http://mpora.com/videos/0qj8ezt36 Last weekend (yes, the Easter weekend) we went on a journey into the remotest Allgäu, following an invitation from Head Snowboards to attend the second "Head Jib Factory by Alex Tank" in the small resort of Oberjoch. 20 of the best European jibbers showed up on this warm and sunny day and sessioned the three different obstacles all day long. The emphasis was obviously put on having fun and being creative, as it was hardly what you could call a 'contest atmosphere', and the general public was excluded from this secret event.
It was quite amazing what the shapers had built, considering there was hardly any snow left in the entire mountain range: It featured a down rail, a gas tank on a small hip including a pole jam and a wooden bank, and a straight rail to 14 steps stairset with two 9 meter down rails. The left down rail could also be ridden via a pole jam.
With everything set up and the riders already going wild on the down rail it was time for a Game of Snow. Alex Tank rolled some 'snow dice' that determined the tricks to be performed by each rider. Strangely enough, most of the tricks had to be approached riding switch, which showed pretty soon who got that jib game down. Or would you know how to throw down a switch FS 270 hardway to switch or switch backside lipslide pretzel, to name but two examples.
Marc Swoboda stood out the most as he had pretty much all tricks on lock and even two letters left at the end of the game. That guy is a machine, believe us! And being the nice guy he is he shared his 500 euros prize money with runner-up Toni Kerkelä from Finland. It is funny how much your style on a down rail tells about your snowboarding skills. Guys like Gerben Verweij, James Niederberger and Benny Urban were as smooth as it gets - only to fail after the umpteenth switch backside trick. And kudos to Denis Leontyev, who has those sex change swivel things on lock, a personal filmer/translator/hot girlfriend, and some custom-made gangsta pants.
The down rail action was followed by two sessions at the gas tank and the stairset, and a chilled bbq somewhere in between. The gap between the pole jam and down rail was quite a challenge but, after a few tries, most of the riders took it apart. Speaker Jagge was eager to award the best tricks with some cash from his man-purse. And boy did we see some progressive riding: Benny Urban showed a backside 360 off the pole jam into a 50-50 backside 180ß out on the gas tank (which also scored him the best trick award and 1000 euros cash) and Dani Rajcsanyi found his infamous form just in time to stomp a BS bluntslide transfer FS bluntslide on the stairset (which was the most creative trick and also 1000 euros cash). Only the setting sun was able to end the first day of the Head Jib Factory and Marc Swoboda's urge to stomp yet another banging trick. There was little doubt about him being awarded with the best rider overall trophy.
Unfortunately the weather changed on the second day and the contest had to be cancelled due to heavy rain. But as everyone had been shredding their brains out the day before this didn't matter too much. Alex Tank said after the event: "After two days of super hardcore digging in the snow we had a perfect park for the weekend which was completely taken apart by the invited guys. There where more bangers than you can imagine. Thanks a lot to all the riders, photographers and film crews. See you next time!"
Best Rider Overall: Marc Swoboda AUT (2000 €)
Best Trick: Benny Urban GER, Polejam BS 360 to 50-50 BS 180 out at the Gastank (1000 €)
Most Creative Trick: Dani Rajcsanyi GER, BS Bluntslide tranfer FS Bluntslide at the stairset (1000 €)
Winner Game of Snow: Marc Swoboda AUT (500 €)
Alex Tank GER Marc Swoboda AUT Benny Urban GER Dani Rajcsanyi GER Toni Kerkelä FIN Flo Geiger GER Denis Leontyev RUS Chris Chatt GBR Elmar Bossard SUI Simon Gruber ITA Gerben Veirwej NED Joey von Essen NED James Hull GBR Julien Emch SUI James Niederberger SUI Seppi Scholler AUT Michi Miethig GER Jesse Augustinus NED Basti Rittig GER Robert Butscher GER