The Polar Grind
at the FreeZride
New Braunfels, Texas – February 24, 2006
The first event of The Grind Series, The Polar Grind was just as it sounds… cold! The event took place during TSR’s FreeZride. Despite 80 degree days in January and February, a perfectly timed cold-front set the stage for a cold and drizzly Grind event. The weather didn’t stop the riders though, as 25 wakeboarders and wakeskaters competed for 4 hours to win some cash and more importantly bragging rights.
Each rider was pulled by “The Grinch” winch through the starting pool on the island and had 3 choices: hit the kinked down-rail; the wall-ride to rail; or gap the 12 ft staircase from the edge of the pool to the cable lake below. Each rider was given 2 shots at throwing their best trick and then the top 10 riders were chosen to head to the finals. Local Bret Little went head-2-head with No Fear rider Clint Tompkins in the wakeskate finals. Bret was very consistent on his boardslides, and threw down a clean boardslide with a tweaked out nose-press for his best trick. After landing a clean indy stair-gap in the prelims, Clint tried some indy-shuvs out of the pool, to no avail. Deciding he needed to land a clean trick for the victory he narrowly edged out Bret with a switch boardslide to 90 out for his final run.
The wakeboarders were a bit more daring and the finals came down to who could master the wall-ride to rail. From the beginning it was obvious that Tom Fooshee and Gabe Lucas had taken no time off this winter. Tom stuck a couple tricks, and then he nailed a backside boardslide to blind 270 out. It took Gabe a few tries to land the winning trick, a clean frontside boardslide across the wall-ride onto the rail and backside 90 out.
The only easy task for the judges that night was the worst crash. On Josh Rice’s first attempt in the finals he was headed for the wall-ride, but a slow winch pull didn’t give him enough speed to ollie onto the wall-ride. He ended up going head over heals out of the front of the pool, head first in to the mud below. Luckily he was not injured too badly. He continued to ride even though his knee was giving him some pain.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to work with TSR on an event like this,” said Jeff Alford of Under360, “The Polar Grind structure was built to last for multiple events and we hope to have the opportunity in the near future.” The entire event was filmed by Under360 and will be included in their next DVD “It’s Whatever” due out this summer.
We’d like to thank: Blake Hess of TSR for inviting us to put on an event. Tom Fooshee, Bret Little, TJ Boulware, Blake Vorwald, Richmond McGee, and everyone else at TSR for your help; No Fear for their support; and finally Clint Tompkins for making the trip from Orlando via Dallas.