Sleeper upsets in Onewheel Race for the Rail at GoPro Mountain Games
VAIL – The GoPro Mountain Games wrapped up on Sunday, June 10, with scores of Onewheel riders competing in a cross-style race at Golden Peak.
A third annual event, the Race for the Rail Onewheel competition – like the Onewheel product – has come a long way since the product’s Vail debut at the 2015 Mountain Games.
Hundreds of people could be seen on the streets riding Onewheels throughout the weekend, and hundreds gathered at Golden Peak where races, demonstrations and competitions were being held.
Onewheel rider Kyle Taylor came in from Canada to take part in the Onewheel gathering. He’s part of a crew of riders called the Hover Hooligans.
“We’re all online friends,” Taylor said. “Just to meet everyone face to face, that was a big draw here.”
For the Hover Hooligans, the GoPro Mountain Games was a chance to get the crew together.
It was also an opportunity for bragging rights.
“We had eight Hooligans total out of the 16 (final bracket),” said Robert Campbell, a Hover Hooligan who won last year’s event.
Races featured four riders competing simultaneously to narrow down the bracket.
“Right off the drop one of my Hooligans ate it, took me out, so we both got knocked out first race,” Campbell said. “There were three Hooligans in the final race … but the fourth guy took the final race.”
Winner Dave Stewart is not a member of any Onewheel crew. The South Lake Tahoe resident started riding a Onewheel about a year ago.
“He was a sleeper,” Campbell said of Stewart.
Stewart skateboards, snowboards and snowskates, but he says his mountain biking background was what gave him his advantage on Sunday.
“The ability to get away from your equipment at high speeds and come out of it on your feet … translates from biking to Onewheeling very well,” Stewart said.
He had never been to the GoPro Mountain Games before this year.
“I wanted to see how I stack up with others,” he said. “It was great to get out here and meet 50 to 100 people I’ve been in touch with on social media.”
Next year, the 40-year-old plans on bringing his six and eight year old kids to the Mountain Games.
“They’ll love all these events,” he said.
‘KINDA LIKE SNOWBOARD SLOPESTYLE’
The Hover Hooligans gathered in California before caravanning to Colorado with a group of 20 or so Hooligans. Some members of the crew flew in from as far as New York City to join up in Los Angeles and make the trip to Vail.
Hooligan Jeff McCosker won the trick competition on Saturday, June 9. The trick competition served as a prelude to Sunday’s Race for the Rail.
“It was kinda like snowboard slopestyle,” McCosker said. “You have a minute to hit as many features as you possibly could with the most style, biggest air.”
A panel of judges scored the event, and McCosker found himself in a tie with fellow Hooligan Bodhi Harrison. A best trick one-off competition broke the tie; McCosker performed a backside 180 with a melon grab for the win.
“It was a lot of the best Onewheelers in the world getting together and throwing down,” Harrison said. “So the trick competition was gnarly.”
Harrison also finished second in Sunday’s race.
“It was a battle,” he added. “There was a lot of passing and falling.”
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Lindsey Vonn no longer has a home in Vail, but a big piece of her heart will always remain here.