On a gorgeous sunny day at Sugarbush Resort, stop one of The Main Event 2012 kicked off with a jam formatted Hip Hop Rail Jam, which pushed the progression of east coast snowboarding. With the start area built to look like a boxing ring, the riders began practice at 9:30am from inside the ring to feel out the course, which was designed and built by Josh Lempert of Snow Grind.
The course layout ran in the following order, "The Ring" start area into "The Gym" 50 foot spine to "The Haymaker" 80 foot hip and finished in the "Low Blow" a rail garden featuring a 20 foot down rail, 20 foot knob rail and 15 foot box. Riders began to get their flow on with the spine and hip the first part of the morning and then stacked up in the "Low Blow" to see what could be done in the rail garden. Needless to say numerous angles and tricks began to take place on the challenging knob rail.
Practice ended at noon to allow the riders to grab lunch and enjoy the tunes of DJ Evaready on the turn tables at the "Wunderbar" deck. Keeping with the Hip Hop Rail Jam theme, Evaready spun a full range of original rap classics to today's latest lyrical artists in hip hop.
At 1:30pm a riders meeting was called to explain how the all new format for the Hip Hop Rail Jam's contest would be judged. Titled the "Knock-Out Round" all 50 riders would ride in a jam format for one hour on the 80 foot hip, "The Haymaker" and then move down to the rail garden "Low Blow" for another hour. Awards were numerous for each section, but more specifically an overall Heavyweight (Men's Pro), Women's and Lites (Boys Am) Champion would be crowned at this stop for a wildcard into the US Open and the famed title belt.
As the sun hung directly overhead the jam session on "The Haymaker" kicked off with three immediate stand-outs throwing lofty airs in Ralph Kucharek, Ezra Racine and Ben Ross busting out eight feet over the deck. The vitaminwater height meter bottle stood on top of the deck at 12 feet measuring the airs of all competitors trying to earn the "year's supply of vitaminwater" for highest male and female airs. When all was said and done Phoebe Novello crushed the competition on the women's side by boosting a five foot mute grab, and Ralph soared three times in a row over eight feet out and then finally pulled out his own haymaker by pointing it straight into the hip and flew ten plus feet over the judges and announcers on the deck.
Next up was the "Low Blow" section where the riders took right to the set up throwing down hammers from the get go. Lily Calabrese led the ladies charge scoring numerous tricks, dubbed punches, racking in eight landed punches earning her the most progressive female rider of the day and a gold engraved Nixon watch. In the men's heavyweight division Ben Ross, Matt Nardiello, Parker Szumowski, Ezra Racine and Ralph Kucharek worked the down and knob rails to a murderous display of innovative tricks. In the end, Szumowski took home the gold engraved Nixon watch for most progressive and Ross won best overall rail performance earning a trip to Boreal's "Face-Off" contest courtesy of Arbor Snowboards.
Hands down the best rider the entire day was Chris DePaula from Derry, NH, although he competed in the Lites division no one touched his combination of progressive bag of tricks on "The Haymaker" and "Low Bow" sections. Nothing could stop this kid from showcasing his growth into one of the next major phenom threats coming out of the East!
Overall champions fell in line as follows – Women's: Phoebe Novello, Lites: Chris DePaula, Heavyweights: 1st Ralph Kucharek, 2nd Ben Ross and 3rd Parker Szumowski. Now The Main Event moves on to Bretton Woods Resort in New Hampshire for "Bretton Woodstock" and our final stop of the 2012 season. Look for more innovative course layouts and progressive snowboarding this Saturday, February 11th.
Registration is now live on The Main Event website for Bretton Woodstock – so get on it as the contest will be limited to 100 riders total. Additionally, stay updated on all things The Main Event by visiting www.maineventseries.com and following @maineventseries on twitter, and Facebook.