PHOTOS: Ryan Taylor
Video Justin Gunson
Words: Adam Kisel
No coast, no hype, no rules, just raw energy of shredding until they could hardly strap in again is the name of the game in Powder Ridge, Minnesota. The TransWorld SNOWboarding TransAm presented by Skullcandy was no exception to this rule and Minnesota showed up in the form of 95, get-after-it, hungry for more snowboarders. It didn't matter if it was 20 below or hard as a rock out, these kids were not waiting for anything but to tear apart a mini park with features they had never seen before. Luckily for the crew from Middle America, the weather was sunny with blue skies, and hovering around the 40s in temperature. Turn up the heat and switch on the riding until it breaks off. Trust me, it broke off with all 95 riders slaying at once in the traffic jam.
At the top of the park sat a mini pipe that came straight from the brain of Think Thank's Jesse Burtner. The High Cascade Snowboard Camp mini pipe was littered with a picnic table on end, an angled box, one down flat lift tube, and a flat down rail, all sitting on top of fresh cut transition. Jesse Paul, tuned out, dropped in, and handplanted the top of the picnic table in perfect style landing him in the driver's seat setting the pace for the rest of the contest. He would move down the course and eliminate everything on his way to grabbing top honors.
Mike Wiener and the Powder Ridge Park Crew deemed the next level down the scrap yard. In typical scrap yard character, the three Ride Snowboard's smoking barrels were set up behind some chain link fence, encouraging riders to jump over the fenced section and bonk the triple barrel of 50-gallon fun. Ally Goebel face-pushed the scrap yard manager and jumped the fence to take home first for the gals. The Zumiez orange couch sat on top of two huge wooden spools of rope. It was set up in true birthday party style with a cake, hats, noisemakers, and a birthday banner to boot. Partying a little too hard across the top of the couch was Andy Latterner as he dug in his toes in a boardslide. Happy 10th birthday, TransAm! The custom Coal beanie feature couldn't be set up due to a lack of snow, but that didn't stop the Powder Ridge Crew from setting up a Coal corrugated tube pole jam to picnic table transfer. Craig Cameron got tubed and rode it all the way to second place before the closeout.
The bottom section of the park was a chance for the kids to take it to the streets. The Anon ledge was flanked by chain link fence that would ruin your day if you came off early. Apparently danger is Zach Pudas' middle name as he wasn't afraid to combo enough tricks on the ledge to punch the fence back, fighting his way to the Zumiez Best Trick Award. The fence also linked to the next feature over that gave riders three different options to get down the Giro stair set. Theresa Kewley minded the gap as she jumped over the steps to the flat bar and second place. Muscle Milk brought out the hot air for this stop with a huge gap jump over the Muscle Milk barrels. Although some riders came up short on the jump shattering the barrels, Garrett McKenzie was showing riders twice his size that he deserved the Pint Sized Ripper Award. Skullcandy brought out the sound tube and the riding fields rocked out to the tunes all day long, dancing across the tube with John-Travolta-Saturday-Night-Fever type moves. Kasie Carriveau, much like Travolta, danced her way to the podium and never even messed up her hair.
The competitors were in dire need of a pizza party after literally riding their faces off. Lucky for them they could cover up with awesome prizes including Anon Optics goggles, custom TransAm beanies from Coal, custom TransAm helmets from Giro, custom Aviator headphones from Skullcandy, backpacks from High Cascade Snowboard Camp, snowboards and outerwear from Ride Snowboards, Drop gloves, Zumiez gift cards, and the coveted Transworld TransAm trophies. The Zumiez Best Trick Couch Check for one thousand dollars was given to Andy Latterner and the Muscle Milk Rider's Choice Award (voted on by the riders) was given to Jesse Paul. Jesse Paul had to call U-Haul to come pick up his oversized check for two hundred dollars as well as all the prizes he took home. Hopefully Jesse will bring it all to Big Bear, California, to compete in TransAm finals.
1st Jesse Paul
2nd Craig Cameron
3rd Sam Bakken
1st Ally Goebel
2nd Theresa Kewley
3rd Kasie Carriveau
Zumiez Best Trick: Zach Pudas
Muscle Milk Rider's Choice Award: Jesse Paul
Worst Crash: Andy Latterner
Pint Sized Ripper Award: Garrett McKenzie