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Road closures this weekend for longboarding event in Kelowna, B.C.

Have a need to watch some live speed? A longboarding event in Kelowna, B.C., this weekend could scratch that itch.

The Knox Mountain Downhill will run Aug. 20-21, and will feature longboarders racing down steep and winding Knox Mountain Drive.

Longboarding is akin to skateboarding, but, as the name implies, the boards are much longer. Racers will be decked out in protective gear, including full-face helmets and gloves plus leather suits or kneepads.

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“Straw bales will be strategically placed to minimize injury,” reads the downhill’s website on racer safety.

“Bales are often set to allow them to move upon impact resulting in controlled deceleration. A great deal of thought is put into the placement of each section of straw bales. Making sure areas with the highest probability of slide-outs to be covered the most.”

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Racing will start on Saturday at 9 a.m., and will wrap up Sunday at 3 p.m.

The city says to accommodate the event, there will be road closures and parking restrictions in the area throughout the weekend.

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The lower 1.5 km of Knox Mountain Drive, from the base to the first lookout, will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning Saturday at 7 a.m., and will remain closed through the weekend.

However, the main parking lot at the foot of Knox Mountain will remain open to the public.

“During this time, pedestrians are permitted to enter the area to watch the event from designated spectator areas,” said the city.

“Hikers are also permitted to access area trails including the Apex Trail when the downhill course is not in use by participants or shuttle vehicles.”

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The city said volunteers will be stationed on-site to ensure safe passage of pedestrians and hikers throughout the event area.

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