Longboarders from around lower BC take on Ukee competition

A popular staple on the Ukee Days annual calendar is the downhill skate competition.

This year’s competition was organized by Ucluelet’s youth coordinator Erica Benson, who was taking in her first ever Ukee Days experience.

“It’s an important event to get the youth involved and to attract people from out of town to help celebrate Ucluelet in a healthy and fun way,” she said.

About 23 longboarders descended on Ucluelet from various Vancouver Island locations as well as the Mainland to take on the Marine Drive track that boasts a 90-degree turn equipped with hay bails to cushion fails.

Along with the straight downhill event there is also a slalom event, which tasks boarders with maneuvering through pylons.

The event’s roster of young longboarders rubbed wheels with professionals as two Vancouver based longboard companies-Switchback Longboards and Flatspot Longboards- were on hand.

“Switchback has been huge in this event and Flatspot has also been instrumental in helping us this year,” Benson said.

Victoria’s Derek Smith attended the competition for the first time in 2012 and it immediately became entrenched in the 18-year-old’s summer calendar.

“It’s pretty sweet, it’s a really chill hill, mellow, it’s not like a super hard race, everyone can skate it and it’s pretty fun,” he said.

Smith said he is a fan of the

Switchback team and was stoked to ride with them.

It was the first time Philippe Boutin, a Quebecer currently residing in Nanaimo, has attended the event and he hopes to catch the annual experience every year from now on.

“First of all it’s the Switchback team and these guys are just insane so I was like, yeah I’ll join them for sure, like holy,” he said. “Now I’m just checking them out and it’s my first race ever as well so it’s pretty good stuff…I’m having so much fun even though I’m kind of failing at racing.”

Boutin said he loved the event’s laid-back atmosphere.

“Everyone’s having so much fun, everyone’s fooling around, the race is not serious; it’s really friendly competition and everyone’s just here for fun basically so really good vibes all around,” he said.

Benson hopes the annual event will continue to draw in youth

from other areas and help marinate local interest in longboarding. “We definitely want to keep it going and see more and more riders out and keep the sport alive,” she said.

The competition kicked off at 11 a.m. on Saturday giving Ukee Dayers time to make their way from the Ukee Days Peninsula Road parade route to Marine Drive.

The event moved from Ucluelet’s Main Street to Marine Drive between Black Rock Resort and Cynamoka Road in 2012 after a Longboard competition hosted by the Ucluelet Community Centre’s Edge Youth Room pegged the area as a more attractive stomping ground.

Aidan Reynolds took the race’s top honours followed by Riley Richters; the free ride competition was won by Laine Jackart, with Levi Green finishing second.

reporter@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Tofino’s Clayoquot Oyster Festival scaled back for 2017

Organizers optimistic about years to come

Pacific Rim Whale Festival in dire need of volunteers around Tofino and Ucluelet

Society’s treasurer Marilyn McEwen fears 2018 could be event’s final year.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Apology to Canadians persecuted for being gay coming Nov. 28: Trudeau

Thousands were fired from the military, RCMP and public service because of their sexual orientation

Heavy rains, winds hit B.C.’s south coast

Localized flooding, gusts up to 70 km/hr expected for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

Most Read