The Knox Mountain Downhill – a 1.5 Km longboard race happening in Kelowna, B.C. is set to take place this weekend, Aug. 20-21 and is hosted by Landyachtz. The run features winding hills, steep terrain, and racers from all over the area. This event requires the signing of a waiver to legally protect the event coordinators, sponsors, and the host city of Kelowna. For those not familiar with the sport of Longboarding, lets begin with a short lesson. Longboarding is quite similar to skateboarding, as far as board anatomy is concerned; however, the board’s deck is much longer than a skateboard. Longboards often include larger wheels, and are designed to handle downhill riding, compared to tricks. Not only is this a downhill event, it’s also a race. The racers set to participate in this weekend’s event will be tattered head to toe in protective gear, full-face helmets, gloves, and pads. Straw bales have also been placed in high-impact zones in the occasion a wipeout takes place. The bales of straw are there to prevent injury amongst the riders.
The city of Kelowna is expected to accommodate participants and patrons of the event by providing volunteers, EMS services, and news teams to cover the festivities. Road closures and parking restrictions will be widespread throughout the area. Kelowna is known as a longboarding town throughout British Columbia, especially because of The Kelowna Longboard Alliance. The KLA is made up by a group of over 400 members who have joined a Facebook group where longboarding and downhill sports are at the forefront of their daily activities. Events similar to The Knox Mountain Downhill have been organized and held without consultation of the city. Kelowna’s Event Development Supervisor Chris Babcock encourages event organizers and participants to feel safe about approaching the city’s governing bodies when planning longboarding events. Speaking on personal experience, I’ve always had great success in negotiating terms with local city governments when it comes to planning longboarding film sessions. Longboarding is an arm to the growing community of skating, and as long as content is being made, and events like the Knox Mountain Downhill are taking place, the movement will continue to grow into something great.