Sunshine and clear skies surrounded the Columbia River Gorge this morning allowing the trusted thermal winds to kick in and funnel down the corridor granting the Hood Jam finalists light steady winds to start the day picking up to solid 9m conditions by the days end.
Continuing on from the day before, Men’s finalists started with the Cheesewedge to Corrugated feature followed by the left foot kicker and then the right foot kicker to finish their final heat of the competition. Standout tricks from todays men’s 9 man final were Sam Light’s Moby Dick 540, Noe Font’s textbook Healback 720 as well as Ewan Jaspan’s stylish Stale Toeback 720.
The women’s final heat saw tight competition from the very first feature until the last with Sensi Graves, Colleen Carroll, Karolina Winkowska, Annelous Lammerts and Lindsay McClure battling it out going trick for trick and giving it their all to do better than the last.
Following the exciting final heats of the main event, competitors all headed back out to the water for one of those perfect Gorge sunset sessions and to compete for the ION best trick kicker challenge. A 45 minute jam session to throw a single best trick off the right foot kicker with $1000 cash on the line and only one man and one woman taking home the cheddar.
One of the most exciting sessions of the entire week, the ION best trick kicker contest was a rapid fire shred fest of big tricks and never been done hits. Impressing the crowd and making kiteboarding history, Brandon Scheid landed the first Mute Blind Pete 540 going massive off the Slingshot kicker executing the trick with a power and style that only a rider like Brandon could.
Christophe Tack came back from a minor injury to land his first switch 900 and to become the first person in kiteboarding to do both 900s. After an incredibly exciting finish to the competition here in Hood River, riders will freeride in the coming day and enjoy the closing party hosted by STOKED Roasters to find out the official results.