Two, ultra foxy Monster energy drink girls were handing out free drinks; I think they found the beginner class because they were buzzing around the course with enough energy to power the liposuction machine that sucked all the fat out of Anna Nicole Smith. Friday was reserved for beginner qualifying, open practice and flirting with girls. There was a cool laid back vibe among the riders and spectators. Everyone seemed to enjoy the jam format of the contest. There is always a large list of fun things to do at Thrill-Zone but with Scion and Funky Monkey radio there it was taken to the next level. Both Scion and Funky Monkey radio had set up booths in Thrill-Zones lobby. The radio DJ’s were broadcasting live all weekend adding to the fun and excitement of the contest. Saturday morning came much too soon for me due to lack of sleep from all the energy drinks I had while announcing the contest Friday evening.
Qualifying in the beginner class wasn't easy. Chip Perkins and Skyler Miner treated the course like Bruce Lee treats the bad guys in fists of fury. In the end though it was Josh Moen and Vince Angelo proving to everyone that their BMX ninja skills couldn’t be beat. Both of then flipped and spun like Jackie Chan in the movie Drunken Master. Josh ended up taking home the win.
1st Place -Josh Moen
2nd Place - Vince Angelo
3rd Place - Chip perkins
4th Place - Skyler Miner
By Saturday afternoon I was wide awake and looking forward to the intermediate comp. With half the beginner class doing back flips you knew the intermediate class would be dropping hammers all over the course. Greg Adams and Tony Archebeque were battling it out trick for trick at one point. Tony wanted a 180 tail-whip to disaster but it didn’t come easy, he nailed it after a couple of valiant efforts. Greg managed to tail-whip his way into the finals along with Tony, Ryan Gardener and Drew Armstrong also put in impressive runs that brought them into the finals. In the end Greg’s consistent onslaught of tricks earned him the win & a killer new Device frame from Redline Bicycles. Tony wasn’t holding back, his go for broke style impressed the judges and earned him a lot of respect and drew cheers from the crowd. Someone needs to sponsor that guy quick! Second place seems to be a familiar place for Tony but in time I’m sure he will take home the gold. Thanks to Dakota Roche for being a guest judge for the intermediate class. Intermediate
1st Place Greg Adams
2nd Place Tony Archebeque
3rd Place Ryan Gardner
4th Place Drew Armstrong
The Pro class was packed with a lot of the North West’s best riders. Veterans and young guns were blasting big tricks and tech style to claim the 1,000 dollar first place prize. Fit bike’s Dakota Roche has been blowing up lately with coverage in magazines and videos. He made his presence known with a huge 180 over the box jump that had everyone their feet. Mike Aiken would have been proud. Another young gun named Josh Warren pushed the envelope with a huge tail-whip over a gaping chasm of death. GT’s Mat Seager has been traveling the world doing stunt shows and he had his tricks wired, Flip whips, 360’s and a few impressive tech tricks certainly left a lasting impression on the judges. Diamondback’s Andrew Carpenter will 360, 540 and 720 just about anything in his path. Andrews’s impressive and consistent flow over the course insured him a spot in the top 3. Paul Kitner may be known for his skills on the dirt jumps and trails but he would have fit right in with Dave Mira or Jay Miron on the ramps had they been at this comp. Paul had some great style and boosted every ramp he touched. Every trick was clicked, tweaked and dialed. Paul didn’t just ride the course he owned it. “Idaho” Eric Ream is always a great guy to watch ride due to his amazing style and seemingly effortless flow. A great example of this was his 270 wall tap to transfer into the bowl. Eric was the only one to try this let alone pull it like he could do it in his sleep. Darin Ried is another guy who is better known for his trails skills but he absolutely killed the course at Thrill-Zone with big burley style. Darin was eyeballing the largest gap on the course all weekend and decided it was a good time to “get r done”. He made the gaps distance but slid out on the landing earning him the rad badge of courage. “Idaho” Eric must have been inspired by Darin’s valiant effort because he decided to go for it as well. Ream can now add his name to the record books because he is the first person to follow in Little Jeff Lantiser’s footsteps in successfully jumping what will be forever known as “The little Jeff gap” Note: Jeff wasn’t able to ride in this comp due to an injury but had cleared the gap at a previous contest.
One other rider that drew cheers is Ezekiel or “Zeek” to his friends. He was going for some of the craziest stuff you can imagine; turndown flips 720’s and more. A few crashes kept him from claiming any of the pro purse cash but in the end he came back and won the best trick contest! "Zeek" was last seen taking home a bunch of cool prizes from the event’s sponsors. After the judges added up all the scores it looked like this.
1st Paul Kitner $1000
2nd Andrew Carpender $750
3rd (tie) Darrin Read - Mat Seager $300
4th Idaho Eric Ream
5th Dakota Roche
7th Josh Warren
8th Cru Jones
9th Bart Taylor
Be sure to check out www.thrill-zone.com and stop in to ride this amazing BMX friendly skatepark. For video footage of this event be sure to get the latest issue of Props video magazine.
Photos by: Marshall Reid and Brent Sprute