Saturday (October 31st) saw some of the best rail riders in the world gather beneath the imposing and iconic Battersea Power Station at the London Freeze Rail Jam. The setup was simple, a kicker running into a flat box that sat on the roof of a Taxi.
Things started gently, with the riders familiarising themselves with the obstacle. In fact for the first fifteen minutes it was generally a case of 270 on and 270 off. Phil Casabon was first to step it up, throwing a 450 on. This seemed to awaken something in the other riders, and immediately everyone was raising their game. Wallisch cruised down the run in with half the pace of the rest and danced his way along the box, dropping a casual 270 off the end. At that point the judges had to pick the first two finalists, and it was no real surprise that Tom and Phil were the names called.
The next fifteen minutes things got a little more interesting. Matt Margetts started front flipping off the end of the box, which definitely went down well with the crowd, meanwhile Matt Walker and Gus Kenworth span like Tazmanian devils. Suddenly out of nowhere, Colby West flew clean over the whole obstacle, quickly followed by a train of US riders that ended with Wallisch.
While everyone else had been content to simply air the thing, Wallisch had different ideas and dove head first toward the landing. As far as the crowd were concerned this was clearly an act of suicide, and a disbelieving hush descended around Battersea, before Tom flipped himself over and stomped the front flip, at which point the whole ground was hooked – it’s not often you find a couple of thousand strong crowd gathered around a 20 foot piece of metal on top of a taxi, but no-one was going anywhere.
Gus and Corey were the next to be put through – Corey had been styling it all night. Matt Walker and Matt Margetts followed soon after, and the six man final was set. Each rider had two runs to impress. By this time it seemed that the riders had spent their energy, and the tricks began to mellow, then out of nowhere, Corey Vanular threw a 630 on 270 out. In the end no-one could top it and with that he stole the show, picking up the top spot in the process. Gus Kenworthy managed second with some technical switch ups along the box, and Matt Walker was rewarded for his steeze with a third spot.
So far the Freeze has been dominated by those hailing from the other side of the Atlantic, with Bobby taking control on the first night, and a total US and Canadian podium on the second, the question is can anyone step up and challenge them on the final day?
Rail Jam Results: