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The appeal of the urban rail jam can lose its charm once resorts start firing up their lifts for the season, but when the urban locale is San Francisco and it’s a Downtown Throwdown, it’s worth skipping the white ribbon of death to check it out. Much like Seattle, announcers Jesse Burtner and Preston Strout spent October 27th, explaining inside terms such as “nollies” to the onlookers and bums, but unlike Seattle, it was Nial Romanek who rode off with the win.

In addition to being in the Bay area where pretty much anything goes, the fact that it was Halloween weekend prompted most of the riders to don costumes. Dylan Alito was some sort of crazy clown and Ted Borland dressed as a slice of pizza. Almost every one else went as a snowboarder, except for Sean Black, who wore shorts. But since it was a snowboard event, not a fashion show, I suppose you want to hear about the actual boarding.

Pizza enthusiast Ted “Bundy” Borland.

The course consisted of a donkey dick down bar, a kinked box and a quarter pipe. Despite the 75-degree heat, the riders began attacking it ferociously and didn’t stop until Burtner told them they had to, some three hours later.

The day was a constant steam of hammers, but some highlights amongst the mayhem included Brandon Hobush’s switch back 270, back 270 and hard way front 270 in rapid succession. Johnny Brady lost his hat about 15 times, but finally rode away clean from a crippler. (This accomplishment earned him the Bode Merrill Baker’s dozen award — 13 cosmo shots at the bar later.)Ted Borland’s pizza suit made moves like a hard way 5-0 front 180 look even better, and Andrew Brewer nearly lost a finger when someone rode over it (literally), but still managed some serious presses and 270s.

Nial. All smiles.

Really, it could have been anyone, but when it came down to first, Burtner put it best, “This guy landed more tricks, and the hardest tricks in a rail jam, ever.” That guy was Nial Romanek, of course. As it turns out he does have much more in his bag than just nose presses. Brendan Gerard earned the best trick award for his proper utilization of the pole jam to rail (although Stefan Krumm’s tail grab off the course to pavement was probably in contention, as well as about 5 other dudes who pulled creative and technical maneuvers.)

For me personally though, the highlight of the day came long before the contest even started, when he wisest man in snowboarding, Robbie Sell, taught me the secret to never missing a high five: look at the person’s elbow. I totally used this new knowledge to congratulate Nial, who simply replied, “Didn’t see that coming.” (He was talking about the win, not the high five.)

These guys.

1. Nial Romanek
2. Brandon Hobush
3. Dylan Thompson
4. Ted Borland
5. Andrew Brewer

Monster Moment: Brendan Gerard

Bode Merrill’s “Reach for the Stars Baker’s Dozen” award: Johnny Brady

The stuff Northwest legends are made of. Allister Schultz.

Snow skates flying in every direction. Banana peels littering the ground. Cold cans of Olympia conveniently falling at my feet. It can all only mean one thing: it’s Holy Oly time! But wait, it’s April! Isn’t the annual celebration of Northwest Pride in February? Well, it turns out that bitch La Nina decided the Northwest didn’t need any snow in January, or February for that matter, and rather than truck in snow from afar as in years past, Krush at the crew at Snoqualmie decided to bump the event back a couple months in hopes of snow. It worked.

When winter finally decided to start back up in March, it meant business and it’s still snowing almost daily, with no signs of stopping. So while an April date would seemingly provide a sunny spring day for the event, it was more a combo of sun mixed with various precipitation through out the day. Aside from the date, the 8th Annual Holy Oly was much like all those that came before, with one other noticeable difference. The quarterpipe was extra enormous. It checked in at around 27 feet, giving even some of the most seasoned Holy Oly vets trouble.

Austin Hironaka knows how to donkey kick.

So it took a little bit longer than normal, but within an hour, it was business as usual. Legends including Joey Macguire, Russell Winfield, Peter Line and Allister Shultz proved they still snowboard on the massive wall. A few key players such as Jay Kelly and Austin Hironaka boosted massive airs. The jib kids such as Ben Bilocq, Forrest Bailey, Johnny Lazz and Jason Robinson played in tube city. Jesse Burtner made colorful jokes on the mike (and some off-color ones under his breath.) Krush’s playlist served as the timing system, and Cobra Dogs kept everyone full.

The two-term mayor of Tube City: Forest Bailey

This year, a few awards were added, including the “where you been award,” probably because Allister showed up. (The answer is “Oregon” but that’s beside the point.) There was also the Jean Claude Land-Am award, chosen by Mark Landvik for the most deserving am, Stephan Krumm (who scored an invite to Superpark.) Then there were the usuals: best method, best fall, highest air (they have more clever titles than that), but the one that really matters, immortalized forever in Sharpie on the Oly Cup, is the Holiest of the Holy. For the past several years Manuel Diaz has pleased spectators with his Michaelchucks, but this year, they seemed extra pleasing. For his efforts, the Chilean a half-pallet of beer and the recognition he deserved.

If you’ve ever been to the Holy Oly, you can pretty much imagine the rest, and if you haven’t, well, get your ass to Washington next February, or April for the best damn time you’ll ever have throwing yourself at a massive wall of snow (or watching other people do it).

The spoils of victory!


NW Method Award- Scotty Whitzle
Mayor of Tube City: Forest Bailey
Future of NW Shred Award: Bart Patitucci
Highest Air: Jay Kelly
Land-Am: Stephan Krumm
Holy Diver: Dan Manning
Best Trick: Matt Wainhouse (front 900 tail grab)
Where you been: Allister Schultz

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There’s a dude turning in there. Squint, you’ll see him

I wonder what the first Mt. Baker Banked Slalom was like. You know, before it became legendary and all that. Chances are it was a small and incredibly disorganized event. Some of the participants probably had the best time ever, and others were upset because it took too long to take their runs, or whatever gripe people can come up with at a contest. And of course, there was most likely tons of pow to be shredded between runs.

The first-ever Bone Zone Banked Slalom at Timberline was a lot like that. However, it had a few advantages over that inaugural event at Mt. Baker so many years ago. For one: better equipment. And also, the Banked Slalom formula is pretty much set at this point: duct tape on the bibs, provide food and goodies for the participants, and see who goes the fastest. They also had iPhones, serving as sophisticated timing system, which I’m willing to bet weren’t part of the LBS 1 (hell, they still barely work up there.)

Jimmy, preparing to get a slower time than some of the girls.

Apparently no one told Mother Nature spring has started, because the conditions were basically whiteout for the pro division’s runs. After a feeble attempt at taking photos, I soon opted to ride powder instead. It was awesome. So awesome that when it finally cleared up and the sun came out, my camera was already in the car and I decided to keep riding instead of getting some better photos. I did make it back after the event had wrapped up to take a run on the 2-minute long course. Verdict: it would have been really hard to ride with no visibility. I’m impressed pro winner Gabe Triplette actually made it down in 1:56. Let’s just say it took me longer than that.

Twenty-something years from now I’m sure the crew at Shred Northwest will look back at the event with the fondest of memories. They’ll laugh at the fact the weather didn’t cooperate. They’ll have a much better timing system worked out. And maybe, by then, they’ll even have added “legendary” to the name.

Visibility: approximately 5 feet.

John Laing, Ahmon Stamps and other cool dudes await their runs

The snow was good for lots of things

Cash money for the pros

Product toss for the fans!

Bone Zone Banked Slalom Official times

Mens Pro:
1 Gabe Triplette 156.42
2 Joel Fuquay 158.34
3 John Ragozzino 158.69
4 Allister Schultz 159.75
5 Aaron Sales 201.40
6 Corey Caswell 201.97
7 Ben Covolt 202.78
8 Ricky Hower 202.94
9 Kenny Strope 203.06
10 Ben Beavon 203.60
11 Rick Millet 204.07
12 Ahmon Stamps 204.66
13 Tyler Osland 205.19
14 Logan Fuquay 205.35
15 Clint Ghram 205.47
16 Trent Brashier 205.53
17 Josh Kaiser 205.94
18 Corey Noble 206.31
19 Rob Walsh 206.60
20 John Sischo 206.72
21 Joey Bruce 207.69
22 Andy Berginsperry 207.81
23 Scotty Body 207.93
24 Jesse “Wetrat” Johnson 208.63
25 John Laing 208.50
26 Will Dam 208.62
27 Brandon Clark 211.50
28 Ryan Gossett 212.18
29 Jim Wizvenzberger 214.12
30 Jovian Peters 217.15
31 Grant Miller 217.87
32 Josh Zawaskw 222.00
33 – 666The Beast 222.94
34 Ed Jewell 224.36
35 Chad McQuein 224.64
36 Nick Konine 227.66
37 Brad Trouter 235.87

Men AM
1 Alex Scagliotti 200.12
2 Nolan David 201.87
3 Jay Herger 203.53
4 Owen Brown 203.90
5 Jake Copeck 204.39
6 Keaton Rogers 206.78
7 Dustin Reed 206.90
8 Cameron Weeg 209.63
10 Mark Jasor 209.78
11 Cody Prickett 210.31
12 Alex Lovell 211.41
13 Chris Moore 212.78
14 Bryce Yamasaki 213.03
15 Kevin Swarner 214.20
16 Chris Light 215.28
17 Zach Johnson 221.33
18 Joe Newlander 253.44

1 Karma Vella 200.38
2 Sean Aiken 203.43
3 Andy Cross 212.19
4 Tim Snail 214.00
5 Ryan Estep 240.06

1 Enzo Plati 208.69
2 Scott Auviq 208.78
3 Tanner Salsman 208.81
4 Collin Whalen 210.31
5 Richard Williams 229.40

1 Marissa Krauiczak 211.62
2 Randa Shahin 211.75
3 Sally Butler 212.06
4 Mimi Charter 212.22
5 Nicole McNullty 213.00
6 Geneva Lyon 225.82
7 Marissa Newberry 229.15
8 Georgia Hall 240.22
9 Destiny Covinginton 257.87

1 Sean Fitzsimons 212.56

Token Ski
1 Ryan Chapman 204.47
2 Nick Stanton 204.62
3 Chad McKean 224.44

Tyler Davis. Quarterpiping.

Note: Video and Photo Gallery added, see below New Hampshire is known for its amazing parks, hometown heroes and dirts, but lets face it, only a chosen few ever seem to make it big time. So if you do, it’s good to give back to the less fortunate, which is exactly why Pat Moore has put on Back to the Boneyard for that past three years. This year, the event raised over $1500 for WVBBTS, a scholarship program that helps kids who can’t afford it go snowboarding.

The Waterville park staff, led by the semi-legendary Luke Mathison, recreates the legendary 90s Boneyard park. Everyone from former legends such as Preston Strout, to current legends such as Mike Ravelson as well as enigmas such as Aaron Diamond and Pat Bridges come out to ride.

Pat Bridges, in the flesh, and still winning the invert contest.

If you had to classify the format, it’s a jam at best, with three segments. There is a scary looking-90s jump, though only 30 feet to the sweet spot it boasted a 24-death gap, which claimed one victim. The Mike Baker Banked Slalom tests how fast you can go (for the record, Pat Moore went the fastest this year) and then a jersey barrier to quarterpipe finishes the day.

There were lots of hand plants, some small airs (and a few big ones), and a couple serious maneuvers over the course of the day. Forrest Bailey put on a demo, Bridges failed to master frontside inverts, Preston Strout wore his 90s costume, Mike Rav turned 21, and a good time was had by all.

New England Stud Nick Esposito

There were awards for just about everything, randing from Pat Moore’s pro model forum snowboard to a sweet as falcon statue, so here’s the complete list.

15 and Under

1) Jack Herald
2) Parker Szumowski
3) James Fawlet

1) Julie Kochan
2) Mackenzie Hennessy
3) Mary Walsh

Zach Normandin, King of the Boneyard

Open Class
1) Zach Normandin (King of the Boneyard)
2) Merrick Joyce
4) Nick Esposito

25 Plus
1) Tyler Davis
2) Adam Mettervlle
3) Jaues Beruai

Most haggard kit: Preston Strout
Best Hick: Aaron Diamond
Best Method: Jaques Beriau
Best trick rail: Merrick Joyce
Best Jumper: Luke Mathison
Days of Old School: Preston Strout
Worst taste in music: Pat Bridges
Worst Slam: Alex Cole
Biggest Buzzard: Aaron Diamond

Biggest Pussy Awards

Jump: Ryan Stephany
Banked Slalom: Pat Bridges
Quarterpipe: Mike King

And the video. Well, you know the the infamous “dad cam?” This is it, in all its glory. Yes, my dad made the video. The caveat is he’s actually a “real life” photographer, so it’s potentially composed slightly better than the average “dad cam.” To compensate, we’ve left in some of the dramatic “dad commentary.”

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