Early morning starts, blustery and mostly uncooperative weather patterns and entire crew of snowboarders stressing out to pull it all together. Yup, it’s contest time. This year is no different from the past few years of early season contest stressfest; all the heads show up, dust off the cobwebs and pull all of last years tricks effortlessly, albeit stressfully, out of the hat. Except, of course, that this year skiing is in the Grand Prix. photo:John Vandervalk
I know, I know, times are changing and all that but is anyone old enough to remember when snowboarding wasn’t allowed at resorts and we had to forage our way into the Old Boys Club of skiing, one resort at a time? We created tours and events and paved a new kind of contest road and now skiing is piggy backing our events. Don’t get me wrong, I have complete respect and reverence for the free skiing movement and the skills it takes to double down on skis and all that, I’m just sayin’ it’s like that cheese dick Alannis Morrissette song…”isn’t it ironic“. I also realize that US Snowboarding is a part of “The US Ski and snowboard Association” and I remember well, the long battles between the governing bodies of skiing and snowboarding in regards to making snowboarding an Olympic sport. I watched friends a la Terje Haakonsen sit out the Olympics because snowboarding had sold its soul to the skiing side in order to be a part of the Olympic Hoopla. Which, of course, is also ironic that I would be saying it’s weird that a snowboarding tour run by a skiing organization would add free skiing to it’s roster. Maybe I don’t even know what irony really means but isn’t life funny…Anyway, both the ski and snowboarding contests went off without a hitch despite copious amounts of snow and powder runs beckoning away all the non finalist. Louie Vito, threw down his classic contest back to back doubles with a slew of other spins to lock down first place. Luke Mitrani, landed the sickest double michaelchuck on the first hit followed up by a frontside 7 to switch double for a second place finish and Scotty Lago rounded out the podium with huge stylie spins and stuff. i told you it was blustery…
On the women’s side, Kaitlyn Farrington cleaned up with an unprecedented backside 9, crippler 7 to cab 7 combo while Kelly Clark switched things up a bit spinning a huge frontside 7 tailgrab on the first hit followed by a cab 7 and a pair of 5s. Japan’s Rana Okada finished third with large airs and frontside 9, 7 and 5. Not a bad weekend for the crew….and congrats to Justin Dory and Roz G for their first Grand Prix wins on the skiing side.Greg Bretz and Ellery Hollingsworth cheer on their coach….
In other contest news, US Snowboard Team coach, Ricky Bower, killed it in the Woodward Skate Contest, crushing the hopes and dreams of 12 year old New Hampshire ripper, Max Jensen. Okay, Okay he’s not the dream crusher we’re making him out to be but Bow did skate fast and furiously in the bowl Wednesday night to secure a second place finish in front Max, whose backside airs left the crowd speechless, and behind techy pro skater & snowboarder Freddie Austbo.