All photos and captions by Greg Furey.
Words by Adam Kisiel
We have a beagle that lives a notoriously curious life, but one constant in her everyday schedule of mischief is that she sits on top of our lounge chair in the living room and stares out the window, waiting for some sort of movement out front. Motion of a recognizable outline or facial distinction will set her in motion to start a full tail wag and tap dance act in front of the door until someone enters the house. I always chalked this act up to the general craziness that most beagles possess, but as of the recent lack of snow in the forecast and the precipitation impasse that is defining this season grows ever tedious, this anxious feeling draws no lines between canine and human.
Ninety-six faces pressed against front windows in New Hampshire wondering if the skies would open up, turn the buzzards white and set the stage for the Transworld Snowboarding TransAm presented by Skullcandy. A contest that has in habitual fashion kicked off the six stop tour at Waterville Valley for almost as many years at the amateur contest has been in existence, the TransAm focuses on fun and creative features never ridden before in the park, all, of course, snow dependent. Luke Mathison and the Waterville Valley Park Crew moved out of the house this past weekend, told Mother Nature they are tired of depending on her, and forever set their name in granite with the best start to the TransAm season in ten years. We arrived to a park set up with a plethora of lines and transition that had our tails in full wag. As we waited to be let off the leash for the traffic jam of all riders shredding for an hour straight, the sunrise turned the sky red and the forty-degree temperature had many shedding their winter coats knowing the session that was about to ensue wouldn't just be a walk in the park or another game of fetch-the-finals jersey.
The Watervillians tore the mini park apart and left other resorts wondering how such a park was constructed while they played tug of war with Mother Nature, who was currently owning them. Presenting sponsor Skullcandy owned up to their name and provided ear-pounding tunes to dance, shred, and win to. Their sound tube jib was pumping out riding that made most fancy feet happy and even had some hand planting in breakdance like fashion to a song list constructed by the riders at registration. The Skullcandy tunes had all the riders panting, not to mention wanting a pair of the custom Skullcandy TransAm headphones on their heads for days to come. Girls first place winner, Lauren Tampossi, let the music guide her to victory all day long.
High Cascade Snowboard Camp would not settle for just a jib or jump feature, but a combination of everything straight from the brain of Jesse Burtner, who designed a mini pipe jib feature. Riders were using the pole jam entry into the pipe to throw methods, back flips, and head high straight airs into the transition only to ride the opposing wall sliding the jib tube like coping or airing out to the down rail on the exit. Nate Carroll gave the best all around showing whether it be in transition, jibbing, or jumping all incorporated into this HCSC feature, earning him first place. Riding on steroids? No. Riding on Muscle Milk, had the kids hitting the Muscle Milk elbow rail and using the huge box at an angle to exit or enter into the downside of the feature proving milk was a good decision on this unseasonably warm day. In true traffic jam fashion riders piled up on the Anon up box to gap off. They were driving the transam, not paying attention to what was on the road ahead and never saw the gap coming. The judges didn't like the crash site, but couldn't stop looking. The rubbernecking continued to the Zumiez feature where Mathison, in my opinion and experience of seeing the orange Zumiez couch used in the park for many consecutive years, built the most creative couch feature yet. It was a gap jump with a quarter pipe in the gap of the jump. In between the take off and landing was a quarter pipe with the couch at the top like an orange pedestal. Riders could bonk, ride, and air over the couch hitting the jump straight on or hit the feature from the side and air out of the deck of the quarter pipe in between the jump take off and landing. I was hoping for some old dogs to teach the new ones new tricks and partner up in a air out of the quarter pipe while a friend jumped overhead hitting the gap jump. Most riders were content with chasing their tails in spins, rodeos, and grabs over the gap. Zumiez Best Trick Award winner Matt Schaefer threw down on this air feature as well as the jib features, walking away with a $1000 Zumiez gift card.
In fact all the best tricks were bred into every rider that hit the Ride Snowboards Hybrid Technology smoking barrel feature. The barrels were set up so that you could take off from two barrels laying on their side and smoking to bonk the next barrel set up vertically. Many noses and tails were pressed on the exit of this feature in 180 and 360 fashion. The Coal Headwear twin snow beanies kept riders abreast of what you could do on either feature whether it is gap from one mound to the next or stall on top of the beanies that had taut barrels set up like pom poms. Most gave attention to both beanie peaks by airing from one to the other. One of the youngest riders in the contest, Keagan Hosefros, rode the beanies like he was hungry for more than just Muscle Milk and took home the Pint Sized Ripper Award. The treat for everyone at the bottom of the park was the Giro down rail and Donkey D. out. Painted up like a red rocket this lipstick like rail had riders sliding down the rail throwing tricks with the energy of a dog in heat. Most riders, after seeing Worst Crash Winner Phil Wettengel's scorpion, ordered a Giro helmet to save their own brains from what they witnessed. As you may be privy to after this park description it shouldn't be surprising that a resort that set their name early in snowboarding history with a park called the Boneyard, threw all these hungry kids a bone in what will set the bar for the TransAm Tour.
Everyone was fed more than they could handle with the pizza party and giveaway after the contest and mouths watered as the prizes were handed out. Ride Snowboards with awesome outerwear and snowboards, the coveted Transworld Snowboarding TransAm gold trophies, custom beanies from Coal, Skullcandy TransAm headphones, High Cascade Snowboard Camp shred scout back packs, Drop Gloves, custom Giro TransAM helmets, Zumiez gift cards, and Anon Goggles were all served on the menu of the prizes. The Muscle Milk Recovery Award was the rider's choice as they all voted who would win the two hundred dollar oversized check. Nora Healy will be heading to an oversized bank to cash that one in as all the riders that competed voted her best showing.
1st – Lauren Tampossi
2nd -Becka Ashley
3rd – Nora Healey
1st – Nate Carroll
2nd – Ralph Kucharek
3rd – Jed Sky
Best Scorpion – Phil Wettengel
Zumiez Best Trick – Matt Schaefer
Pint Sized Ripper – Keagan Hosefros
Muscle Milk Recovery Award, Riders’ Choice – Nora Healey