Video by Justin Gunson
Words by Sandra Hillen
The Otsego Club in Gaylord, Michigan set the stage for the third stop of the TransAm. It was a warm Saturday afternoon and the competitors had arrived excited and ready to rock. It was time to turn up the amps to eleven, and let the show begin.
The TransAM course layout was made up of six unique features built and collaboratively designed by the Otsego Club park crew and event sponsors. At the top of the course, Vitamin Water set up the perfect drop zone, where riders could hydrate before ripping up the course. Thanks to clever new flavors like “Stur-D”, the riders kept better balance steering clear of dehydration. The first line started off with the High Cascade Snowboard Camp snow bus. Its exhaust pipe was blowing out a smokescreen like you wouldn’t believe. Riders had to shoot through the blinding cloud, onto the butter snow bus, and launch off the other side. The other option was to ride up the side of this jib-tastic bus, and slide the top of it. So many ways to jib, so little time.
After a wild smoky bus ride competitors found themselves on the tropical Ride Snowboards “Wish You Were Here” island. The picture perfect postcard scene saw competitors hitting this step-up jump and going huge, with three different transitions to choose from. We even saw a double backie stomped. The media was going nuts bagging postcard shot after postcard shot.
The Coal Headwear snow beanie was another popular feature. Have you ever seen a beanie shaped of snow? Try jumping onto one and airing off. I saw some kids skip the jump on, ollie straight onto the beanie, and huck themselves off. Yep, spins and back rodeos included. The riding level was amping up the crowd, with the Giro flat down rail in the middle of the action. Huge 270 gaps were being thrown down. Riders were also skipping the flat part and hitting the down, which was set up as a side entry rail. Want to sit on the couch? How about jibbing the Zumiez orange couch instead? There was a wall ride feature set up parallel to the back of the couch, so you could either slide across the top, or transfer over the couch onto the wall ride. Why jib the couch when you can bounce? One shredder jumped and landed on the couch cushions, proceeding to front flip off, which sent the crowd wild. Lastly, the Anon box was the perfect feature to showcase Midwest talent, as every single slide variation was thrown with style and smoothness.
The energy at the awards was like being front and center at a rock show. At this particular rock show, the fans were getting buried in Anon goggles and hoodies, Giro soft goods, Drop gloves, and limited edition TransAm Coal beanies. If that’s not being treated like VIP, Vitamin Water had plenty of refreshing cold beverages to wash down the delicious pizza that was being passed around. To the TransAM victors, Ride Snowboards awarded outerwear as well as fresh new boards. High Cascade Snowboard Camp hooked up the top three guys and gals with trendy signature custom backpacks, as well as toy dogs and foam guns! Zumiez put the rock in the roll by hooking up the winners with flight vouchers to Big Bear for the TransAm finals and gift certificates for tasty Zumiez shopping sprees! How is that for being a rock star? For the ladies, Jen Cusick rocked it and snagged first. Kyle Kearns came out with the win for the boys, stomping every technical trick in the book. The tour continues to Park City, UT this Saturday February 12. See you there!
Pint Sized Ripper: Carson Frome
Best trick: Brandon Canney
1. Jen Cusick
2. Catriona Boyd
3. Jackie Lammert
1. Kyle Kearns
2. Brandon Canney
3. Jacob Visser