Words by Adam Kisiel
Onward to PA, my home and a place that we previously nicknamed the "Pee Anywhere" State, hence the moniker. It was on a very uncharacteristically sunny and warm winter day that I was not peeing anywhere but in my pants by the amount of upside down or wrongside up tricks being thrown at Big Boulder Park. Ian Oliver, Johnny Lightning, and the rest of Big Boulder Park Crew, who were quick to clean up the yellow snow around me created quite the TransAm Park for a little event most know as the Transworld Snowboarding TransAm.
Pennsylvania, known for many things including the cheese steak, is not known to have any volcanic activity within the State borders. All that changed on Saturday as we drove around Boulder Lake and noticed a smoking volcano-shaped jump on the far side of the icy waters. As we arrived, the smoke from the crater of the cone-shaped jump was seeping into the parking lot and many riders were reveling in its appearance. The active volcano jump feature was brought to Big Boulder Park by High Cascade Snowboard Camp and was a major highlight of the day for many riders who jumped over the crater and billowing smoke. Riders like Austin Lamoreaux, one of the smallest rippers in the TransAm, were seen throwing methods that would bring a smile to Jamie Lynn's face.
The DaKine banked platform with a turn to drop feature was something the riders had never seen before either. Johnny and the park crew were seen in a huddle late night before the event on the snow with a crazed look in their eyes as they put the forethought into the DaKine feature. Riders like Kevin Breen were jumping onto the platform, slashing the banked snow, and spinning off the drop on the end of the feature. The middle line had some creative jibs that pushed many riders to the limits of their riding talent. Giro put in an unskirted urban down rail with a donkey d on the end that would make anyone blush. Kasandra Dolan was throwing 270's onto this mean rail and spinning the hat right off the top of her head.
The Oakley up rail to gap out feature was claiming lives left and right and had everyone in a cold sweat on this warm, sunny winter day. Many riders underestimated the gap at the end of the rail that took some speed to clear. They were just disappearing into the deep crevasse only to crawl away with bruised egos and lessons learned the hard way. It was Dom Luza who was throwing together some board press to spin off combos that had hippies camped out in the woods jealous of his spin-dancing abilities. Zumiez brought the living room set up out where everything was rideable. The Zumiez orange couch was obviously there, but added to the set up was a rideable television set and coffee table. Jen Cusick wasted no time in nose pressing the coffee table and proving to her parents that snowboarding in the house is good practice for on hill.
Dom Luza was also riding like he had something to prove as he hit up the Ride Snowboards wedgie to lowrise box to wedgie set up. Big Boulder Park Crew put the icing on the cake with a down box on the last wedgie. Many riders were coming out of the lowrise box made of snow and able to pop and spin sometimes as much as 450 onto the down box. All ingredients for mayhem as riders were starting high up against the fencing to get speed to gap wedgie-to-wedgie and over the lowrise box. Kelley Wren was going for broke in front of many of the media in attendance and earned the best crash award.
All in all, it was Billy Keil and Jen O' Connor who proved the best overall on every feature and will be representing Big Boulder Park at Big Bear for the TransAm finals in March. The pizza party and giveaway was packed and roaring after the event and the finalists took home Nerf guns, Project Walkway fun packs, and hoodie prizes from High Cascade Snowboard Camp, Custom TransAm goggles and tons of outerwear from Oakley, Dakine backpacks and board bags, Zumiez gift cards and free airline flight vouchers for top winners, awesome prizes from Sponsor Me, brand new Ride Snowboards, and custom TransAm trophies and tons of prizes from Transworld Snowboarding.
I am proud to say that I grew up in PA and I am proud of this little mountain hidden away in the woods that is fast becoming the place-to-ride park in the East. Cue Minnesota and the halfway point of this awesome tour like no other coming up on the main stage.
1st Billy Keil
2nd Dom Luza
3rd Kevin Breen
1st Jen O'Connor
2nd Kasandra Dolan
3rd Jen Cusick
Pint Sized Ripper Award: Austin Lamoreaux
Best Crash: Kelley Wren