Different, with a Side of Danger: Drink Water Double Tap 2017 Results + Photos

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When the Dirksen Derby took a hiatus in 2016, the boys at Drink Water stepped up to create a similar event in its place. Keyword similar.

The Derby is unique from other banked slaloms because of its two-track format, raced once by each participant for a timed score, but Double Tap takes this a step further. It is the first banked slalom that pins participants head-to-head on mirrored side-by-side courses. Times aren't relevant; staying on your feet is. The rider who makes it to the bottom of their respective track before their opponent wins. It is inherently imperfect. Of course one track has the potential to be faster, and the potential for advancement is in part based on luck of the draw--who you face in your bracket.

On side-by-side courses, one of which may or may not be slower than the other, “just go faster.” PHOTO: E-Stone

Naturally, every third conversation heard atop the Double Tap tracks was in regard to which of the two was running faster. This course-top course of dialogue would be as much a banked slalom cliché as the classic discussion as to whether the course "favors goofy or regular-footers"--heard at every bermed event since 1985--if Double Tap wasn't the first of its kind.

Staple Salt Lake locs Bode Merrill and Alex Andrews. Merrill advances. PHOTO: E-Stone

With the Dirksen Derby's upcoming return to Mt. Bachelor, Double Tap migrated east to the snowboard-friendly Brighton Resort in Utah. The fresh venue drew a new crowd, and Salt Lake City's thriving snowboard scene provided plenty of built-in local talent, while others flew and drove from around the country. The diverse participation field wasn't limited to Saturday's event. Friday's course-build saw the likes of energy drink-backed superstars Travis Rice and Sage Kotsenburg shoveling alongside the Brighton Diggers and event conceptualists Austin Smith, Bryan Fox, Curtis Ciszek, and the legendary Tonino Copene. This eclcectic camaraderie is indicative of the capacity banked slalom-esque events have to bring snowboarding's core community together. We've heard it before, and it remains true with each iteration of the event format.

An eclectic crowd from Salt Lake and the other side of the country alike. PHOTO: E-Stone

But the Drink Water contingent has never been content with a flowing and friendly course. Give Smith and Fox shovels and command of a dig crew and you can bet the outcome will be scorpion-inducing. No one is safe. Three of the hardest impacts at Double Tap came from three of the best snowboarders in the world. Bode Merrill, Travis Rice, and Curtis Ciszek all went down hard enough to seek medical evaluation.

Jake Welch. The GOAT. The Double Tap champion. PHOTO: E-Stone

Undoubtedly, the most entertaining aspect of Double Tap was not the carnage--that was downright scary at times--but the match-ups the brackets created: Pat Moore vs. Jared Elston, Alex Yoder vs. Jake Welch, Sam Taxwood vs. Chris Beresford, Sage Kotsenburg vs. Phil Jacques, and ultimately Phil Jacques vs. Jake Welch. That's not to mention that the day kicked off with a face-off between Travis Rice and Frank April. And that, in itself, is more interesting than any match-upgo down a've seen in slopesle contest.

Results:

Men’s Pro
1. Jake Welch
2. Phil Jacques
3. Sage Kotsenburg

Women’s
1. Katie Kennedy
2. Jade Thurgood
3. Caley Vanular

Men’s 30 and Over
1. Danny Stumbras
2. Benny Pellegrino
3. Pat Giblin

Men’s 29 and Under
1. Tyler Blackburn
2. Justin Clark
3. Mike Demetri
Youth
1. Hunter Goulet
2. Zole Varga
3. Henry Hawkins

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