A 25 year old from Pender Harbour is now a two-time world champion in downhill skateboarding. After the 2022 World Skate Games on Nov. 12 in San Juan, Argentina, it took Dane Hanna (also known as Danger Dane) a few seconds to realize he’d won.
“I still feel like I’m dreaming,” Hanna said in a post on Instagram. “I cannot believe I am now a 2 time world skate world champion!”
The third edition of the World Skate Games (sometimes also called the World Roller Games), a Olympic-affiliated competition that gathers athletes from 10 skate-based sports and 80 countries together, resumed after it was postponed due to COVID.
Just the day before, he’d qualified in second place, just a few fractions of a second behind first. During a timed run leading up to the race, Hanna and his competition from California beat the track’s record time, which gave Hanna a “little boost in confidence,” he told his social media following.
The track was slippery, Hanna told Coast Reporter because of the sandy desert-like terrain. The first right turn “was all grit,” he said. Between that turn and the next is where the action happened.Two competitors wiped out on a downhill turn, and Hanna — solid on his board — gained the lead. He’d used the larger size of the competitor ahead, taking advantage of the draft in his wake to gain speed and pass.
To take the title for the second time “feels really, really good,” Hanna said. “I've been working hard my whole life trying to be a fast racer, and maybe World Champion. When I did it in 2019, it feltl amazing, I felt accomplished, but I wanted to come back and get a second one just for good measure.”
Hanna first took home a world title in 2019, when he broke a record and an ankle. Then a pandemic interrupted the scheduled competitions. “There wasn’t much to do with a pandemic,” Hanna said, except skate and focus on being faster. “You’re never fast enough. I always think like that. It seems to push me to the limits every time and get it just that little bit quicker.”
On the home front, Hanna has been routinely at the top of the Attack of Danger Bay podium, a Pender Harbour speed event usually held in time for the community’s May Day festivities. Hanna now hopes his win will give his hometown longboarding community a boost and increase programming for young skateboarders. He points to other local champs, Scott ‘Scoot’ Smith being one.
Hanna was one of 14 athletes Canada Skateboard sent to the World Skate Games. Before reaching the championships in Argentina, the top 12 Canadian men and women needed to accumulate enough points in a three-race circuit to be invited to Argentina. After the first two in California and Washington state, it was closer to home in Kelowna where Hanna came out on top.