When: Sun 8th of June 2008

Where: Zoetermeer, Netherlands.

The beginning of June saw the Skullcandy outdoor Railbattle go down in the Netherlands. Rens from themustachio.com was on hand to fire in the lowdown. You can also watch the video highlights of the event on Onboard TV. Words: Rens van Drimmelen Photos: David Leeuwenburgh

In the Netherlands we can ride 365 days a year and that’s something to be stoked about. Although there is something most people forget: the fact that it’s inside and it’s artificial. It means no bluebird skies, no fresh dumps and no change of doing urban jibs. Instead of top conditions we get souped-up fridges with small slopes, walls, flat light, crappy snow conditions and riding at three degrees Celcius when it’s twenty degrees Celcius outside. That’s quite the difference.

Time for something refreshing in the Dutch indoor fridge snowboard scene. That’s exactly what Gerben Verweij (European Forum teamrider) and his girl Tanja Taal thought and organized something different. Something that’s never been done before in this format in the Netherlands or Belgium: the Skullcandy Outdoor Railbattle. Gerben organized the first edition of the Skullcandy Railbattle last year indoors and the good setup and format made it an immediate success. Right after last year’s railbattle G was thinking about next year. He wanted to step it up a notch, making it bigger, better and outdoor. One year and months of devotion and dedication later he and his girl did it.

Railbattles seem pretty common around the globe and it sounds a little bit cliché, but for Benelux standards it’s pretty big and fresh, especially when it’s a open registration. With plus 110 riders from loads of different countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Poland and the US this was going to be a true shredfest.

The battlefield consisted of 3 jibs; a nice not-too-gnarly down-kinkbox, a bad-ass double downer and the double bar downrail, all in a row on this wooden staircase to add the necessary consequences. After months of preparation and weeks of welding rails and building stairs, the crew worked all day and night and all day again to give the setup the necessary white goodness. Concrete might be sick but you really need some snow to land and get the job done. Pretty weak, but hey, that’s how it works.

Most riders arrived around ten o’clock and were excited to hit the setup till 8:30 in the afternoon, that’s sick! A whole day filled with shredding kids, girls and men hitting the rails like Spartans and killing everything in sight. The groms started off small trying to land their safety tricks, but when young talents like Cees Wille (European PBJR finalist) and Chico de Reus started to land backlippers and blunts it went off. Hardway backtails, and frontblunts are among the common tricks. Some of the highlights were backside 180’s on 360’s off by Roy Lansbergen, pretzels by Jesse Augustinus and the cleanest frontboard throught the doubledown kink came from Chico.

With the only day outdoor snow in the flatlands everybody had the best day since… ever. Bluebird, a fresh dump (made the night before, cheating!), a hard setup, a stoked crowd and cold beer made it all happen. All we don’t have on a regular indoor days, except for the last one. It was perfect! Thanks to Gerben Verweij, Tanja Taal, Skullcandy Headwear, Snowworld and the Mustachio.com.

Resultata Chipolata:

Snowboard Kids: 1. Chico de Reus (NL) 2. Kevin de Haan (NL) 3. Jesse Augustinus (NL)

Snowboard Men:

1. Bart Mulder (NL) 2. Cees Wille (NL) 3. Mike van de Ende (NL)

Snowboard Frau:

1. Charlotte van Gils (NL) 2. Andrea Lucht (DE) 3. Britte van de Pouw (NL)