Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
18 hairpin turns and 14% gradient at Red Bull No Paws Down in Slovenia.
Travelling at 80km/h down a steep mountain pass is nerve-tingling enough, but with only a skateboard between you and the asphalt and no brakes it is even more so.
Red Bull No Paws Down is the ultimate longboard speed test over four kilometres of closed roads. There is only one rule, you can’t put your hands down. Here is all you need to know:
– Competitors line up at the top of a mountain pass 1,000 metres above sea level in the far South of Slovenia. They then head towards the finishing line in what’s known locally as Bear’s Guts.
– The 4km route contains 18 hairpin turns, the gradient as steep as 14% and clocking top speeds around the 80km/h mark. The experience is all over in no more than five minutes.
– To add to the drama of it all, Bear’s Guts gets its name for the volume of brown bears wandering around the area, although thankfully for the longboarders not typically at 80km/h.
– The start line is marked by a white line and four riders per race line up complete with race helmets and protective gloves and kneepads. Only two of the four qualified from each race.
– It attracts the best athletes from the longboarding world, who are typically allowed to put their gloves to the floor to slow themselves down. As the name suggests at No Paws Down, no such a move is allowed.
– This year’s race was won by Patrick Lombardi, who said: “I like this race because it is probably the only race where your skills matter more than the aerodynamics of your fancy racing suit. Red Bull No Paws Down is raw and hard.”