Words: Chas “Catfish” Truslow
Photos: Ashley Rosemeyer
Finally I’ve made my way back to my natural habitat; the East Coast. To celebrate my return, I’ve been drinking nothing but Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffees, and Narragansett tall boys. Between my coffee/beer diet and days of riding icy side hits, it feels great to be home.
Luckily I was able to make my way back to the East in time to go to the staple Vermont rail jam, Rails 2 Riches. Hosted by Killington, Rails 2 Riches serves as the season kick off for the East. A 25,000 cash purse attracts riders from all corners of the Northeast, as well as some riders from as far as Washington, Minnesota and Colorado.
This year, Rosey, and the rest of the Killington Parks staff, put together an impressive set-up for the less than average snowfall Vermont has had this season. Competitors took their pick between a down-flat-down rail, a flat doghouse rail, and flat gap down rail all of which were perched on top of a seven foot tall drop. The set-up seemed to be more skier oriented this year with big lips and huge gaps out to all the rails.
Watching rider after rider gap to the end of features, made me miss the old set-up Killington used to have. Nothing more than a high down rail, a down-flat-down rail and some strange box creation people could flip off of. That set-up pushed progression, with riders all trying to one up each other and feeding off everyone’s energy. Case in point, Matt Roberge’s fabled 10 minute Reelcomp recap from a few years back. Roobs, if you read this PLEASE put that back online, that shit was legendary.
Mother Nature had her own plans for the event, and berated competitors with rain, sleet and snow all day long. If the weather wasn’t bad enough, the event’s DJ insisted on playing mind-numbing dubstep the entire length of the event. I don’t understand how snowboarding and dubstep became synonymous with one another, but never in my life have I ever wished that I were def. If it weren’t for the mystical appearance of the now free Caked Dave before the start of finals, I would have just drove home.
Once the finals were underway, the riding helped sooth the pain from the terrible music. Straight out of the gate, Carinthia’s Shaun Murphy, Levi Gunzburg and Brian Skorupski all laid down numerous note worthy tricks. Colorado’s Zach Solderhom, seemed to be fueled by the womps of the dubstep as he flung countless spins to the end of the down-flat-down, including one 450 to scorp that left the whole crowd in pain. Pennsylvania’s Billy Kiel slaughtered the down-flat-down all night long with consistent and stylish tricks. Buck 90’s own Jeff Deforge and Steve Lauder, left many wondering if living in a van for the season is the key to a good press with their countless impressive press variations on the gap to down tube.
In the end, it was Max Lyons taking the third place spot, due to his smooth style and consistency all night long. Finishing in second was past winner, Luke Haddock, who put down one of the smoothest back one to switch back one’s I’ve ever seen on the down-flat-down. To nobody’s surprise, Jesse Paul ended up at the top of the podium, by bringing his bag of tricks from his part in The Impaler to the contests. $5,000 richer, Jeese’s trip home to Minnesota is sure to be much more luxurious. Someone pay him already!
On the women’s side, Killington local and YoBeat commenter’s favorite target, Maggie Leon ended up in third place. Sugarbush’s Lily Calabresse found her way into second thanks to her consistency and graceful style. The pride of Rhode Island, Mary Rand a.k.a. Big Air Mare, took home first even after showing up to the finals late.
With the results in, there was only one thing left to do; go to The Phat Italian and enjoy some adult sodas thanks to the big winners. Stay tuned for the video recap coming soon…
1st Jesse Paul
2nd Luke Haddock
3rd Max Lyons
Best Trick: Timmy Major
1st Mary Rand
2nd Lily Calabresse
3rd Maggie Leon
Best Trick: Maggie Leon