WHISTLER, BC– The Whistler Longboard Festival returns for a second year of speed, crashes, and passes July 12- 15th at Whistler Olympic Park and the Whistler Sliding Centre. All skills levels are welcome to jump in and take aim at Whistler Olympic Park on July 12th for the first annual Skate Shoot Biathlon and the 20 km Longboard Enduro Race. The action heats up with the main downhill event at the Whistler Sliding Centre on Sunday July 15th. With $7000 in prize money to be won over the course of the festival this event is not to be missed!
The festival kicks off on Thursday with the inaugural 20km Enduro Race and the intense 10 KM Skate Shoot Biathlon at Whistler Olympic Park in the Callaghan Valley Presented by Rayne Longboards. Entry is only $30 and $60 into these open events where the speediest racers and most accurate shooters will each walk away with a $1000 cash prize. The Biathlon event consists of two laps of a rolling 5km course and two stops at the range. For each of the five targets missed, racers must skate an extra 150m penalty lap- just like the biathletes who competed on this range in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Admission is free for spectators and all skill levels welcome as participants. Registration will remain open until 1:00pm on Thursday with demo boards and equipment available for use.
The weekend picks up speed with the second annual Downhill Race at the Whistler Sliding Centre Presented by Arbor Skateboards. Set on the side of Blackcomb Mountain this gnarly 1.6 km road features a 1000ft vertical foot drop where riders will grip and drift through seven 180-degree hairpin turns and 12 corners. Imagine snow boardercross meets Formula 1 on a skateboard with a $5000 cash prize. Friday and Saturday are athlete training days for this sold-out event of over 180 fierce competitors from Peru to Deep Cove, BC. The official racing charges down the course from 10am- 5pm on Sunday July 15th. Spectators are welcome to watch the action on Friday and Saturday.
In case you aren’t familiar with the sport, people have been downhill skateboarding since the 1950’s when young boys stole their sister’s roller-skate wheels and mounted them on a piece of wood. The Longboard is a by-product of the skateboard revolution and today the sport is experience tremendous growth, largely due to advances in equipment, and increases in urban densities, transit, and fuel costs. Though Longboarding is rooted in Coastal and Mountain culture and regions like BC, the sport is now growing wildly in dense urban centres such as New York and Toronto.
This Downhill event at this year’s Festival is drawing over 180 racers across five divisions from every corner of the globe including Australia, Brazil, the EU, Peru, and Argentina. Notably in attendance in the men’s division will be the controversial 2011 Downhill champion James “American Dream” Kelly out of California, Vancouver’s own Kevin “K-Rimes” Reimer (considered by most to be the fastest Downhill skater in the world), and Patrick “P-Swiss” Switzer, a BCIT Engineering Graduate who also happens to be the fastest rising star in the sport today. Other talents that you won’t want to miss include top international female rider Marisa Nunez of Peru, Louis Pilloni of California, one of the best all-around skaters in the world, and young Quinn Dubois out of Deep Cove, a 14-year-old world champion Longboarder hailed as the “future of speedboarding.”
Spectators are welcome Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday with no admission fee. Entertainment will be provided all weekend long by DJ Phil David at the Hell’s Gate Beer Garden presented by Black’s Pub. Free parking is available in Lot 8 on Blackcomb Mountain, with a mandatory bike and skateboard check at gate entry. Official after party venues include Tapley’s (Thursday), Buffalo Bills (Friday), Black’s Pub (Saturday), and the Longhorn Saloon (Sunday).
About the Whistler Longboard Festival