By now you have probably seen the photos and know who the winners are. You probably also have read about the impressive tricks thrown and the flat light conditions that made it difficult to make it down without falling. It was indeed a very impressive contest, and I had to judge it. I’ve only judged a few contests in my life and this one I have to say was the most fun. Any other typical contest, you pretty much know what is going to happen, what tricks will be hucked and in lots of cases, who’s going to win before it even starts. This contest had none of that. There were the favorites to win, but that doesn’t mean much in a comp like this where anything can happen and that was the best part. We had no clue on what jumps and features each rider would hit, more less what tricks they were going to pull off. In many cases, the rider didn’t even know his own line until he dropped in.
Pat Moore started things off with a clean run on the upper course but came up short on the park booter. Coming up short on this jump soon became a trend with a number of the riders. In fact, falling became a trend in this contest. Only one rider made it down the course without falling, and we placed him in third. This shows how we were judging falls on this difficult set up. Major falls were a pretty big mark down, like on Pat Moore’s second run 200ft long tumble. But surfs or quick sits weren’t penalized as much as a normal contest. Nicolas Muller ended up with best trick where he did a hard surf on the landing, but it was huge and doubt anyone could stomp it any cleaner.
I, of course wasn’t the only Judge, there were 5 of us. There was head judge Tom Burt (old school judge), Andy Hetzel (extreme judge), Temple Cummins (Mt. Baker Judge) , Jamie Lynn (Method Judge) and myself (Technical Judge). Tom, Temp, and Hetz were watching the runs with binoculars while Jamie and myself watched off the live feeds on two TVs. As a rider came down, we would write down the tricks, falls, sits, surfs and scuttles and any other important info we needed to remember. We then entered our score on an iPod judging app that was entered into the computer and averaged out with the other judges scores. If there were major differences in scores, we would discuss and come to an agreed placement for the rider. This became the main basis with our judging after scoring — was the rider positioned correctly, and if not scores were changed to place him in the agreed position. When all was said and done, we were in complete agreement and happy with our judgments.
So now you know how the riders were judged to place them where they were placed. In other words, everything. Don’t let it go to your head.