A Multidiscipline Contest
This year, King of Kessler took place on April 23rd. The weather was a brilliant 80 degrees, light wind, blue skies, and sun shine. Registration started at 9am. Headed up by a rad team of ladies who set up the back bone of how we keep score, and determine who the next King of Kessler will be.
King of Kessler was designed to be a multi-discipline contest. Everything kicks off with a 5.25 mile push along beautiful Cliff Drive. The road that runs along the bottom of the main hill. With only 41 feet of elevation gain and drop along the curving route, there are only a handful of places that one can coast. The best just keep pushing to make easy work of the flats and slight downhill inclines. This year’s push segment winner crushed the previous route times and brought it in at 20m 10s. This earned Aaron Wallace, a Shralpers Union member from the 405, an early 9 point lead. The second place went to Joshua Patterson, 7 points, who was a good minute behind Aaron. Third went to Clayton Ryan, 5 points, and Garrett Markgraf in fourth for 3 points. The other 34 riders that chose to participate in the opening segment each earned 1 point each.
After the push riders gear up for down hill. This was split up into Grom, Intermediate, and Advanced categories. As there were several groms that could hold their own against the older riders we also gave the option that they could compete in the older brackets. This allowed several younger riders to compete at a skill level that was more appropriate than just dividing people up based on age.
Another little piece of the strategy to this event is determining how many times you want to practice going down hill. Did you do the push? How much rest do you need, versus dialing in the tricky left hand corner that has been dubbed “Crash Corner” by many of the participants and spectators. In years past we have seen people gripping the whole corner. Many people took the apex late and got chucked out into the hay bales and waiting sharp limestone curb. Kessler had another surprise this year as well. In the median down towards the bottom the city placed dividers. When they where originally installed the held up a bright orange reflective pole. Soon after installation some vandals took out all the reflective poles with a car, leaving behind the black, bolted in base. If riders didn’t notice or where forced into the median that base would not move. Two of the nastiest injuries were because of these things.
The groms kicked off the down hill race segment. Colton Roper cranked it out for 1st, followed by Jacey Korth in 2nd, and Matt Hyatt for 3rd.
Next came the Intermediate brackets for the down hill race. After 6 rounds of eliminating the last two people in each 4 person heat, Jacob Haake came out on top scoring 9 points for 1st, Adam Heironimus raced to 2nd place, and Sanc-Shu skateshop owner Dustin Pulley held it down for 3rd.
The open brackets held a few surprises. Several key competitors crashed out in practice or chose wrong lines in their heats. This left room for some new names in the top finisher rankings. Andrew Atchison claimed 1st, followed by Matt Rowe for 2nd, and John Pham flashed his way into 3rd place. Aaron Wallace not to be forgotten also managed to add 3 points to his early lead by squeezing into 4th place as well. This kept him in the top of the points standings going into the final segment.
The final segment of King of Kessler 3 comes with a bit of a twist to it. Before the segment starts we announce who the current point leaders are. At that time we had Aaron Wallace with 12 points, Jacob Haake with 10 points, and Andrew Atchison with 9 points. Several competitors were with in a stones throw. Joshua Patterson and Matt Rowe had 8 points, Clayton Ryan and John Pham had 6 points each. It was still close enough to be anyones game. A first place finish by anyone of these guys could send them ahead of the point leader, that is unless the point leader placed as well.
Taking a page from our friends in New York, Uncle Funkys Style Sessions we score the free ride segment by voting. Each competitor casts a ballot with the number of the rider who they think is killing it the most. We had them place their number in the top right hand corner, then they wrote down three votes, one of them could even be their own. The most votes wins.
We had a tie in several placings. 1st place had Chase Hiller and the smooth stylings of John Pham. 2nd place was all Andrew Atchison. 3rd place with Joey Stoll and Aaron Wallace. 4th place also came in with a tie of Colton Roper and Clayton Ryan. It had been a long day, folks were tired. So instead of making all these dudes skate again, we just gave everyone the points for their placings.
The point system for each segment’s placing was put into place to give the rider with the most skill over all three segments the best chance of coming out on top. So it isn’t just the guy who can race taking top honors, it isn’t just the guy who can twirl around on his board, or dude who only knows how to push. The event’s intention was to give the best over all skater the crown. This year’s King of Kessler with a total of 17 points came out to be Aaron Wallace. 9 points for his 1st place in Push, 3 points for his 4th place finish in Downhill, and 5 points for his 3rd place finish in Free ride. For the groms the Prince of Kessler came out to be Colton Roper with 13 points. 1 point for participating in the push, 9 points for 1st in Down Hill, and 3 points for his 4th place finish in Free Ride.
A special award was crafted by the local 816 chapter of the Shralpers Union. This award is called the Noel Korman Award. It was available to be earned by anyone that was at the event. Spectators, participants, or event volunteers. This year’s award was given to Veronica Angus. We could here her screams of excitement from both the Finish and the Start lines.
No event is ran by itself, or even one or two people. It is a gathering of different peoples that come together to provide a fun time centered around skateboarding. This event was no different. We had so many people step up this year to help out. Xack Creason headed up the procurement of hay bails. He also got them to the event and brought them to Oaklawn Christian School where they will be used around the school. These guys have always been such big supporters letting us use their van and trailer, also they split the cost of the hay bails keeping our cost down for the event. Mandy Bilbao and Chris Leggett from the Crew stepped up and learned some behind the scenes stuff and helped the event registration and start line. The registration team consisted of Kelly Mayo Stoll, Veronica Angus, and Samantha Burnham. These ladies kick us out of the tent and get to it. We wouldn’t be as organized with out them.
This year we added a fund raiser for the Adaptive Skate Kollective (A.S.K.). Scott Wagner from STOLEN Skateboards cooked hot dogs and hamburgers on a super tiny grill, as well as handed out the raffle tickets. We had a super rad assortment of prizes provided by some of the raddest companies in the industry. Loaded and Orangatang provided some wheels, gloves, hats, bearings and stickers. Landyachtz hooked up some shirts, hats, stickers, and the Ramathorn. Speed Doctor threw in their new Legacy Nine bearings and bearing lube to many of the place winners. Rolling Tree hooked up a Nimbus, and even Braden Boards rocked it out with one of their new decks. STOLEN Skateboards donated two custom painted decks for some lucky winners. All totaled we raised $500 for A.S.K.
Big shout out to all the folks that came out and shot pictures and put together edits. Heck, we wouldn’t have any images to remember it by if not for you. Please and go check out a few of the pictures from each of these guys.
Scott Rowe Photo- https://flic.kr/s/aHskyT5D7f
Dan Kelly-Midwest Longboard Association- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1153668258028830.1073741830.114062048656128&type=3
John Pham’s 2nd Heat Run on Youtube can be found:
MoLuv Skate’s Edit of the Event also on Youtube: