Activities Sports

An Intro to Downhill Skating in Hawaii

A few weeks ago I was browsing Exploration: Hawaii while trying to plan and prepare for my next hike. I coincidentally enough got a message from Coty over Vimeo later that day saying how he would like to feature a video of mine on his page. I replied back to him and we sparked up a brief conversation. Now here I am writing a column for the blog to help add to the adventures around the island.

Fully geared up Photo by: Evan Higa

To start things off this is Longboarding…not longboard surfing like many people think it is but longboarding on a skateboard. To be more specific though this is downhill speed boarding, a sport to us that not only tests our physical abilities but also our mental. People may look at us as crazy out of control adrenaline junkies, and adrenaline junkies we may be but in reality we are in full control of what we are doing and every little adjustment we make while riding has a purpose.

Our community of riders is small but growing every day as the sport gains popularity and we do what we can to support each other anyway possible. But we are constantly faced with negativity from bystanders and law enforcers. So I write this in hopes that this article will help educate people on our sport and lift some of the bad rep we get for skating as well as encourage safe riding from others.

Close racing on a closed road Photo by: Niki Izak

Now we don’t just ride any ole board down the hills, we do have certain gear to do what we do. The boards most of us ride range from about 36in to 46in depending on how long or short the rider likes their board. We use big soft wheels so that we carry momentum and have a smoother ride that can roll over bumps and rocks easier. Also our trucks, they are reverse kingpin and generally 180mm wide allowing for a more stable ride. And of course our safety gear of helmets and slide gloves which are a must anytime we ride.

Hawaiians racing in Canada Photo by: Nick Di Vona

Onto the video, it is a simple edit of a fun run down a hill some may recognize. The video highlights some fast sections with great views as we pass the camera back and forth. The video also shows you two of the ways we slow down for turns, one major one being at about 35sec in. The car behind us is part of our group and we have them follow us to quickly get us off the road if we do fall so we do not hold up traffic, it is also safer for us to have a fellow skater follow us because they know when we are going to slow down on certain sections of the hill. Enjoy the video!

We do not take any responsibility for anyone attempting to try what we do. We have years of practice that have gone into out riding abilities and we learned on easier safer hills. Please think before you ride down any hill as we do not want kids getting hurt and causing more hate toward our community.

Special Thanks to Riptide Sports and Buzzed Precision Trucks for supporting my skating.

By Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.