Much US Open lore was once again proven true at the 31st annual event — even though it was in Vail for the first time EVER. The weather will be shitty as hell (by competition standards) for the Slopestyle and gorgeous for the pipe. And to no one’s surprise, Shaun White and Kelly Clark won — not even the thin Colorado air could change that.
These days a pipe contest is a pipe contest — double corks, excessive spinning and the sad realization that if Shaun White wants to win, he will. The most notable thing in Saturday’s pipe final was 14-year-old Ayumu Hirano landing in second; then again, young Japanese kids destroying shit is kinda US Open Tradition too. So enough about that, if you missed the webcast or live TV broadcast or are just itching for more pipe jocking, read this or go watch replays.
Now, getting down to business, here are a bunch more pictures I took with my Nokia Lumia 820.
Prior to the event, Upstate Mike proved just how much he loves getting extreme.
Vail is beautiful, and since I was going .0002 MPH on a cat track at this point, I had plenty of time to get out my phone and take a photo.
Yep, there’s the halfpipe.
After working on my goggle tan-cancer for awhile, I realized there was a TV with couches inside at the top of the pipe. Boy did I feel silly!
And my two favorite little people we’re in there too!
After Shaun White won, it was time for lunch. This kid was there and he ruled.
I was looking for important people to take photos of, but Hondo with his “finals competitor” credential was the best I could come up with.
Then he stole my phone and took pictures of chicks.
Including the always lovely Amanda Wormann.
Hondo and John Poulin, Vail Represent.
Thanks again to Nokia for tricking Burton and Vail into letting me come to Open this year.
On January 29th I received an email from notorious Yobeat commenter and intern guide at Silverton Mountain in Colorado, KC Kyle.
“Brooke. Get to Silverton ASAP…. over 50” since last saturday. Mark Landvick and Pat Moore were here today just checking stuff out. Blew their minds.”
This season I have made it a goal to snowboard as much as possible, which for a questionably-employed person such as me is easier said than done. I’m shooting for 100 days (no bragging), which may be unrealistic while simultaneously running the Internet, but whatever, I’m going for it. So when this email arrived as I was boarding a plane for Denver, I couldn’t resist. My response was simply an itinerary for a flight to Durango with the cautionary note, “be careful what you wish for.”
Just in case you don’t know anything about Silverton, this video featuring Shaun White should explain it.
Phew, that saved me a lot of words. And it was pretty much like that, except it felt less staged and people were drinking more beer than Red Bull — for the record even 3.2 Coors Light is strong at 11,000 feet. Life in the Colorado wilderness (and it is remote as fuck) is far from easy, but that’s just the way the locals like it. It keeps out the riff raff, which in hindsight, is amazing they invited me in the first place!
The real deal at Silverton Mountain is this: don’t be an idiot. It’s not a cushy “resort,” and the town itself is more of a summer attraction. In the winter it’s just a few die hards, some ice climbers and the staff of Silverton Mountain. If you have a sled there’s no shortage of gnarly backcountry terrain, but the avalanche danger is high and the hero factor even higher.
This is the chairlift. The only one.
The first night, Kyle had me convinced I would probably die. He didn’t say it in so many words, but tales of an avalanche that day (by some people skiing away from the resort), a mention that the house was 100 years old and only heated by a wood stove, and stories about the dangers of his job had me convinced I’d made a mistake coming here.
When I woke up for my one and only day riding at Silverton Mountain, the house was still warm and Kyle’s two huskies hadn’t chewed up my camera gear. We were off to a good start. In the base-tent I met some east coasters who knew about Yobeat and talked me into springing for the heli drop. It wasn’t hard — I can think of a lot worse things to spend the money on. And I was doing it.
If you like to hike and stuff, Silverton is your jam!
They also meticulously patrol the inbounds backcountry of the resort, and give you a guide who actually knows a thing or two. For an inherently dangerous activity, and backcountry boarding, it’s pretty much as safe as you can get being super extreme. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T DIE.
Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one to hear the news of 55 inches, and it was day 4 after the storm, so there were definitely some tracks. It wasn’t the blower pow my pal Shaun White showed me and the light was kind of flat. Don’t read that as a complaint, it’s not. And on the last run of the day, our guide Jess took us down “Delores,” a gully that sees no sun and hadn’t been open until just then. Insert face shots here.
This is what happens when you go for the heli ride (with A-man voice over for dramatic effect.)
Silverton is only open Thursday-Sunday (unless you wanna rent out the whole place) so on Monday I offered to take Kyle to check out Durango Mountain, otherwise known as Purgatory. On the first lift up we rode with a guy who managed to tell us his whole life story in 5 minutes, and also offered to show us his favorite run “if we could keep up.” During his story he used the expression “no bragging” a few times, which soon entered by lexicon on a regular basis. You may have even read it above.
Basically the best trick that either Kyle or I can do. Whatever.
Purgatory was a groomed paradise, with the exception of the endless traverses, but Kyle was so excited to not be working and riding sans beacon or any hiking, he was even willing to hit the somewhat-scary park jumps. He’s good like that. At the end of the day I was still alive, which means all those premonitions of certain death in Southern Colorado were probably just the weed.
That said, if you want to scare yourself, prove something, or otherwise have a different snowboard experience, go to Southern Colorado. You don’t even have to stay with ski bums, they have hotels and stuff.
Thanks to Silverton Mountain, Purgatory, KC Kyle and his roomies, and the Internet for making this story possible. Sorry I only took one snowboard photo, but not really.
Biggie Smalls once said, “being broke and 30 give a nigga the chills,” so it’s no surprise that pushing 30, the Mt. Baker Banked Slalom is starting to show its age. Just like snowboarding and the people who grew up doing it, the event is turning into a real grown up, and 2013 was by far the most polished and slick Banked Slalom I’ve ever been to. There were incredible custom Lib Tech snowboards and surfboards for prizes, arm bands and special access for the cool photographers, and an actual WiFi network. (Trust me, this is HUGE.) Hell, even we teamed up with Zumiez to give away two slots (which happened to go to Fuck Boyz Paul “Bagels” Stanley and Bo Valencia, fair and square.) Times they are a changin.’
The biggest difference in 2013, more duck face selfies. Jesse Burtner #floodfeed
Now don’t read that as a complaint or statement about the “good old days.” Since my first Banked Slalom was in 2001, I’m by no means qualified to talk about those. In fact, when I expressed confusion about the new base lodge and higher food prices, Jeff Galbraith, who’s been riding Mt. Baker since 1985 just said, “Man, I’m still getting used to the old new lodge!”
And that’s the magic of the Banked Slalom. For one weekend, everyone who makes snowboarding rad gathers in one place. If you have ever said, “I would love to go to the Baked Banked Slalom” you’ll fit right in to the “B.S. bubble™” that creates itself each year — a micro-chasm of the snowboard community. At the top of the course, the snowboard industry heads trade tales of how many events they’ve been to, how it’s still cool to get a photo with Terje, and how incredibly amazing the backcountry was on Friday. Meanwhile, just outside the fence, ski racers and randoms ask “What’s going on?” while the course is shut down for a solid 10 minutes to rebuild the turn Shaun Palmer destroyed when he blew out of it. At that point, The Tranny Finders, or Fuck Boyz, as I guess they’re called now, take high speed laps, dodging joeys, spraying the shit out of each other and hitting the endless natural jumps that make Baker so fun. And while I didn’t witness this, a few grumpy locals bitch as they trudge up the extra-worn backcountry bootpacks, waiting for the circus to leave town so they can just go back to just being bitter that they live in Glacier. There’s really something for everyone.
Jess Kimura had more fun Saturday night than Blake Geis, Curtiz Ciszek and Chris Beresford combined. Nothing a nice refreshing can of Monster can’t fix.
The LBS is arguably more about the scene than anything else, but it is still a competition and accordingly, some people still care about results. In fact, everyone who’s lucky enough to get a slot does. No one wants to blow out on their run, and everyone wants to say they beat Terje (who, in the raddest show of the weekend, fell at the top of his second run and just blasted the pow all the way down instead.) Getting down to specifics for a minute — This year, the boardercross contingent showed up with its wax techs and need for speed that tops Olympic podiums. The truth is, that shit works. Seth Wescott dominated all weekend and Graham Watanabe took second, while Jason Robinson, with no training or wax tech earned the bronze roll of duct tape. Speaking of boardcross skills, Maelle Ricker, topped the women’s field by 3 seconds. No gender or drug testing needed, she’s just that fast. Laura Hadar and Dominique Vallee rounded out the pro women’s field.
Which brings us back to the present and reminds me of the secondary event on Saturday night, the Lib Tech Banked Handplant contest. Krush and the boys at Lib Tech built a mound of snow and let anyone who wanted to ride it. An injured Garrett Read already managed to put together a video of it:
So that’s about it. Until the next Banked Slalom (which let’s face it, might not be as legendary, but it probably going down soon at a mountain near you) hopefully we’ll see you there.
Day 2 marked the end of myself and the triple J threat’s SIA appearance, but don’t think this is the last you’ll hear about SIA from us. Rumorator will be manning the floor for one more day, and there’s still a party story in the works from Stan (we think even Lipton will be proud.) While you get super hyped for those, read some more bullet points about my version of SIA. If you’re gonna be a pussy and get offended, or you just want to look at photos of sweet new gear, click through Jared’s gallery above.
-The day started with a big disappointment. Stan rolled up to his tattoo appointment at the Arnette booth only to say he hadn’t settled on what to get and was opting out. After some attempted strong arming from myself, Stan wasn’t budging, so tat-master Brent ended up giving his slot to our friend Cody. He got a sailboat on his thigh, but refused to name it the S.S. Yobeat. We still like him anyway.
-Some scoundrel from Bern spent his first two days putting Bern stickers on the Anon booth across the hall (before flying to Germany.) Don’t worry, a hungover, yet still awesome Randy Torcom took care of those fucks.
-An unnamed C3 photographer let me know nothing makes Sean Tedore more uncomfortable than homo-eroticism. Soon after I tried to get Lance Hakker to caress Tedore’s thigh, but despite what I’d heard, he seemed to like it.
-Hondo was wearing an N.W.O. shirt.
-L1 was giving out hachets. Giving sharp objects to people who are also drinking beer might be a bad idea, but whatever. Haven’t heard of any lost limbs yet!
-The highlight of my day personally was walking up to the Rome booth, and saying, “Hey fuckers, I’ve got a meeting at Burton, give me a beer.” Enzo was manning the megaphone and gave me a hearty,”fuck off.” Then they handed me a beer and I made my way to Burton. Due to Steve Jobs’ disinterest in making my life easier, it turned out we were all an hour late anyway. Whoops.
-About Burton. If you’ve still got a stick up your ass about the brand, you should go do shot ski’s with Evan Rose and Upstate Mike.
-I interrupted Mark Carter trying to teach Jesse Burtner how to use a toothpick. It wasn’t go as well as one might have thought. Later, we treated Jesse and the the lovely ladies of the Mervin Marketing crew to the real Yobeat experience, which involved my talking fast while the triple J threat just shook their heads disapprovingly.
-Tech Nine gave out 40s at “trade show happy hour.” I only know about it because some girl an exceptionally long hoodie handed me a flyer and said, “Yo, you like 40s?” (For the record the answer is yes, yes I do and that’s brilliant marketing.)
-I apologize to Dingo for ruining whatever Grenade-promo video he was filming when I walked by and punched him. That was the 4th beer thinking for me.
-Arcade belts are amazing. A little bit of elastic and it’s like you’re wearing sweatpants all the time!
–Apparently in the 90s I said some really mean stuff about Max Jenke and his friends. After a trip to the Endeavor/Airhole booth, where he hooked me up with the sweetest Airhole facemask that looks like a feline of some sort, pretty sure we’re past that, and let me tell ya, growing up isn’t so bad after all. Thanks Max!
-The #shutupbrooke hashtag was far more successful than #tradeshowhell.
-Jared and I accidentally crashed the Rockies Volcom/Electric/ThirtyTwo retailer dinner. All this time, I thought being the media was the best gig in snowboarding, but after two incredible dinners in a row, I’m pretty sure being a successful shop owner/buyer is the move. Keyword: successful.
My final report: Like most things in life, if you don’t take SIA seriously, it’s a blast. Until next year Denver…
SIA is no longer relevant. No one is writing orders, the new product has been on the Internet for weeks, and brands are still booking Redman to play their booths. However, it is still the industry social event of the season — a who’s who of pros, bros and people who were once highly influential, but now think Yobeat is cool. Despite our best efforts to just get everyone to fly to Vegas for the weekend, we’ve found ourselves in the Mile High City once again. The show is basically the same as last year but with more split boards. While we were tempted to use the same photos as last year, Jared shot some new ones, which you can click through above.
And since we know you all hate to read (but who wants to watch video of a trade show) here are some bullet points of what you missed on day 1.
-If you wonder why we’re so hyped on C3, it’s because they let us store our bags in their closet. Dinosaurs Will Die would probably do the same thing, but instead of a closet, they had a pile of jackets on the ground.
-Our “business” day started the at 686, where a new marketing regime shoved a beer in my hand at 10:30. I drank it out of a mitten.
-Stan is signed up for a tattoo at 11:30 tomorrow and is planning to get a banjo. Sorry that he opted against “shaun white’s face” or a penis, but we really we don’t think you guys took our suggestion game on Facebook very seriously.
-For some reason they let Dylan Trewin into the show.
-Salomon and Bonfire have a vintage camper in their booth, which is awesome, especially once Geiri from Nikita let me know there was beer in the fridge — that is if you call Coors Light beer. While we’re talking about silver bullet, I determined the reason it’s so popular in Colorado is in this damn dry air you really need to stay hydrated, and it’s basically water.
-Halldor Helgasson is not dead, he just has a black eye.
-No one else seems to be embracing my hashtag “#tradeshowhell” so get on that shit tomorrow, people.
-You can charge your cell phone at the Saga booth, as long as you haven’t upgraded to the 5. But we wouldn’t recommend leaving it there unattended…
-The new Adidas shit looks dope, but maybe that’s just the Heart Coffee they were brewing up talking.
-The promise of Salt n Pepa at the Burton booth was kind of a lie, as only Pepa was there. They do however have a split board that’s as fast and easy as the hookers outside the Rockmada where we’re staying, if you’re into that sort of thing.
-The Irish Snug has only gotten worse.
-Hondo is sad than neither I, nor Mary Walsh would box him, but the Eddie Wall vs Kyle Clancy fight should be one to watch. UPDATE: EDDIE WALL FTW!
Probably some other stuff happened, but I have free booze to consume tonight, so we’ll leave it at that. Stay tuned for the full report on Stan’s first SIA, Rumorator’s epic interview series and the world premiere of the Yomerica teaser in the coming days. Trust us, reading about SIA on the Internet is just like being there, except your feet aren’t sore and your lips aren’t chapped.
If you’re looking to prove how good you are at snowboarding to yourself, or anyone else, the course at the Alpental Smash Life Banked Slalom was the perfect benchmark. Conveniently located in shadows on a trail literally deemed “too steep” last year by Joe Pope and his motley crew of park rats, the winding snake run was hand dug for three days, and really, really fucking long. Let’s just say, we THOUGHT the course at Big Sky was scary, but while there may have been less random rocks sticking out at Alpental, the room for detrimental error (read: flying at full speed out of a berm and sliding indefinitely down a bumpy, rutted trail) was huge. Even Montana mad man Shane Stalling admitted they may be trying to kill us with this one.
Luckily, for those of us with desk jobs and gigantic egos, making it down the course fast was not really the point. No! I’m not just making excuses for my poor performance (but let’s just set the record straight, it was pathetic) I’m actually talking about why we were all there. The event, like the one a few weeks back in Montana, was a fundraiser for the A Rob Plant a Seed foundation, and all funds raised will go to help get kids to the hill. The online registration filled up in 36 hours and when all was said and done on January 19, 2013, 126 racers of all ages, creeds and genders tried their hardest not to die. (For the record, no one did.)
Blue Montgomery has a desk job, but you wouldn’t know it.
The fact that it was for a good cause didn’t stop everyone from 9-year-olds to industry heads to pros to the local legends from throwing themselves down it at top speed with little to no regard for personal safety. In fact, if you were really good (or potentially really stupid) the second half of the course was built perfectly for speed. And since you were so tired from hanging on for dear life at the top half of the course, there was really nothing to do other than go with it (unless you’re me, then you speed checked like a girl riding up to a rail.)
It all started here.
The women, children and old people went first, and a top time of 1:19.14 was clocked by 14-17-year-old Justus Hines. This time would end up to be respectable overall, but as soon as the men hit the course, we saw what was really possible — well, if you’re Blair Habenicht As a Washington native, and one of the few competitors who actually gets paid to snowboard, he had some extra pressure on him — but he came through with the top two times of the day, a 1:10.72 and a 1:11.65 in his first and second runs. The rest of the podium was made of local legends and ams, proving that in Washington, it really doesn’t matter who gets paid after all.
This is what going really fucking fast looks like. Blair Habenitch.
At the end of the day, money was raised, bets were settled and the whole thing was capped off by a performance from Riot Act in the Alpental lodge. In the fewest words possible: it was awesome! Thanks to Joe Pope, the whole Snoqualmie Park Crew, Shane Stalling, all the sponsors, and of course, Aaron Robinson, whose legend is what really makes things like this possible.
Joe Pope is ready to give some awards!
1. Blair Habenitch 1:10.72
2. Matt Edgers 1:11.73
3. Jay Kelly 1:12.70
4. Marcel Dolak 1:14.40
5. Matthew Robinson 1:14.71
6. Blue Montgomery 1:15.87
7. Austin Hironaka 1:16.02
8. Anthony Gervais 1:16.13
9. Shaun McKay 1:16.47
10. Chris Bowlin 1:16.80
11. Nick Felt 1:17.14
12. Paul Stanley 1:17:28
13. Jadree Donovan 1:17.34
14. Shane Stalling 1:17.91
15. Bryce Wenker 1:17.98
— Honorable mentions
Sean Tedore 1:21.21
Peter Mullenbach 1:21.47
Peter Line 1:36.80
Words: Brooke Geery. Above Main Gallery: Jared Souney.
Usually when you say, hey, will you do an air out of the start gate in a race people ignore you. Eric was down though.
People in Montana are rugged. Dare I say gnarly, even. The ride steep shit, hard shit, rocky shit, and even traverse endlessly with ease, so they don’t think about the mountain the same way people from other places do. And when you let a crew from Montana build their dream Banked Slalom course, those that come from elsewhere better watch the fuck out. Now don’t read that as a complaint, or even an excuse, it’s just the only way I could begin to describe the course at the 2nd ARob Smash Life Banked slalom on January 5th in Bozeman, MT.
Stan negotiates the first few turns on his way to the BRONZE medal.
So about that course. This thing started slow with some big old banks, but quickly turned into a super g where the only option was to pin in. There was a last-minute gate addition placed in an attempt to slow people down, but it caught almost everyone by surprise. This was not a race for the feint of heart so when making predictions on the results, you can count out all the people who came from Baker, Oregon, Colorado or even as far away as Michigan. Park rats need not apply. Honestly, you can even count out Lucas Debari, who rolled up in the Go Boarding Subaru with Alex Yoder.
Jon Overson with that photo bomb and all the other guys who couldn’t beat Todd Kirby.
Really, the ones to watch when it came to results were the locals, or more specifically, Todd Kirby. He was referred to as the golden boy, the pace setter, and various other glowing names by his friends — who may or may not have been being sarcastic — and sure enough, when the seconds were counted, Todd topped Arob’s brother Jason Robinson by a solid hundredth of a second. To make everyone feel better though, even he fell on his second run.
This dude was STOKED.
The truth is though, the results don’t matter. The event — brain child of all of the late, great Aaron Robinson’s friends and family, and man-powered by Shane Stalling — is a benefit for the A Rob Plant a Seed foundation, with all the proceeds going to help more kids get out and board in ARob’s honor. It’s put on by homeys, and aside from scaring the shit out of us flatlanders, they did an amazing job making the day nothing but fun. Even the awards
Which in the end, is all that really matters. After all, ARob would have wanted it that way.
Oh yeah, and there were sheep.
Todd Kirby 35.42
Jason Robinson 35.43
Chad Dalman 36.18
Reed Schneider 36.33
Lucas Debari 36.49
Micah Hoogeveen 36.52
Alex Yoder 36.62
Tyrel Bacon (Paid) 36.64
Eric Morrison 37.25
Chad Cremers 37.27
Brand Browning 37.29
Mitchell Kirby 37.47
Shane Stalling 37.66
Cody Lewis 37.68
Mark Thieszen 37.82
Kameron Joahnson 37.93
Nathaniel Murphy 37.96
Shane Knowles 38.2
Kyle Cremers 38.22
Erik Overson 38.25
Jon Oversor 38.54
Kevin Fischer 38.67
Mike Brearey 38.67
Rand Stearns 38.94
Joe Pope 38.94
Jason Schutz and Todd Kirby. Smash life.
1. Jason Schutz 35.83
2. Chad Zeigler 38.25
3. T bos 40.05
4. Jeff Wexall 40.05
5. Jay Moore (P) 40.5
6. Chad Peterson 43.45
7. Bird Morris 43.73
Thanks to Big Sky, all the event sponsors, the Robinson Family, Shane Stalling and everyone else who made this event possible. We’ll be back next year, when I will stay on my feet and be on top of the Yobeat cup!
In the midst of a holiday weekend, it can be hard for a jaded locals such as ourselves motivate for the bumper-to-bumper drive to the mountain. Sure, if we just got up early and just made it happen, we would have been riding pow and having a blast in the rarest of cold, bluebird conditions at Mt. Hood, but when it’s bluebird at the mountain, that means it’s also dry in town. On December 29th, this was the exact case, so my surrogate child Joey Carnera and I took a break from strapping in went on a little skate mission. On our second stop, simply by chance, we discovered a benefit BBQ going on at the Brooklyn Street Skate Spot, a DIY wonderland in Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
Colin from Unhead PDX was cooking up burgers, the local heroes were shredding, and goddamn was it photogenic. The whole thing was a benefit to raise money to continue to add on to the park, and any time someone donated any amount — from 90 cents to $100, they would get a thank you call out on the mic. There were a few impropmtu best trick contests, a bunch of money was raised, concrete was shredded and free burgers were enjoyed. Lets just say it was a nice little Saturday.
Imagine if you went to High School with only people you truly liked and enjoyed. Then you graduate and move on, only to see a few of those friends regularly. Well, this year’s Dirksen Derby is the 10 year reunion of that High School.
On December 14, 2012, the best people in snowboarding (yeah, I said it) gathered at Sunrise on Mt. Bachelor to test out the course, place some side bets, and get warmed up. The real event hasn’t even started, but things are already shaping up for the best snowboarding “contest” of the year. The red course is tight (ride it like a skateboard) and the green course is all about letting loose. There will be thrills, spills, and even the girls have to qualify this year. If you’re here, see ya on hill, and if you’re not, stay tuned for plenty of pictures, videos and inside jokes all weekend long!
From the desk of Josh Dirksen:
Men’s and Women’s Qualifier on Saturday will be as follows: All Men and Women racers (14-49yrs) have one run down the course of their choosing. The top 25% of the racers down the Green line and the top 25% of racers down the Red line will qualify for the finals on Sunday. Don’t miss your run! The lower your bib number the earlier you go!
And since we know you like video, our man Russell Winfield has already made one! Oh, and he happens to be hanging out with Terje.
Here at Yobeat, Thanksgiving is BY FAR our favorite holiday. The one day a year you get to TOTALLY ignore the fact that gluttony is a “deadly sin” and just indulge. And in addition to good food, it’s also the ultimate day to go snowboarding. Especially when it’s as good as Mt Hood Meadows was on November 22nd, 2012. Because any other day you might start to feel a little bit guilty.
So let’s just put this out there. It was a powder day, and not a Cascade Concrete powder day but a legitimate pow day. It was also clear, so you could see how rad you looked slashing that light-for-the-Northwest snow all over the place. All the Joeys stayed home to cook turkeys and the lines at both Mt Hood Express and the pass office in the morning moved just quick enough to give you the break you needed. Every lift ride you’d run into another crew of friends. Basically, it was perfect. So if you missed it, you blew it, but not really, because there are plenty more days to come… just remember to be thankful for all of them.