The Transworld SNOWboarding TransAM Series presented by High Cascade Snowboard Camp rolled into Waterville Valley, New Hampshire this weekend to witness an East Coast atmospheric anomaly: heavy snows followed by a sunny day! Yep, a foot of new snow fell the night before the event, and Mr. Blue Sky showed up in the morning. Unfortunately, so did Mr. Wind, as category-5 winds periodically gusted across the mountain. Regardless, the powder was packed in the Mini Park„¢, the sun was beaming and the conditions were perfect.
With a perfectly sculpted Mini Park„¢ awaiting: the riders rolled in. All fashions were equally represented—from little kids in their big brother’s t-shirts, to big kids in their little sister’s jeans. Notably missing from the 93-rider field was the Waterville Valley Academy crew, as young guns like Sam Hulbert and Brandon Reese had traveled out to Oregon for the Grand Prix. Regardless, the talent pool of New England riders was deep.
The Mini Park„¢ consisted of two lines of three hits, both culminating in a shared quarter-pipe. The left line consisted of a decommissioned bomb/missile that the folks at Oakley have re-commissioned into a jib, a double barrel-bonk table top and a snow-making pipe pole jam from. The right line consisted of a mini table-top Zumiez couch gap, a huge horizontal corrugated pipe jib from and a fun box wall ride sticking up out of a spine.
The TransAM kicked off in Traffic Jam„¢ format as 93 riders shredded their way through the hour and a half, bumper-to-bumper, freestyle free-for-all. The action was heavy as the judges handed out the coveted t-shirt bibs to standout riders advancing 40 standouts into the finals.
Throughout the day the highlights were many, but since you can watch the web video, there’s no need to name them all. You should know, however: Sean Murphy, Massachusetts-Killington transplant has more board control and style than most. Chris Carr, a Plymouth State University chap, rode the Mini-Park„¢ like a bearded snowboard genius. Deleah Elling can spin and jib with the best of them. Forest Bailey who got 2nd two weeks ago at the Bear TransAM is just plain good. Celia Johnson, who drove down from UVM rides a snowboard quite well. Avert Guldemond, had a huge jacket and looks just like his brother (TWS cover boy Chas Guldemond), and Tanner McCarty is on fire.
Although the level of riding was quite high in the finals, the best tricks of the day were performed by the event’s wind blown EZ-up tents. Highlights included the Transworld tent nailing a wing gust half back flip and the Freebord tent, almost landing a double-cork twelve. Unfortunately, an ill-fated landing resulted in 4 blown aluminum ACL’s and an hour’s worth of arthroscopic duct-tape surgery.
In the end, everyone was a winner at the awards ceremony thanks to the complementary pizza and chocolate chip cookie party, product raffle and the TransAM Product Barf„¢ off the upper deck of the lodge: courtesy of Oakley, Dakine, Ride, Freebord, Zumiez and Allyance Outerwear. The top three riders qualified for the finals at Northstar and are one step closer to winning a trip to the Transworld Team Challenge and to High Cascade Snowboard Camp this summer.
We’ll see you FEBRUARY 17th at Winter Park, CO for the next stop of the TransAM Series. Go to www.highcascade.com for online registration. Go to Waterville to shred the new snow.
1st Sean Murphy
2nd Forest Bailey
3rd Chris Carr
1st Deleah Elling
2nd Alison Buchanon
3rd Celia Johnson
B.O.N.E.R. Award (Best Overall Nutty Extreme Rider)