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This past weekend, top international snowboarders like Ethan Deiss, Dylan Alito, Zak Hale, Forest Bailey, Jonah Owen and Jamie Nicholls brought their urban rail riding skills to downtown Tokyo for the second annual Burton Rail Days competition at the Roppongi Hills Arena. Presented by MINI, Burton Rail Days drew one of the largest crowds ever recorded at the venue. Over 3,000 people filled in at the base of the massive alpine-inspired rail set-up to watch some of the world’s best street snowboarders in action.
“Burton Rail Days is an amazing event and platform to showcase urban rail riding at its best,” said Anne-Marie Dacyshyn, Burton Vice President of Marketing. “World class riders, an iconic Tokyo venue and an incredible course, all backed by the addition of a Riglet park, kids jam and live concert — it doesn’t get much better in sharing what the snowboard lifestyle is all about.”
Kicking off this year’s Burton Rail Days event was a 15-minute kids jam, featuring six up-and-coming, future Rail Days competitors. Riding the same rails as the global competitors, these kids, many ofwhom are Olympic slopestyle hopefuls, showed the crowd what it means to be some of the nation’s best junior riders. And then it was time for the mainshow.
As a steady rain came down, a total of 18 riders competed in an action packed 45-minute jam session. Burton pro-rider Jeremy Jones, one of the best urban riders in the world, sat in the judge’s seat for the first time, making the calls on the competition. From there, six riders moved on to the finals. Even despite the rain, the competition was fierce, and the field was narrowed down to Jamie Nicholls (GBR), Forest Bailey (USA), Zak Hale (USA), Jonah Owen (USA), Brandon Hobush (USA), Dominik Wagner (AUT). Each rider had three chances to pull off his best run, with the highest scoring run taking top honors.
In the end, it was Forest Bailey (USA) who won the entire event with his second run: starting on the closeout rail, 50/50 transfer to lip-slide on the down rail. Jamie Nicholls (GBR) came in second place with his first run featuring a Cab 360 to switch 50/50 on the down rail. And Jonah Owen (USA) claimed third place on his third run on the closeout rail with a 50/50 to frontside 360 melon grab to flat.
Forest Bailey had this to say about his win, “I couldn’t be more happy. I broke my board in the quals, and the board I borrowed wasn’t my own, but I pulled through and made it all happen. It was a great time.”
After the competition wrapped up, the crowd was treated to a free concert by M-flo, one of the most iconic and influential hip-hop production teams in Japan, and the energy inRoppongi was all-time. Overall, the second annual Burton Rail Days presented by MINI was an amazing event that celebrated all things snowboarding and provided an experience the riders and crowd won’t soon forget.
2012 Burton Rail Days: Final Results
1. Forest Bailey (USA) – $15,000
2. Jamie Nicholls (GBR) NIKE 6.0 – $8,000
3. Jonah Owen (USA) – $4,000
For anyone who missed the live webcasts, highlights of winning runs and full webcasts are available for on-demand viewing after the event on burton.mobilerider.com/tv/3022/