Brandon Thomas ca me out on top at the rail competition of the Toe Jam’s third stop in Wasaga Beach, Canada. Rail contest? But I thought this was the boat stop of the tour! Well, it is, but since there is a boat contest at every other stop, it makes sense there would be a just-for-fun rail contest, right?
Of course it wasn’t just about the fun. There was money, and one spot for the Toe Jam finals in Orlando. Since this is the last stop before the finals, many of the top riders are already qualified, and so it came down to the three riders who tied for 5th: Grant Roberts, Keaton Bowlby and Chris Kallas. Tomorrow the three will have a ride off to determine who earns the coveted spot.
Back to the action today though. The rumor about things being slower in Canada is true. Throw in wakeskate time to the mix and it wasn’t the most efficient contest in the world. But the wait just made the riding that much more exciting. The final four were some usuals: Stu Shinn, Nick Taylor, Brandon Thomas and Reed Hansen, and as always, these guys know how to put on a show. Nick Taylor did half of his run switch. Reed Hansen was popping v flips in the flat and hitting all the rails but the a frame, with tricks like a switch board slide and plenty of shuvs out. Stu Shinn is just on fire and there is nothing else to say about it. Brandon Thomas was the last one off the dock and had THE run of the day. Bigspins out of just about everything, a few switch tricks and use of the entire course earned him another well-deserved Toe Jam title.
Just before the final face off between Reed and BT though was one of the most entertaining parts of the day. Some riders who didn’t make the top sixteen (and others who did) took hits on the handmade pool gap. Scott Byerly’s masonry work held up to Reed Hansen’s kickflip attempts, Yan Letcomte’s 360 attempts and one “make” from Grant Roberts on a backside 180, among other things. It was just a preview of what’s to come tomorrow, and I don’t have any good straight ollie shots, the only thing really landed, so I can’t put up and pictures or you will all whine. And anyway, just to mix things up the whole gallery is going to be front boards. Maybe a backlip or two will slip in there, but only photos of people with their backs forward. Of course it you are reading this you probably already went through it, but at least now you know why!
Tomorrow is the official boat final, where two more invitations to finals will be handed out. Brian Grubb (and everyone else) will try to break Stu Shinn’s boat contest streak of late.