Six days long, the 2012 Ro Sham Throwdown wrapped-up on Saturday with phenomenal riding from the world’s best.
Hood River, Oregon, USA — Sunday, July 22: Bringing the world’s first-ever kiteboarding slopestyle contest to a close, yesterday concluded the third annual Ro Sham Throwdown, a weeklong international pro-am event set in Hood River’s world-class terrain park.
After three days of double-elimination qualifiers, 12 men earned a spot in Saturday’s Main Event. The day kicked off with the pre-seeded pros — Brandon Scheid, Eric Rienstra and Sam Light — playing ro-sham-bo (rock paper scissors) to pick which of the three semi final heats they’d be split into. Next up, the qualifiers did likewise, strategically choosing who they wanted to compete against. Following a slight reconfiguration of the obstacles, the highly anticipated semi final action got underway mid-afternoon.
Heat 1 kicked things off with Chris Bobryk, Tom Court, Sam Medysky, Jon Van Malsen and Eric Rienstra going head to head. Pre-seed Rienstra advanced to the finals by a whopping margin of nearly 20 points (62.73), and Medysky advanced too, beating out Court by a mere .03 points. Heat 2 featured Craig Cunningham, Jake Kelsick, Rich Sabo, Jason Slezak and Sam Light. Light pulled far away from the pack with a 73.43, and Cunningham scored second with 51.5 points. Heat 3 included Oliver Umpierre, Evan Netsch, John Perry, Alex Fox and Brandon Scheid, with Scheid (57.73) and Fox (54.17) advancing to the finals.
Cunningham, Fox, Light, Medysky, Rienstra and Scheid then battled it out for top honors. A heavy heat, Fox turned a lot of heads with a switch heelside backside 540 off the Slingshot Kicker, which judges unanimously scored a 9 (out of 10), and Light destroyed the kicker too, with a toeside backside 540. But in the end, Light threw hammers in all categories (kicker, rails, flatwater), earning 77.17 points — the highest score of the whole event. With a well-rounded performance, Scheid also beat out Fox, by 1.5 points for second place.