Did you know the world’s No. 1 downhill street luge competitor lives right here in Humboldt County? 

Ferndale resident Ryan Farmer took first place in the men’s finals for downhill street luge in the 2022 World Skate Games World Championships in Argentina this week, making him the top competitor in the world.

“[During the] finals, I waited until the fastest section of the course and drafted my way to an outside pass on Italian racer Roberto Marascar in the final corner,” Farmer told the Outpost. “I didn’t expect to win here and would have been incredibly happy with anywhere on the podium. … The gold medal is a great surprise and I’m so happy for the support from all, worldwide and especially from my local Humboldt County community.”

Farmer credits the local cannabis community for introducing him to downhill skateboarding and sparking his interest in downhill street luge.

“Street luge is faster and more about technical precision and the fastest possible way down a hill,” he said. “The skate community [are some] of the most supportive and loving people and the drive to be my best motivated me to chase points and fight for the world championship.”

Farmer’s exciting win comes just days after he lost his luge while traveling from the United States to Argentina. “When I arrived, my bag carrying my board and other equipment was not on the plane,” he said. “My teammates went far out of their way to bring me a second board and, unfortunately, the airlines lost that one upon arrival.”

A week went by with no word from the airline. Farmer spent two days of practice sharing another teammate’s board. “Where everyone else got 13 or so practice runs, I got six,” he said.

Then, at the eleventh hour, Farmer’s luge was miraculously returned.

“We got notice of the bags being found and my coach rushed to the bus station to pick up the bags,” he said. “I got my board just moments before time trials began and still managed to get a silver medal with a time of 1:14:27. The top spot was 1:14:20 so I was seven hundredths from gold. When racing began today I was able to play it safe and move up through the quarter and semi-finals, winning both.”

Click on the video below to see Farmer accept his gold medal!