Some personal thoughts about the King of Cold Rolled Steel Competition which was held by Alex Guiha from June 23 till September 30, 2023. For all informations through this time check out Alex Instagram page (klick!)
Alex announced this comp in summer and for me it was clear that I will be part of it in the first second as I read about it. The idea was perfect. Everyone who want to participate had to bend five bars through the whole time and we got only two of each bars, so there were only two trys on each bar. Timelimit was 5 minutes per bend and Pads were freestyle. The bars were as follows:
All CRS of course
Round 8mm x 5"
Hex 8mm x 5,5"
Round 9mm x 6"
Square 8mm x 6,5"
Round 10mm x 7"
I have to mention that the participation was completly free and we also got the bars for free including free shipping. Amazing move from Alex. Huge thanks!
The guys who were into it:
Derek Graybill (USA) Alex Guiha (USA) Delmar Carter (USA)
Josh Goldthorp (Canada) Kyle Mertz (USA) London Schuirmann (USA)
Phil McMahon (USA) Jan Heller (Germany) Emanuel Hommerich (Germany)
Very USA dominant and only two kraut guys who were holding up the flag for europe. Unfortunatly it was not possible to have our russian brothers of steel into it because of this political shit which is still going on. Would be great to have some names from them into it and I am sure that the standings at the end would have been very different, but it is was it is.
So as I read about the bars and saw the other names it was very interesting for me because on CRS it depends on the batch where the bars are from. I didn´t know what was possible for me and the others except of Derek and Josh. I knew that these two will bend all of the bars and it´s a matter of how fast they will be to crown the king. Also I was sure that when Derek is in full shape he can or will do all of these bars in one session and in the end it nearly happened. It´s very sadly that Josh couldn´t compete because of an injury right at the beginning.
For me it was was very interesting how the bars will feel. I figured out that the 9mm bar will be the easiest of all for me and I started with it and it was the case. I have never bend something at 5" succesfully before because I don´t like that length and this bar I failed at the first try with a timefail, but I knew that I would get it in the second try and got it. Third bar for me was the Hex. I also never bend a Hex 8mm at 5,5" before, but was fine with the idea of it and could bend it in a fine way.
So two bars left which were very hard of course.
Next try was the Square because I have bent some squares in different lengths in the past and have to go for it. I prepared the mind a whole day after I saw the first fail from Alex at this bar (but it was over the flat side and I think Alex didn´t prepare for it with Squares), so I thought the experience on these bars could make a difference, but I had to give everything in this bend and so it was.
It was the hardest succesfull bend for me till now and I am quite happy with it. But I could only bend it because of some factors. It had the perfect bending curve from the beginning, right above the edge, no twisting and no off-center. There was nearly no pain in the index fingers because of some better gripping on the pads and biggest factor was that during the whole bend I made no mistakes with gripping and every hit had a movement of the bar. If there was just one thing not perfect, I think I had failed this bend, but in the end, there is always some luck we need to get things done.
Next step was the 10mm bar and I was expecting a very hard one and feeled it live: too hard! too hard! There was only a slight wobble in it. This bar is too hard for me at the moment. So the comp was over for me one week before the final ending and I am satisfied with my performance.
Hats off to Alex who got two times some good movement on this bar.
And here we come to the other benders. Alex and I were in constant chatting about the bends and all the stuff around and here we can see that this is not a normal sport competition, because we are working together and try to push each other to just see the best bends. It´s not about winning or placing at first hand, of course it´s nice to get a good placing, but in the end the personal bends and learnings from this time are better than a placing or a piece of paper where your name is on it.
Also I was in contact with our new german powerhouse in bending Emanuel, to get things sorted and to hope about very good bends. Unfortunatly Emanuel and many others could not do a good bend for the comp which only shows that this comp was brutal hard, because I know that Emanuel is a good bender and he and nearly all the others bent a 8.8 bolt in the past which is a great effort in bending and the whole field was a strong one. We also had London in it, but he was also injured and couldn´t show his power and Delmar came from a long time without bending and could managed two succesfull bends to secure the fourth place. Alex on the third place with three succesfull bends and two of them in time where you shouldn´t blink during watching it. That was hardcore to watch. Second placing was for me because of four bends and I never expect that at the beginning. And then the first place to the "next level" guy, Derek. He bent four bars in one session after some weeks off which showed again that he is on another level in bending.
Congrats to Derek, to Alex, to Delmar and all the others who tried their best!
For all readers to make clear that this was a hard competition: in my opinion you should be able to bend a 8.8 bolt easily (easily means with less than 10 hits and or in around a minute) and you should have experience with the different lengths to get part of it.
It was not just a free comp there were also some prices for the first three placings.
1st Place - 150 $ price money
2nd Place - Care Package from Bend Sport Canada 3rd Place - 50 $ for Cannon Powerworks and 50 $ for Horrido Apparel
Huge thanks for this things. First place price is from Alex himself, second one of course from Josh and the third one is from Todd Kovach, who was also the second referee and supporter of this project. Huge thanks Todd!
From me there will be paper certs sending out to all the placings with succesfull bends and the logo as you can see above was created for the comp and accepted by Alex.
Here are the final standings!
Again. Huge thanks to Alex Guiha for running this contest. It is and was a great one!
In the end three graveyard pics from Alex, Emanuel and me.