This past weekend, top international snowboarders like Ethan Deiss, Dylan Alito, Zak Hale, Stevie Bell, Alex Andrews and Jamie Nicholls took their rail skills to the streets of Tokyo for the first ever Burton Rail Days competition at the Roppongi Hills Arena. Presented by MINI, Burton Rail Days drew the largest crowd ever recorded at the venue, with over 3,000 people packed around the rail set-up to watch some of the world's best street snowboarders in action.
"With Burton Rail Days, we wanted to bring a legitimate exhibition of urban riding to the center of Tokyo," said Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer at Burton Snowboards. "Roppongi Hills Arena is an iconic destination in Tokyo, and seeing this urban center transformed into a full winter festival with music, kids snowboard lessons and a world-class rail competition was incredible. It was a next-level event and everyone from the riders to the crowd had an amazing time."
The rail jam competition kicked off with a total of 17 riders competing in a 45-minute jam format for eight spots in the knock-out round. Once the eight best riders made the cut, the action heated up with riders competing in a head-to-head format.
When the finals got underway, the field was narrowed down to Jamie Nicholls, Dylan Alito, Ethan Deiss and Shoma Takao. Jamie and Dylan went head-to-head to battle for first and second place, while Ethan and Shoma went head-to-head to duke it out for third and fourth place. Each rider had three chances to pull off his best runs.
In the end, it was Jamie Nicholls from Great Britain who won the entire event with two super strong runs: one that included a frontside boardslide 270 out on the down rail and another run that included a frontside boardslide change-up boardslide on the down rail. Dylan Alito came in second place with a frontside boardslide on the ledge and a second run that included a hardway frontside 270 frontside boardslide on the ledge. Ethan Deiss claimed third place with a frontside 180 switch nosepress and a second run that included a frontside 270 frontside boardslide to fakie – both on the down rail. And Shoma earned fourth place with a transfer 50-50 on the kink rail in one run and a transfer boardslide on the kink rail in his other high-scoring run.
Jamie Nicholls had this to say about his win, "When they announced that I won, I honestly couldn't believe it, especially because there were so many amazing riders there and everyone smashed it," said Jamie. "The crowd was amazing – let's just say that I love Japan, Tokyo and everyone there."
The riders definitely shared Jamie's thoughts on competing in Japan and were all super happy to be in Tokyo with a good crew. After the competition wrapped up, the record-breaking crowd all stayed for a free concert by one of Japan's favorite artists, MINMI, who is known for her diverse skills and artistry as a singer, songwriter and performer.
2011 Burton Rail Days: Final Results
- Jamie Nicholls (GBR) NIKE 6.0 – $15,000
- Dylan Alito (USA) VOLCOM – $8,000
- Ethan Deiss (USA) BURTON – $4,000
- Shoma Takao (JPN) FORUM – $2,000
In 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter founded Burton Snowboards out of his Vermont barn. Since then, Burton has fueled the growth of snowboarding worldwide through its groundbreaking product lines, its team of top snowboarders and its grassroots efforts to get the sport accepted at resorts. In 1996, Burton began growing its family of brands to include boardsports and apparel brands. Privately held and owned by Jake, Burton's headquarters are in Burlington, Vermont with offices in California, Austria, Japan and Australia. For more information, visit www.burton.com.
The MINI brand is represented by 1,320 dealers in more than 90 countries. Since 2001, over 2 million MINI, MINI Convertible, MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman models have been sold. As the presenting partner of the Burton Global Open Series, MINI will be supporting the renowned snowboard manufacturer for the second year in 2011/12.