Photography: Chris Wellhausen
Travis Rice Red Bull Supernatural 2012 play-by-play
We know it’s tough waiting for that footy to drop March 31st so here’s a play-by-play of the action that went down at Red Bull Supernatural 2013 to hold you over. (Note now the event is called Red Bull Ultra Natural for 2013, stay tuned for full coverage at twsnow.com)
Scotty Lago chose to make the first descent during the dropping order selection on Friday. It was a ballsy move since he wouldn‚t have the advantage of seeing anyone else hit the course. Even though he fell on his second hit, a frontside 5 off one of the diving boards, his method off the first hit and backside 7 off the main booter to fresh track landing set the tone for the day˜Scotty hadn‚t held back everyone knew they couldn‚t either. Run One score: 57.60; Run Two: 59.40. Place 17th.
DCP dropped second. His run was like watching a live version of his part in Chulksmack. It was top to bottom flow, starting with a method into a backside 3, then a frontside 3 that he just had time to stomp before he blasted a huge melon into a chute. From there he pointed it into the main booter and put down a frontside 7. But then tragedy struck˜on the bottom jib section he came up short on the sharp knuckle and blew his knee, taking him out for the rest of the event. DCP‚s score of 69.20 was enough to earn him a spot in the finals where he could have taken a third run. Since he couldn‚t ride there was some confusion around whether Devun Walsh, who was on the bubble in 10th, would take his spot. But as it was the best score that counted DCP held his spot in 8th.
John Jackson was third in and was all about cross courting the upper pillow lines and sending it through goal posts. His second run was even more solid than the first with a backflip in the steeps and a backside 7 on the main booter, earning him a spot in the finals. On his third run the beast was unleashed˜it was clear he wanted the win. He hit everything fast and went huge, but fell in the upper section. After he recovered, he kept it going right to the end, throwing a backside 10 double cork off the main jump, earning him The Trick award. Run One score: 54.84; Run Two: 80.60; Run Three: 77.20. Place: 4th.
Winner of the dropping order selection „triathlon‰, Lucas Debari, chose to drop fourth. Lucas‚s plan was to put his Mt. Baker honed riding style to work. He barged fast and hard, looking fearless. On his first run he fell, but it was clear that if he put it all together he could probably take the day. The second run was even more gnarly˜he was the first and only rider to send it off the biggest diving board, aiming for a sniper tranny a good 80 feet out. He missed the mark but rode away with a little ass-check. On this third run he lined the diving board up again and went for a front 3 but ate shit. He was riding with his arm in a cast and at first it looked like he might have hurt it. Eventually he got up and rode away though, but the fall ended his run. Run One score: 68.40; Run Two: 80.60: Run Three: 77.20. Place: 5th.
Terje Haakonsen was fifth in. His style is so loose but so in control˜there‚s no one who rides like Uncle T. He worked the course, squeezing the most hits he could out of each run. Run One score: 58.90; Run Two: 68.20. Place: 12th.
Canadian up and comer Mark Sollors, who was called in last minute to replace Wolle Nyvelt, dropped sixth. Mark took a line to the far riders right of the course working some of the untouched platforms with a half Cab followed by a natural backside three. On the main booter he got a backside 7 on his first run but fell on a frontside 10 on his second attempt. As the closest to rookie status next to McMorris and Kotsenburg, there‚s definitely a lot more to come from Mark. Run One score: 51.35; Run Two: 68.30. Place: 11th.
Nicolas Müller clearly understood the concept that the riding between the tricks was part of the scoring because he put together a series of almost seamless runs. From the second he dropped there was never a dull moment: between the airs he was either buttering or popping around to straight-line switch. His third run was the highlight with a natural backside 5 to switch straight line into a switch backside 3 over the main booter followed by another high-speed butter.
2012 X Games slopestyle and big air gold medalist Mark McMorris dropped in eighth. While most of the riders at the event had years to hone their riding in the backcountry before it was viewed, Mark went through the learning experience in a very public way on one of the most challenging courses any of the invitees had ridden. That takes balls. Run one was definitely tough for him. But by run two his talent was already starting to shine through: he stomped a natural backside 3, a backside 7 off the main booter, and a pole jam to backside 3. Run One score: 37.20; Run Two: 63.00. Place: 15th.
Eero Niemala didn‚t hold back on his first run, dropping a huge method on his first hit and continuing to ride the whole course fast and smooth. He stomped a frontside nine off the main booter, the first of the contest, and followed it up with a switch backside nine on his next run. Run One score: 68.90; Run Two Score: 66.80; 61.80. Place: 9th.
Gigi Ruf was on fire from the start of his first run which included a double pillow tap, a frontside 3 to a big straight air into a wide chute, followed by a backside 3. He stomped a frontside 7 off the main booter but bailed on the bottom bonks. His score of 84 stuck, landing him in second. Run One score: 84.00; Run Two: 58.00; Run Three: 82.40. Place: 2nd.
Mark Carter looked like he was feeling the course out during his first run but came back charging on the second. He threw down two burly straight airs off the platforms, followed by a frontside 3 and a frontside 9 off the main booter. Run One score: 53.60; Run Two: 64.70. Place: 14th.
From the outset a betting man could have put money on Mark Landvik to do well in this event. But after breaking his foot in the fall while playing soccer and at the same time recovering from knee surgery, Lando was working with a handicap. His runs were packed with tricks but he just wasn‚t going quite as big as the other riders. Run One score: 48.20; Run Two: 55.50. Place: 18th.
Travis Rice. You know what happened. Dude’s a beast.
No one wants to follow a run like Travis put down, especially when you‚re a backcountry rookie like Sage Kotsenburg. Sage sucked it up though and had some decent flow down the course. On his second run he figured the whole landing in pow deal out a little better and stomped a Cab 9 off the main booter. Run One score: 46.40. Run Two: 62.00. Place: 16th.
Eric Jackson wanted it so bad. On his first run he took a tumble on his first hit, recovered, and spun a backside 180 butter to Cab 5 off one of the platforms, reverted, then launched a massive straight air, followed by a backside 7 off the main booter. No doubt he was putting in work. „Hoe-lee. The shit is tough!‰ he exclaimed at the bottom of his first run. One his second run he got the butter to Cab 5 clean but checked on a backside 7 on the main booter, which kept his score low. Run One score: 64.00; Run Two: 65.80. Place: 13th.
Devun Walsh doesn’t exactly like contests but since this was more like a day filming in the backcountry he came through. He was, of course, smooth on both runs, but fell on a frontside 3 into a chute on his first. He likely just missed the top nine since he opted to send a Cab 3 and switch backside 5 on the cross-court booter instead of the main booter for each run. One of the highlights of the day was his backside 3 nosebonk on the lower tower. Pure style. Run One score: 47.20; Run Two: 68.80. Place: 10th.
Jake Blauvelt was another rider who had good odds for wining. His runs were smooth and aggressive including a butter backside 3 to start things off and some gnarly goal-post airs. The only weak point was the main booter. He spun a frontside 5 while most other riders were going seven at least. Run One score: 70.00; Run Two: 64.40; Run Three: 73.10. Place: 7th.
Kazu Kokubo was the last rider in. He looked a little reserved in the steeps on his first run but stomped the first 1080 of the event on the main booter. He kicked off his second run with a sick slash-to-drop followed a straight air, landing just feet away from a tree. This time he got a switch backside 9 off the main booter. On his third run he came the next closest to Lucas Debari to getting broken off˜he tried to backside 7 mid-run but clipped the same tree he almost hit before. Branches flew everywhere and Kazu rag-dolled, but picked himself up and rode away. Run One score: 65.94; Run Two: 75.50; 58.20. Place: 6th.