Size Does Matter: Stylewars goes big with Two Champions crowned Stair Masters in Rail Jam.
Charles Reid on his way to splitting the prize. Photo: Alex Roberts/Stylewars.
Spectators were entertained earlier this evening with an array of performances from Stylewars riders throwing down their best performances in a stair rail set-up consisting of 28 steps, located outside the Frying Pan Restaurant and Bar.
One of the most exciting nights of the five-day-long snowboarding festival, this rail event in the heart of the Village Bowl at Falls Creek was cranking with a large crowd psyched to watch and dance to pumping tunes supplied on site by DJ Perplex.
The Stylewars rail event is an individually judged component of the competition, which offers a separate cash purse of $5000 for the Stair Master.
After a mind-blowing display of tricks including every single variation possible of a gap-to-270 down the kink rail, first place was just too difficult to score.
Former 2008 Stair Master Charles Reid and Sebastien Toutant (both from Quebec) were riding as though “they were battling for their lives” and in the end, it was both riders who claimed the title of Stylewars Stair Master, sharing the prize money between them.
Mel Simmons was the head judge and said, “This was probably the hardest judging I have ever done, ever. And I have done a lot of contests.”
Simmons has eight years experience in judging and has been traveling internationally judging on the TTR World Snowboard Tour for four years.
“I can quite easily say that it was some of the toughest head-to-head judging that I have ever had to session.
“I would have preferred to nail it down to three hits (in a battle-style format) but unfortunately due to time constraints, it just wasn’t going to happen.
“The riding was just so outstanding it was ridiculous. It was just too damn tight to call, Charles and Seb had absolutely everything on lock. And at the end of the day, we just can’t let one of them walk away with the title.
“It was a unanimous decision between the judges and event organisers, and we are happy with the outcome.”
In addition to top prize, $1500 was awarded to Best Trick, rightfully earned by Mark Sollars (USA) with a flawless frontside 450 to boardslide gapped over the kink rail.
Sollars was ecstatic, “It’s so much fun. It’s the most legit down rail in a contest I have ever ridden. It’s so long so you have to lock on to your trick all the way down.”
Six riders out of thirty made it to the final, and the other three selected for the challenge were Eric Willett (USA) and Aussie boys Keiran McLaughlin and Tom Pelley who impressed the crowds up against International talent.
Riders were loving the size of the set up and the length of the rails were all the talk on the night. Reid was all smiles, saying, “It’s great, it’s big!”
Australian rider Darragh Walsh was amazed at the level of talent shown at the Stylewars Rail Jam. He said: “Watching the Internationals ride was crazy. It was a bit intimidating, but it was awesome because it pushed everyone to ride their hardest and do more tricks.”
Tomorrow’s forecast is looking optimistic so stay tuned for the latest updates on what goes down in competition at the Stylewars Ruined Castle Terrain Park.