Ride the Hill: A Game of XBP

On 29th September ’12, a surprisingly sunny saturday, the first ever Game of XBP was held at Ride the Hill in Surrey. This was the debut for a new format of competition which, although massively popular in other sports (PIG, SKATE etc) and commonly used when messing around with your friends, had never really been used in a full competition format.

Essentially it was a game of PIG except instead of the riders choosing the tricks they set, you would draw a card from the deck and perform the trick on the card in any way you saw fit. For example if you got a Melon grab, you could do it over the big air, on the quarter, in a 360, backflip, double etc… 4 teams compete against each other in a round with one team starting in the ‘driving seat’ meaning they pick the cards until they fail to set a trick or pass. Each of the other teams nominates a rider to try the trick that’s set and if they fail they get a letter, once you get all three letters then your team is out, simple!

 

Now that the boring part is out the way I can just say this event was awesome! We had one of the best turn-outs for an event I’ve seen this year and a great cross section of riders. Big props go to Ieuan Blake for coming up with the concept & rules! The event really allowed the groms to actually compete against the more experienced riders and not just get knocked out by a backflip in the first run. The awesome home-made tricks cards came in 3 difficulties and got harder as the event went on. As each team got a go in the ‘driving seat’ then it meant everyone got a chance to throw their tricks on whatever they liked and the event proved that even the riders with years of demo-ing experience can get knocked out by a 50-50 on a 30cm high rail (Rob Dryburgh!).

In true Mountainboarding style the event started a bit late but once it got going we had 4 different comps on at the same time and riders all over the hill throwing their best tricks in an attempt to knock out the other riders. There were two rounds at the beginning so everyone got a chance to ride against everyone else doing simpler tricks with the top 4 teams going into the final!

Over the next few hours there was a blur of riding all over the centre with every available feature used by all the different teams. From rails to kickers, wall rides to the quarter, everyone got totally stuck in: groms whizzed about, experienced riders stepped up, intermediate riders attempted/stomped stuff they didn’t even know they could do, random dirtsurfers cruised by, and crews motored back & forth all afternoon with big smiles on their faces…

 

Serious sessions started happening, with the quarter seeing some quality action, pipe slides, MJ stalls and much more, including a foam pit session thrown in for good measure. As teams got knocked out they joined the spectators, meaning small crowds started appearing in areas where the riding skills were stepping up and the competition was getting heated. Those filming & taking photos didn’t know which way to point their lenses half the time!

The final was between RTH 1, RTH 2, LARDass, and Rugs (Remolition + Bugs). RTH 2 were a team member down and put up a good fight but the disadvantage meant they were out of the final first, LARDass did brilliantly to come third, including my personal highlight of the day; Evilc being dealt a frontflip card and nearly breaking his collarbone because he thought the best way to do it would be out of a nosepick on the telegraph pole! Who ever said wisdom comes with age?!

The battle between RTH 1 and Rugs was epic, with the last tricks being thrown in the dark when we could barely see the course. RTH 1 had a chance to end it if we could land a BS cork 5 but unfortunately I bailed so it went down to what would have to be the last trick as the light was nonexistent! The last card was a 5-0 which Ieuan chose to throw on the vert wall (despite not being able to see the vert wall) He landed it and luckily for us Rugs didn’t quite get it meaning RTH 1 were the first ever Game of XBP champions!

We held prize giving after everyone had a rest & a drink and then got the party started into the evening. This event was also important as it was Andy Packers leaving party; we had a DJ, a bonfire and plenty of good people to spend the evening with and it was a great night, everyone had a great time except maybe for Penguin who somehow managed to lose his keys & phone a few times although we spared him the treasure hunt to get them back this time! Andy was also given a commemorative customised remolition/RTH deck that had been sneakily signed by everyone there!

Andy & Amy shielding our eyes from multiple mooning 🙂

Thanks to everyone who came to ride & party, it meant a lot to Andy & the RTH team who have had an amazing time at the centre in Surrey.

Under the management of Andy Packer, Ride the Hill has introduced some of the biggest names in Mountainboarding to the sport including Matt Brind, Pete Hills, Dave Compton and countless other riders including myself (Mr Alan Newman) and the RTH team (Ieuan Jehu, Ryan Roberts, Toney Newsome etc)! We’re all incredibly grateful to Andy and the team for everything they have done for us and wish him the best for his next endeavour… Thanks Andy! Now here’s some words people said 🙂

My first ever go on a mountainboard was probably about 9 years ago and it was a Ride the Hill have-a-go stand at NASS. It would be a lovely story to say that Andy was my instructor then, and for all I know it could be true, so lets say that he was! Andy and RTH have supported me directly for the last 7 years or so I think, and Andy and his predecessors have always been so generous with their time, boards, beer, food and friendship for which I can’t thank them enough. I think Andy has been trying scary looking frontflips and wearing garish motocross trousers and bright orange t shirts this entire time; and that is of course the memory of him that I shall take to my grave. Cheers Andy!” – Dave Compton

“RTH Priory was the first mbc i ever went to in ’03 when Dougie ‘ran’ tings so i always had a soft spot for it and Andy did a great job of keeping it buzzing over the last few years. He’s also responsible for stepping it up with the touring big red demo ramp… And he was one of few mbc managers that would send Remolition content without being chased for it so big thanks Andy! :)” – Dan Wilson

“If it wasn’t for Andy Packer’s teachings then I wouldn’t be world and multiple national champion, wouldn’t be sponsored by Ezo, wouldn’t have landed a double or be going on tour with Nitro Circus, I really am great but Andy helped a little bit!” – Matt Brind

“Andy Packer is my God, if he were single I’d be all over that like a bee on Honey” – Ieuan Jehu

 

Finally, good luck to Aiden & the new owners of Ride the Hill who are looking forward to running the centre and making a big contribution to UK mountainboarding. Hopefully we’ll see more riders at XBP in Redhill and more great comps like this… Here’s to the future: cheers!

Wanna watch the game Check out this cheeky little edit

Words by Alan Newman

Photos by Wilz & Smilie