Words and Photos by Jeff Hawe
January 6th 2012 saw a new competition come through Big Sky Resort in Montana, which was a breath of fresh air into the snowboard scene. The inaugural Smash Life Banked Slalom was held in memory, and honor of the late Aaron Robinson. Smash was Aaron's motto for, well, life. The comp was 100% for charity, a fundraiser for the AROB Plant A Seed foundation which will help get disadvantaged youth out to shred this winter. Just fewer than 100 riders turned out for the event from all corners of the west. The attitude of the race was far from competitive, with it's jam format organization, riders simply hung out at the top trying to stay warm while waiting to drop. Most were able to squeeze at least two runs in before the timing equipment broke with Jason Robinson's 12-second run, too fast I guess. After attempts to get it back running failed everyone simply began to form trains and chase their buddies down the course, everyone was there to have fun after-all. The true AROB spirit, boarding and good times before all else was alive and well at Big Sky that day.
Awards and a premiere of "Manifest" for the first time in MT followed up the race. If you have not seen this movie make it a point to see it. The crowd cheered and laughed the film on, struggled through the twist of fate, and applauded it endlessly when it was finished. Many people have named it the best shred movie this year; I heard the same opinion come from many in Big Sky that night. All said and done between the race, premiere, and raffle of goods from sponsors like Volcom, K2, World Boards, and Four O Six the event was able to raise about $2000 for the AROB PAS. That money should help get some deserving grommies on the hill this season. Thanks go out to the sponsors, and Big Sky Resort for hosting the Smash Life Banked Slalom. See you next year!