After 4 long weeks as head instructor at Camp Woodwings in the French alps, I’m just now packing my bags to attend KnK in Slovenia for the 4th year in a row! I’m beyond excited to return and enjoy the good vibes on the Bear’s Guts.
Click HERE to read the interview Red Bull Slovenia just released of me.
About the 2018 “No Paws Down” World Championships
2018 was my third year attending the “No Paws Down” World Championships. It’s the race Red Bull hosts every year at the end of the KnK longboard camp in Slovenia. If there was one longboarding event that I really cared about doing well in, it was this one. Although I’m not too bad at traditional racing and even have a few podiums under my belt, I consider myself more of a freerider and really love blasting fat stand up slides. Featuring perfect pavement, 18 hairpins, and top speeds of 45mph, this course was perfect for my style!
What does “No Paws Down” even mean?
What makes Red Bull “No Paws Down” World Championships event so unique is that you’re disqualified if you put your hands or feet down at all during the course. In normal longboard racing you can be a bit more aggressive without worrying about getting DQ’d. This event forces you to be strategic and more cautious with your maneuvers or else you’re out!
In 2016, if you could make it to the bottom without falling, you’d probably get top 10. Also, most all people were riding free ride wheels. As the years went on, the event got much more competitive. In 2018 it wasn’t just about making it to the bottom anymore - anyone that participated in the race last year could do that quite confidently. You needed to use grippy wheels or you were surely going to get smoked!
Above photos by Duck Vader from Corner 8.
Powell Peralta Wheels for the Win!
I spent the majority of my time before the race trying out new wheels and seeing what were the grippiest wheels I could possibly ride without high siding every run. I experimented with the entire Powell Peralta downhill wheel line-up before I ended up choosing the PPDH 75mm 75a Kevin Reimer wheels in purple ssf pro. For me they were the perfect balance of roll speed, grip, and COMFORTABILITY. Several riders were riding much grippier wheels and I was honestly a bit worried that I didn’t stand a chance. But when it came down to racing, all of these guys ended up crashing out. It’s no surprise that the top 3 riders were all on the 75mm Kevin Reimer wheels!
The 2018 “No Paws Down” finals were stacked!
After a long and hectic battle through the bracket, it all came down to these final 3 riders. I managed to kick out in front and hold a solid lead coming into the first corner. I threw a huge heel side coming into the curve to play it safe. At this point I had all 3 of these guys gaining on me. With each passing hairpin, Patrick got closer and closer until he eventually passed me. He choose to ride slightly grippier wheels (75mm 80a K-Rimes) than me and it showed with his mad exit speed! From then on I had to play defense against Jan for the majority of the track. It was an extremely close match for 2nd place, but with a few tactical moves, I managed to hold off Jan and nail 2nd place!
1st - Patrick Lombardi
2nd - Brandon DesJarlais
3rd - Jan Izquierdo
4th - Dave Süess
I’m curious to see who will top the podium this year. It’s always interesting to see how far the level has come year after year. If there’s anyone in particular that I’d like to see on top it would be my dude Antoine Carlotti. Dude has mad talent and is more stoked than anyone on the hill. You got this!
Videos from the Event
Instead of filming a full edit like I’ve done in the past, I decided to strap on the GoPro Fusion 360 camera and send it with the boys in its rawest form. It’s definitely convenient to not have to worry about framing because the camera literally films EVERYTHING.
Below are 2 more videos that I helped film for Red Bull. The first is with the GoPro 6 on the Karma Grip stabilizer. The second is with the GoPro Fusion 360 mounted on a pole.