This year Kareem El Raffie organized the Fronline Railjam for the 7th time on Sergels Torg in Stockholm. It’s pretty much the perfect location to throw an event like this, it’s in the center of the city, because the stairs are already there and the audience won’t miss any action since there are different levels of balconies for people to stand on and watch.
Besides the contest this event means a weekend long rave where the rest of the city gets pretty much ravaged by some long haired, beanie-wearing individuals. The shredding is insane, the parties are great, the food greasy, hotel messy and the minibar empty. Awesome weekend!
I really promised myself not to spend many words on our trip, and keep it focused on the event itself. Obviously that was impossible, since something always has to go wrong when going to scandinavia. On the other hand, the stories about trips are always the funnest, like the Finnish getting wasted on the party boat, Mike Casanova flying over all the way from the states, flying back within 24 hours and Dani Rajcsanyi and Ethan Morgan missing their flight.
Gerben refuses to go anywhere other than by his car, even though something always seems to try to stop us. This time it was the power steering that gave up. We left 4 hours later than planned, slept in the car way too long and ended up arriving in Stockholm just in time for the pre-party. We arrived when Random Bastards was half-way through their Tentacle premiere.
We’ll see to it that you don’t miss this movie when it hits the web, because it’s amazing! After the movie we enjoyed live performances, the local blondes and we went to say ‘hi’ to some of the riders. Then there were these two Americans who never been to Europe and probably got the best first impression, raging the dance floor without worrying about their misplaced shredgear or money exchange rip-off.. “yes sir, you can also withdraw Swedish Crowns with your American bank card…” Brandon Hobush and Dylan Alito, I wonder if they got any sleep at all during the weekend.
A few hours later we had to go to the Sergels Plaza to peep the setup. Just when the sun started peaking above the buildings, people slowly started to gather around to enjoy the show. Morning glory.
During warm-up the level already reached boiling-point. This was the first year they refreshed the setup and riders seemed to love it. Like always Kareem kept it clean: a downrail and doublekinked feature with oldschool take offs and without any transition. Dani Rajcsanyi and Gerben Verweij ran up quickly to do some practice runs.
In the first heat it was up to our boy Cees Wille to step it up towards not so unfamiliar names like Eiki Helgason, Dylan Alito, Leo Crawford, Marc Swoboda and Nejc Ferjan. Nejc with a backlipper in morning glory, this guy has tricks galore and was able to show it off in these early hours enough for a finals invite.
Leo Crawford was also keeping it steezy from a similar angle with his frontal boardslide.
It was good to see people keeping it easy on the spins and way steezy with pressing and switch sideways sliding. Cees liked his game like that and threw some nice backblunts, lippers and backside 180’s in. The masses where focused on his frontside noseblunt.
In the first heat the crowd warmed up it’s vocal cords for the “ooh’s and aah’s” to come. The other Dutch representative got called up for heat two against guys like Brandon Hobush, Toni Kerkelä, Jamie Nicholls and the first girl ever to compete in a frontline railjam, also not an unfamiliar name in the domes: Anne-Sophie Lechon. Then there where these two who’s faces you must know: Torstein Horgmo and Halldor Helgason.
Jamie Nicholls is the kid from the UK and you might know him from seeing him at the stage of the Nike Stairset battle in Munich. He is mad consistent and deserves a better photo than the one below, but okay. At least you can see that around heat two the entire square was getting packed, all cheering for good ol’ Jamie and his massive nollie to frontblunt.
With all the spins going on at contest nowadays, it was good to see Gerben keeping his head cool. Not just his style kept looking easy-going, but he also didn’t rotate like a crazy person. The judges liked his nollied nosepresses and backlips, and he got invited for the finals, three hooray’s for G. Also the host appreciated his switch hardway backside nosepress.
Heat 3 probably had the most underdogs in it, but ended up being the most heated qualie. Wojtek Pawlusiak, Gulli Gudmundsson, Mike Casanova, Dani Rajcsanyi, Joel Ahola, Denis Leontyev, and Dominik Wagner did a good job impressing the judges and almost everybody got invited for the finals.
Felix shows proper ways to do boardslides. Then there was Dominik Wagner, crowd-pleasing as always with a huge smile on his face when landing his frontblunt 270 out and for being able to do more runs in the finals.
Wojtek Pawlusiak was attacking the rail as usual. There is so much power in his style and he lands so many tricks, it’s crazy! His frontboard pretzel on the kinked rail was a total banger. He did some mad combos and mixed it up with stylish boardslides like this one.
One of my personal favorites to watch was Dani Rajcsanyi, straight outta Germany. According to the judges he was not consistent enough to make it to the finals, but he did the dopest tricks with amazing style. It’s just a treat to watch him shred, unfortunately we have to wait for that in the new Isenseven movie. To keep things chronological, here’s three times Dani in a row.
In the finals the judges where looking for a best trick on both features and an overall best rider. Kareem had some extra money to spend so every time somebody would stomp a banger, that rider would also get some cash.
Kareem was paying close attention while Anne-Sophie Lechon was throwing down 180’s into the downrail.
Riders could use some extra cash for the afterparty so the level of riding got insanely high. To see all these bangers in full motion, better keep refreshing our frontpage for the upcoming video. In the meanwhile, check Wojtek’s frontlip on the kink.
Stylish as Wojtek’s lipslide is, it couldn’t top the best trick on that feature by Marc Swoboda. On the downrail it was Dominik Wagner taking the loot. Overall it was the Denis ‘Bonus’ Leontyev impressing the judges the most by doing some crazy frontside and backside tornado spins. You either like these tricks or not, either way he landed a fucking whole lot of em and we are stoked for Denis!
If you are in the movie, these are the people seeing your moves. Packed to the brim. It’s always fun giving your camera away to random people and losing it for about 3 hours straight and then watch the photo’s back the next day. This is what I found.
Dylan Alito tried to keep an eye on the inside of his head in order to keep track of killed braincells. And our Dutch globetrottercrew ended up at the place it all went down, Sergels Plaza, with G’s first crash of the day.