Thirty years ago the US Open dropped in on competitive snowboarding all rag tag and wild style. Duct tape was a staple in performance technology, beer was an energy drink and if you made it down the hill without getting your sneakers wet you were golden. Now-a-days we’re used to a more refined jock/show pony version of shred, complete with trainers, techs, team managers and so on. Which is great in its own right, I mean we’ve spent the last 30 years priding ourselves on progression and forward movement but sometimes it’s fun to turn back time and cherish what we’ve moved so far away from. Enter The Washed Up Cup…
For the last three or four years the old school local Vermont dirts (yes, I might have been one of them) have put this amazing little shin dig together, bringing out all the old school rippers and beer guzzlers to skitch around a few bamboo gates on boiler plate blue ice and talk about old times in the bar for hours and hours. In the past it’s been a recreation of the 1984-92 “downhill” course but this year, being the 30th anniversary of the US Open, Burton kicked it up a notch. They turned on some lights, dropped a legit prize purse, pushed up a few wobbly banks and even built a sketchy little kicker just to scare all the olds back into retirement. And it worked. All the old guys were like “they know we’re old and retired and all washed up and stuff, right?” as they were rubbing their knee replacements and eying up the 10ft table. But who are we kidding those guys never have been afraid to send it, so as more and more beer was swilled more and more backflips were shot over the table.
Anywhoo….the thing that makes this event so special is that it brings out the raw, rough, Vermont roots of the US Open and recreates the early days of the east coast shred scene. It’s all high fives and old friends, Carharts and Libble D’s and without sounding to sentimental and new agey and shit, it’s the spirit of snowboarding. Now-a-days all the riders have their TV ready rehearsed response about how they’re “just stoked to be here” but it doesn’t always feel that way. But these dudes really were just stoked to be there, in 2012 and way back when, because let’s face it, no lucrative sponsorship deals were keepin ’em in the game. Anyway, I’m rambling but the event is awesome, Vermont is awesome so yeah, thanks to the Hayes brothers and the Seths and of course Burton for letting us reenact the glory days of shred.the line up…and for the record there was no such thing as “sled laps” until 2002.james fox…no gloves, of course.Satu Jarvela…US Open winner 95, 96…looking a wee bit scared.upside down picnic tables and cloth bibs for the complete old school feel. photo:Ali Kaukas
Can’t wait til next year….