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Longboarders race at high speeds down Knox Mountain – Okanagan

Knox Mountain was popular with hikers and longboarders this weekend. The latter raced down the hill in an attempt to compete at the world championships.

It was a day full of high speeds, a few crashes, and tight corners. The Knox Mountain Downhill event marked the return of longboarding to Kelowna after a pandemic paise.

“The longboarding community, it’s a strong community here in the Okanagan and in B.C. particularly. We have history skating in Kelowna. We used to have a race here a few years ago called the Skylands Downhill,” said organizer David Befus.

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The two-day event saw racers from around the province, such as 14-year veteran Dane Hanna, travelling down Knox Mountain Drive at speeds around 80 kilometres per hour.

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“I really like just the freeing feeling and forgetting about all the problems. You go down the road and you’re free and you can just focus on one thing. That’s why I love to do longboarding,” said Hanna.

The winners from this weekend’s event move one step closer to representing Canada at the World Skate Games in Argentina this October. For Hanna, he’s hoping for a return to the global stage and knows there’s a lot of hard work ahead of him.

“I went to Spain for the WRG (World Roller Games) and ended up winning that in 2019. I got the world championship under my belt so, I’m hoping to get the second one here.”

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With the goal of expanding longboarding in Kelowna, racers of any age or gender were welcomed to compete.

“Canada hasn’t had a sanctioned downhill event since 2019 so it was great to bring it back this year. It’s for open class, women’s class and junior class,” said Befus.

This is the first ever downhill longboard race at Knox Mountain but, organizers are already planning on bringing it back next year.

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