When: Mon 3rd of March 2008
Where: Mayrhofen, Austria
Starting contest reviews writing about weather is one of the most boring things to do. However, as seen at the FM4 Fight for your Ride Contest at the Vans Park in Mayrhofen, Austria, weather builds the framework for a good snowboard contest. Because of heavy winds the whole resort was closed on Saturday and Sunday. Being moved to Monday, the contest faced perfect springtime conditions.
FM4 Fight for your Ride Contest; The idea of the contest is simple, but great. Riders had the chance to apply for the contest and then six had to chance to compete against Ästhetiker hero Steve Gruber. Steve made it pretty hard for himself, picking Austria's finest rookies Roli Scharmer, Michael Stanschitz, Steff Wimmer, Benni Wetscher and Tom Klocker. Finnish Rookie Niki Korpela completed the 7 rider starting field. Steve showed big respect to all the young riders, and was stoked on seeing where he stands in contemporary park riding. While these young guys spend 70% of their time in the park learning new tricks every day, Steve does it the other way around and is seen in the park less every year. Additionally he has not really done all the big spins yet. Steve is more about clean grabs and variation. We stoked to see what will happen and to see some interesting riding and hopefully newly stomped tricks.
The judging format used for the contest has been around in skateboarding for years, but is actually rather new in snowboarding. We're sure you've heard of the game s-k-a-t-e! One rider calls a trick and the other six guys have to show the same one. If you fail, you get a letter. The Rider with the least letters wins. It's a rather simple conceptg, which leads riders to do tricks they have never done before. When Niki Korpela went for a One Foot Fs 3 he showed a trick not a single one of the other riders had ever done before. Steve Gruber and Steff Wimmer had the courage to just go for it. Even though they did not land their tricks, big up for trying that trick. Eventually Roli Scharmer, Steve Gruber and Benni Wetscher qualified for the finals. Local riders Steve und Benni battled it out till the very end. It did not really matter which trick the first rider called, the other one stomped it too. Steve Gruber learned a couple of new tricks, including a Sw Bs 9 and a Fs 10. He landed both the very first time, first try! In the end it was close, but it was Steve who really deserved taking home the title and proving that being 32 years does not hinder you from being a great snowboarder and if you have the experience and board control you can still learn almost every trick, as long as you want to.
Being exhausted after the long session did not stop a couple of the riders to keep on and ride the Corner-Cradle Combo of the Red Bull End Section. Besides Wolle Nyvelt, mastermind of that section, Arthur Longo and Scalp were there trying to get pictures for the Vans-Photo-Award, happening on Friday.
PS: The miniramp is set up and open for everyone to skate tomorrow from 10am to 10pm.