Photos by Tim Zimmerman. Words by Kevin Wells.
The Downtown Throwdown is an event that brings together some of the biggest names in creative snowboarding. Many of these riders had next level video parts like Shane Ruprect’s ender in Bald E Gal’s Ground Control, and Justin Fronius who closed out Videograss’s The Last Ones. With so many heavy hitters from Minnesota it’s no wonder the 2013 Downtown Throwdown came to the homeland of urban snowboarding. Amongst the surplus of Minnesota-based riders in this event was a panel of Minnesota judges–Jake OE, Ethan Deiss, and Zac Marben who were accompanied by DWD owner, Sean Genovese.
First on deck were the Feeders. With Crab Grab’s Preston Strout and Think Thank’s Jesse Burtner on the mic, about 15 local riders made their way to the top of the 9-feature, 3-tiered scaffolding to battle it out for a chance at one of three spots for the main event. When the battle was over, Shane Ruprect, Drew Poganski, and Aiden Flanagan were the chosen ones who made their way into the Downtown Throwdown.
Krush and the crew at Snowboy Productions wasted no time in prepping the course for the start of the Throwdown. After a brief rider meeting with the MC’s Preston and Burtner and a few last minute requests to riders like Brendan Gerard to fill out their waivers, a slew of talent and creativity climbed their way to the top of the course. By the time the first few riders had dropped, the lingering rain had turned to hail as the riders and crowd got pelted. But the brutal Minnesota weather couldn’t stop guys like Spencer Schubert from inventing lines like dropping in to the scaffolding handrail then popping an ollie to the judge’s ottoman. At some point he got Matt Boudreaux involved as an assistant for some soapshoe transfer action off a Jersey barrier. Somewhere in the mix, Jonas Michilot decided to wallride to body check the pavement off one of the quarterpipe’s surrounding vert walls before finally landing bolts. Shit got pretty real as riders cheered riders, judges got stoked, and the crowd watched relentlessly through the inclimate weather. As the hail and rain stopped, an intermission was put into place, and the boys from Snowboy did some serious maintenance work before the final round.
The final round was filled with crowd pleasers like Jesse Paul’s backflip to 50-50 off the A-frame pole jam and a series of birthday handplants done by Japan’s Yusaku Hoori who traveled the farthest to make it to the Downtown Throwdown. Crab Grab and Think Thank hosted a best trick on the course’s Snowflex covered quarterpipe. Variations of wild plants and inverts were thrown, but it was Mitch Richmond who walked away with the top prize of $500 for some Michael Jordan status backflip, launching 6 feet above the deck, landing flat, and riding away clean. In the end, first place went to Ryan Paul, a previous DTTD winner, who had one hell of a day displaying some of the cleanest style in snowboarding and executing everything effortlessly. Second place was awarded to last year’s reining champ, Nial Romanek and third to the Feeder Aiden Flanagan. Ted Borland earned himself a fourth place spot using the entire course as his battlefield, and a crowd favorite Jaeger Baily took fifth for all the bangers he consistently dropped throughout the day. Jesse Paul’s haircut and the backflip to 50-50 earned him Monster Moment’s Best Trick due to the fact that it still seems impossible he was able to pull it off.
Minneapolis hosted another amazing DTTD, totaling the cash handout to over $100,000 total in event history. The Downtown Throwdown is one of the best events that brings riders together in a jam style rather than a contest. Dudes got paid, people got stoked, and everyone had fun. The End.
1st Ryan Paul $8,000
2nd Nial Romanek $5,000
3rd Aiden Flanagan $3,000
4th Ted Borland $2,000
5th Jaeger Bailey $1,000
Thanks Crab! Quarterpipe Award
Monster Moment Best Trick
Jesse Paul, backflip to 50-50 on the A-frame pole jam