Words by Adam Kisiel
I remember the first firework fuse I lit like it was this morning. It’s a feeling you never quite forget. A nervous anxiety to see what will happen when that fuse spark actually hits whatever is inside the sealed neurotic package scheme. Luke Mathison, Park Manager for Waterville Valley and his park crew were the kids that you hear about that toss fireworks into public toilets, at each other, and postal mailboxes for the desired effect. A desired effect that they are willing to risk loss of appendage, sight, and blood for. It was with the same dedication that Mathison and crew light the fuse on the TransWorld Snowboarding TransAm. He and his band of misfits spent countless hours setting the stage for a huge explosion of fun and stood by throughout the whole event to watch it all go off.
One-hundred riders stood atop a pristine mini park. It was a small hikeable park area with some big features that gave riders a chance to get creative and ride features they have never seen or imagined before. The Zumiez couch made it back for another tour and was all that sat in a gap from the log jam to the landing of the Zumiez feature. From where the couch was sitting it was a true face melting spectacle of front flips, late one eighties, and various other spins and flips. Registered Rippers then held their speed into the Oakley Hubba set-up that had three different options with the daunting set of stairs on either side of the ledge or the rails. Many riders either opted for the jib or gap option and one rider missed both and opted for the land-on-his-face option. In true TransAm spirit he could not be stopped as he picked himself back up, disregarded any option for help and simply said, “I am headed back up to the top.” If this was a snowboard action film his part would have been played by Stallone and that would have been the catch phrase of the movie.
Dakine was back on the scene for another jib feature that had a down rail and a down flat down box. One of the more popular features riders were gaping to the down of the box and lining up flawless frontside boardslides down the rail. Giro helmets also joined in on the fun this tour and had a huge tank feature much like a propane tank you would see outside of the Seven Eleven minus the tight-panted heavy metal guys drinking big gulps and cutting butts. The tank was a gap on feature and many riders were gaping to nose press and spin out was well as serving up some front flips off the end.
All one hundred riders rode in the Traffic Jam session and the final forty were picked to be in the Ultimate final, a fifteen-minute jam in each line of the park to find the best overall riders. During the forty-five minute total Ultimate session the Ride Snowboards Wedgie and LowRise Box snow feature was the spot to watch some explosive riding. Huge backside rodeos, laid out backflips and some crazy corked rotations were thrown. Some riders even teamed up for synchronized doubles, triples, and quadruples on the gap and jump feature. The High Cascade Snowboard Camp volcano was also erupting and riders were taking requests and following through on the current bid. Fast plants were the first trick to be called and rippers wasted no time riding into the carter of the volcano one footed. After the smoke cleared it was Shaun Murphy and Lauren Tamposi that walked away as the top winners. They were crowned at the pizza party/awards ceremony/ giveaway.
They earned flight vouchers to Bear Mountain for TransAm finals from Zumiez, brand new Ride Snowboards, Dakine board bags, Oakley goggles and outerwear, High Cascade hoodies and backpacks, as well as gear from Giro. All the winners needed help to carry away the spoils of victory. Top three from each event also earned an invite to TransAm finals at Bear with entry fees paid for by Transworld. Keep an eye on the Waterville Valley Crew, as their park building skills are only getting more volatile throughout the season.
The next stop is Big Boulder, Pennsylvania on January 23rd. See you there!