Words and photos by George Crosland
Dylan Alito took the win at this years San Francisco Downtown Throwdown. With a ton of shredders waiting for Tahoe to get blanketed with snow, San Francisco was a perfect spot for a fall rail jam to celebrate snowboarding and get stoked for winter. Lib Tech and Snowboy Productions have been firing up the snowboard fans for the past 6 seasons by throwing the Downtown Throwdown in Seattle and this year they also brought it south to the Golden State. The event was free, companies were handing out free drinks, there was a ton of free product. But most importantly, there was snowboarding. People definitely came out to support the event as many snowboard fans gathered around to enjoy the perfect weather and hot snowboard action. As one might expect with a downtown San Francisco contest, lots of interesting characters were lurking. It seemed as if quite a few of the fans vying for free product along with the kids were homeless or perhaps slightly mentally ill. Crowd watching was definitely worthy here and the homeless seemed to mingle harmlessly with the children. It was a warm, sunny day, and pretty much everyone had a good time.
The event was held in the shadows of city hall and a few museum looking buildings. It was a scaffolding affair with the options being a down rail, a pole jam or down flat down box into a wall ride/quarter pipe with a butter box set up in the flat. A two hour jam with a few breaks for course maintenance was the format used to determine the victors. Some of the riders were so amped that they were running back up the steps to get in their share of runs. The panel of judges included Sean Genovese, Chris Grenier, Zac Marben, Tim Eddy and Darrell Mathes; it’s safe to say those guys know good rail tricks.
Dylan Thompson did an impressive cab 270 over the gap on the down flat down, a front flip off the pole jam and other goodness to get into third place. Nick Visconti got super tech with tricks like a hard way front 180 to switch 50-50 to back 360 out on the down rail and good combos on the rail and down flat down into the quarter pipe. Nick was hitting the whole course and got second for his efforts. It’s entirely possible that Dylan Alito’s Halloween attire scared the judges into winning, but his all out attack on the rails did not hurt either. According to Dylan “I tried to do every trick in the book I knew, switch and regular, went through the tricks and tried not to do things twice” Some of his tricks included a cab 270 on the downrail, back 270 over to frontside off the down flat down, back 270 on the downrail, switch back 270 on the down rail, some tricks on the butter box and a few tricks on the wall ride that involved juggaling his hatchet. When the event was done everyone was smiling and conspiring as to what kind of mayhem to get into on a Saturday night in San Francisco. You could say the event was a success.