Downhill skateboard racing—is there anything else quite like it?
The wind in your helmet, the beautiful scenery, the imminent threat of skin-shearing demise lurking around every corner.
If you haven’t had a good look at this terrifying sport, it’s time for you to check out this video from the Pike’s Peak Downhill. On Sept. 8, over 50 of the world’s fastest skateboarders met up to compete on a breathtaking course set in Colorado’s most visited mountain summit.
With a course beginning at over 11,000 feet in elevation, competitors weaved through hairpin turns and reached speeds of 60-plus mph, according to race organizers.
If you can watch this video without your rear end tightening up, I applaud you. You might have a future in downhill skateboarding and/or base jumping.
I, on the other hand, tightened up like a snare drum. I’ve bent through mountain switchbacks on a road bike before, but I’ve never went palm-down on a skateboard at 40 mph. These guys work the pavement like surfers carving a wave. Also, they race down the hill—four at a time. Gulp.
Having some guy shout “Whoa, WHOA!” into your ear as you scream down a mountain doesn’t exactly foster confidence. Perhaps that’s just a mind game—or a knee-jerk reaction you have when you’re threading the needle of death.
Either way, these skateboarders not only have huevos, they have huevos rancheros. They’ve got the whole kit and kaboodle, the confidence and the skills, and they are highly deserving of your respect.
The winner of the Pike’s Peak downhill was American skateboarder Zak Maytum, who earned 650 competition points in the International Downhill Federation circuit.
Indeed, this sport is international and organized. There is a federation of half-crazy downhill daredevils out there.
Keep that in mind the next time you’re planning some kind of Ocean’s Eleven stunt and need a team member who doesn’t understand fear.
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