Portland Oregon-Based Digital Media

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Magalie Dubois. Geery photo.

It wouldn’t be right for me to just write a story about the Nikita Chickita and gush about how great it is and how much fun everyone had. You see, I have been helping to put on this event for the past two seasons, and in the biz, I believe they call that a “conflict of interest.”  So instead, this account of the event will be what you couldn’t see but I know — the behind the scenes action at the Nikita Chickita.

First off you may ask, why would you try to put on an event against the Dew Tour, The Arctic Challenge and the Holy Oly? Well, even in these tough economic times riddled with cancelled competitions, it’s still difficult to find a complete open weekend during peak season. That, and shockingly there is no division for amateur girls at any of those other events. So February 21, 2009, the Nikita Chickita took to Mammoth for the second time.

Nikita Marketing Maven Kelly Stoecklein and I rose way too early and trekked to hill long before anyone else. Well, the weekend warriors were already streaming in, but it was early for me, ok. We had to drop off banners, and set out gift bags and Luna bars for registration. We had people pre-register online, 94, to be exact. Honestly, we hoped they would not all show up (that’s a lot of straight air!) After an hour and a half of registration, we called it at 70.

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Priscilla Lee. Geery photo.

Things were looking promising. The sun was out, we had a good turn out, and everything was even on time. But as we headed down to South Park, the clouds started to roll in. By the time we got to the top of the course it was cold and windy, and the light was retardedly flat. In order to prevent the contest ending in a snowstorm, the executive decision was made to compress things to two qualifying runs for each rider, but then only one final run for the top 5 in each decision. In hindsight, the 10 minutes we saved made no difference, but it seemed fitting as Kelly had proclaimed this “the mellowest contest ever.”

I scurried off to get the shot, and to enjoy a plethora of straight airs and knuckle checks. Robbie Sell had been enlisted to shoot the event as well, and after saying hi by rudely spraying me, he proceeded to fan out. After one girl did a proper mute stiffy, he proclaimed this was “way more interesting to watch than the Dew Tour. Those guys all just do twirly birds.” I will take his word for it, but there were a few highlights including Colleen Quigley’s proper laid out backflip. Solid 5’s from Mary Beth Sweetkoff and Bryn Vakala, and Vera Janssen’s riding overall. The latter was enough for second place and $700.  Joanna Dzierzawski from Lake Tahoe rode off with the pro title and $1000. There was no third place because the $300 alloted for it went to Colleen Quigley for that epic backflip for best trick. Hey, the economy sucks, ya heard?

In general though, seeing girls as young as old compete alongside women in their 50s is pretty cool (even for a skeptic such as myself.) And I swear I am not just saying that because it was my event.

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Eri Namasaki. Geery photo.


Pro
1.    Joanna Dzierzawski
2.    Vera Janssen
3.    Madison Blackley
4.    Ashley Thornton
5.    Marley Colt
Am
1.    Marley Colt
2.    Elle Kaylor
3.    Priscilla Lee

Check the whole gallery from the 2009 Nikita Chickita. Click any thumbnail to enlarge.

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People often ask me, “Brooke, what is the best part about being an extreme journalist?” Oh wait, no one actually asks me that, but I am going to tell you anyway. It’s not the travel to exotic locations, or the fact that snowboarding is my job (and I don’t have to actually put myself in harms way). It is two simple words: free stuff! One of the great universal truths is that everyone loves free stuff, and I am only human.

I have the added benefit that I get free stuff from companies that are cool and make stuff I actually want to wear. I am not just writing this post to brag, but it seems only fair to highlight some of the items I received this past week.

First was a box from my friends at Eesa Lux Layering. Clearly had been threatening to send me socks for a while now, so I wasn’t surprised to see the box, but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it up to find two tops, two pairs of socks and a bunch of stickers. Even with my status as an snowboard journalist and my recent first layer preview for TWbiz, I managed to not own a single piece of first layer. Now I have two shirts, that also happen to be quite nice to look at. Thanks guys!

I also got an email from Kelly at Nikita informing me it was “that time” to get some gear from the new line. I do some PR work for Nikita, so obviously they want to keep me looking fabulously stylish at all times. I went through the website and picked out a few must-have items and two days later a got a box stuffed full of colorful tops, dresses, hoodies and even a few pairs of underwear. You know life is good when you get free underwear. Today I am wearing the sweatshirt and I already got a compliment on it from the girl who runs the Vegan bakery downstairs. Yay!

Clair Bidez

I was able to negotiate with my hostage takers to leave Tahoe today, but it wasn’t without a little suffering. After two days of temperatures too warm for jackets, we went up to Boreal for night riding. Not only was it night time, but the weather patterns had changed and the temperature had dropped dramatically. In short, it was freezing. I braved the cold (and held my camera in my armpit between shots) to make a little video. Check it out.

Now I am just waiting for my snowboard to show up (I think it ended up at the other house) so that I can make the trek to Reno and fly home. Logically I am going through SF and have a 45 minute connection, so cross your fingers for me! Can’t wait to get home.

Girls on Film

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I have been riding in Tahoe, working on my suntan (ok, burn) and making videos of the Nikita photoshoot. I am not sure exactly how it happened, but I made one video and they convinced me to stay longer so I could make videos every day. apparently people appreciate my randomness and dry wit. so anyway, the compression on these suck. I will be posting all of them on futuresnowboarding.com when I am done here and they will look better, but if you want a special sneek peak, here ya go!

Day Two

I am down in mid-California, about to go ride Northstar with the Nikita team girls. While there may be an epic video coming out of this day, the real reason I was here was the Nikita Chickita event at Mammoth. I’ve been helping out Josh as event manager — getting sponsors, hyping up girls on the internet, and various other important tasks. All my hard work finally came to fruition on Saturday and I’d say we ran a pretty rad event. There certainly was a lot of free stuff for the girls, and well, everyone loves free stuff.

I had planned to shoot photos of the contest but got recruited to judge instead. I managed to snap a few shots from the judging booth, but nothing spectacular. I did manage to crush a few girls dreams and progress snowboarding with my judging though. Actually, I don’t think I did either of those things. In fact when one girl complained that she should have made finals I made the executive call to just let her in.  It worked out, she ended up getting third.

Anyway, the event was awesome. Super mellow. I’ve written about 4 different stories about it, and here is a link to the one I did on  Future Snowboarding. Actually, it ended up being a tag team with Kevin Westenbarger because this event was such a big deal we both ended up doing posts. Most of the photos are his, but here is my favorite of my photos from the event. This is the winners of the Nikita Sponsorship for the past two years:

After the event I rode at Mammoth and Holy Crap! that mountain is fun. I even rode halfpipe and got like “head high” (you know, the height of a human head.) Here’s a sweet picture of me at the top of the mountain. Thanks to Kim from Osiris for making this masterpiece happen.

Yay Mountains!