Ever since I saw the video titled “Spoofing the Traffic Camera – Long-boarding without Limits”, I have been obsessed! The video shows how a daredevil aka Decio Lourenco, plunged down Kloof Nek in Cape Town (between Table Mountain and Lion’s Head) on his long-board (not skateboard…I learnt that there’s a difference, so best not get confused) without any safety gear, save a helmet. The video went viral and of course the authorities got pissed!!
I was… and still am mesmerised by the skill it took him to get down that hill, using his hands as brakes no less.
Why the obsession?
To be honest, growing up I have never been a skateboard / longboard fan. Perhaps it was due to never “getting the hang” of the hobby or perhaps due to the lack of skateboard / longboarding culture where I live.
My toys growing up consisted of hand-me-downs from my older brother or toys which were bought for him i.e. toy cars, cricket sets, soccer sets… which I loved by the way; and one neglected skateboard which my brother sprayed neon purple… some insight into the male influence in my life.
Getting back to Decio, I heard about him on one of the local South African radio stations, which cast him as a deviant individual doing dangerous stunts and causing havoc in our city. They were discussing the dangers of having gone down Kloof Nek in the early morning, with some traffic on the road and without wearing adequate safety gear; not to mention the fact that he set off the traffic camera on way down.
As it stands, Decio faces charges of reckless endangerment and he will not be given the option of a fine! Click HERE for full article on what happened. Yes, it seems the authorities really want to stop this vigilante. He was after all, going downhill at a speed of approximately 110km/h in a 60km/h zone. So bad, I know! Apparently Decio had an ankle monitor which registered the actual speed… Hmm, wonder what it read.
What I think about it:
Personally, I do think it is extremely dangerous and may even spark copycat acts around Cape Town. Then again, humans tend to copy anything that’s “in” – like sheep, they will follow anything. I see this everyday. Anyway, I get why authorities would be ‘concerned’. There was a tragic incident in March last year (2012), where a Jo’burg luge rider Carlos Trancoso, was killed, after being run over by an oncoming truck while skating (or is it luging?) down the Franschhoek pass. See article on Carlos HERE.
Nonetheless, despite the danger aspect, I simply cannot, CANNOT get over the total awesomeness of this skill!
So everyone has pointed out the problem, who’s going to present a solution? It seems that finger-pointing is the order of the day and that Cape Town Officials are adamant to make an example of Decio- hang him out to dry and show him who’s boss!! Personally, I think that instead of accusing, fining and formally charging, perhaps a light sentence such as community service and a public verbal warning should suffice.
Then, once they are satisfied with their punishments, perhaps they should consider budgeting for some infrastructure or facilities that support this “alternate sport”.
The man is clearly a skilled professional and admittedly so, he told reporters the same thing. If you watch the video, you can see him constantly checking over his shoulder for traffic behind him, before crossing lanes. (Im clearly no making excuses for the dude)
One has to wonder the amount of practice hours that went into training. And ,cough, WHERE?? All of a sudden authorities want to stamp their disapproval! Come on, perhaps if they had been monitoring the area in the first place, they would have caught him in action long ago!
Punishing someone for unacceptable behaviour is all good and well but there is clearly a demand…
Check out the video and decide for yourself. What do you think? Are you as “in awe” as I am or are you repulsed by this daredevil’s bad example?
Age 24, a graphic design student from who knows where…? See the video for yourself!
I maintain that it’s bloody awesome!
PS: I have been struggling with the video as I don’t think that WordPress supports the video uploading. I have made provisions by uploading some snaps of the video of said skills in action. If you know of an easy way to upload a WordPress video then please let me know.
ToxicSweety over and out!