On Saturday the 16th and Sunday 17th April 2011 Mountainboarders from across the continent descended upon Ride the Hill’s XBP Mountainboard Centre in Redhill, Surrey for the first annual BIG Weekend, a two day Mountainboard Fest designed to give riders a friendly, yet competitive start to the 2011 season. Featuring the 3rd RTH Vert Jam on the Saturday and the first of a kind event called the â€œGreat Descentâ€ on the Sunday, the weekend looked promising from the start, all we needed to finish the job were a bunch of Summer-happy shredders!
The Friday night saw a small tester session on the all new SUPER-X at XBP to check it was spot on for the comp, once tested and adjusted for the event, all riders made their way over to the Foam Pit, were we had a chance to lay out some final practices on our big tricks, ready for the weekend’s events. Then, out of nowhere emerged to very tanned Spaniards named Flavio and Qbo, these guys had just got to us from Barcelona, so, after a round of introductions, they set their tents up, went for a quick ride as the sun was setting and then grabbed a well earned beverage to finish their day of travels!
Saturday morning at 7am saw the arrival of MBS Europe Pro Rider Nicky â€œStirrupsâ€ Geerse, who had just arrived from Holland and was eager as a beaver for some wheelie-board action. After feeding the hungry Dutchman, we made our way back to the realms of XBP, and what a sight to see! The Sun was shining, the grass was cut, the hill rolled and not a cloud to see in the sky, bliss for any event organiser! After waking up the sleepy Spaniards, we got to work, still plenty to do out there before kick off, not least registering all the riders to come. I was then pleased to greet both Sam Nicholas and Mike Payne from TRAMPA, who had come down to promote the new TRAMPA gear and show their support for the start of the 2011 season. We were also happy to see the girls from Redbull turn-up with bundles of products for the riders, just what they would need for the day ahead! Roll on the riders!
The Vert Jam started at 2pm on the Saturday, by this time all the riders had registered and had had a chance to practice on the features that would be included in the Jam. The Vert Jam is split into 4 Zones and is rider judged on each zone, after each zone. Each rider casts votes for their top 5 riders of that zone and when all added up, this give a Zone winner and an Overall Winner, over previous years the Vert Jam has been hosted by our friends at the BFC, but after a tasty injury for one key members of the clan and others away on other business, it was time for RTH Team riders to step up to the role of Hosts. By this time, unfortunately we had to send the Favourite for the Jam, Nicky, to hospital to get his head and face checked after slamming from a MA-HOO-SIVE Rodeo Truck Driver over the new XBP Kicker, appropriately called the â€œBooty Kickerâ€, props to Nicky’s main competition and last years winner, Gary Crowhurst for kindly taking Nicky to hospital and missing the Jam, legend!
Zone 1 was a session on the Quarterpipe and Boxes above it. This saw riders like Alan Newman, Sam Nicholas and Rory Mundell-Perkins really step it up. Alan was boasting some massive airs out of the top, arguably the biggest of the day and some sweet Rock Fakies on the coping. Sam handed us the goodies with an inverted 360 hand-planted spin and a straight out backflip on the ramp. We also were treated to some sweet rail-action from both Rory and Clive Galway, who both successfully BS Boardslided the 30ft White Gas Tube from start to finish, impressive action for even the best riders! After 30 long minutes of the riders going at it, the hosts, RTH Team riders Alan Newman and Ieuan Jehu decided to call the end of Zone 1, collect the votes from the riders and move onto Zone 2, the Tyres, Vert Wall and Spines.
This is where we started to see the riders really settle into the heat and the riding atmosphere and push themselves accordingly. We saw some awesome action in this Zone, including Switch Rock Rolls from Toney Newsome, BS 360’s out of the Vert Wall by Alan Newman, Tyre Tap 540’s from Sam Nicholas, Badass BS 180 Melons from Rory and arguably the trick of the day, Ieaun’s BS 5-0 Fakie on the coping of the Vert Wall, sweet moves for a silver surfer! Props also to Osca Vinall for his smooth-as-you-like Nose Grind Tailgrabs and to Qbo from Spain for his 360 Fastplant on the Spine! Zone 2 done, t was time for Zone 3, the Jib-a-thon!
For this session, riders were presented with all the features on the XBP Red Run and could re-arrange them as they wanted to show their gnarlyness! After creating an up-box slider, Rory, Clive, Qbo and Jordan Van Huis all promptly stamped their mark on the Zone with smooth Boardlsides all the way up the box, but Qbo really pushed out with the most stylish BS 180 Mute Tailpoke from 50/50 of the day. Rory then gave everyone a masterclass in riding rails with some sweet FS Smith’s and 270 to FS Boardslides on the single rail……..sickhead. Hosts Alan and Ieuan then created a manual pad box sitting 4ft up in the air, so no standard manual pad! Most riders enjoyed this with nose taps, single tyre taps and MJ’s, but host Ieuan owned this feature with a fully extended manual along the pad for all to see. Props to Clive (EvilC) for this session, not once ever has one single rider taken such a beating, time after time and got back up for more with a beaming smile on his face, it really is a surprise that he didn’t fall apart, Clive, you are a hero to us all!
The last Zone was Zone 4, the Big Air comp. This Zone had also seen the return of a very swollen and bruised Nicky, who, apart from some bruising and stitches was otherwise fine, just a bit sore and along with Nicky returned Gary, who got straight on his board and showed us all why he is one of the best boarders on the scene with the sweetest Virgin Front Flip (Front flip as his first run of the day). Zone 4 mainly featured tomfoolery from Jonny Wheeler, Clive, Osca Vinall, Haredown Rider Abbie Carter, Qbo, Flavio, Gary, RTH Rider Rob Dryburgh and Rory. All the riders went sick. We saw Jonny lay the first flip, what a grom rider! Qbo , Abbie, and Rory spinning like a carousel and Gary going huge with just about everything he does! Smooth moves were also seen by Clive, Ieuan and Flavio, with a variety of grabs, tweaks and pokes to keep the crowd happy! Props to Flavio for his super slick Vertical Nosegrabs and big props to Osca Vinall and Aiden Beamish for growing a pair and doing huge backflips, stamping it down the very first time……. that guys, is how babies are made! Unfortunately we did have to attend to a bump on the shoulder for Abbie C, but, apart from some bruises, she was fine, not bad seeing as she was going for BS 5’s, go on girl! She certainly has a few more guys fancy her now!
After a long, hard days riding, all the riders retired to the bottom of the hill for a BBQ and some beers (for those who could!), and what an evening we had to go with it, sunset at 9pm and plenty of wood for the fire, just needed some massage girls for the riders! There was a bit of an after-session in the Foam Pit for those that still had any juice left, but after a while even RTH Riders Andy P and Chris Wilkins had had enough for the day too, bring on the beers, music, banter and ultimately bed!
Sunday morning broke and Mr Sunshine had come back to play for another day! Day 2 was the very first time the Great Descent had been run in Mountainboarding. The Great Descent was a concept that has been used in Snowsports for many years. RTH Owner Andy Packer and XBP Centre Manager, Ant Shrimpton had envisioned creating a similar event for Mountainboarding. Essentially all riders get 90 seconds to descend the hill, they ride against at least 3 other riders at the same time and are ranked separately for Speed, Style, Technical Difficulty and Creativity at the end of each round you add together your separate scores to get an overall score, the two top riders of each race go through. By the end of the comp, the winner would have demonstrated 4-5 different runs down the hill with all sorts of tricks chucked in for joys!
Due to the combined efforts of the heat, the night before and the Vert Jam, a few of the riders had pulled out, thinking the wiser of crashing in the heat! The main of the riders included Vert Jam hosts and RTH Riders Ieuan and Alan, RTH Riders Ryan Roberts and Andy Packer, Spaniards Qbo and Flavio, TRAMPA rider Sam Nicholas, a newly recovered MBS Europe Rider, Nicky Geerse, and a whole load of local XBP grom-shredders.
Round 1 was a 2 round race, giving all riders the chance to redeem their first round crashes if needed, so everyone had a fair chance at progressing through to the next round. Rounds 2 and onwards were single heat rounds, with immediate knockout for the two riders that didn’t pull the scores, so the pressure was on!
As organisers, we were really concerned that such a new concept of event simply wouldn’t work within our sport, but boy were we wrong! We saw stylish runs, technical runs, creative runs and absolutely mental runs! Some of the pre-final highlights included Sam Nicholas’ Backflip Indy over the Booty Kicker, Nicky G’s super sized FS 720’s over the Booty Kicker, Qbo’s slick BS 360 Melons over the Salmon Hip, Will Wright literally straight lining the Slopestyle course, Andy Packer Frontflippin’ into the Monster Berm of the Super-X and flipping the last tabletop of the Super-X and Ieuan Jehu Rock Fakie-ing the Wallride.
The Great Descent Final featured MBS Europe Pro Nicky Geerse, TRAMPA Pro Sam Nicholas, XBP Local rider Adam Studholme, RTH Rider Ieuan Jehu and Qbo the Spaniard, this was going to be good! As opposed to the other rounds, the final is rider judged, with all riders that have been knocked out casting votes for the winner. After a mental run down the hill, and Big Spins from Nicky, Backers from Sam, Style from Qbo and speed from Adam, it was a really hard race to vote on! That said, of course the votes gave us a 3 way tie for first place! So, with no further ado, it was back to the top for Qbo, Adam and Nicky to battle it out for first place. After starting the race we saw Nicky take a new line and hit the infamous TRAMPA Ramp, puliing a Tuck-Knee Indy about 20ft up in the air, sick! We saw Adam 50/50 the Rainbow Rail then straight line the rest of the course and finish the race first and Qbo laid out the style with some gnarly hip transfers and rotations. With the race finished, it was a show of hands for the winner……. Qbo was elected winner with 11 votes, Adam came second with 9 votes and Nicky 3rd with 8 votes, this left Ieuan Jehu finishing in 4th and Sam Nicholas in 5th.
With the event finished and all energy reserves exhausted, the riders called it a day and started to go on their merry ways back home. What a weekend! Banging weather, gnarly riding and some big ass tricks, every single rider pushed them self and every rider achieved something they wouldn’t imagine, being part of the start of one of the greatest years for Mountainboarding in the U.K.
Big shout out to Qbo, Flavio and Nicky for getting to us, you guys are amazing and are welcome back anytime. Big shouts to Alan and Ieuan for hosting the Vert Jam, you did RTH proud boys! Big shout out to both Ant Shrimpton and Toney Newsome for all your hard work getting the place ready for the weekend, it looked the nuts! And big shouts to every rider who rode hard, crashed hard and laughed hard, we wanted this weekend to be the best it could and thanks to all of you that turned up to watch or ride, it wasn’t just the best it could be…………. IT WAS BIG!!!
The RTH Vert Jam 2011 â€“
Zone 1 Winner â€“ Rory Mundell-Perkins
Zone 2 Winner â€“ Ieuan Jehu
Zone 3 Winner â€“ Rory Mundell-Perkins
Zone 4 Winner â€“ Aiden Beamish
Under 16’s & Girls Overall Winner â€“ Nick Cook
Under 25’s Overall Winner â€“ Rory Mundell-Perkins
Over 25’s Overall Winner â€“ Qbo
Overall Vert Jam Winner â€“ Rory Mundell-Perkins
Most Hardcore Rider â€“ Clive Galway
Best Lil’ Shredder â€“ Jonny Wheeler
The RTH Great Descent 2011 â€“
Under 16’s & Girls winner â€“ Adam Studholme
Under 25’s Winner â€“ Nicky Geerse
Over 25’s Winner â€“ Qbo
Overall Great Descent Winner â€“ Qbo
Words by Andy Packer , RTH Owner and Team Manager