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Sunday, April 16, 2006

First Official Israeli Inline Downhill Championship

The First Official Israeli Inline Downhill Championship took place in Givat Zeev this Firday.

The event included Pro and Amateur Downhill competitions, a Speed Slalom competition and a grueling uphill competition.

It was an exciting competition, especially since it was the first event of its kind. Unfortunately it was overshadowed by a serious injury in the Amateur downhill competition - a female skater fell and broke her jaw (see amatuer downhill competition below).

Speed Slalom

Speed Slalom The Speed Slalom competition started off the event. Pros and amateurs of all ages mingled in a head to head elimination contest. Zeev, also know as "Unicoder" was in the lead from the start with perfect runs, scoring better times than any other contestant. I surprised the contestants as well as myself, by taking second place since I do not usually practice slalom.
Medalists were:

  1. Zeev "Unicoder"

  2. Boaz Arad.

  3. G'enia

Pro Downhill

Photographing a Downhill SkaterThe Pro-Downhill competition was the main event. The course decended 140m over 1.4km and skaters reached speeds of nearly 90kph.

Natan Lakoshnik, the reigning champion and Israeli downhill Guru, was the favorite. Most, if not all, of the participants in the competition had learned downhill skating with Natan.

Each contestant downed the course twice by himself in a “best time” competition. As it turned out, the students surpassed the teacher- With Leon Taobes(age 19), the youngest contestant, taking the Gold medal. Nir Cohen pushed the Former Champion Natan to the third place.

Pro downhill participants were required to wear full protective gear including full-face helmets and crash pads. Even so, a skater nicknamed "Dudi" fell during one of his runs and broke his arm.
Pro Downhill Podium

1. Leonid Taobes (19) 2. Nir Cohen (23) 3. Natan Lakoshnik (30)

The female downhill section also gave a good show. Medalists were:

  1. Hila Amichay

  2. Miryam

  3. Tal "Sleep"

Uphill Racing

UphillAfter everyone was done skating downhill, it was time to get back up again. Seven skaters set out to climb the hill that only minutes earlier had propelled skaters to nearly 90kph by the force of gravity alone. The outcome of the competition seemed predetermined. Three of Israels top speed skaters (Eyal FInk, Adam Shalit-Ilan and Myslef) were expected to compete mostly among themselves. Adam, having recently completed a running Marathon in Rome, was a good candidate for first place, but after starting fast he fell behind, making way for Ofer Filiba.

I conquered the 140m hill in 7:43 minutes.
Medalists were:

  1. Boaz Arad - GPS Data

  2. Eyal Fink

  3. Ofer Filiba

Amateur Downhill

The last event was the amateur downhill competition. Competitors were requiered to wear full padding and a helmet. A short section of the hill was skated by less experienced skaters in groups of three. Inbal, a female skater, fell and broke her jaw while taking a turnpast the finish line . She was taken to a nearby hospital in an ambulance and will require surgery. Fortunately, the helmet she was wearing prevented a worse injury. A full face helmet might have mitigated the Injury. The Israeli Inline Community wish Inbal a speedy recovery.

Hopefully, the injuries we saw in this competition will be the last, and this competition will be the first of many. Personally, I hope that within the year, the first Israeli Inline Marathon will take place.

Additional Pictures available in the Photo Gallery.


  1. Where in Israel is this "hill" located? Do you train on this hill regularly? Is it closed to traffic? Is it really 1400 meters in length NOT 140 meters ? Tell us more about this "hill".

  2. The hill is located in Pisgat Zeev in Israel. It is 140m tall, and that height is descended over a 1.4km (1,400m) course.
    The road was closed to traffic for the competition, but it is now a regular training spot for Israeli downhill skaters as it is in a relatively remote location.

  3. Hey Boaz,

    Is this place also used by skaters for UP-hill training ? Are there any connecting roads for more distance training? I train on hills amost exclusively, but you need more than just the hill so that you don't have to go constantly repeating up and down.


  4. What is the three borders race ? How far is it ? When is it held ?

  5. The hill where the competition took place is no regular training spot. It was just a road leading to a new neighbourhood that was still under construction - this made it an easy road to close, as it got little to no traffic.
    I am not aware of any skaters who train in the area, and I'm not very familiar with the surrounding area myself.

    The three borders race was a 10K inline race In Eilat held last month, I'll post an article about it in the future.

  6. join the dh inline frapper site so we can see where you skate.


    how many dh skaters do you guys have? what kind of hills do you do?

  7. I'd say that we have about 10-20 hardcore downhill skaters in Israel.
    One of their favorite spots is a very steep winding country road near Haifa.

  8. Boaz I live in Bnai Brak. I like to go up and down, but Im more the slalom guy with poles. Is there an event for this, or are you guys speed fanatics?

  9. Tor M,
    There are a few people who practice alpine skating (downhill slalom skating with poles) in Israel, you can probably find them in the forums here: http://www.israel-rollers.net/

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