Back in the days everybody rode pipe. That was what it was all about. And every weekend there would be a swedish cup competition where you could show everyone the tricks you'd learned during the past week. Then there came a time when pipe was "no longer cool". When rails was the new thing and kickers was the only thing that existed in the snowboard videos. Nobody in sweden wanted to ride pipe any longer and the competitions died out. There wasn't a swedish championship for years. Then last year they awoke the beast and held a successful event in Åre. This year it was Vännäs who hosted the event and I must say it turned out to be one of the best organised championships ever!
It started on thursday with big air. Everybody also got the chance to ride the pipe for 4 hours thursday and friday until the qualifications started friday evening. In the senior class there were 70 competitors, many of us who haven't been riding pipe for years. It was good to see all these old faces again! I didn't have a clue that many of them had become fathers, their wives standing on the coping cheering with the kids sleeping next to them. And guess what, they were Still kicking ass in the pipe! A good pipe rider never loses the feeling.
Anton Bergsten, Göran Andersson, Markus Jonsson, Tomas Johansson, Björn Lindgren, Joel Hagström and so on. They were all riding like they did 7 years ago, if not better! And I sure did better than I ever did in a championship before. Piperiding is back and it's here to stay! I know that, the organisers as well as the oldies knows it and even the kids admitted that pipe is great fun. And many of them had great potential. Count on sick swedish pipe shredders in a couple of years!
So the competition then? Well, Magnus Sterner showed that he can do all his tricks sleeping if he had to. He won the big air and came third in the pipe comp. Second was Tomas Johansson who is a former winner of the total world cup many years ago. Winner, for the second year in a row, was our own power dwarf- Micke Sandy! Flipping and spinning his way down the ditch he showed that he is the most technical pipe rider of sweden. And he did it with style! Congratulations!!!
On the way home me and Simon Ax had a new experience. At 140 km/h the left side-air bag suddenly exploded with a noise that made the ears go *beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. The car quickly filled with gun powder smoke and Simon screaming with pain from his arm... We got off the road to settle down. We were pretty shaky when we got out to find no damage of the car. Simon must have hit something lying on the street that crashed into the air bag sensors. We had to tow the car away and wait for some friends to pick us up and we finally arrived again in Östersund 5 hours later than planned- but alive at least, thanks to Simons epic driving skills.
Music Tip: Marduk - Warschau - the live album of one of the best black metal bands ever! Former singer Legion knows his job!!!