Day two of the Team Battle brought a change of scenery to Hood River with a momentary pause in the river’s notoriously consistent wind patterns. Although the lack of wind is a compromising factor for riding productivity, the downtime allowed the teams to gather, share media from the prior day and devise tentative plans for the days ahead. As a supplemental portion of the contest, each team is responsible for curating at least one custom build or park “hack,” as defined in the stringent competition rulebook. While time off the water amidst a contest of this caliber may seem detrimental, adequate planning and preparedness will be a crucial competitive factor. For example, in order for teams to remain and sustain competitive relevancy within the Team Battle’s digital formatting, each team and its allocated members will need to be ready to spring into action with cameras charged, SD cards cleared, and hard drives organized to collect and store footage whenever the wind kicks in.
Currently, the five teams appear to be sharing a fairly level playing field, but as the week draws on, it will become apparent which teams have used today’s downtime wisely in an effort to forge a competitive edge over the rival teams. However, as with any competition, positioning can change at a moment’s notice.
As the sun began to set behind the towering mountains surrounding Hood River, afternoon thermals pushed a bit of wind into the Slider Project, enticing the eager spirits of Team Blue, Team Yellow, and Team Burgundy, who leaped at the opportunity. Although the wind was light and short-lived, the devoted and strategic endeavors of Team Blue, who was the first team in the water, paid off in full as they were the only team to log usable footage before the wind faded into nonexistence. While the competitive efforts of Team Yellow, Team Burgundy, and especially Team Blue were on full display during the frantic push to seize the fleeting afternoon thermals, Team Tan and Team Green were absent from the undertaking, which was perhaps strategic intimidation, acts of wisdom, or a foreshadowing of the echelon that may already be in motion.
To finish off the day, teams gathered at the marina for a barbecue fueled by Sessions beer and the culinary mastery of Ramiro Gallart. The competition is friendly but heated, and day two of the Team Battle did not disappoint. The teams are hungry and ready to devour each and every session that awaits on the horizon - stay tuned.
Thank you to our sponsors - Duotone Kiteboarding, Naish Kites, Airush, Cabrinha, Slingshot, Eir NYC, Klean Kanteen, Full Sail Brewing, Pistil Designs, Slider Project and KNOT FUTURE.