It’s hard to believe that six weeks have come and gone. But here we sit, in the dog days of summer. Some of us were lucky enough to spend time at summer camps, others not so much. Kevin Salonius, the Finnish Rail Guru, has been putting on the Summer Rail Challenge for a number of years now, and the overarching impulse is the same: make due with what you’ve got.
Not everyone can get to snow in the summer months. But anyone can take some scrap wood, cobble together a drop-in, and hit a sketchy rail in their backyard — once you get over the embarrassment of putting clicking into skis without the slightest bit of snow within 500 miles.
Overall, there were 21 entries, each one demonstrating some serious ingenuity. But as the Entry Deadline came and went, the votes were tallied, and three guys guys rose to the top of the pack. Folks, without further introduction and posturing, we present the top three from the Summer Rail Challenge by Kevin Salonius:
2. Max Rye
3. Corey Iyoob
Congrats, guys! We broke down the top three below. So Keep reading to learn more, and watch the edits.
First Place: Sage Frontella
“Sage really embodies what this contest was all about: making due with what you’ve got,” explains Kevin. “With some seriously technical tricks, creative setups, and a host of gnarly bails, Sage put out a rad edit that really got me fired up to go and hit my sketchy backyard creations.” Sage will be walking away with a pair of LINE freestyle skis of his choosing, alongside a prize pack from Saga, MSnow and Spy.
Sage came out swinging with some hilarious bails, and followed them up with some creative builds on angled pads, integrating rail lines into his setup, and still putting down some technical switch ups and big spins out. And check out that line at 01:19: Sage laced a switch 2 on, pretzel 2 off of a picnic table. Also, how about that blind 3 switch up at 01:39?! Dang, dude!
Second Place: Max Rye
Sage was followed closely – really closely, I might add – by Max Rye from Great Britain. Max’s backyard setup was extensive and well developed. He was able to use this to put down some smooth tricks on his downrail and flat down feature. He skied strong, fluid, and even put down some heaters, like that proper double front swap pretzel 2 at 00:49 and the ender on the banana bend rail to blind swap. Also, shout out to the Kid Cudi track, harkening back to Leigh Powis’s early days – an ode to the fellow Brit? Who knows.
Third Place: Cory Iyoob
Cory Iyoob ended up taking third. With hippy killers, funky z-rail setups, Cory embraced the strange. And how about the most ridiculous front swap – front swap – front swap – front swap – front swap (we actually had to count the swaps)? Cory showcased technicality, a DIY attitude, and a lot of fun.
Big ups to all the skiers that entered the contest! We’re stoked with how well everything turned out, and really admire the dedication to keep the shred alive — even in the absence of snow. Check out all of the entries HERE.