Sammy Spiteri

Above is a bonus gallery from the event. Below are the bangers.

Words: Laura Austin
Captions: Pat Bridges

Have you ever been to a demolition derby? You know… where tons of high quality people surround a dirt pit to watch cars smash each other into oblivion. Well Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails is kind of like that, but in this case the competitors weren't the only ones getting smashed.

Believe it or not this hose is actually hooked up to Paris Hilton's purse! Photo: Laura Austin

This was the 7th annual Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails competition held at Bear Mountain Resort. The event has quite the reputation, boasting to be one of the largest spectator events on the West Coast. Which makes sense seeing that it is so close to LA and early enough in the year that people can hang out in nothing but shorts and a t-shirt and watch some of the top pros ride.  And with so many people up there, the competition itself isn't the only entertainment…the people-watching is some of the best I've witnessed. Catfights, kids dunking their heads in a toilet full of lemonade to retrieve snickers, and 12 backflips done in 30 seconds were just some of the highlights. The things some people are willing to do for some free stuff will never fail to amaze me.

Little known fact is that the round hay bales that once graced the harved fields of Vermont were almost made illegal in 1988. The Governor at the time proposed this legislation because they felt that the cows of Vermont deserved to get a square meal. Rider: Zak Hale. Photo: Huggy

But obviously the thousands of spectators aren't the only ones providing the entertainment, it's the snowboarding that everyone comes up to see. Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails is known for it's unique setups and this year it lived up to it's expectations. With 34 riders and two separate zones there wasn't a shortage of visual stimulation. On one side there was a Red Bull feature which was literately a rail garden consisting of two handrails with stairs and boxes surrounding a planter, which included all sorts of trees and shrubs. The other setup was Bear's new signature feature, which included a close out rail with a bomb drop into a wall ride.

They say Nick Visconti is one of a kind. If so how do you explain there being seven of him in this photo. Rider: Nick Visconti. Photo: Huggy

Being one of the first contests of the season you would think riders might play it safe seeing as they may have not been on a board for a while and an injury at this event could destroy their whole season, but that definitely wasn't the case. Every rail trick you can imagine was thrown down at this contest. And with a 3 hour session it forced people to get creative throwing spins, flips, and one footers into the mix. In the end Nick Visconti took the top spot, which he definitely deserved after his fastplants off the wall ride and front flips off the planter. Jake Kuzyk ended up taking second and Johnny Lazz snagged third. Those two were probably the most consistent though out the day. Standouts Mike Casanova and Jess Kimura didn't walk away empty handed, winning the Red Bull Best Trick. Kimura decided she is going to put winnings towards Paige Rainer's hospital bill after splitting open her head during the competition.

Look at how hairy T-Birds arm is! Photo: Laura Austin

The night at the mountain closed with premieres of Bear's video Paint It Red and People's Cheers. Then the party migrated to Mandarin Garden for even more drunken debachury. Except for Paige Rainer, Dylan Alito, the person who was arrested behind the award ceremony, anyone who went just to see Bradshaw ride, and a chick that had her top ripped of in a catfight, Hot Dawgz & Hand Rails turned out to be a great success.

Rider: Jess Kimura. Photo: Huggy

This is the first time we have been hesitant to write any caption for fear of having the father, or the son for that matter, come after us. Photo: Laura Austin

Gotta give it up to good ol' weekday warriors like Matty Mo. Rider: Matty Mo. Photo: Huggy

The Don with some dimes. Photo: Laura Austin

There is a lot that can be captioned here. Kinda puts us in a wierd caption vortex. There is the backflip and the guy in the hat who looks bitter and focused. Still we've gotta go with saying something about the cab in the background. Random. Rider: Nick Visconti. Photo: Huggy

Ten riders did tricks while Joe Sexton posed for this photo instead of judging. No worries. Only $20,000 at stake. Photo: Laura Austin

Good move going with the two first names. Works for Jamie Lynn, Phil Jacques, Louie Vito, Tim Eddy and Iouri Podladtchikov. What? Never heard of Vito Corleone? Rider: Ryan Paul. Photo: Huggy

Security sent some parents looking for their kid to the webcast booth to have them make an announcement. Upon hearing their request Snowboarder Editor Pat Bridges turned to the parents and said "Unless your kid is lost somewhere in the world wide web we can't help you." Photo: Laura Austin

How cute is that little bear trophy sitting below Johnny Lazz. You are cute. Yes you are. You cute cuddly wuddly lil wooden bear. Photo: Huggy

Alright. This is a photo of some people holding novelty checks. Back to the last photo. How the hell does the 17-year-old have his champagne bottle open before the 23-year-old and the Canadian? Johnny looks to be very proud of that accomplishment in this photo. The $2500 will go a long way to paying any legal bills he incurred after the Forum premier in Newport a week earlier. Photo: Laura Austin