They just don’t get it

Went to the TBA or Toyota Big Air a few days ago.  Had no chance to get these photo’s uploaded until now.  The TBA is the longest running Big Air contest in Japan, 14 years in a row.

Now that Toyota is in big trouble around the world due to the recall crisis I wonder if there will be a 15th next year…

Regardless I thought the contest was pretty lame.  I have to admit I am biased after being involved in the production of the X-Trail Jam for 8 years.  I never thought the X-trail was a “perfect” event, but it was a lot more fun than what I saw at the TBA.

What I mean by “They just don’t get it”.  The “oh eraisan” or “people in charge, are still so stuck on the concept of “King of big air”  when the snowboard fans could really give a crap who wins or loses.

I understand that there needs to be a winner, that is while Toyota coughs up the sponsorship money to pay for the prize money that woes all those big name riders to Japan in the first place.  But the fact of the matter is the crowd doesn’t care.  That is why everybody leaves before the awards ceremony.  In fact a lot of people leave before the super final happens.  They are cold or they want to avoid the rush of everyone leaving, or like a young guy I talked to they parked their car at a super market across the street and they close the lot at 9pm.  So he had to leave before the final, but he didn’t care, he was just there with his girl friend to watch the show.

But the suits don’t seem to realize that, they just keep bashing the proverbial dead horse.  “Who will be the king of big air”?  The big screen kept flashing a short commercial between each heat with that theme.  Something about Vancouver not being the only battle for snowboard supremacy, blah blah blah.

The contest itself is a tournament knock down style from after the qualification round.  Each rider gets two runs best score counts winner moves up.  So of course everybody is throwing the 1080’s right from the first jump.  And that is really the only trick there was that night.  Another reason while I thought it was a boring contest.  I mean 1080’s are great, they are amazing and I am sure very difficult, but is that all there is to snowboarding?  If you want to be the “King of Big air” then you have to throw down the 1080.  In the end a perfect double cork 1080 by Olympic silver halfpipe medalist Peeto Piroinen won the contest.  So congradulations to Peeto who is now the official “King of Big Air”, awesume.

So what I am saying is that the contest had this attitude of “we are the biggest and baddest contest around so check it out we know what we are doing.  While the crowd stood around in the freezing cold waiting for what seemed like ages in between each heat as commercials for “King of big Air” played and the MC danced with the On-chan character and threw out T-shirts to the crowd and asked if everybody was “genki”?  And we all stood there like a bunch of idiots waiting to watch two guys do 1080’s and then wait more while the judges watched the same slow motion that we did and try to decide who’s was better.  Did his hand touch a little?  Did he land flat on his board?  Ok everybody ready for the next 1080?

I what to see some SNOWBOARDING!!!  After 14 years why can’t anybody figure that out!!!???  I don’t give a crap who the King is, just let them ride, lets really see what these guys can do?

But the lamest thing was how the super final went down.  Eero VS Peeto second run, peeto goes first as he has the highest score from the first run, he does a perfect double cork ten.  Crowd is less then estatic after having seem perfect 1080’s from Peeto all night.  Then Eero gets in the starting gate.  Somehow there must have been a communication mix up because the MC is babbling on about something when suddenly Eero is is flying through the air attempting a 1260….. in complete silence.  There was not even any music playing.  The MC realized Eero was in the air just before he crash landed and was able to get in a “there he goes” before it was all over.  I luckily had my camera to my face and somehow snapped off a shot.  Then I had to sit down because I was laughing so hard.

The single most anti climatic ending to a contest I have ever seen!  No music, no announcement, so jingle no nothing.  The crowd was left there to figure it out on there own.  Talk about no closure….  And so the contest ended with a 1 2 3 finish from the Finnish.  Peeto, Eero, and Annti took home all the money!

Ok enough bitching from me, lets check out some photos.  No adjustements made to these photos, no re touching etc.,  Will be working on these photos in the weeks to come.

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