Home WORLD Racing Wood-Carved Scooters at Breakneck Speed in the Philippines

Racing Wood-Carved Scooters at Breakneck Speed in the Philippines

Along the picturesque rice terraces of Banaue, Philippines, a unique racing subculture combines daredevil bravery with incredible artistry.Every April during the town’s Imbayah Festival, residents gather to watch a race unlike any other.

image/text credit: Great Big Story

Flying down the region’s steep hills at speeds that reach 30 mph, local riders challenge each other with meticulously carved, handcrafted wooden scooters. These beautifully crafted bikes don’t have brakes, so riders must rely on their skill to avoid crashing.

image/text credit: Great Big Story

Join three-time champion Robert Duyugen for the ride of a lifetime on a one-of-a-kind scooter.At the top, they would simply strap the load on both sides of the vehicle and let gravity take them back down in a matter of minutes.


In time, making wooden scooters became an art form, and masters of the craft began decorating them with all kinds of designsEvery year, during the Imbayah Festival.

Banaue’s woodcarving artisans showcase their most intricate wooden scooters in a traditional race that attracts visitors from all around the world.Barefoot and wearing nothing but their simple ethnic attire, these Ifugao daredevils race down a seven-kilometer windy road down to the town of Banaue.