Last sunday the bigger part of the snowboard scene from Benelux travelled to Antwerp. The city was hosting a massive event to attract youngsters to the city, and planned a day filled with bikers, skaters, motorcrossers, hiphoppers, and ‘urban’ stuff like that. The guys from One Love got involved and put their hands together with GVconstructions (Gerben Verweij) to build up a railbattle.
Outdoor railbattles can be sketchy when there is only limited snow and it’s raining. Since we haven’t had more than one week of summer this year, it was bound to go wrong at some point. But no worries, we have a bunch of motivated snowboardkids, some fans and a little snow, so let the show begin.
I arrived when the kids and girls where already battling hard. While slapping some high fives to people I hadn’t seen a while I saw kids like Max De Vries and Erik Bastiaansen doing tricks that are way to gnarly for a boy that age. Because Gerben didn’t want to freak out any moms, he got his downbox from the Skullcandy Railbattle out. Luckily Jascha vd Wijden was already snapping some shots.
The ladies where definitely stepping it up and did not need an easier feature. Veroniqi Hanssen for example was busting steezer backboards and kept on stepping it up until she nearly landed it on the kinked rail.
Rachida Aoulad doesn’t supprise us anymore. We expect to see crazy amounts of tricks being stomped by her, and that is just exactly what she did. Not stepping back for the kinked rail and throwing in some mad combo’s.
This heath showed that there was no need for a downbox, so Gerben got himself some help and switched it up with the donkeydick rail for the men. It seemed to be a good change since a lot of action went down on that feature, even during training. Jordy ‘t Gilde throws down this press before getting his spinnery on.
The contest attracted a lot of riders, so warm up ended up being super packed. It took a while before riders got their chance to hit the setup. It gave some time to scope the opponents moves, but in the end they decided to split everything up in two heats.
All the while Gerben was enjoying the show, but it was time to step it up. Time to pump up the music and judge these riders for their spin capabilities. We’ve seen frontblunt combo’s, switch frontblunt combo’s, hardway frontblunt combo’s, and maybe four or five tech tricks that got way underrated.
Like always Kevin de Haan was sending it and threw some powermoves on the doublekink. This kid has got mad style and like to pop out of the kink with spins, also frontboarding and backlipping the rails won him some credit.
Bob van Unnik was doing his thing and throwing more tricks than is good for him. Frontside 270 to fakie, frontblunts, frontboards on the doublekink and switching all those up.
Bob was running for his life and also Cees Wille got hyped to finally be riding after a week of helping G out with the setup. He also showed us a bunch of steezy backside lippers and spins into presses.
Finally Wessel van Lierop, he also didn’t dissapoint with the technical tricks we are used to seeing from him. Switch presses, backtails, and more of his tricks that never grow old like this halfcab tailpress.
Yep, it was safe to say that the mens heat was going off. All names mentioned above went hard and showed their skills on the metal. However, these were apparently not the skills mentioned in the judging handbook. More spins meant more points, and all you had to do for a multiplier was wearing the proper clothes with the proper logo’s. Appearently Wessel and Bob didn’t even get judged, their names where simply forgotten to note down. We were psyched on seeing Roel van Oosterhout going to the finals along with Kas Lemmens, but first it was time for the kids and girls to test out the dinkie donk that they couldn’t ride before.
Max De Vries had no problem with the new rail, he was popping backside 3’s out like it’s nothing, and keeping his nose pressed on a bunch of different runs.
After Max killed the new rail he moved on to the doubledowner, and did maybe one of the steeziest backboards of the day.Max set the tone and all of a sudden more kids and girls started to attempting boardslides, like Erik Bastiaansen. This kid has crazy skills and steez.
Rachida got nervous and cleaverly hides her roboleg. That’s the only explanation for switching up 270 degrees on the doublekink and putting her backboard back into 5050’s with the necessary frontside spins out.
Yep kids and girls, you killed it and gave the men something to prove. Unfortunately when it was time for them to ride finals, dark clouds covered the setup and it started pouring rain. The fans got less stoked and most of them went looking for a dry place to stand, but most riders where still hyped and didn’t even care about having to use the snow in the landing of the downrail for the kink and donkeydick.
I guess our photographer also got less stoked because there aren’t a lot of photo’s from the finals. I’m not sure if that was the weather though or the tricks. No hate on Jascha, you saved the day. Kas Lemmens, your the man. Kas was keeping his steez in the finals and staid tech with presses, backblunts, frontblunt, switch boardslides, and a backside boardslide to nosepress on the doublekink rail.
Again it was not enough to impress the judges. It’s not that the guys that ended up on stage can’t shred. The contrary, they all killed it and we will for sure hear more of these guys. However, judging should not be based the amount of rotations completed on a rail. A lot of kids that killed it with technical tricks got boycotted by not even being invited to the finals, which is stupid. I hope this will change next time, members of the jury.
Either way, congrats to guys and girls mentioned below, you killed it, deserved it, and got it:
1. Jordy ‘t Gilde
2. Chico de Reus (yep, remember him?)
3. Ross Needham
1. Rachida Aoulad
2. Veroniqi Hanssen
3. Isabella Groenestijn
1. Erik Bastiaansen
2. Jesse Augustinus
3. Max de Vries
Shots by Jascha vd Wijden