Jeff Anderson’s signature orange beanie as worn in tribute by his friends, family, and supporters at the first JLA Banked Slalom. L to R: Peter Stowe, Jared Slater, Blackie, Aaron Vujicic, Robert “Sticky” Shaw, Cory Lake, Neil Goss, Steven Brown, The Dingo, Tom Pelly, Danny Kass, Pat Moore, Desiree Melancon, Pat Bridges, Alex Lopez, Eddie Wall, Danny Davis, Oren Tanzer, Ryan Boyes, Seth Huot, Scott Blum, Yale Miller, Dan Crouch, Dustin Del Guidice, Joel Muzzey, Billy Anderson, Mike Bierman, Andrew Marriner, Macy Price, and Gigi Rüf.

The JLA Banked Slalom

Words: Gerhard Gross

Photos: Peter Morning

Ten years ago snowboarding lost Jeff Anderson, one of its most passionate and influential riders. To honor Jeff’s memory and to give back to the community he cared so much about his brother Billy created the JLA Banked Slalom at Mammoth Mountain on Saturday, February 23, the 10th anniversary of Jeff’s death. In an era of big air, slopestyle, and halfpipe contests that represent a seemingly unattainable level of riding for the average person, Billy wanted to put on an event that anyone from groms to some of the world’s best pros could take part in by bringing the act of riding back to it’s most basic form—simply turning. To Billy and his family it was this type of contest, that puts the emphasis on fun, raw riding, that best represented Jeffy’s spirit.

As news of the contest spread, the 150 spots filled up in a matter of days leaving a wait list over 100 long the night before race day. Ten years after his passing, Jeff’s name still has plenty of pull. Riders like Gigi Rüf, Danny Kass, Pat Moore, Harrison Gordon, and Kelly Clark showed up to ride along with industry heads such as Chris Owen, Evan LeFebreve, Dave Downing, and Andrew Mariner. But Jeff’s legacy is more than just the ability to bring the snowboard community and industry together. Money raised from the contest entries goes to the JLA Project, which helps maintain the Volcom Brothers skatepark, and to support a new direction for the Project—education. Since Jeff and Billy grew up traveling to snowboard as sponsored riders, they had to balance their globe trotting with their schoolwork. With Billy as its new CEO, the JLA Project will help make it easier for the next generation of riders to both pursue their snowboard goals and get educated.

Now about that supposedly simple act of turning. The course that ran the length of Dry Creek gulley was fast, bumpy, and unpredictable, filled with blind corners and quick edge-to-edge transitions that saw a good chunk of the field blowing out of turns or generally eating shit. The word “rowdy” was thrown around by many of riders to describe it all, which had a lot to do with the way the course was put together. In contrast to the groomed berms of the Baker Banked or Dirksen Derby, the JLA location was chosen for the natural contours of a run that Billy and Jeff grew up riding and was shaped more by running it in rather than using shovels.

“Billy picked the lines by riding down and setting the gates,” Volcom Team Manager, Alex Lopez says. “Then we just started riding it and it naturally started to shape in two or three runs. At the end of each day we went in and fixed holes and mellowed out the berms. For the most part it was probably 85 percent riding and 15 percent shoveling.”

Here’s who rode it best.

 Open Class

(Rider and course time in seconds.)

1. Scott Blum 81.33

2. Alex Rodway 82.06

3. Rob Kingwell 82.76

4. Alex Lopez 83.5

5. Gigi Rüf 84.29

6. Luke Mitrani 84.59

7. Jack Mitrani 85.13

8. Jared Dawoud 85.15

9. Greg Bretz 85.45

10. Eric Meyer 85.84

JLA Banked Slalom Open Class winners Rob Kingwell, Alex Rodway, and Scott Blum.

Open Class winners L to R: Rob Kingwell, Alex Rodway, and Scott Blum with Billy Anderson.

Women’s Class

1. Kelly Clark 89.19

2. Bryn Valaika 89.7

3. Mariah Dugan 90.91

4. Macy Price 92.93

5. Karleen Borlia 94.11

6. Desiree Melacon 97.47

7. Valerie Cobian 103.49

8. Coralee Phillips 106.34

9. Scheyne Brooking 114.44

10. Monica Prelle 119.39

JLA Banked Slalom Women's Class winners Mariah Dugan, Bryn Valaika, and Kelly Clark.

Women’s Class winners L to R: Mariah Dugan, Bryn Valaika, and Kelly Clark.

17 And Up

1. Grey McCalla 86.32

2. Joss McAlpin 87.98

3. Andre Escobar 88.88

4. Julian Lecorps 89.37

5. Michael Ramirez 90.89

6. James Tully 91.37

7. Jimmy Goodman 91.59

8. Brent Anklam 92.05

9. Sasha Berwin 92.34

10. Forest Schmist 93.25

JLA Banked Slalom 17 And Over winners Grey McCalla, Joss McAlpin, and Andre Escobar.

17 And Over winners L to R: Grey McCalla, Joss McAlpin, and Andre Escobar.

16 And Under

1. Brock Crouch 87.21

2. JJ Rayward 89.46

3. Justus Henkes 90.37

4. Devin Tubbs 90.49

5. Matt Williams 91.19

6. Drayden Gardener 91.43

7. Jed Sky 95.33

8. Odin Weir 97.94

9. Cody Beavers 99.92

10. Zeb Judge 101.16

JLA Banked Slalom 16 And Under winners Justus Henkes, JJ Rayward, and Brock Crouch.

16 And Under winners L to R: Justus Henkes, JJ Rayward, and Brock Crouch.

See Jeff’s 2003 TransWorld interview here: snowboarding.transworld.net/1000197611/photos/jeff-anderson-snowboarder-i-am-snowboarding-interview/