The downhill skateboarding competition in Colorado is the most exhilirating way to almost die
Colorado is home to some extremely extreme extreme sports; ice climbing, paragliding, dabbing ... but none are more death-defying than downhill skateboarding. Wait, did someone just say "death-defying skateboarding?" Oh great, let's have a competition for that right here in Colorado.
And so there shall be one: It's the Pike's Peak Downhill, and it's happening this weekend (September 6-7).
Downhill skateboarding positions riders with balls the size of asteroids on specialized longboards, which they race down a mountain at speeds around 80 mph. That's faster than the speed limit on most highways; and riders have to brace the curvy turns on the mountain roads at that speed. Just thinking about that took 10 years off our life. Look at this:
Naturally, Colorado is the best place for an elite downhill skateboarding competition. For the Pikes Peak Downhill, professional skaters from around the world will take advantage of Colorado's terrain to race down Pikes Peak Highway, competing to be crowned "World's Fastest Oh My God Slow Down Guy."
Last year, 23-year-old Boulder boy Zak Maytum won that title. He's currently ranked fourth in the world at being a badass, and another win this year could put him in the running for the World Cup, the sport's highest-level competition.
According to Zak, downhill skaters have way more confidence in their ability to balance, turn, and brake than one might think, so he says the fear isn't as high for them as it is for you, the viewer, who's sitting there, butt clenched, sweating like a whore in church.
"Really, this race comes down to who is the best at braking," said 39-year-old Fredrik Lindstrom, a former world champion about the competition.
He also says crashes are common, which is why they have to wear those super cool Daft Punk outfits. But regardless of 80 mph wipeouts, the terrain on the Pikes Peak Highway is still the favorite of downhill skaters from around the world. According to the Denver Post, "Pikes Peak Highway first hosted the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb car race in 1916, a year after the road was carved into the mountainside. The final stretch of the world's highest tollway was paved in 2012. The highway seems built for racing, with banked turns, a slight crown down the middle of the pavement and a flowing design that allows for straightaway speeding."
"This is the most iconic road in America, and it's definitely the most iconic road in Colorado, so it's super special to win being from Colorado, for sure," said man of the hour Zak.
Long story short, if you want to test the limits of your nervous system, check out the Pikes Peak Downhill this weekend. And bring a change of underwear.