Noel Jarillo is a 25-year-old downhill inline skater living in Madrid, Spain.
What is your current skate setup?
For freeskating I use the Flying Eagle F110 boots, Supersonic frames and 3×110 Speed Wheels with CSP titanium Bearings. For downhilling I use a Custom FE Drift setup.
Do you have any sponsors?
Flying Eagle Skates, Roex BCN, Real Federación Española de Patinaje and CSP bearings.
Taking the corner with palm slider.
How long have you been inline skating?
Thanks to my mother, I have been skating for twenty-one years! I started playing roller hockey when I was 4 years old. Then moved on to ice hockey and later to aggressive skating.
When did you start getting into downhilling?
I did my first downhill when I was 15 years old. Back then I was doing aggressive skating, but the people that organized the roller meetings in Madrid loved skating hills. Because of them I was given the opportunity to try urban downhilling. I met some extremely talented skaters who helped me learn the skills needed to develop my love for downhilling.
What was the feeling you had after completing your first ever downhill run?
My first real downhill run was in Col de Menté , France when I was 16 years old. It is a hardcore hill and was very scary, but I had a smile on my face the whole way down. To this day, every hill I have skated since then, has been with a massive smile on my face!
Do you do any other disciplines of inline skating? What other skates do you have?
I work as a trainer for a local roller hockey team so I still play some hockey. I have a pair of Xsjado aggressive skates that I sometimes session at the skatepark. I also love freeskating and longboarding.
How often do you go downhilling?
I try to visit mountain roads once a week if possible, but we usually can only get together 2-3 times a month.
How many people do you skate with on a regular basis?
Madrid has about 30 downhill skaters living there. Sometimes we can get everyone together for a large session, but typically there will be about 5 of us skating together.
I know you session with longboarders. Do they generally get along with inline downhillers?
The relationship between inline skaters and longboarders is a bit weird. The problem is most of the inline skaters take downhilling too serious, are too competitive and don’t know how to just have fun and relax. The image of downhill inliners in the longboard world, is one of skaters who are sketchy and bored. However in Madrid we have always skated together with the longboarders and we get along well. They are always surprised at how good some of the inliners actually are.
Who is faster, longboarders or downhill inline skaters?
The speed is basically the same for both sports. The friction force of inline wheels is not comparable with a good aerodynamic truck, so a longboarder with better trucks will be faster. But an inliner with the right wheel and frame setup can be faster then a longboarder.
Longboarders and inliners bombing hills together.
Do you do any work behind the scenes for your sport?
We are trying to organize a Spanish National Championship in collaboration with the National Federation of Roller Sports. I am also working on opening the first Inline Downhill School in Spain and will name it the Inline Downhill Academy.
Will you be competing at the Nanjing games in China? What is your involvement if any with the games?
Yes, I will be competing there this year, but I do not work with the group organizing it. We are helping a bit with the 2019 Barcelona Games, but this event is being mostly organized by the longboarders from Barcelona.
How many IIDA (International Inline Downhill Association) events are there a year? How many downhill competitions exist?
That is a bit confusing because there are some IIDA races in South America coming up that are not on the calendar, there will also be one in Maryhill, Washington in the United States and later the European races, which are the ones that count for rankings. The Inline Championships need more hardworking people to help out. For example 2017 is almost over and the 2016 rankings are not even on their website yet. The people who are actually responsible for the organizations are working hard, but if we want the discipline to grow then we need more people contributing.
Competing in a downhill race.
What do you do to train for downhilling?
There are two ways to train for downhilling. The smart way is to do corner training, which means going to a corner on a downhill course and skating the corner over and over again until you have learned how to navigate it perfectly. The other way to train is just drop in on a hill and go as fast as you can!
What is your greatest achievement in? What are you most proud of?
The thing I am most proud about is that our discipline has been growing steadily in the last couple of years. We have gone from doing events where only 2 people showed up, to now having over 30 riders at the events. My biggest achievement was when I was 16 years old and placed 2nd at the Spanish National Championship Race.
Where is the favorite place you have been?
The road from the ski resort of Aramón Cerler to the village of Cerler is one of my favorite downhills in the world. The road conditions are perfect and the views are majestic.
Just downhilling with some friends.
What is the scariest hill you’ve ever skated? What is the scariest incident you ever had?
The scariest hill I have ever skated was La Cruz in the seaside town of Benidorm, Spain. The asphalt was very slippery and there were no guardrails to protect you from falling off a 200m cliff straight into the sea. I will say the landscape and scenery here were absolutely incredible. One of the scariest things when downhilling is when a car gets into your lane and you almost see death.
What is the worst injury you have ever had?
When I was 17, a friend ran into me on a downhill and neither one of us were wearing helmets. I destroyed my lip on the asphalt! Luckily I have never broken any bones skating.
What protective gear do you wear?
I wear Supreme Flying Eagle kneepads, Predator DH helmet, and longboard slide gloves.
Why 5 wheels? What sets them apart from 4 wheels?
5 wheels give you more stability at high rates of speed. When you get over 65kmh you start getting wheel wobbles. Having more wheels offers your more stability and grip, which is need for turning or sliding. When I slide on 4×80 wheels I feel like I am sliding on ice.
What do you think about people trying to downhill on 3 wheel setups?
I think 3 wheel setups are a great opportunity for discovering downhill, as they offer more stability and grip, with the same maneuverability as 4×80 frames. It also much easier to slide on 3 wheel setup then on 5 wheels. However if you were trying to race, then a 3-wheel setup would not be adequate.
What do you think about the 3-wheel craze in general?
I really love when innovations happen in out sport and the 3×3 trend is one of the biggest innovations in years. For urban skating they are faster, smoother and help you keep your momentum better. The same goes for jumps, slides and tricks, even manuals seem easier on them. I think that 4×80 will now only be the standard for freestyle skating.
What countries have the most downhillers?
France, Italy, Brazil, Spain.
How hard was it learning to slide at high speeds?
It is easy if you work on sliding step by step on a small hill, building your skills daily. A lot of people will go straight to hardcore hills without learning parallel sliding skills. This can make downhilling scary and unenjoyable and can lead to serious accidents.
What recommendations do you have for anyone who would want to start getting into downhilling?
Grab your skates, go to your local hill, and if you can overcome your fears, you will experience one of the most intense feelings you can have with your cloths on!
What is your biggest complaint about what’s happening with downhilling?
It is shame that the public does not get to experience how fun it is. Brands do not want to invest in it and there are no magazine or websites out there that to it. The thing has helped us the most is the events and edits people are putting YouTube.
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