Skateboarders pile on the pace on Port Hills

Downhill skateboarders have been reaching speeds up to 100kmh on the Christchurch Port Hills.

The competitive athletes have been training in preparation to represent New Zealand at the World Skate Games later in the year.

Up to a dozen skaters are set to compete in Italy in September, at the biennial roller-sports event.

At the event, downhill skateboarding consists of time trials to seed all competitors and the top 64 race against other skaters in a double elimination with heats of four skaters at time.

Downhill skateboarder Zain Solanki said training in New Zealand was very different to the real tracks overseas.

"We haven't even been given the track yet, so we don't really know what we're in for. Which also is part of the surprise."

The New Zealand World Skate Games Team in Argentina 2022.
The New Zealand World Skate Games Team in Argentina 2022.
Solanki says the skateboarders are safe when they are speeding down the hills as they have the correct gear and equipment.

"We fall on the same legislation as a bicycle. So we skate on the roads, we stay on our side of the road.  If it's a busy road, we will have spotters and ways to mitigate the traffic."  

He encourages people who are interested in the sport to give it a go and reach out to the downhill skateboarding team.

"It's a lot easier to approach someone like one of us. They can steer you and engage you rather than going on your own and figuring it out."

While he believes the sport is still growing in New Zealand, Solanki's hoping that a good series of results overseas would help encourage more people to take up the sport.

 - Check Zain Solanki on Instagram here

 - By Emily O'Hagan, made with the support of NZ On Air