We asked Canadian skater, Kurtis Dawe, for his review of this year’s Tregaron Freeride
My first interaction with the London longboard scene was with Duncan Kay about 7 years ago in Canada where we met at weekly skate sessions. When I arrived in London he hit me up right away to welcome me and told me there was a race coming up in Wales.
We travelled up to Wales with his friend Alex Ireton, who is a rad dude.! We arrived early in the morning and started doing runs. It was patchy and sketchy at first but started to dry. The road reminded me of some of the runs we have in Vancouver so I felt fairly at home. I started noticing some of the really fast dudes like Aaron Skippings, Joe Baldwin, Oliver Slaughter, Olly Goodwin as well as Duncan and tried to ride with them as much as possible. Joe and Aaron were taking an awesome grip line through the left corner that I was able to copy only a couple times. I felt it would be a better idea for me to throw a very tiny drift in that corner to avoid screwing it up.
I felt pretty good about the course so I tried some street turtles with Duncan. We had a riot! Those things were so twitchy and always made for very close right races.
We partied hard that night and I was properly Introduced to many of the other boarders and lugers in the community. The community in the U.K. Is awesome! Everyone is really nice and welcoming. It actually reminded me a lot of Vancouver.
Race day came and it was raining which I was very stoked about. In Vancouver we skate in the rain all the time. I was taking a very different (one slide) line now through the right corner and it was letting me pull away in practice. In quarter- and semi-finals it was very patchy and awkward. Through semi-finals, I was in first coming into the righty with Olly behind me and Aaron right behind him. Aaron threw a crazy squat foot break underneath Olly’s arms and got him going into the corner with lots of speed. I threw my drift early anticipating it to be wet and therefore drifting a lot but it was super grippy. I wrangled my slide back and prepared to battle through the corner. Aaron sped up on me a bit too quick and I had the inside line. His board hit the back of mine and he jumped off to avoid knocking me off.
The finals were next and I was stoked to see it was pouring rain at the top.
Time to throw on my Orangatang Kegel rain wheels. Some of the guys in the heat didn’t put rain wheels on because we weren’t sure of how wet the rest of the course was. My experience in the rain is that if there is a certain amount of rain on the road, then having rain wheels actually makes you go faster in the straights because the grooves in the rain wheels slice through the water rather than plough through. I pushed off in first and had a pretty good lead into the righty, the others threw their slides and had drifted a bit wide because of all the rain. With my rain wheels, I had lots of grip so I was able to take inside with a good amount of speed. This got me a pretty good lead so It was just a matter of not blowing it in the left. All worked out and I took first.
I had so much fun at the Tregaron race. The organizers did such an amazing job and the race ran very smoothly with lots of runs. It was super fun and a fantastic introduction to the DH scene in the UK and London area. I’m really excited to travel around and meet up with the locals more often and hit some more spots.”
Success was still on the table for Aaron though as he took 1st in the luge. Aaron posted “super fun weekend with the Lugers as always! Even better to come away with a win it’s seriously important to keep it going in our country. Attendance at races is slowly going up and I always encourage more to race even if they just have their skateboard.”
Here is a great edit from Team GB Luge :