has to be one of the biggest contests in the world, if not THE biggest.
I dont know any other competition that there can be 84 riders in just
one class. There was so many riders there it was hard not to be overwhelmed
by everything going on.
woke up at 5 am on saturday to get ready for the contest. I had the
Dig-it Jam the night before, and got home at 3am, so I only had 2 hours
of sleep. I had a friend that was coming with me to see what I had been
so excited about all month, so I went and got her and made our way to
asakusa at about 6:30am. I live about 2 hours from Asakusa, so I had
to make sure to be there with enough time to register and get everything
done that needs to be done.
we arrived at the Rox 3 Multi-court, everything was already busy.
There were tons of riders, everyone was practicing, and people
were already pulling crazy tricks at 8:30 in the morning. I went
and registered, and then practiced a little until the contest
started. I´m in the Novice class, and there were 84 riders that
had signed up for the class, meaning that because of a time limit,
there would be no Novice final.
I know this is a bit of me being proud of the scene in japan,
but I honestly think that some of the best riders come out of
this country. Even in the Novice class, there are people that
are ripping it up just as bad as some some of the masters in europe
and high ams in the US and Canada. It was amazing seeing the other
people in my class pulling switch footed tomahawks and turbined
steams effortlessly. One rider is a 15 year old named Holy-ken,
and he is well on his way to becoming a really great rider. When
it came to be my turn to ride, I choked hard, and only pulled
one link. I guess my lack of sleep caught up with me. Trav is
still the “crash master,” haha.
the Experts had their turn, the crowd was getting pumped. I want
to say that the number of riders that had entered expert is in
the 50’s, and every one of them could be either a VERY high
level AM or Pro elsewhere in the world. All of them are pulling
difficult and original combos, and have style to spare. Expert
class is just as great to watch as the Pro runs. One rider that
stood out to me is a rider by the name of Hosshia. He was doing
links like boomerang straight to pedal hang 5, flipped to switch
steam turbine to hang 5 out. He was perhaps my favorite expert
of the evening.
then, as the expert finals where going on, an Earthquake hit. It happened
right in the middle of one riders run, and it was as if he didn’t
even notice it, all his tricks were still going, and he landed everything,
an EARTHQUAKE! Everyone was going crazy.
the end ceremonies, I had to get home and finally get some sleep, it
was a long day and I was exhausted. Too bad, Martti was showing off
his solo video project, “moments.”
got a good nights rest, and headed back out to Asakusa, but I missed
out on the jam session that everyone usually participates in before
the pro runs begin. Unfortunately, I was informed that some shady things
1st :Martti Kuoppa
2nd :Jesse Puente
3rd : Kotaro Tanaka
1st : Yanmar
2nd : Shinde
3rd : Shinichiro Hara
Desolneux, Chad Johnston, Steph Royer, and Aaron Frost, were told they
were not invited to participate in the show/best trick contest because
their tricks were not flashy enough. This resulted in Steph and Chad
pulling out of the entire event. Aaron, Travis Collier, Alexis, Martti,
and Kimmo wanted to do the same, but they had obligations to their sponsors.
It really made me sad to find this out because well, I think that every
rider has their own style, and judging them based on a flashy trick,
rather than an insanely difficult original one, is just horrible.
that bit of awful news, the comp went on, the usual pros were on, and
everyone was going for their best tricks. It was my first time seeing
Jesse Puente ride, and he is crazy. Definitely a treat.
of October 2004 - Travis Davis