The sky was relatively clear as the rail contest got underway. The feature consisted of a box and a down-rail separated by a set of stairs, and the usual array of handrail staples went down with video-game-like combos, lipslides, front-board-to-near-shoulder-dislocations, and even some attempted trickery from the only all-girl team. However, in the end it came down to Austin Hironaka who won with a backside 180-on the hard way, 180-off.
After a short break—during which an onslaught of menacing-looking clouds rolled in—came the jumping. The booter was a massive 25 feet (okay, okay, I jest—it was maybe 30), and the riders utilized the lengthy airtime with a serious huckfest. The thirty-minute jam session was filled with rodeos and some other variations on flipping while spinning, 900 and 1080 attempts (some successful—most notably Lucas Dubari’s clean switch backside nine), and I think it’s safe to say that one of the best of the day was Nick Dirks’ stunt double Ben Lynch’s swanny backflip. However, swanny backflips are unfortunately only really amazing-looking upside-down 360s, and you needed at least three times that to win any money in this thing, which is why the first prize went to Corey Noble of Northern Alliance, who spun around like nobody’s business and landed cleaner than anyone else.
And last but not least, we had the transition section in the form of a really fun-looking quarterpipe, and as the ever-present Northwest rain began to fall, yet another huckfest unfolded. We had McTwists, handplants, Japan airs, big Methods, and that kid who always decides to try some hair-brained transfer that might work if gravity were nonexistent. In the end it came down to Exit stand-in Jared Hendricks who got down with some serious McTwists and backside sevens, and Mt. Baker Snowboard Shop’s Justin Heath, who pulled off a double Michaelchuck at the buzzer and walked away with the dollars. And while only a few people got to go home a little richer, I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a fairly good day, which I believe equals a successful contest…or something. Okay, enough inspirational last words. Go watch the video.
1. Northern Alliance
2. Mt. Baker Snowboard Shop