Slightly cooler weather hit Wednesday morning in the central Gorge bringing with it big winds for the second section of the first annual Hood River Slider Jam. Delivering not only strong but also variable conditions to the Columbia River corridor, in turn adding an extra element of difficulty to the ‘Line Section’ portion of the event. In this segment, riders would be rewarded for consecutive high scoring hits on each park feature in one cohesive ‘run’ through the park.
One by one, each rider will be given the opportunity to place their best score on each feature for a possible total of 30 points (10 maximum points on each; North Up-Down Rail, North Cheesewedge, Slingshot Kicker right foot). Different from most kiteboarding competitions, the judging will be done after the day’s competition has been concluded. Scores will be determined at a video viewing where riders will all judge each other by giving an overall impression score for each maneuver with only the highest total line score counting.
It is important to note that if a rider falls on any of the three features, he or she is not allowed to continue to the next feature and their score will be made up of only the tricks landed. During this section of the event, consistency is highly rewarded as success will be given to the riders who can complete high level tricks on all three features in one uninterrupted run.
As the event carried on, riders found that while this format was likely the most fun part of the event yet, it was much more difficult than initially realized. Unlike the relatively friendly winds of the day before, the strong gusts and lulls made it increasingly difficult to accomplish three high scoring hits on one pass through the park.
Even with the added difficulty of the days weather conditions, riders managed to throw down insane runs, linking technical and stylish rail hits just before landing impressive moves off the kicker. Standouts from the day were local hero Brandon Scheid and Canada’s Sam Medysky who both held down solid combinations of tricks to make what will likely be high scoring runs.