If you've never seen someone crash on a skateboard, and seen the horrific injuries that can occur, consider yourself lucky.
Professional skateboarder and Colorado resident Kyle Wester is not immune to crashing. Two years ago he broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder after a fall from a skateboard. Unlike most skaters though, Wester, 26, crashed going over 50 mph. To win a race from Pikes Peak Highway, the highest toll road in America (14,115 feet) Sunday, the 26-year-old Wester will have to go faster.
This weekend, racers from around the globe will start at an elevation of 11,446 feet and descend nearly a mile and a half to the finish line.
"A lot of it has to do with drafting, getting behind and working your way up to make a pass," Wester said. "Getting out front is good, but you have to remember that you're going to get drafted and passed."
For six years Wester has been competing around the world, but the Pikes Peak Downhill race is the only race in Colorado.
"The key is knowing your equipment, being consistent, and not messing up. When you do, you lose speed, because we are not under power."
On a race that has a change in elevation of almost 700 feet, Wester said is it boils down to repetition. "A lot of it comes from practice, and keeping up with your skills, spending a lot of time on the board. I think of my board as my own personal gravity race car."
As it turns out, his personal gravity racing car could keep up with most gasoline-powered engines on the road. Last year in Teutonia, Brazil, Wester won a race with a speed of 74 mph. "It's pretty amazing going that fast, but we have the fastest road in the world in northern Colorado, said Wester, who wouldn't go into specific detail. "We like to keep the best spots to ourselves," he said, laughing.
The fastest Wester has gone down the mysterious road? A speed familiar to many as you pass slower cars in the right lane on the highway. An absolutely scorching speed of 79.5 mph.