Team Challenge 2005-In Aspen Colorado

Can anybody stop Academy?

By Jennifer Sherowski

Anybody who knows anything knows that you can’t force fun. Since the major purpose of the Team Challenge is fun, the TransWorld staff has a unique task on their hands when planning the event. Luckily, everyone around here-and most of the riders who attend the TC-are all very skilled in the art of pretending to be working when what’s actually going on is fun, fun, fun. It’s true-this elaborate bait-and-switch hasn’t failed us once.

Now, as part of the “getting shit done” faáade, we moved the 2005 event from its two-year location in Tahoe to an exclusive Team Challenge Park built in Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado. As usual, we invited every senior photographer on the TransWorld roster, as well as declaring open season on filming to ensure that the TC escapades could be Memorexed in all the major videos (we even put together a DVD ourselves-check the www.). Last but not least, we held a competition for the week and made the riders themselves judge it. Now, if all that wasn’t enough to distract people into having fun, well, there was always the nine free kegs of Budweiser (that’s even enough to make Coyle have fun-and he’s over 30!).

Anyway, despite all that, the most impressive thing about the Team Challenge continues to be that because everyone is having such a good time, a shit-ton of positively progressive riding goes down in the process. This year, we really got to know the Flow base graphics-every time we caught sight of a red Flow team jersey, it was on someone who was flying around in the air, more than likely upside down, and definitely mid ridiculous rotation. Scotty Lago and Miikka Hast were mostly to blame. The Burton team held its own in the pipe-Kazu Kokubo McTwisted above the heads of all his teammates, and Danny Davis and Mason Aguirre frontside nined away the day. Academy newcomer Mike Casanova roughed up the rail garden pretty good. And his teammate Chad Otterstrom-who just happens to be the reigning Team Challenge champ-once again destroyed every single aspect of the park, from jumps to pipe to rails. Yep, some serious riding unfolded at Aspen this year-don’t believe us? Take a look at the photos, and have some vicarious fun, while you’re at it.

Team Challenge Hall Of Fame

2005: Academy

2004: Academy

2003: CAPiTA

2002: Option

2001: K2

2000: World Industries

1999: Atlantis

The Players:

Academy

Atomic

Arbor

Bataleon

Believe

Burton

Capita

Dinosaurs Will Die

Elan/Artec

Endeavor

Flow

K2

Monument

Never Summer

Nitro

Option

Palmer

Ride

Rome

Salomon

Sapient

Sined

Trilogy Arts

The 2005 Course Breakdown

Do you know what “cat time” is? Have you ever raked the transition of an eighteen-foot-high Superpipe? How about determining the proper takeoff and landing specs on a jump? I’m only asking because I want you to properly understand all the work and expertise that goes into building a good park-it’s way tougher than you think, and it’s also the most important thing about an event like the Team Challenge. Really, the sun could be blazing down and the snow could be perfect, but without the right features, all you’ve got is a bunch of pros sitting around eating hotdogs and talking about the second homes they just bought. With that said, we really gotta thank Greg Boyd and the Aspen/Snowmass park crew for giving us this: A 400-foot-long Superpipe with eighteen-foot transitions and two sixteen-foot channels cut out on opposing walls; a 60-foot tabletop kicker over a sixteen-foot-wide channel; a rail garden that included an up-flat-down box, two C-boxes, and a wallride/upright-box type contraption; a hip jump; a quarterpipe; and a goddamn good time.

Team Uniforms

Stretching The Limits Of Common Decency

Every year, the Team Challenge team “uniforms” get a little more out of hand-and nothing could make us happier. Watching Chad Otterstrom switch backside spin a park jumin regular-old outerwear? Boring. Witnessing him getting wicked in tight black pants and a sombrero? Now that’s exciting! Yeah, if we have to sit around watching other people snowboard all day at our event, it damn well better be entertaining. Of course, the getups have a practical purpose, too-they help along the voting process. It’s the riders themselves who determine the outcome of the Team Challenge, after all, and the costumes really help everyone figure out who’s who. Anyway, here are some of our favorites from 2005.

Academy: As former winners of the Best Uniform category, the Academy team had some stiff competition this year-but that didn’t stop ’em from taking home the trophy once again. According to teamrider Matt Peterson, “When we were walking out to leave after winning Best Team Uniform in 2004, Chad just said out of nowhere, ‘Hey, next year we should be a mariachi band.’ We all started cracking up, and the brainstorm began.”

The brilliance of Academy’s uniforms went down to the last detail-elaborate Mexican “embroidery,” maracas, tequila, and a mandolin player. “We spent three days cutting, sewing, and puffy-painting black suits until they became muy especial. Our Team Manager JB came through at the last minute with 100-percent genuine sombreros from Tijuana. And another nice touch was the free tequila from Sauza served out of a ‘shot ski’-happy-fun times for all.”

K2: Ingeniously, the pro snowboarders on the K2 team dressed up like-yep: pro snowboarders. The catch is, they dressed up as other pro snowboarders. Bryan Fox fashioned himself a striped sweater out and snaggle-tooth for the Scott E. Wittlake kit, Gretchen Bleiler donned a pair of arm socks and grabbed a Campbell’s soup can as Tara Dakides, Shaun McKay pulled on a pair of tight jeans and, of course, a striped scarf to perfect the Corey Smith look, et cetera.

“We were trying to figure out something that was relative to snowboarding,” says McKay. “Like, why couldn’t we just be ourselves, snowboarders? Hmm, snowboarders … The second we realized we were going to steal other, well-known riders’ identities, Fox jumped all over Scotty. Wittlake has a very distinguishable image-if you see him from a mile away, you know it’s him. Corey is another one of those really distinguishable guys. I’d never ridden in jeans before, and I’d always kind of mocked those guys for doing it-but to be completely honest, snowboarding in jeans is awesome. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, I guess.”

Bataleon: You might not have known it, but out on the open seas of Norway, fishermen battle the elements wearing slicker uniforms of Day-Glo orange. Why should you care? Well, because that’s exactly what Team Bataleon wore to the Team Challenge. “It was our designer and marketing guy, John Harald, who came up with the idea,” says Bataleon rider (and of course, Norwegian) Kim Christensen. “And since Bataleon is a genuine Norwegian brand, we figured, why not have some genuine Norwegian working clothes, too?” The team had the slickers shipped over from the homeland with just enough time to sticker ’em up with company logos. Strangely enough, the Day-Glo really did almost glow against the snow. Unfortunately, falling in big a rubber suit can get dicey-riders actually picked up speed once they hit the ground instead of slowing down.

CAPiTA: Always a source of creative humor, the artsy boys (and girl) of Team CAPiTA showed up this year straight-up G-ed out. That’s right-oversized jerseys, gold link, pimp limps, the whole nine yards. In fact, TJ Schneider’s manicured hip-hop facial hair was almost a little too convincing. Says Owner Blue Montgomery, “Our costumes were a direct salute to one of the more interesting species of humans-they lurk in the shopping malls of America intimidating, annoying, and almost always wearing jerseys from some shitty team in the south. With this in mind, we took burgers, fries, doo-rags, hand guns, bad attitudes, Pimp Juice, and that song ‘Big Booty Hos’ to Aspen for a week as the CAPiTA Food Court Gangstas.”

Rome: “I got the idea for our team’s Hell’s Angels outfits while watching the Rolling Stones documentary Gimmie Shelter,” says Rome’s Mike Paddock. “The film follows the Stones on the last week of their 1969 tour, culminating with a free show at the Altimont Speedway outside San Francisco. The show was billed as the ‘Woodstock Of The West,’ but it didn’t end up that way. The Hell’s Angels were hired as security and paid in beer. They got way tough with the crowd and ended up killing one fan-nuts.” How that might relate to snowboarding or the Team Challenge is irrelevant, ’cause the Rome team did look frickin’ badass shredding in tight jeans, chain wallets, and leather vests with signature Rome “Altimont” patches on the backs.

Sined: Oddly enough, the unofficial theme song for this year’s Team Challenge turned out to be Ray Parker Jr.’s theme to Ghostbusters. “(Teamrider) Pat Milbery was up late one night when Ghostbusters came on the tube-bam, that was it!” says Sined’s Ron Bureta about his team’s getup, which included one rider wearing a speaker-backpack plugged into an iPod that had the movie’s theme song on repeat. “I found a Web site that sold the exact flight suits they wore in the flick. Milbery and Matt Seifert worked on the Proton packs-Super Sokers with garden hoses attached to black backs. Oh, and we brought along am Justin Court but had nothing for him to wear, so after a few PBRs, we decided to make him the ghost with a hotel sheet.”

We really gotta hand it to Sined-this was the company’s first year at the Team Challenge, and it came out with some of the most convincing outfits to grace the TC history books and definitely gave Academy a run for its money in the Best Uniform category. We can’t wait to see what the team comes up with next year.

Affirmative Action

Token Female Required

Sometimes companies need a little, um, reminder that they have female teamriders and that women’s snowboarding is happening and that we definitely want documentation of it. In other words, TransWorld implemented a new rule this year: each company must bring at least one female as part of their Team Challenge team. Thanks to this new decree, we got to see Gretchen Bleiler boost in the pipe, Laura Hadar get all tech on the maintenance-shack jib at the top of the pipe, and Salomon’s Jamie Anderson and CAPiTA’s Susi Davis step up to the big kicker (Susi threw down a switch backside 180 for her team in PIG-she didn’t quite land it, but there were plenty of other shredders who wanted nothing to do with that trick on that jump).

PIG

By Chris Coyle

You probably know how the game of PIG works-if not, you must’ve just been de-thawed. In any case, here’s a quick breakdown of how we do it: The rail, the jump, and the halfpipe all have a TWS staff member present calling out tricks. Each team picks a member from its ranks who would be best for the trick/obstacle at hand. They’re given one chance at the trick, and if they don’t stick it, their team gets a letter, starting with “P.” They then move onto the next feature and give that trick a shot. Once all the teams have cycled through all the features, we stop to see who’s got what letters-and the teams that have accumulated PIG get booted. Then the cycle starts all over with new tricks. Got it? Good.

This might sound easy enough, but by this point we’d already lost our events coordinator, Jardine Hammond, to the pipe channel, and Sherowski had come down with “food poisoning” after a night at the bar. So that left Annie Fast, Cody Dresser, and myself to run the event. Let me rephrase that-it left Annie to run the event (while Dresser and myself are quite good lookin’, when it comes to organization, we are about as useful as tits on a chicken). I only bring this up to give you the feeling of absolute madness that lasted for nearly two hours-teams all over the place, no one knowing what’s gong ‘Big Booty Hos’ to Aspen for a week as the CAPiTA Food Court Gangstas.”

Rome: “I got the idea for our team’s Hell’s Angels outfits while watching the Rolling Stones documentary Gimmie Shelter,” says Rome’s Mike Paddock. “The film follows the Stones on the last week of their 1969 tour, culminating with a free show at the Altimont Speedway outside San Francisco. The show was billed as the ‘Woodstock Of The West,’ but it didn’t end up that way. The Hell’s Angels were hired as security and paid in beer. They got way tough with the crowd and ended up killing one fan-nuts.” How that might relate to snowboarding or the Team Challenge is irrelevant, ’cause the Rome team did look frickin’ badass shredding in tight jeans, chain wallets, and leather vests with signature Rome “Altimont” patches on the backs.

Sined: Oddly enough, the unofficial theme song for this year’s Team Challenge turned out to be Ray Parker Jr.’s theme to Ghostbusters. “(Teamrider) Pat Milbery was up late one night when Ghostbusters came on the tube-bam, that was it!” says Sined’s Ron Bureta about his team’s getup, which included one rider wearing a speaker-backpack plugged into an iPod that had the movie’s theme song on repeat. “I found a Web site that sold the exact flight suits they wore in the flick. Milbery and Matt Seifert worked on the Proton packs-Super Sokers with garden hoses attached to black backs. Oh, and we brought along am Justin Court but had nothing for him to wear, so after a few PBRs, we decided to make him the ghost with a hotel sheet.”

We really gotta hand it to Sined-this was the company’s first year at the Team Challenge, and it came out with some of the most convincing outfits to grace the TC history books and definitely gave Academy a run for its money in the Best Uniform category. We can’t wait to see what the team comes up with next year.

Affirmative Action

Token Female Required

Sometimes companies need a little, um, reminder that they have female teamriders and that women’s snowboarding is happening and that we definitely want documentation of it. In other words, TransWorld implemented a new rule this year: each company must bring at least one female as part of their Team Challenge team. Thanks to this new decree, we got to see Gretchen Bleiler boost in the pipe, Laura Hadar get all tech on the maintenance-shack jib at the top of the pipe, and Salomon’s Jamie Anderson and CAPiTA’s Susi Davis step up to the big kicker (Susi threw down a switch backside 180 for her team in PIG-she didn’t quite land it, but there were plenty of other shredders who wanted nothing to do with that trick on that jump).

PIG

By Chris Coyle

You probably know how the game of PIG works-if not, you must’ve just been de-thawed. In any case, here’s a quick breakdown of how we do it: The rail, the jump, and the halfpipe all have a TWS staff member present calling out tricks. Each team picks a member from its ranks who would be best for the trick/obstacle at hand. They’re given one chance at the trick, and if they don’t stick it, their team gets a letter, starting with “P.” They then move onto the next feature and give that trick a shot. Once all the teams have cycled through all the features, we stop to see who’s got what letters-and the teams that have accumulated PIG get booted. Then the cycle starts all over with new tricks. Got it? Good.

This might sound easy enough, but by this point we’d already lost our events coordinator, Jardine Hammond, to the pipe channel, and Sherowski had come down with “food poisoning” after a night at the bar. So that left Annie Fast, Cody Dresser, and myself to run the event. Let me rephrase that-it left Annie to run the event (while Dresser and myself are quite good lookin’, when it comes to organization, we are about as useful as tits on a chicken). I only bring this up to give you the feeling of absolute madness that lasted for nearly two hours-teams all over the place, no one knowing what’s going on, Annie running around trying to keep everything straight.

When the smoke finally cleared, there was a tie between Burton and Academy, so we decided to have a Wild West showdown on the rail-first team to stick a front board all the way through the huge up-flat-down down was the winner. This turned into a battle of epic proportions. The Burton boys were a hungry-looking bunch, with young Mikkel Bang leading the charge, and Academy was thirsty as hell toting tequila and guitars. The next half-hour was non-stop cheering for one-another and all around good times. In the end it was Mike Casanova who stuck it down and brought home another PIG trophy for the Academy team (they got one last year, too-them dudes are good).

Shaken, Not Stirred

Every event has a casualty list-the Team Challenge is no different.

Andrae Cameron, Team Arbor: Rattled on the big kicker.

Grant Glen, Team Option: Broken hip and torn MCL on the big kicker.

Martin Sandberg, Team K2: Busted shoulder on the hip.

Shaun McKay: Team K2: Bruised/sprained knee on the hip.

Jardine Hammond, Team TWS: Dislocated shoulder, exploded ankle ligaments, and black eye on the pipe channel.

Jen Sherowski, Team TWS: Crippled by food poisoning from the barbecue.

Two snowmobiles, Team Aspen/Snowmass: Blown up while hauling riders around.

Official Results

Best Rail Rider: Mike Casanova

Best Hip Jumper: Shaun McKay

Best Pipe Rider: Chad Otterstrom

Best Wreck: Grant Glen

Game of PIG: 1. Academy 2. Burton 3. Elan

Best Team Uniform: Academy

Best Team: Academy

Best Rider: Chad Otterstrom

‘s going on, Annie running around trying to keep everything straight.

When the smoke finally cleared, there was a tie between Burton and Academy, so we decided to have a Wild West showdown on the rail-first team to stick a front board all the way through the huge up-flat-down down was the winner. This turned into a battle of epic proportions. The Burton boys were a hungry-looking bunch, with young Mikkel Bang leading the charge, and Academy was thirsty as hell toting tequila and guitars. The next half-hour was non-stop cheering for one-another and all around good times. In the end it was Mike Casanova who stuck it down and brought home another PIG trophy for the Academy team (they got one last year, too-them dudes are good).

Shaken, Not Stirred

Every event has a casualty list-the Team Challenge is no different.

Andrae Cameron, Team Arbor: Rattled on the big kicker.

Grant Glen, Team Option: Broken hip and torn MCL on the big kicker.

Martin Sandberg, Team K2: Busted shoulder on the hip.

Shaun McKay: Team K2: Bruised/sprained knee on the hip.

Jardine Hammond, Team TWS: Dislocated shoulder, exploded ankle ligaments, and black eye on the pipe channel.

Jen Sherowski, Team TWS: Crippled by food poisoning from the barbecue.

Two snowmobiles, Team Aspen/Snowmass: Blown up while hauling riders around.

Official Results

Best Rail Rider: Mike Casanova

Best Hip Jumper: Shaun McKay

Best Pipe Rider: Chad Otterstrom

Best Wreck: Grant Glen

Game of PIG: 1. Academy 2. Burton 3. Elan

Best Team Uniform: Academy

Best Team: Academy

Best Rider: Chad Otterstrom