Hybrid sports keep getting better and better. Case in point, the new Skate X Shoot event brought to you by the brains and balls behind the Whistler Longboard Festival. The new blend is also a great way to make use of the Whistler Olympic Park in the summertime, long after the skinny skis have been put away.
“This event really came about because of our relationship with Whistler Sport Legacies,” says WLF Event Producer Lee Cation. “We wanted to continue to round out the festival, and to create an event that anyone could participate in.”
The 1-day event fires off at the Whistler Olympic Park on July 12 and consists of two competitions with a total of $2,000 up for grabs. A 20-km Endurance Race in the morning is open to all ages and skill levels. Later, the event will shift gears for the Skate X Shoot orientation and competition. This event makes use of the Olympic biathlon facility and will run very similar to the winter biathlon featured in the 2010 Winter Olympics. The challenge consists of 2 laps of the 5 kilometres of rolling mountain trailway and includes multiple stops at the firing range.
“The idea was pretty out there at first,” says Cation. “As Canadians we’re pretty shy about guns and rifles, but this is all about sport and it’s really a whole lot of fun.”
Kids love anything on wheels and loud noises, so bring ‘em along — the event is free for spectators. Nice!
Visit longboardfestival.com for complete details, registration, and volunteer opportunities.
Here’s the skinny on the Biathlon for those getting ready to compete:
The racer carries the small bore rifle, which weighs at least 3.5 kilograms (7.7 lb), excluding ammunition and magazines. The rifles use .22 LR ammunition and are bolt action or Fortner (straight-pull bolt) action. The target range shooting distance is 50 metres (160 ft). There are five circular targets to be hit in each shooting round. We will be shooting in the standing position and at a target diameter is 115 millimetres (4.5 in). On all modern biathlon ranges, the targets are self-indicating, in that they flip from black to white when hit, giving the racer as well as the spectators instant visual feedback for each shot fired.