This may come as a shock, but on October 9, 2010 the Downtown Throwdown in Seattle, WA, got rained on. Not only did it rain, but over the five or so hours of action in Occidental Park, it went from a light northwest-style drizzle, to pounding east coast-style down pour and back again, a couple times. Competitors stripped off their soaked sweatshirts when they got too heavy, and the crowd huddled in plastic bags, but seeing at it was pretty much an a fall day in Washington, no one really let a little inclement weather get in the way of a good time.
Personally, I came prepared with stylish rain boots purchased at K-mart on the drive up to Seattle. You may think this is an odd fact to share, but not only did rubber boots keep my feet dry and make the day that much more pleasant, but the only single thing I heard about more was Johnny Lazz’s back 3 5-0 front 180 out, stomped at least twice in one of the days final 20-minute jam sessions.
Between tricks like those, and the blood on his face from an earlier fall, Lazz was a shoo in for the Zumiez Destroyer award, which came with not only $1000, but the contents of the Destroyer box, which turned out to be a angle grinder and a wad of cash. When asked what he planned to do with his new found power tool collection, Lazz responding, “I’m probably gonna grind up some onions, tomatoes and cilantro and make some dank salsa.” He then let me know he was joking.
The Destroyer award was just a bonus though, and there were five more awards for superb shredding handed out. The field of judges, including Sean Genovese, Zac Marben and Pat Milbery were not faced with an easy task, doling out the $8000 purse, but being pros, they managed to figure it out, and $3000 for top honors will soon be deposited into the bank account of Ryan Paul.
RP has had quite a run from being 86’d from High Cascade to taking the snowboard world by storm, all in the span of a year, but seeing him ride in person, it all makes sense. The word “loose” doesn’t even describe it, and tricks such as a Front blunt 360 blunt to reg on the down box and a Switch 270 on down rail manage to look even more impressive than they sound.
“I had a lot of fun,” Ryan said “I didn’t know I would win — I didn’t even know if I would place. I get so nervous when they’re announcing the awards — and when it comes down to last moment they call your name, it’s amazing.”
The judges also recognized the consistency of the field’s largest competitor Ted Borland with fifth, Jake Kyzuk’s proper tricks and flawless style with fourth, Forrest Bailey’s rail mastery with 3rd and Scott Stevens general radicalness with 2nd. Despite having a broken arm, Scott definitely pleased the crowd with literal front handsprings over the barrel pile and of course, way better rail style than you could ever dream of.
The 5th Downtown Throwdown certainly did not disappoint, thanks to an always unique course from Snow Boy Productions, the vocal stylings of Jesse Burtner and tasty snacks from Cobra Dogs. Add in some amazing rail riding, and the rain didn’t even seen that bad. But of course, after the I.O.U.’s had been awarded and the final products from sponsors such as Lib Tech, Vans, and more, and the crowd and the riders were starting to dissipate, of course, the sun finally decided to come out.