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By Maria Carrasco, Vice-President World Skate Slalom Working Group

Slalom Skateboarding made it’s debut at the 2022 World Skate Games – with four days of World Championship racing in San Juan, Argentina! This was definitely an event of “firsts” for the world slalom community. Not only was this our first appearance at the World Skate Games – it was also the first time a Slalom World Championship has been held in South America! More “firsts” included the appearance of not just one but two nations not normally seen on the slalom world circuit – it was a treat for us all to welcome the well-organized and manned teams from Japan and Australia! To top it all off – professional coverage of the entire event was broadcast live on the web for the world to see and simultaneously played out on the course-side jumbotron screens for competitors and spectators to enjoy. One of the most epic presentations we’ve ever experienced – setting a new standard for our goals going forward.

This World Skate Slalom debut brought 38 men and women from nine countries to the small, friendly town of San Juan, Argentina to compete for titles, medals and a share of the $10,000 USD prize purse. Over the course of the event, racers faced four different styles of slalom racing challenges – battling their way through three days of head-to-head drag-race style matches at the world class Villicum Race Track and ending with the finale of high-speed single-lane giant slalom at the Punta Negra Dam road. The courses were long and technical with an average of 65 cones per lane – designed to inspire different strategies to blast through at speed while staying clean – as each cone hit carries a time-penalty. Races were won or lost often by the smallest fraction of a second – which kept everyone in suspense from start to finish.

Difficult courses were not the only challenge – weather was also a factor. Early summer in San Juan brought very hot dry temps for the first two days of competition and on the third day – strong winds and cold temperatures flipped things to the opposite extreme and even threatened to shut down the day. The slalom group is a hardy bunch though and were determined not to let a little weather get in the way of a good time so everyone pressed on to finish successfully. Day four at the giant slalom hill brought more cold temperatures with the higher elevation of this mountainous region but plenty of sun for our high-speed grand-finale!

Each day ended in the crowning of a World Champion for that day’s event with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded for the top three finishers men and women. Team Latvia had a very strong showing in both divisions – men and women for the head-to-head disciplines especially. Janis Kuzmins took first place, the gold medal and the title in the first three days of men’s head-to-head. Fellow countrymen, Gustavs Gialitis and Toms Drieblats took turns in the 2nd and 3rd positions for a mens Latvian podium sweep for those three days as well. Similarly, Team Latvia finished strong in the women’s division too but couldn’t keep Team USA out of the top spot for more than one day – with reigning women’s World Champ Lynn Kramer taking gold in two of the three head-to-head events and the giant slalom too! Latvia’s Anna Gailite fought hard to nab the top spot in tight straight, while twin-sister Eliza claimed two bronze medals in head-to-head. Team USA’s Judi Oyama – Skateboard Hall of Famer and 63-years young – claimed the bronze in the opening head-to-head event – proving age is just a number! In true grand finale fashion – Team USA rose to the top with a sweep of the giant slalom womens podium with Lynn Kramer 1st and young new-comers Isa Ruiz and Lari-Ann Rupp claiming 2nd and 3rd respectively. The men’s division saw a similar upset with Czech Republic’s only representative, Jakub Jirman, taking the gold and Team USA’s George Pappas snatching silver by 2/100th’s of a second over Janis Kuzmins who settled for bronze. What a finish!

When it was all said and done – the four day’s results were tallied together to determine the overall winners – with the top five in each division receiving a cash payout of the $10,000 combined prize purse!

Those results are as follows:

Overall Top 5 Men

  1. Janis Kuzmins (LAT) – $2000
  2. Gustavs Gailitis (LAT) – $1200
  3. Toms Dreiblats (LAT) – $1000
  4. Jakub Jirman (CZE) – $500
  5. Arturs Liskovs (LAT) – $300

Overall Top 5 Women

  1. Lynn Kramer (USA) – $2000
  2. Anna Gailite (LAT) – $1200
  3. Eliza Gailite (LAT) – $1000
  4. Judi Oyama (USA) – $500
  5. Maïté Fournier-Parent (CAN) – $300

Day One – Hybrid Slalom – Men

  1. Janis Kuzmins (LAT) – Hybrid Slalom World Champion
  2. Toms Dreiblats (LAT)
  3. Gustavs Gailitis (LAT)

Day One – Hybrid Slalom – Women

  1. Lynn Kramer (USA) – Hybrid Slalom World Champion
  2. Anna Gailite (LAT)
  3. Judi Oyama (USA)

Day Two – Tight Straight Slalom – Men

  1. Janis Kuzmins (LAT) – Tight Straight Slalom World Champion
  2. Gustavs Gailitis (LAT)
  3. Toms Dreiblats (LAT)

Day Two – Tight Straight Slalom – Women

  1. Anna Gailite (LAT) – Tight Straight Slalom World Champion
  2. Lynn Kramer (USA)
  3. Eliza Gailite (LAT)

Day Three – Tight Special Slalom – Men

  1. Janis Kuzmins (LAT) – Tight Special Slalom World Champion
  2. Gustavs Gailitis (LAT)
  3. Toms Dreiblats (LAT)

Day Three – Tight Special Slalom – Women

  1. Lynn Kramer (USA) – Tight Special Slalom World Champion
  2. Anna Gailite (LAT)
  3. Eliza Gailite (LAT)

Day Four – Giant Slalom – Men

  1. Jakub Jirman (CZE) – Giant Slalom World Champion
  2. George Pappas (USA)
  3. Janis Kuzmins (LAT)

Day Four – Giant Slalom – Women

  1. Lynn Kramer (USA) – Giant Slalom World Champion
  2. Isa Ruiz (USA)
  3. Lari-Ann Rupp (USA)

On behalf of the Slalom Working Group and the slalom community at large – a huge Thank You to our Argentinian hosts – all the local organizers, venue personnel and volunteers – for such a warm reception and world-class conditions! Thank you to World Skate for collaborating with us to produce this fantastic debut of slalom skateboard racing to the world! Congratulations to all the competitors – we are so happy you could join us for this historic event!

Recordings of the live streams from the four-day event can be found on