Shaun White, Hannah Teter, and a course full of seventy-foot kickers and twenty-foot gap to up-flat-down-flat-up rails—not present. A small army of Airblaster-clad Oregon shredders, and three of the sketchiest mini-jumps ever constructed—check, and check. This was the scene at the second annual Airblaster Board Games on Saturday, March 25, which featured a “rhythm section” of three spine-like jumps followed by a choice of a down rail, or a mellower up flat down box.
The Games were held at locally owned Ski Bowl, and officially started at four o’clock in the afternoon under a thick cover of fog and snow flurries. The poor visibility didn’t stop the competitors from launching themselves off of the nearly vertical takeoffs, and more backflip and a half-back neck plants than I have ever seen were thrown during the two-hour jam session. Clayton McCune, Clint Graham, and Airblaster co-owner Jesse Grankoski undertook the task of judging the rhythm section, with Fro Waters ranking the rails.
Although tweaked out methods, various double grabs, and backside 180’s dominated the night’s trick list, an impressive display of backflip nose grabs and backside rodeos unfolded under the coaxing of announcer Scotty “The Body” Connerly. Among the standouts were Austin Smith, Cory Noble, and Johnny Paxon, who all flipped, spun, and jibbed their way into crowd favoritism. However, it was Government Camp local Nick Dirks who, despite hiking up the course while smoking cigarettes and wearing a pair of the tightest snowboard pants known to man, managed to take the $750 cash prize. After all was said and done, Airblaster managed to once again put on one of the most unique competitions of the year, while maintaining their goal of keeping snowboarding fun.