First Annual Team Challenge

first `ferst adj 1: proceeding all others in time, order, importance a: numero uno.

annual `an-ye(-we)l adj 1: an event that occurs yearly a: once a year is enough.

Westridge `west-rij n 1: 1.5-mile run, from top to bottom, of hips, hits, lips, rails, funboxes, and quarterpipes at Snow Summit Resort in sunny Big Bear Lake, California a: a slopestyle course that Snow Summit built because they can b: a really good jib line because the snow’s never that epic in Southern California.

team `tem n 1: two or more draft animals harnessed to the same vehicle or implement 2: a brood esp. of young pigs or ducks c: a matched group of animals for exhibition 3: a number of persons associated together in work or activity a: a group on one side (as in football or debate) b: three-person group of the world’s best freestyle snowboarders from thirteen board sponsors: Airwalk, Atlantis, Forum, Joyride, K2, M3, Nitro, Option, Ride, Rossignol, Salomon, Sims, and World Industries c: teams in snowboarding are as brilliant as this definition.

challenge `cha-lenj n 1 a: a summons that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting; specif : a summons to a duel to answer an affront b: an invitation to compete in a sport c: once-a-year excuse to spend a lot of money on film for one eight-hour period of time.

Opening Sequence: Travis Parker, cork seven nosegrab. Photos: Rob Mathis

“It was straight up fun. It was cool. I don’t usually ride parks at all. I wish I could ride that type of shit all the time, especially when there’s no good powder. Seeing all the top dudes doing new shit on the big jumps was cool. Mad laid back, everyone was just sessioning, not really worrying about the contest.”-Marc Frank Montoya

“I liked that it was a slopestyle contest-you could hit different kinds of jumps and rails, not just one straight jump.”-Bobi Rey

Trophy Shot: The winning team and the craziest trophy this side of the Mississippi. Bobi Rey, Patrick Karlsson, and Josh LeVine. Not pictured-Nathan Parks lost the coin toss to Josh LeVine for the third-man spot on the “team.” Photo: Shem Roose

Night Shot: Jon Kramer, still pushing it for an audience of stars and flash bulbs three hours into the post-challenge night pipe session. Frontside air. Photo: Derek Kettela

Day Pipe: Tom Gilles, method. Photo: Shem Roose

Picnic Table: Brothers from different mothers, Nico Droz and Kevin Sansalone. Photo: Shem Roose

“Just riding down the course made you feel like you were in Coolboarders 3, and in my case, didn’t know how to play it.”-Justin Mooney

Tree Shot: Pavo Tikannen, caught mid spin. Switch five stale grab. Photo: Derek Kettela

“I liked how we all stood in line to drop in for our run, and how we were almost alone in the forest except for the judges and the cameras. One run was an excellent idea, ’cause then there are no worries-you only had one run to concentrate on, so you tried to make it a good one.”-Patrick Karlsson

Pipe box sequence. Bjorn Leines, frontside alley-oop disaster. Photos: Shem Roose

“Aiight, yeah, the Forum team can do some pretty dope tricks, but we can still beat their asses.”-Marc Frank Montoya

Top Left: Patrik Karlsson, bringing one in for the underwater city. Atlantis represent! Frontside air. Photo: Kevin Zacher

Top Middle: Marc Frank Montoya, rail slide. Photo: Shem Roose

Middle: J.P., backside rail slide down the whole damn thing. Photo: Shem Roose

Bottom Left: The hot-tub sausage fest. Bubbles courtesy of Yoshida’s post-challenge BBQ. Photo: Kevin Zacher

Bottom Middle: “There’s is no second place, all the rest of you are losers.”-Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, park builder and director of snowboarding, Snoww Summit, and our very own Leah Jones announcing the winners. Photo: Shem Roose

Bottom Right: Derek Kettela, a.k.a “Chester.” “Where are all the ladies?” Photo: Shem Roose

Tree Rail: Joni Malmi, frontside lipslide. Photo: Shem Roose

“The tree to tree rail was the craziest setup I’ve ever seen. J.P. didn’t even do it, and he’s the jib ninja.”-Josh LeVine

Tree Rail Sequence: Nico Droz, fakie to fakie, coast to coast. Photos: Torey Piro

“Damn, he did that thing! You didn’t really notice it ’cause the trees were angled the wrong way. People would get on, their heels would slip out, and they’d catch their knees, trapeze style-full back dive. I wouldn’t even step to that thing, it scared me.”-Jon Kramer

“I don’t remember even seeing anybody’s contest run. I just remember lots of people sessioning the ‘special park.’ It was the least pressure to do good I ever felt at a contest because no one was watching.”-Mikey LeBlanc

End Sequence: Joni Malmi, off axis switch seven. Photos: Derek Kettela.

“Joni’s got it dailed. It’s such a hard trick, and he nails it every time. Stupid Euro.”-J.P. Walker

“I liked the course really good. Smooth jumps, rails, tables, corners, and quarters. A “funpark” in the word’s right meaning! We had the best weather, too, but most of all it was a social competition-all the dudes were there. Good fun.”-Marius Sommer