Kaikoura Longboard Festival Recap With Matt Greene

Matt Greene has been hitting me up with all the stoke around the Kaikoura Longboard Festival and all things good in New Zealand. Peep the post he put together to recap the event. Thanks Matte!

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The third weekend of January marked the return of the froth fest that is the fourth annual Kaikoura Longboard Festival.

Despite various hiccups in the lead up to the event (including a 7.8 magnitude Earthquake which cut off access to the track for a number of weeks!), participation was at an all time high. With 49 competitors attending from as far afield as Argentina, France, Italy, Latvia, Ireland, Australia and all throughout NZ everything was looking good.

Kaikoura Access Rd Landslides, Photo Sam Sheppard

Reid Douglas ollies an earthquake damaged bridge, Photo Paul Bamberger

Ben Amick and Dan Waterhouse rallying a practice run last year, Photo Alex bladen

Tight racing into the main hairpin at the very first event, photo Rachael London

The hill itself is a 1km long track featuring driftable hairpins and a daunting straightaway which maxes out at a whopping 25% grade, slingshotting riders to speeds upwards of 85 km/hr.

The festival ran over two days and featured 4 man head to head racing, freeriding, a slide jam and more runs with the homies than you could handle.

Big Pack runs during the freeride on Day 1, photo Nathan Bruynel

Callum Mathieson leading the pack in the Quarters, Photo Jake Williams

Freeride wizard hugh Barker taking a break from ridiculously big toesides to get funky, photo Jake Williams

Steven Davis feeling the pain of the buttboard slides, photo Jake Williams

Levi Hawken doing what he does, photo Jake Williams

This year the title was fiercely contested, with last years winner Callum Mathieson crashing out in a soaking wet final, leaving the door open for Ryan Luiten of Whangarei (left) and Taylor Cook of Christchurch (right) to take first equal in a stunning photo finish.

Ryan Luiten and Taylor Cook battled to the line, photo Braden Smith

Organiser Caitlin Daley said she was thrilled with the outcome of the event, “The weekend was a huge success. Seeing so many riders and people come together from all over the world made all the work organising worth it.”

“The atmosphere at the event was fantastic and it was great to see people from the community and local residents out supporting the event.”

Dan Waterhouse, Marcello Balesreri and Elliot Newey, photo Jake Williams

Neidan Mallard leads the human centipede, photo Mārtiņš Kivlinieks

As for injuries an on site ambulance had to deal to a few grazes, however the majority of riders wore leathers to protect from road rash, “A broken toe from a dropped trailer was the worst of the injuries this year”

The future of the event looks very promising, with more riders attending and growing offers of sponsorship it is fast becoming one of the best races in Oceania, so be sure to attend the Kaikoura Longboard Festival in 2018!

Semi Final skate faces, photo Mārtiņš Kivlinieks

Jostling for position in the quarters, photo Mārtiņš Kivlinieks

Watch the Livestream

Video wrapups:

Instagram Crash Cam!

Don’t forget to check out the Facebook Page!

Official KLF 2017 top 6.

1. Taylor Cook
1. Ryan Luiten
3. Elliot Melling
4. Callum Banks
5. Matt Greene
6. Patrick Howard

Thanks to all who made it out and cheers to 2018!