Photography by Dave Lehl
Words by Steve Hemphill
Following a day of epic pipe riding from the nations top amateurs at the USASA Nationals in Copper, CO, the sun began to set and the pros took to the pipe for the first ever Monster Mash Pipe Jam. With The Dingo on the microphone and riders like JJ Thomas, Chad Otterstrom, Danny Kass, Jack Black, Brock Warren and others, USASA competitors gathered at the bottom and walls of the pipe to watch the pros strut their stuff. The Mash was a jam format and gave riders a chance to put on a show for kids who are competing at this week’s USASA Nationals. Along with entertaining and impressing the packed pipe the winner of the Monster Mash would have $5,000 donated to the USASA under their name.
Danny Kass once a USASA competitor was stoked to be back at Nationals. “It’s cool to be out here again and see all the little shredders tearing it up. I remember when I was thirteen or twelve looking up to pros like JJ who were killing it in the USASA. It’s a little flashback to where it all started.” Kass has come a long way from his days back in the USASA and proved it by laying down huge runs throughout the jam and rewarded in the end earning the Best Run title.
With the jam format riders could be seen throwing down for almost two hours straight. Holding his own among the pros was open winner Brett Esser, his huge 1080s on his first hit made him a contender for the top spot throughout the jam. Also, legend and former Mid-West USASA competitor Chad Otterstrom was caught going into orbit a few times with “Monster” airs all the way down the pipe. Other notables throwing down were Brock Warren, Matt Ladley, Zack Black, Brennen Swanson, and Dylan Bidez.
Taking home the Monster Mash title however was USASA alum JJ Thomas. “I am happy to be here, the kids are stoked. It’s cool to because like them I came up through these ranks” Thomas said. Thomas threw a variety of tricks throughout the jam including spins of all variations and big airs to earn him the Mash title and a $5,000 donation to USASA in his name.