[Words: Tuukka Tams]
As usual, Wappulounas was absolute madness. Three days of snowboarding on weird obstacles and partying all night long like the past 15 years, that’s what it’s all about. The best Finnish riders such as Roope Tonteri, Eero Ettala, Heikki Sorsa and Antti Autti gathered at Ruka to end the season, and this is what happened.
Chef’s Team Special – The Best a Man Can Get
Wappulounas 2013 presented by DC was set to go in the conditions that could not have been better. The halfpipe at Ruka itself is a piece of art, but to Wappulounas it was reshaped. There were two bowls, hips in ’n’ out and other obstacles were just here and there as the team challenge was about to start.
The teams did what they were expected – they killed it. Teams consisted of three riders were showing off with not just by their riding but also with their outfits. B-maajoukkue (Joel Lahti, Saku Tiilikainen and Hans Kestilä) were dressed like those jackass patriots, Lapinpolthajat (Antti Autti, Tuukka Tams and Jari Salo) hit the jumps like true Lappish people, Cooking With Gas (Eero Ettala, Heikki Sorsa and Lauri Heiskari) were cooking the whole playground and there were a bunch of others too who got the crowd smiling. Special cheers go to Joel Ahola who was riding like maniac with his 20+ years old Burton Air and to Meri Peltonen and her comeback. Congrats to everyone!
But there were two teams that were above others. In men American Horse Show (Tero Poikajärvi, Tuomas Alapieti and Jeppe Rontti) were going faster and further than everyone else. Their tricks were insane! In women the best was Battery Sisters (Kristiina Nisula, Merika Enne and Vilina Koivisto). They were flipping and spinning like true masters. Yet there were other masters at the hill, too. Riku-Matti Jurmu and Jyri Keskiaho (caamos.fi) did an amazing skidoo show by jumping over the whole halfpipe. You should’ve seen the faces from the crowd…
With a huge amount of lines straight from Napoli Wappulounas got a man from The Dudesons, HP, to be one of the judges. This is what he had to say about the first day and how to head to the overall victory and Asenne surf trip–that’s what the winner gets: - "Although riding at Wappulounas is important, if you want to be the champion, it’s necessary to represent at every stage – wheter it was afterski, nightlife or the morning after. Especially having fun is most important, because you can’t come to Wappulounas to win–you come to enjoy. If it ends up with winning a trip to Indonesia that is just bonus." Wise words, my friend.
Chef’s Recommendation Powered by Battery – There’s Something In It
And Wappulounas continued, and with good vibes as usual. Chef’s Recommendation went through in a great weather, and bands such as J. Kiesi Grandes and Jam-A-Holics weren’t a weight in rider’s legs. The playground from last day was on fire. Two different stages served two sessions. The day consisted great riding combined with impressive usage of the playground. Riders were pushing it to the limits, but yet the joy was truly touchable.
In men the best rider was Jeppe Rontti, who was in the winning team the other day. He found lines no one else did, and his tricks were beyond. In women the best was Merika Enne, from the winning team also. She was pushing it with rock ’n’ roll attitude throughout day and bigger than anyone else. Yet other riders were also awarded. Antti Autti was Mr Old School with his great lines and deep tweaks, but young guns were killing it, too. This time Ville Mustonen was awarded as Best Rookie, but there were also bunch of others. Ville wasn’t shy at all riding with the big boys–he was going huge!
Of Chef’s Recommendation HP had this to say: "Wappulounas day two was personal overshoot from the beginning–actually from the night before. But what was really warming my heart was seeing old masters like Antti Autti and Risto Mattila showing to younger dudes how to pull it–fast as shit day and night!"
Oskari Heikkinen & Arktinen Voodoo pulled an awesome show at the terrace and at the nightclub Piste with Jätkäjätkät, where people eventually ended after numerous before-parties. About the best of them one must be mentioned. DJ Chili hosted an incredible party at one hotel room with quite thirsty crowd: over 800 cans of refreshments were enjoyed at their party. There must’ve been couple of people partying there!
DC Knockout Jam – And the Winner Goes to Bali
Countless days of partying wasn’t showing at the riding as D Knockout Jam forced riders to do their best. Tight course made them truly thinking about their runs–and that’s what they really did. As knockouts went face-to-face it was off the hook. For example Lasse Ihalainen, Antti Komulainen and Antti Autti were riding better than well. Few scary moments were also seen as the course ended up riders upside down and never back.
Eventually it was Joel Lahti and only 13-year-old Rene Rinnekangas who made to the final, and it was Joel aka DJ Chili who ended up being number one. But yet Rene didn’t let Joel win easily. He’ll be one you’re about to hear a lot! In women Kristiina Nisula and Sanna Niilola were against each other in the final with Kristiina taking the victory.
Only one thing was left to do at Wappulounas 2013 Presented by DC: to announce the overall winners. In rookies it was Rene who made to the top, and it was a victory well deserved. Can you even imagine any other event where young gun like Rene and nearly two decades older Miikka Hast would be against each other like they were on knockout – and Rene taking a tight win. That’s what it’s all about! In women Merika Enne was riding bigger and better than the others all event, so it was no wonder she was the overall champion.
In men the overall victory and Asenne surf trip was won by Jeppe Rontti. He represented the whole event with a great spirit, helped out younger riders and of course rode like maniac! Way to go Jeppe, congratulations!
"The level of riding was amazing and creative. It was positive to see that the same spirit Wappulounas has lives on," said head judge Timo Lahti. And that’s just damn right: Wappulounas has a spirit you can’t find anywhere else. It’s the soul of snowboarding that’s beating.
To the very end Wappulounas Houseband called The Rautavas (with musicians from J. Kiesi Grandes, Relentless and Highway Burns) pulled an amazing gig at the afterski. With a set list constisted hits like Gangnam Style and reading SMS’s you can’t go wrong. And of course, there was a night party, too, with Karri Koira & Ruudolf making people to part-ee. It was a great way to end Wappulounas that is the best a man–and a woman–can get.
Chef’s Team Special, men: American Horse Show (Tero Poikajärvi, Tuomas Alapieti and Jeppe Rontti)
Chef’s Team Special, women: Battery Sisters (Kristiina Nisula, Merika Enne and Vilina Koivisto)
Playground Line Master: Jeppe Rontti
Playground Line Mistress: Merika Enne
Beauty & Style: Merika Enne
Mr. Old School: Antti Autti
Comeback Kid: Juho Manninen
Best Rookie: Ville Mustonen
DC Knock-out Jam, men: 1. Joel Lahti 2. Rene Rinnekangas
DC Knock-out Jam, women: 1. Kristiina Nisula 2. Sanna Niilola
Overall winner, men: Jeppe Rontti
Overall winner, women: Merika Enne
Overall winner, rookies: Rene Rinnekangas