The Future of Onewheel Freestyle
If you think Onewheel racing is nuts, wait until you see a freeride competition–it’s next level!
If you attended DirtSurferz, Shredfest 2, or Wheel Scorcher–all Onewheel sanctioned race events–you’ve probably noticed a change; people are cranking it up to a whole new level! With the growth of our sport, we are seeing a whole new level of competition among riders who are taking their rankings and the big cash prize at this year’s Race for the Rail very seriously.
Yet something else went down at DirtSurferz that will forever change our sport and will for sure push riders to their limits going forward: The first ever freeride competition, courtesy of DirtSurferz organizer Nick Payne’s wild imagination and Dave Stewart’s generous sponsorship through Fxnction Gear.
Payne said the goal of the event was to showcase riders’ ability to hit technical features. Competitors were judged on their ability to land two insane jumps over six feet in height and a chunky section of technical terrain.
Like most freestyle competitions, the onewheel freeride comp gave riders room to bring their own strategy and style to the features. Unlike your typical freestyle comp, though, these features were not built for Onewheels. Or skateboards. Or bikes. Most people would look right past them as “impossible.”
“The crowd loved it,” Payne said. “We never expected it to go as well as it did and the riders fed off each other, taking the event to an entirely new level!”
POV: You’re at the First Onewheel Freeride Comp EVER
I’ve gone to most every race the last two years and have never seen anything like this Freeride competition. One after the other, guys like Darren Cole, Yoshi Biedenbender, Larson Mintz, Kyle Hanson, and Jeremy Vandayburg flew through the air. Even the groms got in on the action, with DeftPunx rider Zoey Miller sending it down the tech section! Behind us, Tyler James blasted music and stoked excitement by narrating the competition play-by-play.
The event was pure carnage and a bit difficult to watch. Everyone out there put it all on the line and it was insane entertainment! If you were there, you will never forget this transformative moment. If you weren’t, well imagine a scene from Fight Club: you don’t want to look, but you can’t look away, either.
Boards were flying into the crowd and bodies crashing to the ground, one after another: Brenden Schurmeier, Noah Bild, Jesse Turpin, and Billy Shredder to name a few. With each fall I was certain someone was going to crack an ankle or break a leg and looking around, I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. There was a nervous but excited tension that only grew as competitors got more brazen.
The Drop Heard Round the World
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, someone rolled out a ramp, further adding to the difficult and technical skill of the competition. Let me remind you that no one was landing the jump before this monstrosity was wheeled out!
And then it happened: Bodhi Harrison came flying off the ramp–I can still see it now, slow motion in my mind as he sails through the air–and BAM, he lands the jump and the crowd goes crazy! No one could believe what we’d just seen. Our jaws were on the floor as Bodhi rolled to a clean stop and topped it all off with a standing back tuck. If you’ve not yet seen the clip that went viral, it’s worth a watch!
The freestyle competition that went down this year at Dirtsurferz was no doubt groundbreaking, earth shaking and game changing. I was so honored to be a part of it and to watch everybody throw down, it was truly a special experience watching the evolution of a sport before our very own eyes.
My great friend and superhero role model Aaron Hooper told me that all the boards have their elements and the Onewheel belongs in the dirt. This was the first major step towards true freestyle onewheel, if you ask me, and I cannot wait to watch it unfold.
The Future of Freeride Onewheel Competitions
As the day concluded and winners’ names were called, we gathered competitors for a group photo of those rebel riders who dared partake in this first ever Onewheel technical competition (and a few photo bombers!). People were commenting that that image would go down in history as the day Onewheel racing changed.
Every competitor gave heart and soul to this historic moment, and while most don’t yet realize it, they pushed the limits of Onewheel competition into an entirely new realm. Until this moment, we weren’t sure if these jumps were even possible. Now that we know they are, I guarantee next year’s DirtSurferz Freeride competition will be loaded with riders who show up ready to send it off these features–and who knows? Maybe we will start to see Freeride competitions at other Onewheel events, too!
IOWA Guest Post
By Traci Bild
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