Red Bull Heavy Metal at its best. Photo: RB
Red Bull continued its revival of the decades-old Heavy Metal over the weekend. The event was brought back to life in 2022 after a 19-year hiatus, and on Saturday they transformed Detroit’s Hart Plaza into a street snowboarder’s heaven. Pat Fava took top honors in the men’s field and Egan Wint won on the women’s side after a full day of sessions in the three separate zones set up throughout the plaza.
“It is absolutely insane to win here today,” Fava said after. “I was just having fun, seeing all the homies — that’s where the vibes all come from right there.”
Fava produced highlights in each of the event’s three zones — a distinctly different setup from 2022’s contest area at the historic Cascade Park in Duluth, Minnesota. This year, athletes sessioned a 20-foot concrete wall to start the day before moving on to the down-flat-down kink rail in the plaza. They finished off with a third session at Hart Plaza’s massive 50-foot downrail that runs straight through its amphitheater.
“I love rail jams and the rail jam culture,” Egan Wint said after celebrating her win. “We get to play around and it always gets super hyped up — I just get really riled up.”
Red Bull seemed happy with the revival effort of the freestyle contest, drawing sizable crowds for the second year in a row and bringing together a total of 40 athletes from all over the world to compete. Organizers have shared a lot of excitement over bringing the event back to life after an almost two-decade break, which bodes well for us seeing a 2024 version next winter.
Competition Director Joe Sexton called it “an absolute success,” adding that “it was incredible to see how Detroit supported snowboarding and to see the local riders taking full advantage of the opportunity and holding their own against the pros with the hometown support they definitely felt from the crowd.”
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