• 2016 Red Bull No Paws Down Longboarding World Championship Event Overview
Set in a remote area of Slovenia, the 2016 Red Bull No Paws Down World Championship longboarding race utilized rugged Slovenian mountain roads for the race locale. These Slovenian mountain roads near the region called Kocevje are variable in terms of their steep grade, and there are some sections that are so steep that just looking down them can be a little intimidating.
Not only are there massively steep drops in the No Paws Down World Championship longboard racing course, but also there are some extremely sharp turns in the track where the race planners literally had to construct bank and barrier implements to help ensure the safety of the professional longboard racing competitors participating in the event.
This massive world class longboard racing event was largely sponsored by Red Bull, and took place from July 25th to July 30th, 2016. There were some other peripheral sponsors taking part in putting on this major event, such as the skate company known as Kebbek Skateboards. In addition, some major international longboard companies were present as sponsors such as Root Longboards, Lush Longboards LTD, Street Lizard Longboards, L.O.B. Longboards, and more.
In the world of elite professional longboarding competitions, the 2016 No Paws Down World Championship event stands as one of the biggest races anywhere. The high profile status of this huge longboard racing event definitely helped to attract the cream of the crop in terms of international longboarding talent, and this was evident looking at the international status of the podium finishers after the race.
In terms of being an extremely difficult race, the No Paws Down World Championship longboard race is probably the most technically challenging longboard race anywhere on the planet. One of the primary rules and stipulations of the No Paws Down race has to do with the title of the race event itself. By “no paws down”, what is implied is that no racer participating in the event is permitted at any time to touch their hand(s) down to the ground while racing.
This rule ends up making the race much more difficult overall, since longboarders often will set their hands down while bombing hills in order to control speed and increase stability at the same time. By prohibiting hands down, the technical skill required to complete the race increases dramatically. Also, the average speed of the racers tend to increase when they are not permitted to put hands down during the race.
• Competitor Performances and Final Scoring
In terms of the winner and subsequent podium finalists in the 2016 Red Bull No Paws Down World Championship of longboard racing, it was nice to see that no one country dominated the competition. Each podium finalist at the end of the race were all from different countries, which helped to put an international feel on this prestigious longboarding competition. The “no paws down” rule definitely helped to weed out the less versatile longboarders competing in this downhill racing event, since the ones who couldn’t handle not using their hands on the track were bumped out of the race fairly quickly.
• 1st Place – Patrick Lombardi – Italy:
Representing Italy quite well in the No Paws Down race, Patrick Lombardi ended up taking the 1st place spot on the podium. The Italian longboarding superstar is known for his fearless drops, and clearly the “no hands” rule did not have Patrick feeling fazed in any way. He obviously felt quite comfortable bombing the Slovenian mountain roads without the use of his hands to stabilize or speed-check.
His comfort in that regard likely has a lot to do with the fact that his power sliding abilities are very strong, and so he was able to check his speed effectively without having to put a hand down. Lombardi’s first place finish at the 2016 Red Bull No Paws Down Race is sure to help propel him into his next races with an even greater level of energy and determination.
• 2nd Place – Ryka Mohammadian – United States:
Riding out of the good old United States, Ryka Mohammadian represented the Stars and Strips powerfully by taking home the 2nd place finish at the No Paws Down elite longboarding race. The intense drops and banking turns of the Slovenian mountain longboard course were used to the complete advantage of Ryka in this race, as he also was able to power slide his way into effective speed checking and stabilizing maneuvers.
While he only lost to Patrick Lombardi by a slim margin, Ryka is sure to capitalize on his high profile 2nd place finish in this world class longboarding race. Given that there were so many big name sponsors present at the race, it is quite possible they were scouting for some new talent to sponsor and if so, Ryka has the chance to really up his sponsorship profile in the world of professional longboarding.
• 3rd Place – Ian Freire – Brazil:
Taking the 3rd place podium finish at the conclusion of the No Paws Down world championship longboarding race, Brazilian professional longboarding athlete Ian Freire used his skills to their absolute limit in his attempt to win the competition. While he was not able to take 1st place, he didn’t lose by a large margin and therefore we should expect to see a lot more from Ian in the coming races.
Anyone observing the race could see the raw determination Ian Freire was riding with, pushing himself and his longboard setup to absolutely jaw-dropping speeds. Just like the other two podium finishers, Ian’s power slide speed checking skills are probably the primary skill which allowed him to achieve a podium finish in the 2016 Red Bull No Paws Down World Championship longboarding race event. At first he seemed a little apprehensive about the “no hands” rule, but it did not take him long to get nice and comfortable with the rules and conditions of the race.