After good weather, good snow, good friends, good kids and a sick park on the first day of the Grenade Strikes Back Tour at Loon Mountain, we didn’t think things could get any better. I really didn’t think they could get any better after the first night’s after-party, where I defeated Carlino in a vicious game of ro-sham-bo, taking home Silent Greg’s snowboard! But as good as things were, they got better.
We awoke the next morning sans hangovers to a blue sky peeking through the curtains of our hotel room windows, and temperatures even more manageable than the previous day, which wasn’t bad at all. We hooked up snacks and beverages at the local convenience store, and then headed the mile or two up the road to Loon. As soon as we got there we met up with day two’s bad-ass newcomers, Lane Knaak, Max Weinberger, Chris Grenier, and Brian Rednis—sick! We took a few warm up laps, probably the most fun laps ever, with said crew and East Coast legend and the CEO of ASS Industries, Eric Kovall. We rode sick trannies, block spots, rock drops, fence hops, tap spins, log rides, and the best things ever—the snowmaking pipes that run up the hill. Those things are the shit.
But this was a contest right? Kids did sign up and all, so on with it. Halfpipe was thing of the past day two was all about slopestyle. And what a slopestyle, Loon really knows how to put together a park. A park better than that currently found at Mammoth according to Kass, and housing the biggest jumps on the east according to Sketchy-D. The rails were in order as well, we even saw the most troubled kid on the hill, Lucas Magoon tearing shit up all while looking half asleep—good style that guy. The whole slope section was rounded out with a massive wallride at the bottom, with a big ol’ VIP platform up top of it where the bands were playing and Schiff was throwing shit. After a first go, the list was cut down to ten riders, and a final was in order. The final round took place up at the top of the course, over the biggest kicker in the park, which stretched out probably about 50 feet, a good jump for sure. Each rider had one go, and the best maneuver would take home a trip to the 2007 Grenade Games, and a one-in-four chance of being added to Grenade Gloves’ pro/am roster and design their own pro-model glove. The ten finalists where no slouches either, it was real close in the end between Ted Lavoie who executed a perfect backside seven, and Travis Neuenhaus for his equally immaculate switch frontside seven. In the end it was determined that Travis would be the winner, his jump being a hair smoother, and he landed switch. See you at Grenade Games, son. With the close of June Mountain we hear the Games may relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Snoqualmie maybe?
At the days end, we thought it was all over, until Sketchy D hiked back up about 100 yards from the RV, in the parking lot we were lurking in, to go 180 this gap to trannie that ran out right next to a lift tower. Out the corner of our eyes, Dennis came in hot as hell—too hot—and jumped at least 100 feet, out and over his trannie landing well flat, tumbling, smashing into the lift tower, and ripping his bindings into two pieces. The baseplate still attached to his board, and the rest still hugging his boot. Dennis is the f—king man.
Thanks to Loon Mountain for being so sick; thanks to the weather for cooperating; thanks to Danny, Dingo, Casillo, Sketchy, Schiff, Knox, and Kirsten for keeping it mad real; thanks to Greg for his snowboard, and most of all thanks to all the kids who made it as cool as it was, you guys rule. Anyone who’s able better be at Mt. Creek New Jersey, February 17-18th, that’s going to kick serious ass.