It was a hot morning in Hood River. Riders gathered under the Liquid Force tent at 9 am to learn more about the format of the competition, ask the judges questions, and see the heat draw. Head Judge Alex Lewis-Hughes informed athletes on how to score high in the park while judges Ewan Jaspan and Alex Maes offered coaching and strategy.

The format gave each rider three attempts each feature each round. The top two riders in each heat advanced straight to the final. The athletes not making the final were given another shot at making the final in a dingle round.

Riders gathering / Photo: Lindsay McClure

Warm Up and Park Set Up

The wind started to fill in around 11 am and riders were eager to get on the water to hit the features. Riders threw impressive moves during warm up, trying to intimidate their competitors. Judges and KPL riders gave athletes pointers on how to better their riding and earn big points.

Alex Lewis-Hughes and Ewan Jaspan explaining judging criteria / Photo: Lindsay McClure

Round 1
Riders put it all on the line hoping to advance straight to the final. The crowd witnessed some amazing hits as well as some spectacular tumbles in the first round. Advancing straight to the final out of the first round were Jack Rieder, Xander Raith, Mark Cafero, Tom Seager, Aron Rosslee, and Vetea Boersma.

Rider: Aron Rosslee / Photo: Rutger Bogard

The rest of the field was given one more chance to make the final. Nine riders battled for the last two spots. Advancing out of the dingle and into the final were Anthar Racca and Tomas Aguirre.

Rider: Noah Shapiro / Photo: Lindsay McClure

The level of riding steadily improved throughout the day as riders gained more confidence in the park. In the final, the crowd witnessed several toe back 5s, a toe back 7, several crowmobes, a tantrum to blind, several grab to blinds, and numerous heel front 5s off the kicker. Riders were teed up on the sliders and swapping the bar on nearly every hit. The results will be announced on Thursday night at the prize giving ceremony.

Rider: Xander Raith / Photo: Rutger Bogard

Stay tuned for restults from the freestyle event!

Rider: Vetea Boersma / Photo: Rutger Bogard