Allgäu Longboardclub Freeride and Workshop Camp 2012 –
For the 3rd time in a row, the Allgäu Longboard Club (ALBV) hosted a downhill skateboarding freeride & workshop camp in Jungholz, Austria. In this club, longboarders from the South-Western part of Bavaria (called “Allgäu” in Germany) organize themselves and host yearly events.
The track started in the village of Jungholz in Austria and leads down a beautiful mountain road for 1.5 km then finishes across the border in Germany. This is a piece of downhill skateboarding history, as track was used for three IGSA races, including two world Championship races in 2005 and 2007. Back then, the riders raced with top speeds of 90 km/h into an S-curve, followed by a sharp left. The riders would then pick up speed in the following long open right-left combination that leads to the finishing line.
For the freeride & workshop camp, the starting line moved further down the road to lower the risk of severe injuries. Riders reached the S-curve with an average speed of 50-60 km/h. The track was secured with ”big bags”. These were filled with straw (or even more big bags) to allow the smoothest crash landing possible.
Traditionally, the morning sessions of the first two days of this 3.5 day event are reserved for workshops. The participants choose the workshop topics according to their skill levels. Inexperienced riders were slowly introduced to downhill skateboarding by the German Junior downhill champion and local Lukas Übelhör.
Other workshop topics included pre-drifting corners, line improvement and pack riding. Among the coaches were experienced racers like Hartmut “Hack” Olpp, Matthias Ebel and Leon Ritter. Hack was racing the IGSA world cup races some years ago and won the “Beton on fire” invitational 2011 – a race held on a bobtrack. Matthias Ebel recently won the IGSA races in Switzerland and Portugal. In the afternoon, all the riders got the chance to use their freshly acquired skills during the freeride sessions. It was really amazing to see how even beginners improved their skills and could ride the whole track safely. After the hot, sunny freeride sessions, the riders could chill down in the swimming pool next to the campground and the track.
Bavaria has more to offer than nice winding roads suitable for downhill skating. The riders happily accepted the local beer and the “Enzian” –Schnaps at the party tent in the evenings. This might also be the reason that some riders did not ride their lines as perfectly as before the next day.
The weather was much better than expected and only the Sunday session was cancelled due to pouring rain. As usual in Jungholz, the security and shuttle service were perfectly organized by the world cup experienced Ewok City guys. An awesome number of 56 runs were held in three days.
The successful workshop concept and the extraordinary location with swimming pool and campground next to the track attracted more people than expected. The registration list was filled within a couple of hours. Luckily, the local administration agreed to expand the number of riders for the event from 80 to 120. This was only possible after years of fruitful collaboration of the club and the riders with the village of Jungholz. So, if longboarders respect the locals and leave the place like they found it, the people will always be happy to welcome them again.
Thank you very much to the Allgäu Longboard Club and all participants for this great event!
Words: Originally published on www.langbrettmagazin.de written and translated by Sebastian Altenhöfer
Pics: GORDON photography