Hoards of onlookers surrounded the epic gallows that held three chances at fortune; each made of metal and wood, all, engulfed by snow. In the air the reverberation of urban resonance could be heard clear all through Mammoth Village. At the top, the fifteen men stood waiting for their shot at ten thousand dollar bounty for best in show. With the likes of Danny Kass, Eddie Wall, BJ Leines, and Chris Bradshaw the night was set for pandemonium. The event started as a familiar Australian voice announced the beginning of the hour-long jam. It was the Dingo and this was the 2nd annual West Coast Invitational rail jam.
The riders began to make quick work of the course, unleashing a multitude of tricks varying from simple 5-0’s on the down bar to more complex combinations on the down flat down ledge. This ledge also included a smaller replica of itself a bit lower and on the inside, I started to call it the widow maker after Matt Hammer clipped his tip on an attempted gap to the down. This resulted in his last hit for the night. In other casualties Mike Burton twisted his knee, Cory Cronk rattled his brain a bit on an attempted switch backside 270, and Rahm Klampart banged his knee damn hard on the extremely wide ledge mid-270 as well.
While we’re on the subject of carnage I might as well elaborate upon the brawl that ensued. All I heard was some Nancy’s booing our fearless competitors, then suddenly all hell broke loose. Directly behind my safe haven in the announcers box fists began to fly, harsh words were exchanged and innocent beer was thrown to its early demise. Security was soon in the middle of the whole episode, pepper spray was dispersed, Grenades’ Jared Slater (getting too close to the action) caught a crosswind and was rendered blind for a short time, but this didn’t stop anything, security had no control. The barriers separating the crowd from the venue were breached–what a night, sure for pandemonium. Finally, after the crowd broke into a frenzy two more times, some poor kid got shot with a tazer putting an end to the hijinx.
The crowd, coming out of its testosterone filled rage, focused back upon the event at hand, the riding started once again. With ten minutes left a few began to shine. Darrell Mathis got tech with a backlip to pretzel on the middle down bar and he also pressed some tail on the inside widow maker ledge. BJ Leines had a vast bag of tricks ranging from gaped frontside slides, to stylish switch lipslides. Chris Bradshaw’s frontside 180 to switch 50-50 to switch backside 180 50-50 to 180 out was one of my favorites on the kink ledge. Last but not least, Wyatt Caldwell got some on the down bar with a butter to switch frontside to 270 off.
In the end, it came down to Eddie Wall and Mike Casanova. To recap their night, Eddie’s bangers included a backside 270 to 270 off on the down bar, 270 to 270 off on the kink ledge, and a cab 180 to switch 5-0 on the down to frontside through the kink to switch nose press on the down of the kink ledge. Casanova got the loudest cheers of the night from the crowd with a combo that I honestly can’t say I’ve seen before. He jumped frontside onto the down bar, then halfway, he hopped backside 270 into a boardslide then another 270 out. Also, he got a perfect hard way 270 to fakie and a switch frontside to 270 out on the same rail. Finally, he stomped a 270 on 270 off on everyone’s favorite kink ledge. This would clinch it for Mr. Casanova and earn him the ten G’s. Eddie was given two G’s, which was exhausted later that night at the bar under the 80 percent rule. I wish I could tell you what happened after the event ended but I had been battling the black death for five days straight and need some good old fashioned pillow time. I’m sure there was another fight and I’m sure someone probably got arrested. So, until next year …
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