The 2019 longboard season marked another rad edition of the biggest longboard event on our beautiful globe – KnK Longboard Camp brought to you by Longboard Magazine Europe.
This time the Bear’s Guts got even more exclusive by allowing downhill descents for a limited amount of riders for a total of one week. That is a week less than the previous 10 event editions that have been going on this 4 km long track since 2011.
Located in a small village named Osilnica, right on the Slovenian side of the Kolpa River, the 11th edition of the freeride took place between July 30th and August 4th, 2019.
The event catered to its international crowd with 6 full days of skating, its 18 corners, smooth and consistent pavement, hefty protection and a cozy campsite to name just the highlights.
During the 2019 edition, like many before, we had a chance to mingle with familiar faces and friends from abroad who stopped by to finish up their racing season with relaxed and stoked-filled freeride runs down the Bear’s Guts.
With recurring event visitors and a consistent supply of newcomers the “do’s and don’t” along with the chill vibes of KnK pass on to each generation. We’ve been doing this for over 10 years now and we notice that the whole event became a harmonious mix of different people from around the globe that share the same passion and pursuit of freedom. Once you’re at KnK you can really just lean back and relax.
KnK is considered a place where all ages can interact and learn from each other, without limitation, that is why it was no surprise the “age gap” was once again quite broad. The oldest rider attending was over 60, while the youngest was under 10 years old – not too bad for a sport that is considered “risky” to outsiders.
Since the very beginning, we strive to have a consistently high standard of the event organization and KnK Longboard Camp 2019 was no exception. The event ran smoothly with an average of 12 runs per day and a seamless shuttle bus service.
As per usual, the crew took care of the riders with water and a fresh mid-day watermelon snack while the numerous Marshall’s were on point with cheering on the sidelines and taking care of the on-track safety. Simultaneously the two ambulance vehicles with a staff of 4-5 were present on the event to act promptly if needed but mostly spent their working hours patching up small road rashes so the skaters could continue with their runs.
After freshening up and filling up on food, the evenings revolved around chilling in the campsite and at the hotel, chatting away and sipping on Laško. For those lingering for a shot of Slivo, Maxwell Kaye even hosted a newly invented game called Slivo Pong (a KnK retake on beer pong).
It was a two-day tournament between two-man teams. When it all came down to the finale the best “men” standing were Julia and Peter against Artem and William. After an intense final the win went to Julia and Peter – the prize you ask? A good time and a great night’s sleep!
Closer to the campsite, those still energized from the day had a chance to take advantage of a new mini ramp for 2019. If you were with us in 2018, you may recall we had a large wooden 11-meter mini ramp…well, this year’s was shorter and steeper for fast transitions and grinds curtesy of a Slovenian company called Flow Ramps.
To some, the 2019 edition of KnK Longboard Camp was not only a yearly “community” reunion but also an opportunity to take part it the 5th Red Bull No Paws Down Race.
At the end of the week, 64 RBNPD contestants gathered on the starting line to track their yearly freeride progress and put their stand-up skills to the test. Besides the fun and friendly competition, this was a chance to grab the lucrative title of being the Red Bull No Paws Down Champion and for one year be considered as the best longboard freerider in the world. That, and the 1000 Eur money prize.
As skaters slowly got eliminated run by run, those who did not proceed into the next bracket either continued with freeriding after the racing heats or started gathering on corner 8, nowadays known as “The party corner”. Between the cheering and speculation on who’s gonna win, many also kept their eye on the speedometer. If fact, during the semifinals the fastest recorded speed was 87 km/h!
The race was tight and fast with the biggest “aaaah” moment evoked by Benjamin Helg and Clement Blondeau in the finals. Even though Chase Hiller was the first one to pass corner 8, Benji and Clement kept on fighting only inches away from each other as they slid through the hairpin.
The winners of the unique Red Bull No Paws Down Race 2019 were:
1st Chase Hiller
2nd Benjamin Helg
3rd Clement Blondeau
As opposed to the 2018 edition of RBNPD there was no women category as all of the 4 registered female riders collectively decided not to compete in the 2019 race.
KnK Longboard Camp 2019 had a pleasure to host all together 255 longboarders and a huge crew of over 20 volunteers. With this healthy mix of a worldwide crowd, KnK strongly retains its relaxed and community-driven vibe that caters to everyone from beginner to pro.
And now…save the date: 28th of July – 2nd August 2020. This will be the next chance to enjoy your skate vacation with us in the middle of the pristine Slovenian wilderness. Registration is already open.