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2011 Ride Shakedown at Summit-At-Snoqualmie

Awards photo: Shakedown

Locals watching the finals at the 2nd annual Ride Shakedown this past Saturday at the Summit-At-Snoqualmie may have had trouble glimpsing all the action. A strange ball of fire was glaring down through deep blue skies—typically elusive—while the riders themselves threw a blinding dose talent before the crowd of 5,000. The Shakedown, now a TTR World Snowboarding event, returned to the base of Summit West with its unique format:  Big air-to-rail jam. The finals lasted 90 minutes, during which time riders were judged on three of their runs. Before each, they called out the tricks they’d deliver.

And deliver they did. Canadian Matts Kulisek, who took 2nd in the rail jam Friday night, snagged an early lead and eventually $15,000 with his stomped frontside 1260 off the 50-foot booter to switch 50/50 on the kink rail. No other tricks eclipsed it, though 14-year-old Japanese Ride team phenom Yuki Kadono’s cab 1260 to boardslide-to-fakie on the down rail came close. He earned $8,000. Clenching 3rd and $4,000 was Volcom’s Tyler Flanagan with Cab 900 to frontside boardslide on the kink rail.

The good vibes fueled by the sun and laid-back attitude of the NW, resonated through the mellow but enthusiastic crowd. The day was surely marked by Yuki’s performance in the wake of the recent Japanese tsunami. With the crowd erupting each time he stomped a trick and his family in attendance, Yuki committed to donating half of his winnings to the victims of the earthquake. Ride Snowboards matched spectator donations, bringing the total amount of the day to $6,200.

Ten riders in all made the finals cut, down from 34. All dudes; no ladies’s division this year. Nick Hyne and Nick Brown both brought the Kiwi spirit. Jeremy Cloutier, who took 7th in finals, also won the rail jam and $5,000 for his weekend of work. Scott See and Zachery Stone were among the other forces to be reckoned with. At times, riders dropped in in trains, throwing a dizzying array of tricks; several dialed methods were served up to the crowd; and more than a few gnarly crashes left many contenders for the Sandbox $500 biggest crash award (I was in the bar when that one was announced).

All in all, the Summit stop of the 10th anniversary Ride Shakedown was a welcome jolt of gnar so close you could slap it. Not to mention luxurious warmth and Vitamin D on the skin and, of course, shredding in the grand ole Cascades.

Next up: Holy Oly. Be there.

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