2012 was a good year for Arnette’sNial Romanek. His part in Think Thank’s Mind The Video Man imPRESSed a lot of people and then he showed up at his first Downtown Throwdown last year in San Francisco and walked out with a giant cardboard I.O.U. for six grand. One year later, he has another solid part in Braindead/Heart Attack and he’s rolling to his home state of Minnesota to defend his title at the DTTD.

- Krush Kulesza

You joined a pretty legit list by winning the DTTD in San Francisco last year (Dan Brisse, Jed Anderson, Nick Visconti, Ryan Paul, Dylan Alito and Brandon Hobush). What did winning the event mean to you?
I don’t do a lot of contests, so winning this one where the judges were all snowboarders that I really respect meant a lot to me. There was a heavy crew riding that day too, so for those dudes to be stoked on what I was putting down was pretty epic.

Sean Genovese said that your nollie frontside 180 switch nosepress on the donkey was the first time he had ever seen the trick done before. Does the format of the DTTD lend itself to progression during the event?
Yeah, for sure. In a lot of contests you only get a few drops during the whole event, so you only want to do tricks that you know you can land. But with DTTD, it’s a pretty lengthy jam format, so anything goes. You have the time to try a bunch of tricks, so if you want to do some next level shit and it’s going to take you a few tries to land it’s not the end of the world.

Originally being from Minnesota, how do you think the DTTD will be received in Minneapolis? Can we expect some “Rooting Romaneks” in the crowd?
I think Minneapolis is the perfect place for DTTD to go. It’s a big city like Seattle and San Fran, but there’s also a heavy rail-oriented snowboard scene there. I feel like there will be a big showing and people are going to be really into it. I think my parents might be there and if there is a fan or two out there I’ll definitely be stoked.

What city should the DTTD consider next?
I feel like Minneapolis is gonna be pretty hard to beat… but maybe move it over to St. Paul if you’re gonna move?