Another South East Asian adventure took me to Thailand last month to attend Urethane Longboards & Clothing’s Outlaw #1 race in Sriracha, Chonburi.
The Thai crew chose a beautiful spot in the middle of a National Park near Chantathain Waterfall and the Khaokeaw Open Zoo. Surroundings including; rubber trees, various species of palm trees and exotic butterflies made this track a scenic location for an outlaw race in the most natural and peaceful environment I’ve skated in.
I met up with my buddy Jonas Matthies for some pre-runs one week before the race (August 4) and we decided to stay in Pattaya, work in the daytime and skate with the locals when the temperature cooled down. We looked forward to experiencing the Thai longboard scene.
Pattaya totally sucked us in and turned us into some human hybrids of workaholics, skateholics and all the holics you can imagine. It was intense throughout, lived according to the motto “sleep is overrated“. The days went way too quick, but we couldn’t wait to race down the track between the Chantathain Waterfall and a buddhist temple at the finish.
Jonas and I didn’t really expect anything big because, as an outlaw race, the roads would still be open to traffic, and it was also one of the first ones in Thailand. We were shocked when we arrived there and saw a crowd of 90 people at the event, 30 of who took part in the race. Even Red Bull came and supplied us with a lifelong lasting amount of energy.
Other sponsors and partners were Puma, Bombslide Gloves, Singha, Driftwood Local Ent. (DWLE), My Life On Board and JRa.
The 1.2 km long track with a top speed of 40 kph is not neccessarily a fast one, but offers some widely underestimated areas to outpace the competition. Coming down to the first corner, riders are definitely supposed to take all tailwind and speed they could reach into that one corner to be able to overcome the rather flat part in the middle section of the race track. This part, surrounded by a palm tree farm, is where it comes down to and would be the best area to overtake; tuck deep and use the draft of the others.
The merely flat area slightly shaped to an S curve leads directly to the finish, another treasure chest for more speed.
Two groups, consisting of 6 heats each, competed in the first round and let Jonas enter the semi-finals. Now guess who won… Yes, Jonas Matthies is our new Thai Downhill Longboard Champ (!!!), followed by Note Shunglor, Golf Woramate and Zee Mee. My friends Nan and Karla from the LGC Thailand and the LGC The Philippines only made it through the first round, but we had time for some freerides after the race.
The South East Asian community is growing further. I feel blessed and enjoy every minute with my new friends here.
Still stoked and looking back to a wonderful time in Thailand, I would suggest you to come here soon and join us for the upcoming SEA events in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines in September, October and December!
With love and stokedness from the sunny side of the world,