebbek Skateboards returns with two six days freerides, including the Red Bull No Paws Down race at the first and the Cult Single Set Survivors race at the second week.
Before I get started with all the event details, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who had fun with us at Bear’s Guts so far and everyone who is joining us for the first time this year.
When we organised the KnK for the first time in 2009, I never thought that it will become a worldwide recognised freeride with such a big impact on the European downhill skateboarding community. This would have never been possible without the awesome people like yourself. So, thank you very much and I’m looking forward to see you all very soon :)
This year’s KnK Longboard Camp 2016 presented by Kebbek Skateboards will once again be a BigMountainSkate partner event and if you’re joining us for the first time, here’s all of the event details. Just in case if you have any questions left unanswered, write them in a comment section below and I will reply as soon as posible.
Ok, let’s get down with it :)
About the Bear’s Guts track
There’s a good reason why Bear’s Guts is one of the best freeride tracks in our part of the World.
Gallery: Aerial shots by Felix Rupitsch and Florian Wagner.
KnK Longboard Camp features a 4 kilometers long road carved into a beautiful mountain in the wildest part of Slovenia, near a small town called Osilnica. It’s packed with 18 hairpins which are up to 10 meters wide, so there’s a lot of room to play around with your slides.
The Bear’s Guts has one of the smoothest pavements you’ll find around and there’s no pavement changes from start till finish, which makes it great for learning and improving your freeride skills. The top speed you might hit on the Bear’s Guts is around 80+ km/h and the steepest grade is 14 percent.
The Bear’s Guts is a very demanding track, but beginners are also welcome to join us. You’ll need to know how to perform at least one slide to get down the Bear’s Guts “safely” and you’ll have 6 days to learn the rest. The main idea behind this event is to be able to skate that amazing road for a week and progress as much as you would in a couple of months of shredding your local spots.
Required and recommended protection gear
At KnK Longboard Camp, a leather suit is not required, but it’s highly recommended for beginners. The only required protection gear is a full-face helmet and slide gloves. Although the knee and elbow pads are optional, you might want to consider wearing them, as well as a back protector.
Gallery: Action shots by Villing Chong.
Riders limit and registration
There are two editions of KnK Longboard Camp each year. The huge track, experienced crew and flawless organisation allows KnK to take in 250 riders per event (week).
Camping is included in the price and you’ll need to take care of the food and drinks yourself. Registration has already started, so make sure to join while you still can.
As I mentioned, camping is included in the price, as well as the warm showers and toilette facilities in the hotel. If you want to rent a room, you have to book it early via the Hotel Kovač website.
Gallery: Aerial shots by Felix Rupitsch and Florian Wagner.
You can rent a single or a double room for around 30 to 35 Euros per night or a bed in a dorm for 18 Euros per night. If you’re traveling with a camper, you can hook up to electricity but you’ll need your own cable.
Food and drinks at KnK Longboard Camp
You’ll need to walk only 5 minutes to get to the nearest and only store in the village where you can get some food for breakfast. That’s a great alternative to a bit more costly offer at Hotel Kovač, which is usually 5 Euros for all you can eat (sausages, fried eggs, yogurt, pancakes, toast sandwich with ham and cheese, fresh fruit, croissants, coffee or tea, etc).
At KnK the track runs from 11am till 6pm without stopping, but you can take a break from skating and get your lunch at the start (on the track). You can choose from grilled meat, kebab, falafel and similar and the prices stretch from 3 to 4 Euros.
After a full day of skating, you can have a dinner at the Hotel Kovač for a discounted price of 6.5 Euros. You’ll be served with a three course meal (soup, salad, main meal and possibly a desert). Vegans and vegetarians are covered as well. While you’re at it, you can also grab a cool beer for 2.20 Euros.
How to pack for KnK Longboard Camp
Since KnK Longboard Camp is a six days long event, you’ll have to pack a bit more stuff. Usually it gets hot up on the track and you’ll sweat a lot, so make sure you have enough t-shirts, socks and underwear – at least two pieces per day.
Pack a sweater for the evening hangouts at the party place too. Nights are not cold, but there’s a lot of humidity in the air. Weather got a bit sketchy in the past couple of years, so you might want to pack for the rain as well. Just like for Alpenrauschen, I’ll grab an extra pair of shoes.
Don’t forget your swimming suit, because there’s a nice river flowing next to the campsite where you can refresh yourself in the morning and show off your water jumping skills in the late afternoon. I would also recommend to have a gazebo tent if you want to enjoy some shade in the campsite since it’s placed on an open field.
Other than that, if you’re camping, you’ll obviously need your own tent and other camping gear, like a flash light, sleeping bag etc.
Red Bull No Paws Down @ #KNK2016 Week #1
This summer at KNK we’re proud to announce that Rob & Maga McWhinnie are coming back to Bear’s Guts with their bad-ass Red Bull No Paws Down race.
Racers have to make their way down the steep twisting track using stand up slides for braking. With hairpins & speeds up to 80 Km/h (50 mph) it’s truly a show of skill & nerve from riders from all levels. If you put your hands down, you’re out!
The race will be held on July 30th (the last day of Week #1) and during the race freeride will run as usual, so even if you’re not racing, you’ll still get a full day of skating.
The last year’s champion Ian Freire is coming back to defend his title, as well as Dominic Schenk who placed second is already registered for both weeks and ready to take home 1k Euros prize money.
Cult Single Set Survivors @ #KNK2016 Week #2
Doesn’t it suck when you race and don’t have enough wheels to change them every run, but others do? For sure it does. That’s why Nadim and I decided to organise a fun race where riders are allowed to skate the whole race with only one set of wheels of their choice.
A big thank you goes to Cult Wheels for supporting the idea and sponsoring with wheels. Racers will have an option to get a set of Cult wheels for a small fee of 20 Euros which will contribute towards money prize fund. Whether they’re going to use the Cult or some other wheels for the race, it’s totally up to rider’s choice.
Last year Matt Elver swept the first place with the longest board on the track, the Hackbrett Wasser. Here’s a video of the final run shot by Alexander “Alextiki” Frischauf.
Earlier this year, Cult introduced the Emperor freeride longboard wheels powered by their latest and Jorge Pernes’s new favourite, Dopathane formula. Adam Hill from Cult was very kind to send me a set to try them out and in return I promised to write a review. So, if you’re stoked on getting a set for yourself and want to know how they roll, read through to find out how they worked for me.
Cult Emperor – The first look
Let’s have a look at the basic features of the Emperor wheel first and then I’ll tell you more about how are they “straight out the box”, how’s the slide like and more…
The Cult Emperor wheels are 71mm in diameter and have a 50.5mm wide contact patch, while the overall width of the wheel is 53.5mm. At least for now, the Emperors are available in 78a durometer (hardness) and in white colour only. The Emperors have an offset bearing hub, but I still managed to skate them flipped without noticing any significant difference.
The wheels have a bevelled edge to ensure reliable release, while the wider contact patch and the softer urethane provide more braking power. This combination makes it great especially for faster freeride runs or slidy pavement and it helped me gain confidence to throw some standies at higher speeds then usual.
Big bada** core
Besides the new “mid grip” Dopathane formula, the Cult Emperor wheels introduced a brand new core design. The new big vented core supports the lips of the wheels in such a way, that it reduces the lip’s deformation while it’s under pressure. Also, because the core is so big and wide, the weight is distributed more evenly which leads to more consistent wearing of the wheel.
With that being said, it’s fair to mention that because of their big core, the ride on the Emperors feels a bit “harder” on a rougher surface. As expected, on a smoother pavement, they feel great, have nice roll speed and smooth consistent slide.
Getting the bearings out was a bit challenging as they fit very tightly and the core is very hard (I used Zealous bearings). A proper snug fit, I guess :)
How are the Emperors “straight out of the box”
The Emperors don’t come with a stone ground finish, so straight out of the box they have solid amount of grip too, but once I manage to break the traction, the slide felt very icy. However, after a couple of solid runs, the skin was finally off and the true nature of the wheel started showing.
Here’s few impressions from the first few drops, shot by my girlfriend Nadia Hozić.
Thank you, Nadia :-*
How do they slide
I switched to Cult Emperor from the much more slidy wheels, Remember Hoots 80a, so I had to get used to it first. Emperor is a much wider and softer wheel then I was used to, but that also led to me getting more confidence when sliding at higher speeds.
So, once the skin was completely off, they had a really nice consistent slide as well as a predictable release and hook up. Although they are 78a, the Emperors were not as grippy as I was expecting them to be.
Slide initiation with the Emperors is as easy as with Cult Cerebrum, but they will slow you down more. Pretty much all of the people I talked with about the Emperors agreed that this is a great mix.
Wearing and durability
Since the Emperors have softer urethane in combination with the offset bearing hub, I was expecting them to cone, but that was not the case thanks to that huge core. Although they are offset, the Emperor felt very much as a centerset wheels.
Here’s a photo I took on the first day after a couple of hours of skating.
I skated on Emperors for the next 6 sessions until I managed to flat spot one of the wheels after pulling off some longer squat stand up slides, but that was my fault really as I was putting the board too much sideways (at 90 degree). Being a bit overweight at that time didn’t help either.
I managed to wear them down for 1 cm, down to ~61mm when the orange colour (the core) started showing through the urethane (in the middle of the wheel).
However, there’s still plenty of slides left in them and I will finish them off as soon as I get the chance.
In Emperors defence, I think it’s fair to admit that sooner or later, I flat spot every wheel, regardless the brand or a wheel type and durometer. I guess, I suck a bit haha!
Here’s a video from some of the sessions with my buddy Benjamin Sabol (Kebbek Skateboards).
As I mentioned earlier, while still fresh and with the skin, the Emperor wheels have a decent amount of grip, but they wouldn’t be my choice of wheel for fast grip and rip runs. For such runs, I usually switch to wheels like Cult Traction Beam or similar.
After all, the Emperor is meant to be a freeride wheel and it does slide quite a lot once you put the board sideways. Taking that in consideration, they do serve the purpose very well.
Don’t let that stop you from sending them down the hill as fast as you can manage it… After all, we all have our personal preferences and skating style. What might work the best for me, might not work as well for you.
How much do they cost
The Cult Emperor longboard wheels come in at around 64 Euros which puts them in the upper mid price range. If you’re already an experienced rider, you will find much value in them for that money, that’s for sure.
As for beginners, I would say go for it if you don’t find the price to big for your budget, otherwise, check out some cheaper options. Otherwise, the Emperor wheels are a great choice for beginners as they provide with a really nice mix of a grip and slide characteristics and they will be great for “not super fast” downhill runs as well.
I guess it’s time to end this post at some point, so here’s my final thoughts on the Emperor wheels.
Overall, I find the Emperor to be a great freeride wheel with a smooth and predictable slide once the skin is off. When fresh and with the skin the slide wasn’t that nice and it would be awesome to have them available with stone ground finish.
The wearing of the wheel really is consistent as promised and you shouldn’t have any problems skating them till the core pops out. Although they are offset, due to the big core, the Emperors feel much like centerset wheels and you can flip them in case if you need to make them even again (for example, if you’re a beginner and sliding only heelside or toeside and wearing only one side of the wheels).
That’s all folks! I highly recommend you give the Cult Emperor freeride wheels a try and leave a comment bellow to let us know how they worked for you. Happy shredding!
Official video featuring Jorge Pernes
I guess, who’s better out there to show off the Emperors in action the Jorge Pernes. Right?
For more info and inquiries visit Cult Wheels website.