What you should know about downhill longboard racing
In every sport, there are lots of competitions as well as races for those who play that sport to show their capacity and bring valuable rewards. With longboarding, riders have opportunities to participate in trick contests and racing.
For almost longboarding courses, the average speed which riders can reach is 40 mph, but with advanced courses, they can ride longboards with a speed of 50-60 mph.
Competitions in longboarding are formed to meet different skill levels of various categories, including junior (under 18 years old); women, luge and master for the age of over 30 and luge and open classes for everybody who want to compete in the same class. Longboard races can be taken place at any locations having challenging roads which is suitable to this sport. Now, a plenty of longboard races is held across the world, stretching from Colorado to Brazil to South Africa. Of which, the Pikes Peak Downhill taken place in Pikes Peak is a very popular race and is one of the most advanced races in the United States with over 11,000 feet of a starting altitude and sloping drops and hairpin corners of 1.5 miles.
It can be said that longboarding is an extremely great sport but it is also very dangerous for riders. Therefore, in longboard races or even in their practice every day, riders need to comply with safety rules seriously. In particular, in downhill longboarding, the International Downhill Federation set out a lot of standardized safety rules for riders to follow if they want to join in the competition with the speed of 40 mph going down a hill with sharp curves and steep straightaways. Rides must wear a full closed helmet the most basic requirement in every downhill or luge race that they have to follow if they want to compete. The very simple reason for this rule is that full closed helmets will prevent them from concussions and serious brain injuries if accidents occur. For advanced events, a full leather body suit is required to protect the rider from serious road rash if they fall. However, if they are in accidents, their bones are still at risk of being broken because they are traveling at high speeds.
When the race starts, the same basic actions will be implemented by each rider. Right after the blast of the gun, a line of 4 riders will start pushing their longboards quickly and trying to reach the highest speed as possible before starting downhill. A speed tuck will be quickly reached when they start going downhill with the aim at decreasing air resistance in a streamlined appearance.
And then, the riders will lean carefully close to the ground when going round each corner because they will retain as much of their speed as they can by staying close to the inside edge of the road. Sometimes, they must use their hands to control their motion when approaching tight corners. When the race finishes, the riders will get off the speed tuck and slow down thanks to air resistance.
See more: Beginner’s guide to skateboarding