Speed Thrills

Riding in the comfort of your SUV, 35 miles per hour might not seem too fast. But try that same speed inches above the pavement, ripping turns through a slalom course on a skateboard lacking brakes, and you’ll get a much different perception of 35 mph. Even if you just watch the pros do it at the Seismic U.S. Nationals of Slalom Skateboarding.

Launched onto the courses via bungees, racers will reach speeds of more than 30 mph within two seconds as they head down an impressive nine-degree grade. Three varieties of slalom, from tight to giant, will see racers speeding through technical courses requiring up to six turns per second. And to cap it off, the new SK8RCROSS event will add obstacles and jumps, and maybe even a little interplay between riders. “You’re not trying to knock someone off their board, [but] incidental contact will definitely take place,” says Jason Mitchell, director of the race and a longtime competitor. Spectators might have to watch out, as well. “There could be sections that will find themselves in trouble and have to go into the hay bales if there are two people really getting aggressive together,” he explains.

The races start at 10 a.m. today and tomorrow and run through 5 p.m. both days on Overlook Drive (off South 120th Street) in Lafayette. Admission is free, but facilities are limited. For more info, including a full schedule of events and a map, visit www.usnationals.coloradoslalom.org or call 720-810-3213.
Sat., July 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., July 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2009


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