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

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Tofino mayor explains housing editorial

“We felt it was important to get our messages out there.”

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Inside the Olympic performance of the Island’s Teal Harle

Islander finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle final in Pyeong Chang

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Most Read