Longtime Roarockit friend and international champion Kolby Parks is a man with a heart of gold and one of the bravest men we know. Ted Hunter and Kolby put their minds together earlier this year and created a custom buttboard for Kolby. Not only did Kolby take it the the next level, he even broke the world speed record!! We sat down with Kolby to find out more about the exciting news and what it was like creating a board here at Roarockit.
Hello Kolby, how's it going? Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Very well buddy, thanks for asking. My name is Kolby Parks and I am from Prince Edward County, Ontario. I am a Street Luger and Buttboarder/Classic Luger and currently ranked 2nd in the IDF Street Luge Standings.
You've been friends with Roarockit for a while. How did you start collaborating with Roarockit?
It started off when I saw the 16-man Grand Prix Buttboard race in France at the Peyragudes 2Luxe Cup in 2009. I knew right then that I needed to be part of something epic like that. When I got back from Europe I quickly made a buttboard for Maryhill. After riding it I discovered that I had no talent for board design or making and nearly killed myself. That same year I met Ted and Norah at the Board Meeting and then the spring at the Swap Meet and we began talking about building a custom buttboard. I didn't think at first that I would be able to make one big enough but they assured me it was possible.
What advantages does a rider have creating a custom butt-board?
Having the shape right is very important. Not only for sitting on for the comfort of the ride but also so it will turn. The board also needs to be the right shape so it flexes enough but not too much for the riders individual weight. The first 2 buttboards that we made were based off a Rogers street luge design and were comfortable and easy to turn but were far too stiff. The third one we have made has the right amout of flex and doesn't feel like you're riding on a concrete deck.
What was it like working with Ted?
Working with Ted is amazing. He is meticulous and makes sure all of the parameters that you need are fully taken care of. With this latest board he went above and beyond and since it was way bigger than a traditional skateboard he was able to create a beautiful piece of art. I told him when he showed me the finished product that I almost didn't want to ride it because it was so beautiful.
You just recently got the world record as fastest butt-board. How fast was it? Are you ever scared?
The speed I hit was 131.62 kph. I didn't really have time to be scared because you need to concentrate so hard. Keeping your toes pointed, head back, elbows in etc. I didn't really get a sense of the speed until I watched a video from a spectator camera. During the practice runs before I got the record it was freaky because there were huge crosswinds and it was blowing me around like a maple leaf in the fall. I didn't think I was going to be able to go fast enough because I had to make so many corrections while going down and sitting with my head and chest up for stability. Just before the last run the wind suddenly stopped and I was able to push in and half way down I put my head back which severely decreases stability but increases the speed potential aerodynamically. It was the most intense run that I have ever done!
You think you could go even faster?
I think I can with a couple more runs to get my head back further, less wind and a harder push in and perhaps some ballast on my body.
What advice do you have for people who want to get into high speed buttboarding and street luging?
The best part about starting luge is building and testing your own equipment. Also just like skating, talk to the experienced who have done it for years. They can give you fantastic tips and tricks that you would never think of. Having a mentor will speed up your skill and progress immensely. Also it will keep you safe and give you the confidence to ride safely for years. Being on "Team Broke Off" sucks. I have been there. You don't need to go flat out every run. Enjoy the ride.
Thanks for your time Kolby. Any last words?
Thanks to Angry Birds Rotisserie Chicken Restaurant in Picton, Ontario for sponsoring my season this past year. Also thanks to all my industry sponsors: Roarockit Skateboard, Longboard Haven Venom Bushings, Zero Gravity Skate, Safety Meeting Apparel, KSP Brakes, Ionic Flux Lubes, Seismic Skate Systems, Harfang Wheels and Ronin Trucks.
If anyone wants to get into street luge or buttboarding I am glad to help in any way I can. Here's to a fantastic 2016 Season and to a safe, fun and even better 2017 campaign.