Preview: MegaRamp Championship Series
Tomorrow marks the debut of the MegaRamp Championship series at Woodward West in Tehachapi, Calif., featuring a BMX pro class that includes Vince Byron, Jed Mildon, Colton Satterfield, Ben Snowden, Ben Voyles, Morgan Wade, Zack Warden and Coco Zurita. The 2011 MegaRamp Open at Woodward West is the first event of the inaugural season, which also includes future events in Brazil, Los Angeles and Bob Burnquist's complex in Vista, Calif.
The event, held in a jam-style format, will feature Woodward West's regulation size MegaRamp that opened in August of 2010. The Woodward MegaRamp features an 83-foot roll in, gaps of 50 and 70-feet, and a 27-foot tall quarterpipe.
Notable absentees from the MegRamp Championship series include Kevin Robinson (who is still injured and will be serving as a sport organizer for the event), Chad Kagy (who is doing Bikes Over Baghdad shows in Iraq), Anthony Napolitan (who is also on the same Bikes Over Baghdad tour as Kagy) and Allan Cooke (who also sat out the MiniMega comp at the Asian X Games in early May.)
So what can we expect? That is anyone's guess. But it ultimately boils down to who can ride the entire ramp the best. A lot of riders can handle the 50 and 70-foot gaps with style and tricks, but not many riders are experienced with airing the monstrous quarterpipe at the end of the ramp. Scoring for MegaRamp competitions are equally based on both the gap and the quarter. And we've seen what happens when riders shred the gap but don't do the same on the quarter. Their scores suffer, regardless of the tricks they may have done on the gap. (This happened with Anthony Napolitan. He made history at X Games 15 by pulling a double frontflip, but failed to medal in the event.)
Having said that, and based on prior knowledge of his riding on the MegaRamp, we're going with Morgan Wade as a favorite to win. Of course, Morgan needs to stay on his bike to win, and we all know that Morgan likes to send it whenever possible. So this realistically could be anyone's game.
And finally, we need to give due attention to New Zealand's Jed Mildon. Two weeks ago, Jed pulled the world's first triple backflip on a BMX bike, and because of that feat, received an invite from Mat Hoffman to ride in tomorrow's invitational. But Jed is a vocal proponent of the "Mega Mega Box" concept, and also not experienced in riding a 27-foot quarter. According to an interview with Jed on the Red Bull site, "Rather than go with the quarter at the end, I want to have three mega boxes in a row with 50 foot, 35 foot and 20 foot gaps. I am working on all dimensions and the logistical side to it in my spare time."
But until that happens, he is throwing his hat into the MegaRamp ring, as well as the triple backflip.
The MegaRamp Championship Series features four contests taking place on full-sized MegaRamp structures. Athletes accumulate scores based on their results at each stop. The athlete with the highest overall scores from each of skateboarding and BMX will be crowned the overall winner of the MegaRamp Champion Series in their sport. Future MegaRamp Invitational events include the Nescau MegaRamp Invitational in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 1-3, X Games 17 in Los Angeles, Calif on July 28-31, and a TBD final stop at Bob Burnquist's residence in Vista, Calif. in September.