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Slalom Racing at The Crackling

Updated: May 15, 2019

Since skaters first started to carve surf style way back in the fifties, it has been their natural inclination to pop down soda cans in the street, steer around them and set good times.

In 1963 Makaha formed the first professional skateboard team, and that same year the first skateboard competition was held in Hermosa, California. It included events in freestyle and downhill slalom.

We are still sharing that same stoke. The kit may have changed, but the thrill has not.

Hog Hill sees the eleventh year of slalom racing at Redbridge Cycle Centre. The UK Slalom Skateboard Association has skipped the high event status of international competition so as to encourage taking part from grass-roots up. Fun first, racing second. You can even use your Penny board.

The Crackling 2019 hosts two slalom events. A more technical Hybrid course on the Saturday on the upper circuit and on Sunday morning there is the Giant Slalom on the steeper and faster back hill. The GS is a great entry-level competition if you are accustomed to charging on the downhill and want to test your carving skills. Many will start from half way up the hill to get the feel, before working their way up to the top and even pulling into the course from the steel start ramp.

If you want to take it a bit more easy, then there is always a trial slalom course set up next to the hybrid. Why not have a go here before heading over to see if you can set a time on the dual course? The hybrid is entered by two start ramps to make racing a bit more equal, but you can always push start from beside the ramp if you just want to test out your new found skills.

What if you hit a cone? On hybrid there is a time penalty of 0.1 seconds taken from your final time, whilst in Giant Slalom the penalty is 0.2. If you go inside the cone then there is an automatic DQ; provided the cone marshall spots it!

The competition bracketed start list is decided by qualifying times. These times are taken individually whilst racing head-to-head. Remember, in qualifying both you and your competitor want to set fast times, so it’s best to encourage each other on.

Once qualifying has been completed, then the competition becomes knock-out, with two bracketed groups of eight (or sixteen) racing against each other. The ‘A’ group is made up of the fastest eight qualifiers and so on. In this way the competition is closer in each group than if the race was simply fastest versus slowest qualifier.

Giant Slalom is far more simple. Just charge down the hill, avoid the cones and set a time.

Why not try out what those first skateboarders started way back when to get that sensation of carving a wave?

Slalom at Hog Hill this Spring. Original skate racing at London’s premier longboard venue!

..and do check out the classic slalom video, including UKSSA's own Louis and Bruno, at the top of the page.

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