TransWorld Team Challenge 2006
The Aspen Homecoming
For a sport full of athletes who probably spent more time hanging out under the bleachers than on the field in school, the Team Challenge is a chance to experience the glory of the team sport-with more of a home field advantage.
Over the course of three days at Aspen’s Buttermilk resort in Colorado, teams hit the snowy turf five deep, outfitted in their identifying team uniforms: ninjas, pirates, hillbillies, Ronald McDonalds-you name it. The field of play is set: night pipe, special-feature jam, and the game of PIG. Chaos ensues. Burton pirates soar through the eerie pipe, 80s chicks boardslide the rails, dead presidents come to life on the quarterpipe. Riders push themselves to victory for the glory of the team. The battle continues into the night; a jock mentality sets into the most unsuspecting riders. Rooms are trashed, 40s are emptied, and team managers only fuel the fire. It’s a warped version of homecoming weekend-the way it should be.
In the end, teams leave victorious with crappy metal trophies in hand. Rivalries are settled. It’s the TWS version of a sporting event. Go Team!
Rail Jam Catfight
Best Female Rider: Molly Aguirre
There’s nothing like a little competition among the girls to get some name calling and hair flying, right? Wrong, instead of a catfight, we were treated to a major women’s rail progression session. Every team in attendance was required to have one female rider with Burton stepping up and entering its entire women’s team into the event. The female riders were pushing each other to a level that left the audience of salty team managers without a witty barb to throw.
Natasza Zurek, Molly Aguirre, Kimmy Fasani, Christina Curry, and Desiree Melancon all destroyed the staircase rail-front boards and backlips flew. But it was Molly Aguirre-repeatedly one-upping herself, without hesitation, taking major slams, and going right back for more-who won. Without a doubt, this event was an eye-opener and a highlight of the Team Challenge.
Flow Gets Its Due
Best Team: Antti Autti, Mikka Hast, Scotty Lago, Risto Mattila, Claire Bidez
Best Uniform: Flow/The Ronald McDonalds
Best Halfpipe Rider: Antti Autti
The Flow team has been so close to winning the Team Challenge they could taste it. The boys, draped in red and black, mobbed the course the previous year-taking apart the halfpipe of course. Surprising to some, the team also laid waste to the big kicker and charged both wallride and rails. Ultimately, they lost-the overwhelming display of costumed camaraderie byTteam Academy with Chad Otterstrom at the helm took it.
This year TM Andrew Mutty added the final piece to the Flow puzzle and took it to the next level. “I would like to credit the costumes for putting us over the top. There was honestly a genuinely excited team vibe when everyone received their outfit. I think the transition into Ronald really got the blood going for all of us,” says Mutty. It would be a grave oversight not to touch on Flow’s approach to their roster-Flow enters the TC with their top Olympians and X Gamers, while some brands send their up-and-comers. If you’re intent is to win, bring the best. Historically, any powerhouse of a team is built on thievery, but such is not the case with Flow-team cohesion runs deep. Flow has grown its team up from the ground floor and it shows in the dynamic. From the mouth of the ever-enthusiastic Andrew Mutty, “We’re not into the individual icon attitude. It brings the group down to have a select standout. The Flow team works really well when they push each other!”
In short, Flow was in it to win it-and this year they earned a well-deserved victory!
Best Team Manager: Andrew Mutty/Flow
It takes a dedicated TM to diligently hand sew an entire team’s uniforms from scratch without so much as a pattern. Upon being informed he couldn’t wear his personal Ronald costume, he put together a stunning HHamburglar outfit without a complaint! Mutty tirelessly filmed and provided nonstop cheerleading for the Flow team throughout the event. Wow! What a role model. And when he was finally recognized for his accomplishment at the ender party, he reacted in true TM form: he stripped off his clothes and ordered a round for the bar.
Best Male Rider: Scotty Lago
Scotty is a great kid, and his performances at the Team Challenge have been pivotal every year. In ’05 he earned the cover of TransWorld SNOWboarding on the TC wallride feature. This time around he captured Best Male Rider of the Team Challenge. We caught up with him for a quick Q & A.
TWS: What was it like to be voted best rider of the Team Challenge by your peers?
Scotty: I was so excited-I couldn’t believe it to be honest. It’s the coolest to be respected by my peers and other riders that
I look up to.
Who did you think would get rider of the event?
I forgot who I voted for at the time, but some standouts were Danny Davis, Kevin Pierce, J Town, and Mason Aguirre to name a few.
The Flow team murdered it. Was it Mutty’s magic Ronald McDonald suits?
Yeah, Ronald had our back for sure, thanks to Mutty! As far as magic, I don’t know about that.
Were you guys just out there having a good time or in competition mode?
We were there to have a good time. I mean, the Team Challenge is a super fun event, so it’s hard not to have fun. We just rode together as a team and did our best on every thing we hit. But we were definitely like, “Let’s go out and win this thing for Flow!”
The layout was pretty spread out, yet you guys clearly owned it. How?
Some people think we’re just halfpipe riders, but it’s not true-we’re all well-rounded. It helped us win the Team Challenge.
What was your setup for the Team Challenge?
I was riding the Quantum board with the NXT binders and Justice boots-all Flow!
The Flow team has made a lot of noise over the last three years, are people becoming more interested in Flow stuff?
I hope so. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be-Flow is legit!
What’s the biggest improvement in the newest Flow designs?
Lightweight bindings. In the past, weight was the only issue-the new NXT bindings are super light!
(Scotty Web Plug)
For more on Scotty’s TC setup and Flow’s Triple Threat Technology, visit twsnow.com.
Burton Finds Team Spirit
PIG: Team Burton
Since the inception of the Team Challenge, Burton has been a serious threat-yet serious may have been their Achilles’ heel. The contest is unique-it takes some genuine enthusiasm for the pieces to fall into place. While Burton has always shown up with top-notch uniforms, what they needed were costumes. You can lose yourself a little bit in a costume, loosen up, relax, and have fun. Perhaps it was this second skin the young Burton boys needed to enjoy themselves properly. Whatever the case, when Team Burton showed up at the pipe as pirates with Danny Davis going double overhead with a scarf and pirate’s blade in hand, the tide turned in their favor. The PIG finale was settled on the handrail-Burton versus Forum. Young Keegan Valeika vanquished his even younger Forum foe Lukas Magoon. Forum was “costumed” in team jerseys … coincidence? We think not.
Standout Performances (add quotes)
Best Rail Rider: Lucas Magoon
Best Special Feature Rider: Pat Milberry
Best Pipe Rider: Antti Autti
An all-new, bigger and badder Team Challenge will be held this April 5-6, 2007, at Heavenly Resort in Tahoe, California. The TC will now be a televised, spectator-friendly event with food, live bands, and an updated contest format! Don’t fret, we’re keeping our classic game of PIG, kids! Check transworldsnowboarding.com for details.
To witness the event in all its glory, log on to twsnow.com and dig up the Team Challenge 2006 video.