Video: skateboards vs bikes in the Alps

No brakes, no fear... this takes some guts

by Dave Atkinson   August 15, 2014  

Skate vs bike

If you think Cancellara has got some skills when the road points down, have a gander at this video of professional downhill skateboarders Byron Essert and Alex Tongue ripping up an Alpine descent. Anyone recognise it?

With no brakes to slow them down the only way to scrub off speed is to get sideways and use the friction of the wheels to slow their descent. It's amazing stuff, and we reckon there was some prize expressions on the faces of the riders they passed on the way down. Byron and Alex were staying at a hotel on the climb itself, and the dash across the car park to get to the hotel – at what, 50mph? – is properly scary stuff.

Anyway, enjoy. If you can watch...

26 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Awesome! In the 80s Powell Peralta videos used to have some downhill action and also weaving in and out of cones very quickly, them were good times.

From my days on 4 wheels a stone had an unfortunate breaking effect on your forward progress so that road would have to be very clean otherwise major wipe out.

posted by kitkat [285 posts]
15th August 2014 - 17:24


I presume the camera man was on a skateboard too?

posted by Ratfink [55 posts]
15th August 2014 - 17:54


Spend over a grand on a bike a get over taken by skateboarders Laughing Laughing

Looks like they had a really good time, would like to see a race between a cyclist and a skateboarder.

posted by Binky [115 posts]
15th August 2014 - 18:16


A bit optimistic saying "skateboarders racing cyclists". The cyclists looked to be freewheeling slowly and not in any hurry. Still, a good video and I'll bet the cyclists were surprised to be overtaken by skateboarders.

portec's picture

posted by portec [114 posts]
15th August 2014 - 18:28


'Looks like they had a really good time, would like to see a race between a cyclist and a skateboarder' Yeah me too, the uphill bits would be interesting as well!


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1108 posts]
15th August 2014 - 19:48


I laugh out loud every time I watch this. Superb. Pure joy.

aslongasicycle's picture

posted by aslongasicycle [370 posts]
15th August 2014 - 20:04


Kinda reckless, but kinda cool.

posted by Matt eaton [707 posts]
15th August 2014 - 20:08


Huge talent, truly spectacular. The young have no imagination at all.

posted by Beaufort [247 posts]
15th August 2014 - 20:28


talent, balls,no scrap that fucking massive balls!

best video i have ever seen on the internet

im gobsmacked!

posted by russwparkin [44 posts]
15th August 2014 - 21:14


Very impressive but the bikes weren't trying. Maybe it was a skateboard sportive Wink:-o:-P

posted by Daveyraveygravey [315 posts]
15th August 2014 - 21:19


As an ex skateboarder and now a roadie, I can tell you these fella's have it down. It may look reckless but they are in full control of their speed. Great video!

posted by Flying Heron [54 posts]
15th August 2014 - 21:31


Fantastic- remember this guy?

posted by paddyirish [43 posts]
15th August 2014 - 21:32


paddyirish wrote:
Fantastic- remember this guy?

Blimey, that's a new one for me - how much fun does THAT look ?

Cheers for the link !

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [1341 posts]
15th August 2014 - 22:12



don simon's picture

posted by don simon [589 posts]
15th August 2014 - 22:36


Very impressive, what thrill all or nothing just how it should be

Endorphines going up and adrenaline going down, who needs drugs?

posted by banzicyclist2 [285 posts]
15th August 2014 - 22:47


Yoof of today eh! Applause

Those cyclists weren't trying. I'd like to see the skate boarders race Spartacus down the Tourmalet.


posted by Airzound [996 posts]
15th August 2014 - 23:17


Beaufort wrote:
Huge talent, truly spectacular. The young have no imagination at all.

I love that comment
I was really stupid as a kid. Bikea skateboards jumpunf off the pier, off bridges. When my son was 7 I took him skiing. I was giving him the chat about turbs and speed and he just went for it. . Straight down the mountain. Flat out. I couldn't catch him. We got to the bottom of the run. My adrenaline was through the roof. He couldn't see the problem. No trees to hit at 40+ mph. No sides of the piste to fall off. Just simple fun. Saw no danger. Had no fear. No f**king imagination whatsoever.

That's what dad's are for.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [905 posts]
16th August 2014 - 0:06


Yeah. They weren't cycling. I didn't see any pedal action. I don't really understand that though.....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1623 posts]
16th August 2014 - 0:10


I can't believe their wheels aren't ground down to nubs with all those "handbrake turns"!

posted by chokofingrz [403 posts]
16th August 2014 - 0:40



posted by IanW1968 [234 posts]
16th August 2014 - 6:26


At times of feeling motivationally compromised, in breach of Rule #5, I google "people are awesome and red bull" and awe....

Konstantine's picture

posted by Konstantine [31 posts]
16th August 2014 - 7:54


Wheels do get worn down pretty quickly actually. My younger boy is into this, not quite at this level, although he did win the u18s comp at the Redbridge cycle centre. Interestingly there is a real culture of "wear your helmet" in long boarding.

Look up "Liam Morgan raw run" if you have 2 mins to spare and enjoyed this...

posted by barbarus [145 posts]
16th August 2014 - 15:43



I presume the camera man was on a skateboard too?

I don't think so.. if you look at the way the skateboarders were moving their position about to turn and slow down, the picture is too steady to be held by a skateboarder - my money is on the camera being fixed to a bike.

posted by Must be Mad [426 posts]
16th August 2014 - 20:14


paddyirish wrote:
Fantastic- remember this guy?

Oh my god it's like ironman with added wheels. Love how he tucks his arms back to go 'full aero'. I'd like to what the other road users said to each other after that passed!

Thanks for sharing!

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
17th August 2014 - 21:33


I mastered the "Scandinavian flick" years ago on 4 wheels,
but these guys take the biscuit ... completely sideways .... !!!!!

chapeau Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [925 posts]
18th August 2014 - 11:08


My nephew does this, down some very steep roads indeed, flat out. He came off last year coming down a hill and hit a roadside sign at maybe 50mph. His knee was almost completely severed, only one tendon remaining. After nearly a year of reconstruction surgery, he's still into it but also gone back to higher education and is growing up fast!

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [586 posts]
18th August 2014 - 12:45