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Longboarding anyone?

Somehow when I spotted news of an unlikely event at Les Lindarets this weekend it caught my attention more than the serious looking printed banners that I am used to seeing. Hanging loosely on the roadside so that the letters were almost concealed in the creases of what appeared to be an old sheet was spray painted a warning that the route to Lindarets would be shut this weekend due to the longboarding event.

Not sure what longboarding was and why it should be necessary to close a road that I was hoping to cycle up, I mentioned it to a friend. His comment was wow, talk about extreme sports. So I thought I'd go and check it out.

The sporting events I've become accustomed to attending locally involve expensively equipped athletes who look underfed and, often, overly serious (don't get me wrong I love a good sportive or trail race). This was not such an occasion.

I parked the car at Ardent and followed a man with a beard and a board, limping heavily. He jumped in a big white van with it's back doors open, crammed with people, shins dangling off the back, some protected, some not. I continued up past a multitude of tents and then through the woods towards the road that runs down from Lindarets towards Lake Montriond. The road is steep with a series of tight hairpins. On a road bike it requires attention but if you find rhythm on the turns it is exhilarating. 

There was a bar set up on one of the hairpins and I stationed myself opposite it, camera at the ready, still not knowing quite what to expect. A sheepish looking lady in a luminous waistcoat made a gesture. Then they came. Fast.

It was like someone had lifted the white van and poured it's contents down the road. All different shapes and sizes flew past. Some lay on their stomachs on boards. Some came down on rollerblades.Longboarding Morzine Predominantly they hurtled past on longboards, crouched, arms tucked aerodynamically behind their backs. All torn denim and platted facial hair and speed and grace. Sparks flew from metal knuckles as they scraped along the floor on the turn.

I clicked at will, the action too fast to know if I'd even got anyone in frame. Later on I found I had captured two boarders speeding round the corner, the first looking directly at the camera and sticking two fingers up at it, or me. Perfect!

Would I give it a go? No way, dude.


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