Wales was a blast. Wind everyday, challenging cold conditions and good parties kept everyone on their toes. A lot was on the line for the Men with a three possible riders (Jaspan, Scheid, Light) capable of taking home the tour crown. In the Women's division, with the unfortunate absence of Winkowska and Graves, it was down to Carroll and Lammerts, this made their head to head battle all the more real.
The men's competition consisted of a two heat qualifying round with 9 men in total progressing through to a super final. Tour new comer Tom Bridge didn’t disappoint stomping one of the cleanest 900s in KPL history. Unfortunately he didn’t have the consistency to back it up and make the finals, but we’re sure that’s not the last we will see of him. Reports have spread that Tom is already constructing a private slider park with his Dad at his home spot. American wonder-boy and all-round frother, Rich Sabo, also made the trip out to Wales. Rich put the heat on some of the top Men, but narrowly missed out on a spot in the final.
The Womens draw saw a smaller number of entrants than usual due to the remoteness of the event and various injuries, none the less the level was high with Lammerts, Carroll and Jungo fighting hard over an impressive four days of competing. Lammerts looked to be composed, landing what was needed, and moved out to a small lead early on. Carroll and Jungo weren’t giving up easy though, keeping the heat on Lammerts right up until the very last feature. Carroll was looking for a Crow Mobe off the last kicker which may have got her back into the lead but came up a little short, landing a nice looking scarecrow in the challenging conditions. Lammerts likely knew she was in a slight lead and played it safe pulling off a clean FS540 to steal the RPJ win and ultimately take home the 2017 KPL tour crown!
The mens Final was intense. The conditions were windy, cold, and challenging but the majority voted to get it done all in one the one day. Jaspan, Light and Scheid, were the obvious ones to keep an eye on, all hungry to get a piece of that KPL title. Scheid took his typical approach, blasting huge inverts off the kickers and going fast into the rail trying to use the ollie saver as a small bump to gap. Scheid couldn’t quite get the technical tricks he was going for, however he still managed to pull off a few of the biggest Moby Dicks and a bump to bonk backside 360 over the rail worthy of a 3rd place finish in both the RPJ and KPL tour series. Jaspan looked hungry for the Crown as well, giving his best to impress the judges with his signature seatbelt TSBS540 and pressed rail combinations. Jaspan upped his game big time this year and put the heat on both Light and Scheid, who up until recently often seemed to be battling only against each other. Ultimately though it was to be Light's event, the home country advantage coupled with his uncanny ability to deliver NBDs in the park when it matters most surely played a part in Lights RPJ win and back to back KPL tour victory. Light managed to pull a Moby Dick 540 off the kicker and a hit on the North where he approached the slider Blind (wrapped) and did a 270 gap to 270 out (surprisingly it was also on his very last rail attempt for the competition). This impressed the judges and the whole KPL crew and was no doubt one of the main reasons he won the RPJ stop.
The event finished with a blast, a two night party where the riders got a chance to un-wind from a stressful tour season and reflect on what had been yet another amazing KPL year. We hope to see everyone (and hopefully some new faces!) back next season to battle for the spot as the best Park rider in the world!