The first ever TransWorld SNOWboarding Trans-Am went off with out a hitch this weekend at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon. Well, not quite ? there were a few hitches involved. But besides the sky puking wet snowflakes the size of hockey pucks and all the give-a-way product almost being locked up in a van down by the river, kids who participated in the High Cascade Enter the Dragon USASA slopestyle and Trans-Am events, Saturday January 11, got the super stoke out.

This is how it went down: kids registered to compete in the scheduled USASA slopestyle, aware they may be one of 30 chosen for the first of four Trans-Am contests to take place around the country. The obstacles for the Bachelor event included some jib-friendly picnic tables and a not-so-friendly but seemingly enticing 40-foot S rail.

After a little S rail ramp sculpting help from Josh Dirksen, Janna Meyen, Macy Price, and Thayne Mahler, it was on. The pro riders were the first to hit the obstacles then the jam-formatted contest began.

If the level of amateur kids at this event as well as the USASA slopestyle held that day is any example of talent around the country, some of the pros out there should be a little nervous about keeping their jobs. Throughout the jam session, every trick known to man and a few new ones, were thrown on the tables (literally) ? some by kids not old enough to know how to spell frontside lipslide. The S rail was just a bit more challenging but a few conquered the monster in its entirety.

When the light began to fade, the riding ceased and USASA participants were lined up for a “Dash For Loot.” About 40 to 50 people raced in the 200-yard uphill dash to get their hands on all kinds of product stashed in the snow. The weather surprisingly didn?t deter spectators from cheering on the madness.

The Trans-Am judges included Meyen, Dirksen, Price, and representatives from Ride Snowboards, DaKine, TWS, and High Cascade. In the end, as hard as it was to choose, three riders came away with trophies handmade by TWS founder Larry Balma. First place walked away with a Ride Snowboard, and first through fourth received packs from DaKine, Smith goggles and beanies, TWS, and Quiksilver loot. The awards were given at the Trans-Am pizza party held at John Doughs in Bend, where families and USASA participants gathered for pizza and the raffling of a Ride snowboard among other prizes.

Congratulations to the USASA participants and first Trans-Am winners:

1.1. Jesse Hollis
2.2. Aaron Breitenbach
3.3. Chris Luzier
4.4. Paul Dillman

A special thanks goes out to Mt. Bachelor, High Cascade Snowboard Camp, Tara from Ride Snowboards, Randy from DaKine, Smith Optics, Quiksilver, and Boost Mobile for helping support the USASA, the Trans-Am, and grassroots snowboarding.

Look for the next Trans-Am locations:

Big Bear, CA, February 2

Breckenridge, CO, February 8Sunday River, ME, March 24-30, at the 2003 USASA Nationals

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- www.usasa.org