We asked Ben Stainer to gather up some photos and anecdotes from the week-long Longboard camp KNK Bear's Guts Freeride (Slovenia). We wanted to give those who know nothing about it a little glimpse into what spending a whole week camping out in the wilderness and hitting 100+ hairpins each day is like. In all honesty we really think you should go to KNK to really figure out what it's all about because this article is going to leave you with more question then answers. Strap in.
KNK Longboard Camp Slovenia usually runs twice a year for 1 week by an amazing team. The venue allows you to camp or book a hotel room, there is music and hot food for sale all day and night. The local town is tiny and engulfed in trees and quite magical. If you would like to be kept up to date you can follow Longboard Magazin on facebook here. The Redbull No Paws Down Race is also held here, If you think of normal downhill racing as rugby then No Paws is like it's less agressive cousin football.
Need more convincing? Read below for more hype and logistical information.
Situated at the entrance to Gnarnia, overshadowed by the fearsome ‘Gates’ that lead into the darkest depths of Wales, Tergaron is the last settlement that is passed by those who venture out to the wilderness in their pilgrimage to attain Welsh gnar. This year’s freeride hill used to be a pot-hole disaster, but it has recently been resurfaced with smooth tarmac and the hill snakes its way through two hairpins that overlook some incredible welsh countryside. This hill is definitely worth the trip, not only for it's picturesque location, but for the challenging corners and exciting straightaways that allow you to develop your downhill and freeriding skills regardless of how good (or bad) you think you are. This hill gets an unconditional seal of approval from Thrill Magazine HQ because it was initially discovered by us many, many years ago and has been drawing us back to this region of Wales for over 5 years. If the hill isn’t all you want, the ‘Y Talbot Inn’ that is providing the dinner at the freeride has culinary awards spewing out of every pot and pan. If you want to eat well and have amazing fun on a skateboard this month (with uplifts), get to this freeride! It will be the single best downhill skateboarding event in the UK in 2015!!
All are welcome not just skaters. We need paparazzi and marshals too.
Are you currently out of skateboarding on injury or want to take part in the event but don't feel you are ready yet to skate ?
We need dedicated and alert marshals to help us run the event throughout the weekend, you will be fed and camped for free and given some sort of compensation for helping us run the event.
There will be a marshals meeting on Friday evening so that we can tell you what exactly it is that you need to do, and go over some basic safety measures, including your own.
We will be holding a marshals briefing before and after each day in order to maximise the safety of the riders.
As an Event marshal you are responsible for:
Policing a corner or straight of the event making sure any riders that fall over are not hit by riders behind them.
With the help of our medical team we will work together to ensure riders are safe at all times.
You will need to be alert at all times and not under the influence of anything.
Sadly we only accept people we know and trust to work as marshals. as much as we would like to involve everyone in the business of marshalling an event, being a marshal is too critical of a task to allow anyone to take up the role.
OTHER DETAILS AND FAQ'S
BASIC PLAN ???
A weekend of skating with loop road uplifts at Pencefn Drysgol lane in Tregaron. Which means that there will be continuous runs, less time waiting for buses, less time waiting to do a run and ultimately more runs! A similar format to what Vandem Freeride in Exeter has been in the past.
The road is perfectly surfaced with 2 hairpins and fast straights, ideal for beginners and pro riders alike. You can try to grip and rip the whole track, get you pre drifts down or even do some no hands down runs, its up to you!
We are hoping to run some races on Sunday, including the Welsh Championships. But if you do not wish to race, the track will be open for freeride, after the heats have gone down (this means the number of runs will be slightly lower).
Supported by the local pub (Y-Talbot) and by Pencefn Feeds Ltd.
The Talbot Pub is only 100 metres from our camp ground and they will be kindly providing us with an evening meal indoors in the Pubs function room on Saturday and a Breakfast there on Sunday morning. The Pub has kindly set aside for us the use of a 110 man function room where rain or shine we will be warm and dry.
The camp ground just 100 meters from Tregaron's Chinese restaurant and pub.
There will be toilets located at both the camp site and track.
DON'T FANCY CAMPING OR NEED A PLACE FOR MUM AND DAD ???
There will be 4 person heats for every category, which will be Open, Womens, Juniors, Ludge and Welsh Championships.
We will be running the same format as Hog Hill, for race to qualify, with tape being attached to each riders helmet and a number given at the finish line, depending on what position you finished. We hope to get the majority of the race to qualify done before lunch.
After the points have been calculated we will then move on to a knock out stage for the Open, Womens, Juniors, Ludge and Welsh Championships with the top 32 from each category from the race to qualify, qualifying for the final rounds. This can mean that there will be people in more than one category, at other events this has caused problems, but because we have a loop road system in place we hope that this can be avoided.