By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
In the skateboard world there exists a style that is for the most extreme types of people, the skaters that want to go as fast as possible, Downhill. A skateboarding type that doesn’t allow fear, because it is for crossing the line of the extreme and crossing it with speed. You may be scared of approaching a bad corner, reaching a speed out of your control but that is also part of the fun with downhill skateboarding.
Downhill Skateboarding Progression Takes Time
Mastering downhill is like anything in life, you must practice and practice and then, practice some more. You will get so obsessed with the adrenaline that it becomes an addiction. Blood, sweat and tears are necessary, and as long as you can handle that you will love it without any doubt.
Sure downhill can be risky, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have equipement which allows you to improve your craft. If we are talking about a board for downhill, it should be stiff with some concave so your feet won’t slip easily, trucks must be stable enough so you can ride straight at a terminal velocity. When it comes to turning in corners very fast, we need proper bushings and sharp lipped wheels. Sometimes you may need to use your hands so you can leverage your slides while you go full speed, and if tearing up your hands is not the goal we recommend you to use some gloves, a set of functional slide pucks should do the trick.
Quick Questions for Downhill Athlete Anne Poursin
We had a chat with French Downhill Skateboarding athelete Anne Poursin about her experience with the style.
SHIT®: What does downhill mean to you?
Anne Poursin: Downhill skateboarding means to me freedom, sharing, discovering and passion!
SHIT®: What's the fastest you have gone downhill?
Anne Poursin: I think the fastest I have gone is 107km/h at Peyragudes.
SHIT®: What is thebest place or places for downhill in your opinion?
Anne Poursin: I don't know a lot of roads as I still have a lot to discover. But the French Alps and Pyrenees are very nice and rich to ride in my opinion.
Going Really Fast In Downhill Skateboarding
Now to really go fast tucking is what you need. It may be a little akward at first, but tucking will reduce the wind resistance considerably. In a few words, the smaller you are, the faster you go. It's not a natural position but you will get used to it and see the difference right away. Now, imagine you are going downhill with a friend in front of you, then you will need to draft which means that you need to get around him quickly and efficiently. You will just need to go the smallest you can directly behind your friend, as soon as you feel the acceleration you can use it to sling shot yourself out and around him. Unless a car or something suddently appears in which case you’ll die, just saying.
Maybe you’re one of those people that don’t want to slow down ever, to achieve taking a corner without loosing any speed you will need to predrift. This is going to help you to slide just enough to maintain cornering speed while at the same time, touching the ground with your hands and approaching the corner with a large amount of speed.
So as you see, downhill skateboarding is no joke. But it could also be just one of the most extreme experience you will have in all your life. If that sounds like a good fit for you, don’t be afraid of try it out. Now that you know some of the downhill fundamentals we highly encourage you to look closely at this skateboarding style and see if it is something for you to try.
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