Matts Kulisek wins his second RIDE Shakedown U.S.A. Title
The second edition of the RIDE Shakedown ended with a bang this afternoon at The Summit at Snoqualmie with Matts Kulisek earning his third RIDE Shakedown 2011 podium. The encore was well received by close to 5,000 excited fans watching riders compete on a bluebird day.
It was anyone’s game in the semi-final with riders such as Manuel Diaz hailing from Santiago de Chile (CHI), Zachary Stone from Collingwood, ON (CAN) and Tyler Flanagan of Carrollton, GA (USA) in attendance. In all, the 34 riders pushed their limits in an effort to impress the judges and earn one of 10 spots in the fateful final round. Riders were present at the Snowboarder Magazine autograph session and the fans got to enjoy the sounds of Seattle’s talented Blue Thunder Marching Band before watching the last leg of the event unfold.
Photo: Crispin Canon
The final round proved to be equally exciting; Town of Mont Royal (CAN) native Matts Kulisek and Yuki Kadono of Hyougo (JAP) were neck in neck. In his third judged run, Matts Kulisek executed a frontside 1260 on the jump followed by a switch 50/50 on the kink rail earning him the highest score of the day. Kulisek, the second place winner in last week’s RIDE Shakedown Germany and the runner up in last night’s Rail Jam, took home $15,000 as the RIDE Shakedown USA winner for the second consecutive year. “I’m pretty tired,” he announced, “but I’m really stoked! It’s just amazing; it’s the best weekend, my friend Jeremy got first in rail jam and I got first main event! We drove down together and we’re leaving [with thicker pockets].”
Japanese Ride team rider Yuki Kadono (left) landed a cab 1260 followed by a boardslide to fakie on the down rail earned him second place and $8,000; a mere point shy of Kulisek’s overall score. In light of the recent devastation in Japan, Kadono will be donating half of his winnings, $4,000, to the Red Cross in order to help with rescue efforts. RIDE Snowboards equally contributed; they collected $1,300 in donations during the event and matched the amount, raising the contribution to $2,600.
American Tyler Flanagan of Carrollton, GA, picked up the third podium spot and $4,000 with his Cab 900 and frontside boardslide on the kink rail.
The day was top notch with high caliber riding, excellent weather and over a foot of fresh powder covered The Summit at Snoqualmie overnight. For those who missed it, tune in to ROOT SPORTS on April 2 at 5 pm! They will be broadcasting a highlights show of the second RIDE Shakedown USA!
In two weeks, the RIDE Shakedown will return to its native Mont Saint-Sauveur in Canada to celebrate the 10th anniversary with a special edition. Patryck Bernier and Brendan O’Dowd, founders of the event say they are happy with the way the event has grown in Washington. “In the past two years we’ve gotten so much positive feedback. The crowd came out to cheer on the riders on both Friday and Saturday; both days combined, some 5,000 people were at the RIDE Shakedown, what a show they got! The riding was excellent, the weather was beautiful; we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Unique competition format
While there are many snowboarding events in Europe, the RIDE Shakedown stands out by virtue of its unparalleled competition format. What makes the RIDE Shakedown such a hit and a cut above the rest is its unparalleled competition format. The concept: a laidback, live-it-up event with minimal restrictions on the riders. Spectators are taken to the very heart of the action and treated to a thrill-a-minute show that’s eminently accessible. At the RIDE Shakedown, riders are required to master two different disciplines: Big Air and rail, featuring three different rail options revealed only on the first day of competition. Competitors and fans alike look forward to the moment. While pros are the main attraction, amateurs are also in the game, as they valiantly battle it out in an attempt to make a name for themselves. Every winter, new talent is discovered!