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Canadian Street Luge Champion shines on world course

Kolby Parks in the technical section of the Almabtrieb course at the world championships. Photo Bob Ozman

Canadian Champion Street Luger Kolby Parks, of R2 Bloomfield, placed in the top 20 in races in the Almabtrieb IGSA World Championships July 14-17 in Hungerzell Germany earlier this month.
Parks tells his Facebook friends he was “very disappointed on how poorly I did at the world championships, but I was lucky to have had gotten away with a 110 kph crash into the woods and didn’t have a scratch, so it evened itself out.”
The International Gravity Sports Association (IGSA) event at Hungerzell, Germany saw the track begin with a series of slower, technical turns before heading into a long, fast straightaway where speeds in the 100 km/h range were being achieved by the top riders. At the end of the fast straight is the Risch Carousel that requires heavy braking before a sweeping turn of more than 180 degrees. This corner is where many races were won and lost. Event reporters noted the Luge field was extremely strong with many international riders, including Parks.
Parks will show Prince Edward County residents what all the fun and excitement is about Oct. 23-24th when, thanks to his efforts, Prince Edward County will have a chance to host the world event.
The Prince Edward County Gravity Fest is a International Gravity Sports Association sanctioned event and one of the few held on the eastern side of North America.
Plans include Downhill Skateboarding, which, as the name implies, consists of riders in full protective gear riding downhill on a skateboard. Rriders have been known to hit 80 km/h. Classic Luge, known as Buttboard, involves riding in full protective gear on a board that resembles a skateboard. Street Luge, which Parks is the Canadian Champ, involves using a highly modified board that hits speeds closing in on 130km/h.
International Gravity Sports Association was founded in 1996 when a group of street luge and downhill skateboard enthusiasts recognized the need for fair, unbiased leadership for the sport.
There will only be two IGSA sanctioned events in Canada this year.
“Ever since I became involved in street luge I’ve had hill-hunter syndrome,” said Parks. “Being from the area I have always wanted to try the Heights hill (at Picton).”
Prince Edward County Council was positive in its support for the event and Parks expects 150 to 200 riders to attend.
Safety is a major concern of the sport. All riders must wear helmets, full body protective clothing and suitable footwear which is inspected by IGSA officals prior to racing.
“I feel that with our braking with our feet we can stop faster then any other vehicle out there,” said Kolby Parks. “People don’t realize how controllable the machine is.”
There will be a great number of vendors coming to the event, rain or shine, with the exception of the downhill skateboarderswho can elect to op-out of the event by majority rule.
Four riders run in each heat until until a winner is declared.
But Parks plans on more than just racing and as the event is to be more of a festival with food, vendors and music.

IGSA Teolo World Cup 2009 from Yvon Labarthe on Vimeo.

Kolby Parks wearing blue and black leathers with a blue helmet.

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