JACKALOPE ramps up the sports action in 2019
JACKALOPE, Canada’s largest action sports festival, can always be relied upon to raise the bar, getting bigger, broader and badder with every successive edition. And 2019 is no exception as the fest welcomes skateboard royalty Bob Burnquist to a stellar lineup of elite athletes and exhilarating activities including loads of live music this year.
It’s action sports madness
Named for the fabled and fearsome part jackrabbit/part antelope creature of lore, Montréal’s JACKALOPE action sports fest, now in its eighth year, is fierce in its own right. Over the course of three days (August 16 to 18) on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park, the festival will be satiating adrenaline junkies with international-calibre competitions in several sports including World Cup men’s and women’s skateboarding, BASE jumping, bouldering and fixed (FXD) gear cycling. Also taking place are numerous demos in a variety of disciplines and a head-spinning array of participatory sports and other activities designed to keep both athletes and attendees active and entertained.
Feel the Burn(quist)
In the Big News department, skateboarding legend Bob Burnquist will be at JACKALOPE this year. Burnquist is hands-down (feet-up?) one of the best skaters ever to inhabit Planet Earth: he’s a 10-time World Champion, was named “Best Skater of the Year” seven times and has 30 X Games medals to his credit. The pro-boarder is known not only for his creativity on skate installations, but especially for his innovative ramp moves and feats of athleticism. He’s a relentless trick inventor (and for several of these, he’s still the only one in the world capable of pulling them off), and is the first to invent a trick involving a helicopter. Burnquist will be performing what is destined to be an unforgettable vert demo at JACKALOPE alongside X Games gold medal winner Elliot Sloan and many other top-tier athletes.
Get stoked for some serious competition
In addition to the headlining World Cup skateboarding competitions, the pros of bouldering (a variant of rock climbing that features no ropes, no harnesses and, evidently, no fear) will be competing on a custom three-faced wall. There will also be a fixed gear crit (laps around a closed circuit) with both men’s and women’s categories. And, of course, the highest of highlights, the Jump Off BASE jumping competition, which sees participants leaping from the top of the Olympic Stadium’s epic and iconic tower and trying to land on a target bullseye on the Esplanade. In 2016, JACKALOPE hosted the very first BASE jump from the tower, the tallest inclined tower in the world. The jumps will take place each night of the festival, wind permitting. Check out the full schedule of events.
Particip-action’s the name of the games
In addition to advancing action sports, JACKALOPE’s stated mission is to inspire people to participate in sports, stay active and have tons o’ fun. Take part in loads of free activities including slacklining, yoga, water gun fights, freestyle soccer, rock climbing, a skate park with a mini ramp for beginners and, new this year, the Harley Davidson Experience motorcycle road test simulator. Live music will feature prominently this year for the first time, with several hip-hop, punk and metal bands slated to play. There are also tons of pop-up up shops for grabbing the latest skate gear and streetwear, an assortment of Montréal’s famous food trucks to satiate hungry sports fans, and even the Savvy Barbershop if you need to hone your JACKALOPE look with a haircut or beard trim. Tickets for the fest, starting at only $20, are super affordable, and little JACKALOPians — kids 10 and under — get in for free.
Jamie O’Meara, blogger
Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.