The Street Contest was amazing, Josh Harrington looks effortless when he is flowing over the course, he tried to fufanu the off vert wall which was some way back but didn't quite manage it he also blasted some massive airs out of the 8ft quarter 4th. Ali Whitton threw down some of his signature moves and disastered the same wall that Mr Harrington had trouble with 3rd. Colin Mackay had some of the most original tricks and lines in the contest he used other stuff in the course that nobody had even considered I think the tech trick of the contest came from him in the shape of a 180 tailwhip off a ledge gapping about 6ft onto a flat bank and pulling the roll out sweetly! 2nd. Ryan Guettler just destroyed the competition with a massive bag of burly tricks over everything, he could not quite pull off the front flip transfer, not surprising though considering of must of been a 20ft+ gap to clear he took 1st place no problems and then went and did the same thing in Dirt!
There was a distinct lack of vert riders in NZ this year, in Qualifiers only 6 riders showed up! The next day in the Vert finals another 2 riders showed to boost the numbers to 8, that's not to say the Vert was a disappointment because it was far from that! Let's just start by saying that this was Tim Woods' contest, he had the most variations of any rider with height, I don't think Tim knows what it is to land heavy he just seemed to keep it together the whole weekend with no handed 540's, turndown flairs and a whole bunch of other amazing tricks to give us the slap down with!..he put the boot in with a perfect 900 and I mean perfect [url=//fatbmx.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1263]check the vid![/url] 1st. I placed 2nd got my shit together which made me happy. Koji Kraft managed to throw some of his crazy loose styles all over the Red Bull Ramp a double whip to finish all with ankle surgery fresh 3 weeks ago! 3rd. Matt Fairbairn was the hardest done by at X-Air I seriously thought he was in 2nd place (nobody was gonna beat Tim). He had all his best shit dialled and pulled a barspin 540 clean as a whistle and ended up in 4th!.....i guess that just shows you how nuts the top 4 riders went on the Vert.
Other funny shit that went down at X-Air has to be the Water Jump in the Harbour, that is the funniest shit to watch with people hucking themselves into the bay just for the hell of it, I saw one skater slip out at the very bottom and go up the ramp kinda floating on his head!!..bizarre but funny to watch.
X-air is a great event and thanks to Mark and all his staff for making it happen.
Zach Shaw Vans Bike Team manager Europe & UK