World’s Largest, Iciest Slip ‘N Slide

Red Bull’s “Crashed Ice” World Championship 2016

Red Bull Crashed Ice | Facebook

An estimated 140,000 people gathered outside Cathedral of St. Paul Feb. 27 for $20 parking and moderately priced Red Bull. The corresponding event, of course, was Red Bull’s Crashed Ice World Championship. St. Paul has hosted Crashed Ice for the past six years.

It’s not blasphemous to suggest that more folks would show up to the Cathedral if it featured an icy skate slope of death every Sabbath’s eve. The course spanned 1,600 feet, including a 12-story downhill drop known as “Mount Everest.” Skaters typically reach a maximum speed of around 40 miles per hour, but warm weather early in the day may have contributed to a more slippery, speedy track.

The course spanned 1,600 feet, including a 12-story downhill drop known as ‘Mount Everest.’

What appeared to be a chaotic free-for-all was actually regulated by a team of referees stationed along the course. Slamming a fellow skater into the boards is a no-no, but a little elbow-nudging or booty bumping is all in good fun. It’s not common to come across a die-hard fan at Crashed Ice, most people are just out to have a good time. The races themselves fly by so quickly—you’re probably more likely to be laughing at a nasty spill or dropping a mouth full of free beef jerky in awe rather than rooting for any specific skater.

Red Bull Crashed Ice | Facebook

Four skaters ran the course at any given time, the winner of each heat qualifying for the championship round. 64 men and 16 women competed for the title. Lakeville native Cameron Naasz stole the men’s heat by just a few skate lengths, edging out defending champion Scott Croaxall, making him the first Minnesotan, as well as the first American, to win a Crashed Ice World Championship. Canadian Jacqueline Legere took the women’s heat, who, like Naasz, secured her first Crashed Ice title.

Following the race, Naasz downplayed his victory.

“I don’t know how I did it,” he said. “I knew [Croaxall] was right behind me, so I didn’t hit the brakes and went for it.”