Posted by BurgerFuel


It’s our birthday month and to celebrate, we’re giving away 10 full throttle Hypercar experiences in some of the world's most innovative modern luxury and performance sports cars.

We've been chatting to some friends of the fuel, and legitimate speed freaks, to find out more about their passion for going full throttle.

Meet Stephen Davis, ex-BurgerFuel staff member and competitive Downhill Longboarder. Don’t be fooled by his baby face, this guy has racing in his blood and is one serious thrill seeker.

You’re clearly a speed freak at heart, how long have you been Downhill Longboarding?

I’m definitely a speed freak! I’ve been doing Downhill Longboarding since 2012, so about 9 years now.

Was it a natural progression from skateboarding? How did you get into this extreme sport?

Well funnily enough, I started on a regular skateboard doing your standard ollie and flip tricks but I didn’t like how slow it was riding around the place. So, I started with upgrading the wheels to a bigger size, to help me roll around quicker, then my mate (now best friend) who was already into longboarding, suggested I buy his spare longboard and start using a helmet and gloves, so I could do slides - which help you slowdown or stop when needed. It was all downhill from there haha!

There looks to be minimal margin for error and incredibly unforgiving if you get it wrong. Have you ever come off and how gnarly was it? We’ve got a strong stomach.

It’s definitely a dangerous sport and at times can be really unforgiving. Fortunately, I’ve come away pretty clean. However, my worst crash was at a race where I came off my board and black flipped twice, clean in the air! Surprisingly, I managed to walk away and carried on skating at that event. Must of had someone watching over me that day.

You’re crazy. The helmets look customized for the sport, is that right? What other safety gear is required?

We have specially made helmets just for skating, as they need to be light and have a good field of vision. I have two separate helmets I use for skating - one is just your standard full-face helmet and I’ve also got a custom helmet with fairings built in to it, to make it more aerodynamic.  Luckily for me, I have a helmet sponsor, DTLC, from Wellington, that makes them for me. Other gear I use are leather gloves with pucks that are Velcro-d on and a full leather suit which is made out of kangaroo skin, for when I’m competing in Oz. Take that Australians!

That brings a whole new meaning to having a competitive edge. Tell us, how big is the scene in New Zealand?

The New Zealand longboard skating scene is pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s a big one, but all things considered, we still managed to produce a skater named Taylor Cook, from Christchurch. Taylor won the juniors world title in 2017, which isn’t an easy thing to do.

How do you measure your speed and what’s your personal best time?

Thanks to technology, we can use GPS to track our speed. The fastest recorded speed I’ve achieved is 107kmph, which was at a race in Romania. The world record is 147kmph though, so I’ve still got some catching up to do!

That’s incredible. And terrifying. Do you have a particular style you prefer? The stance is clearly geared towards stability and speed, but do you add your own flair?

I wouldn’t say I have my own style, I’m just more of a racer. I love going fast and racing people.

What are some of the races you’ve competed in and are there any international events you’re keen to get amongst?

I’ve competed all around the world – Italy, USA, Australia, Spain and even Czech Republic. Honestly, I would love to get back to Colorado, as they have amazing hills to race on.

You’re clearly not adverse to high risk or high adrenaline pastimes, do you have any other interests along these lines?  

Before I started skating, my whole family used to race cars at the Meremere dirt track, so I’ve had racing in my blood since I was young. It’s high risk, whether it’s in a race car or a skateboard - although in a race car you’ve got a roll-cage and seat belts.

Tell us about your board of choice? How does a downhill skateboard differ from a standard street skateboard? Can you modify your board to enhance performance in any way?

Well for starters, longboards have a longer wheel-base, which helps for stability, along with different trucks that help you stay on when going super fast, and to keeps those dangerous speed wobbles to a minimum. We also have much bigger and softer wheels, which allows for better grip and better roll speed.

Favourite downhill longboard trail or highlight in your longboarding journey to date?

My favourite road I’ve skated would have to be Trail Ridge Road, located in the Rocky Mountains, in Colorado. The cool thing about it is, it’s the highest continuous paved road in North America and you start at the top, which is at 12000ft, and skate down a 17km run. Also, just anywhere in the French Alps - they seriously know how to build beautiful, smooth roads.

Do you have any superstitious habits or just pre-race rituals you like to undertake before you compete?

I wouldn’t say I have a pre-race ritual, but every time I line up, I’m always nervous.

And of course, favourite burger (being an ex-BurgerFuel staff member, tell us your favourite BurgerFuel hack?)

Are you ever really an ex-employee? I always find myself back working for franchisee, Matt Cornes, every now and then, but my favourite burger would have to be a Bacon BBQ Roadster, swapping out regular aioli for chipotle aioli.

Excellent choice. Living life on the edge with your sauce choices too. Cheers Stephen.

Keep up to speed with Stephen @stephen_davis24