Words: Pat Bridges
Since 2002 the Ride Shakedown has brought their brand of urban big air madness to the Quebexican masses at Mt. Saint Sauveur, this legendary event-which combines a progressive setup with an even more progressive format-has attracted the top crop of North American jib/jump talent and placed them in front of a crowd of thousands. The result has consistently been an event which gets it right where others, including Red Bull Snowscrapers and Boost Mobile Pro of Snow, have yet to succeed. To date the only downside of the Shakedown Canada has been its locale, Quebec. While there is nothing patently wrong with this bilingual jib oasis of the north, after all it is home to Tim Hortons, Club Super Sex, lax drinking laws and the Red Ledge, it still isn't America.
On Friday March 12th 2010 that all changed as the Ride Shakedown put it's legs in the stirrups and began pushing to give birth to a new urban snowboarding tradition in the lower 48, The Ride Shakedown US!
Located less than an hour east of Seattle, the Summit At Snoqualmie is where the Northwest alpine meets the grunge soaked urban of the greater Seatac area. While other NW resorts are content to let mother nature provide the draw, Snoqualmie is at the forefront of Washington park riding. Krush Kulesza and his able crew labor long and hard to bring quality features and events to the region. It is this ethic combined with one of the most snowboard friendly agendas of any mountain, anywhere, that makes Snoqualmie the ideal venue to introduce The Ride Shakedown to the states.
Friday's debut was a jam-packed schedule. The first event of the Ride Shakedown 2010 was the big air qualifiers. Forty hopefuls signed up online for their chance to join the likes of Tim Humphries, Alex Cantin, Austin Hironaka and Forrest Bailey in Saturdays Big Air showcase. This is where the unique format became apparent to everyone in attendance. Like the finals the qualifiers were a two hour jam session. Unlike similar sessions, the Shakedown affords the riders two opportunities to get their best tricks judged. Riders simply cruise at their own pace and then when they are "feeling it" they tell the starter at the drop in to radio the judges and tell 'em that they want their next attempt to count. In addition to indicating which runs to judge or not, the competitor must call their trick. Therefore if they don't execute what they claimed the tricks don't score. Furthermore, in the event that all goes as intended and the trick was stomped the rider must abstain from repeating said trick in their second judged attempt. This might sound confusing on paper, or pixel as the case may be, but in practice it is exciting and truly rewards those who are not only skilled but consistent and confident. While on the judging subject it is worth noting that the Shakedown utilized the opinions of Peter Line, Pat McCarthy, Ettienne Gilbert and David Aubrey to decide the results!
Late Friday afternoon the Ride Best Trick qualifiers and main event went down. Forty invited pros and a handful of qualified wild cards jammed for two hours. The street inspired setup featured a flat rail to closeout on the riders right. The middle jib was a fifteen down with a 24 inch donkey dick to make it legit. To the right was the crowd pleaser which was a triple stack of heavy gage cable spools.
Check the photos or videos for all of the action. There truly was too much happening to type and every trick called out would mean three others were overlooked. Better yet, hop in your car and head to Snoqualmie. There is still time to make the trek up Highway 90 and experience the 2010 Ride Shakedown main event finals firsthand.
Ride Shakedown Best Trick Results:
1st Place – Isabelle "Izzy" Lalive
2nd Place - Megan Whiteside
1st Place - Austin Hironaka
2nd Place - Forest Bailey, Sam Hulbert (Tie)