The 4.8 km alpine road leading high up into the Styrian mountains, and opening up to some epic mountain scenery and high altitude lakes, officially became the 4-day playground for international adrenaline seekers; Alpenrauschen Freeride 2018 is on!
A day before the event the weather forecast looked promising and the BigMountainSkate crew took care of the last details before starting the registration when people slowly started arriving in the afternoon. They were welcomed by Felix Rupitsch of BMS with the help of his right-hand man Florian Wagner and quickly got situated in one of the two hotels here in Tauplitzalm.
The overall spirit was high, the logistics on point and the meet and greet soon moved to the Hollhaus where they were still serving beer and late night snacks for the hungry travelers.
During the night the clouds cleared up and despite the nightly rain, the temperatures rose as did the sun. Everybody here woke up to blue skies and a pool of mist deep inside the valley. For some the morning was slow but the pace soon picked up with the help of morning coffee and breakfast.
The Alpenrauschen Freeride 2018 started at 11 a.m. sharp with a welcome and some encouraging words from ”start master” Alex Kloebler. The first riders on the track were buttboarders and streetlugers, followed by downhill skateboarders in packs of five.
By the end of the third run, the clouds decided to make the day even more interesting with a quick shower that soaked the road from top to bottom.
After one full-length rain run, the organizers decided to shorten the track down to corner 8, still leaving participants the chance to enjoy the upper sweepers, tunnel and some fast turns. The riders split into two groups, some stayed on the track to take on the wet Alpenstrasse, while some took the day off.
Who was left skating was a streetluger and 20 something dedicated longboarders. The slides were extra long, their shoes a bit soaked, but all of them had a big smile on their face because the run looked like an extremely fun slip and slide competition.
Despite the high altitude, the road transformed from patchy to dry real quick and we could see people charging the track faster in search for the perfect line. In the distance, you could hear screams of stoke and laughter.
The freeride ended with the 7th run of the day, and despite the fussy weather, a group of people formed on the parking lot and warm themselves up the best way possible, blasting music from the car speakers and dancing without a care in the world.
The second day of Alpenrauschen 2018 was marked as the beginning of the notorious Hawaiian Friday and quite a few people dressed up for the occasion. On the starting line, we could see a great selection of longboard gear for sale courtesy of Sk8bites, as well as a ROCKET booth with a special -20 % offer.
If one would describe today’s freeride, the phrases ”full send”, ”money lines” and ”gnarly pack runs” would not be missing. Both skaters and the weather were on point and those who missed out on yesterday’s runs had an opportunity to make up for it. The ROCKET Longboards team knocked it up a notch as one of the fastest riders on the track, and they didn’t stop skating for the whole day.