Summary of the 2019 World Freestyle Championship
The World Freestyle Championship took place just a week ago and what an event it was! The level of freestyle riding in mountainboarding has never been this high, and it showed!
Freestyle and Boardercross events are split this year
This year's World Mountainboard Championship is split into two events, the World Boardercross Championship taking place in Serbia on September 6-7th, and the World Freestyle Championship which took place at the Mosquito Spot in Moszczenica, Poland.
The boardercross event in Serbia was lined up a long time ago, but it was harder this year to find a location for the WFC. That's why we're especially grateful that Dawid Rząca stepped up to organize the freestyle event. With just over 6 months to take care of everything, it was quite a challenge to handle everything, and we're very thankful for all the hard work that Dawid, his dad Wieslaw, his girlfriend Nina and good friend Karolina, as well as the Mountainboardinfo team put in to make the event happen!
The big change this year
While most freestyle events have had rails in some form in the past years, the IMA along with the organizers decided that starting this year, the rails section would need to be emphasized more. Thus the format we came up with for the Pro context was the following:
- 5 jump runs, with each run graded up to 100 points. Keep the best two scores, for a total of up to 200 points
- 5 rail runs, with each run graded up to 30 points. Keep the best two scores, for a total of up to 60 points
- add up the total of each category (jumps + rails) for a total of up to 260 points
- highest score wins
We at the IMA think rails are an important part of freestyle mountainboarding, and we intend to push mountainboarding events to include more rails in the future.
The jump setup
The setup at Mosquito Spot was improved quite a bit, with the smaller line of kickers having two consecutive jumps, as well as a drop off. The Pro line consisted of 3 different kickers in a row: a smaller step down jump, a bigger one, followed by a step up kicker.
The kickers were all smooth and well designed and it was fairly easy to manage speed (which is often a challenge for mountainboard slopestyle events).
The rails section
The rails section was separate from the jumps because the location made it hard to include both. At this point very few people have experience designing fully functional mountainboard slopestyle courses anyway, so we were happy to see that the jumps section and the rails section worked very well separately, and it made it easier to bring emphasis to rails.
The event itself
If you've been to a mountainboarding event before, you'll be familiar with the friendly atmosphere where everyone cheers for their competitors, and people help each other out. This event was no different.
While this was the World Freestyle Championship, the Mountainboardinfo team had the good idea to also organize a slalom contest, which was accessible to more athletes and provided spectators with a different perspective on mountainboarding, one that is more beginner-friendly and welcoming.
Athletes from many different countries joined us and participated, including the Czech Republic, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Poland of course. No serious injuries were reported, which is a testament to the quality of the jump and rails setup.
After many years of monopolizing the Freestyle title, Matt Brind was finally beat by his long-time competitor Nicolas Geerse, who came really close to Matt in the jumps, but really shone like no one else in the rails. Matt did land a run with three different 720s (flat fs7, bs cork 7, fs cork 7), but Nicky had some super impressive runs of his own, and his rail runs really illustrate the rails progression that the IMA was pushing for.
Matt then took the 2nd place, followed by Dawid Rząca himself, who found time to compete and land some very progressive runs himself (fs5 followed by the smoothest switch backflip you'll see).
As accomplished athletes who know how to strategize, Matt and Dawid held back from throwing double backflips during the competition, but did throw them as part of the traditional ending choo choo train.
Detailed results below:
Congratulations to all athletes who participated to the event, the level of riding keeps going up and up!
Again, the IMA is very grateful to the organizers for putting up another top notch event, and we really look forward to working together again!