After finishing runner up to Mr. Shaun White last year, Blaise Rosenthal comes up victorious in 2004. Danny Williams and Eugene Mena take second and third. The field of competitors was mostly made up of young local riders, with a few big names thrown in for fun. Heck, more than half of the entrants could not legally drink the free alcohol at the awards ceremony. The youngest rider, Spencer Link, was only thirteen. Spencer charged so hard he nearly took himself out on his third run. At 30 years of age, Blaise had enough snowboarding knowledge to fend of his younger colleagues. Blaise spun some fives and sevens through the three jumps to inspire older riders to keep on charging. Oh yeah, Shaun did not show up this year, not that it matters.
The Grand Prix was going on in Mammoth at the same time, so I asked Chuck Allen of Mountain High if he thought the Grand Prix kept some of the big names away. “We don’t care about the big names” was his response. Chuck went on to explain that this event is put on to support the area’s up and coming rippers. Of course, the big names are welcome to enter, but whatevs. Pretty smart-support local riders and they support you. Mountain High has seen record attendance numbers this season. Kawasaki put up the 25,000 dollars in prize money.
Mountain High did a bang-up job, considering Southern California is about the only place in the nation that hasn’t seen huge snowfall amounts this season. The jumps weren’t too big, about forty foot gaps. A lot of riders sketched the first jump, so it must have been tricky. The other two jumps seemed fine. Riders were scored on all three of their jumps, so consistency was the key. There was an optional S-rail after the jumps. The rail didn’t affect scores, but 250 dollars were given away for best trick. Cory Cronk took the best rail trick with a 270 nosepress to 180 out. Brian Elrod took 250 for the “best jump” trick. Brian’s switch underflip won it.
The weather wasn’t so great for making snow. It was about 60 degrees, but it was good for watching scantily clad So Cal beauties shred it … nice. Hey, big air and hot chicks, what else do you want? The vibe was casual and purposely so. The event people wanted everyone to have fun. Bleechers were set up next to the course and fans were allowed to stand really close to the action. Free beer and Wahoo’s fish tacos were given out to the participants-way cool. The resort was crowded, but everyone was having fun in the California sun. Life could be worse.
Some words from Blaise
TWS: How were the three jumps today?
Blaise: Really good, I was happy.
TWS: Jump size?
They were good sized for doing tricks but you weren’t petrified, you know. The first jump was kinda crazy but the other two were smooth.
TWS: You think more rock stars woulda been here if the Grand Prix was not going down in Mammoth?
I don’t really know, I don’t do very many contests. Yeah, I don’t know what’s going on in the contest world. I just come down here because my friend Shane usually has something to do with this contest. So I come down to hang out with him.
1) Blaise Rosenthal $6,000, Kawasaki Quad and a trip for two to the Turtle Bay resort in Hawaii
2) Danny Williams $3,000
3) Eugene Mena $1,500
4) Clayton Shoemaker $815
5) Cory Cronk $675
6) Sean Apgar $650
7) Kyle Lopiccolo $350
8) BJ Pierce $325
9) Keegan Valaika $300
10) Brian Elrod $250
Jump – Brian Elrod
Slayer Rail – Cory Cronk
1. Chad Huff
2. Josh Andreoli
3. Doug Olson