Longboarding: Hanna breaks the record, and his ankle, in quest for North American title

It’s been nearly three months since Dane Hanna sealed his North American longboarding championship and a sponsorship deal with a leading longboard manufacturing company.

The broken ankle he suffered while doing it is on the mend.

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“It’s getting better. It’s just sometimes it gets a little bit sore, like when I’m working on ladders,” said the Pender Harbour longboarder and plumber. “Other than that, it’s fine.”

Early in the 2019 season, Hanna took first place at both Killington and Gravity Fest, two of three U.S. races on the 2019 International Downhill Federation (IDF) circuit, before travelling to Europe for races that he hoped would earn him enough points to clinch the world title.

This was the 22-year-old’s first season competing globally with IDF. After winning the World Roller Games in Barcelona in July, he took second place at the Verdicchio Race in Italy. Less than two weeks before the Kozakov Challenge in the Czech Republic, he fractured his left ankle, which he uses to steer and steady himself on his board.

“I was just doing a couple practice runs, I put on some different wheels,” Hanna said. “I went through the corner and miscalculated and just hit the bales,” he said.

“It cranked my foot over and broke my ankle.”

Hanna suffered a fracture and serious damage to his tendons and ligaments. He was put on blood thinners and his foot was put in a cast.

Nearly two weeks later he was in Romania at the fastest track of the year, on crutches, deliberating about whether to compete. “The thing was still swollen like a water balloon,” he said.

At the last minute he opted to forego the race, putting an end to his world ranking ambitions. “I decided it was a stupid idea the day before the race,” he said. “I couldn’t really risk it, because I wanted to come back next year.”

But not all was lost. Landyacthz, a longboarding company with roots in North Vancouver, signed Hanna to their 2020 racing team, paying for flights, entry fees and other expenses, in addition to his own professional model longboard and royalties from sales.

Cuei wheels and DontTrip Trucks also sponsor Hanna. With the support, “I think I’ll be able to do a lot better next year,” he said.

Despite the injury and missed races, Hanna managed to end the season in August on a high note. He placed third overall at the final U.S. race, Washington’s Maryhill Loops, breaking the track record during a qualifying round and solidifying his North America title.

Back in Pender Harbour, Hanna is working to complete his plumber apprenticeship while training in anticipation for the start of the IDF 2020 season in April, when he’ll take another kick at becoming the world’s top ranked male longboarder.

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