Photos Russell Kaczmar
Video By Justin Gunson
Words by Adam Kisiel
I have always been told too much of something is never good. I then tested that theory at age twelve when I tried to eat a whole seedless watermelon, which resulted in a second test of the integrity of our indoor plumbing. This saying again was tested this weekend in Northstar at Tahoe with an impending set of storms. One of the storms had left the area under eight feet of snow the week before the Transworld Snowboarding TransAm and the next storm was threatening with four feet to drop just hours before the contest start. To the denim-laden crew that runs this rock and roll branded event, it would seem that Poison was correct in saying, “every rose has its thorn.” Although the deep powder is every snowboarder’s dream, it in fact feels much like eating a whole watermelon and turning your bathroom into your own personal hell for the next six hours, if you are trying to run a park event.
As you may know if you read, which most of you don’t anymore, this isn’t just any park event. The TransAm, as consumed by most of you through the video and photo postings, is a creative event with features not found anywhere else on the mountain, most of which are dubbed one of a kind. As challenging enough as it is to build these features, add in your nagging mother nature constantly making you start over with your work after dumping snow for days.
Building world-class parks is just what the Northstar Park Crew led by Mike Schipani does on a daily basis. They have had to take Jimi Hendrix’s words to heart and truly believe, “Castles made of sand fall in the sea eventually.” They had a park of over eighty features up and ripping well before the storm crippled their stomping ground and forced them to rebuild everything. They just keep smiling and turn up the Iron Maiden, “Run To The Hills,” in the headphones, ride, and rebuild.
“It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.” Northstar clawed their way back to the top and put together features that were not seen before on the tour. The Zumiez Couch was placed as the centerpiece of a quarter pipe with the option to gap a channel in the middle where the orange Zumiez couch sat just inside the lip. Tim Rechetniak took full advantage of the channel that you just couldn’t take your eyes off and threw a huge backside rodeo over the couch gap. This was a move that left many “thunderstruck” and earned Tim best trick honors. To the side of the quarter pipe was a huge take off flanked by two palm trees, some beach chairs, an umbrella, and a huge Ride Snowboards themed scene, that made you “wish you were here.” The landing was perfect for redirects as you flew threw the air hitting the side of the quarter pipe in perfectly shaped transition. The Ride Snowboards gap jump showcased the style of Garrett Warnick, who would walk away with top honors for the guys. The High Cascade Snowboard Camp snow bus again was fueled and running as hot as the action that was being thrown down on the roof. Rippers were hitting up the pole jam and front flipping off while trying to keep the “eye of the tiger” through the impending exhaust spewing out the back. Danyale Patterson quickly hopped in the driver’s seat taking first for the gals and having everyone guessing where this “magical mystery tour” was headed.
The Giro Helmets gap jump had the riders flying upside down as if to prove your helmet could stay on even wrong side up with front, back, and misty flips. The Coal Headwear snow beanie had riders climbing the “stairway to heaven” via the up box on the backside to barrel bonk on top that looked like the ball on top of the beanie. The Anon down box was set up with another box and round bar leading into it and left the spotlight on Joshua Douglas to take home the Pint-Sized Ripper award.
The after party gave everyone a backstage pass to a buffet style setup with pasta and salad. Not to mention the party favors that gave top three winners tons of awesome prizes from High Cascade Snowboard Camp, Anon Goggles, Zumiez gift cards, Giro hoodies and helmets, Drop Gloves, Vitamin Water, New Ride Snowboards and outerwear, and custom TransAm Coal beanies. First place also took home flight vouchers from Zumiez to fly to Bear for TransAm Finals and a chance to compete to win an all expense-paid trip to the Ride Shakedown. The final set will be played at Bear California and the encore will be nothing less than “a walk on the wild side.”
1 Garrett Warnick
2 Ian Daly
3 Chase Fromm
1 Danyale Patterson
2 Julianne Brackett
3 Tasha Sagucka
Pint Sized Ripper
Tim Rechetniak (Backside Rodeo Zumiez Feature)
Check out more TransAm stop Highlights HERE