V16N07 – Snowbombing 2002

By Saku Knopp

What up, dogs? It’s Knopp here, da Euro tourist repping good times-all day, every day. Okay, the deal was for me to find the village of Villairs in Switzerland and cover Snowbombing-the largest hybrid snow-sliding competition and DJ-infused dance-music party in Europe, held April 7 through13. The following is my recollection of what happened during the five days I spent actively resourcing materials, lyrics, and images for this piece here, so s’il vous plait, lots of mercy. Peace.

Monday
My way overdue snow-journalist ass was picked up from the Geneva airport by Fred Demard of Freestyler magazine fame. Fred’s a French pedal-to-the-metal driver who jetted us to our destination in close to no time. While cruising, we listened to Fred’s mix tape-Heart, Ween, Iron Maiden, Metallica. Out of the blue, he passed down the commandment, “Thou shall only eat triangle vacuum-packed sandwiches from gas stations, and nowhere else.” Hmm.
In Villairs, snowboarders ruled the street scene. Hotel Panorama housed most of the riders. There was the bar-and interestingly enough, 24-hour vending machines holding adult beverages. But one vending machine can only stretch so far and got cleared out the first night. Not interested in making money, the gentle personnel from the hotel left it unloaded.

Tuesday
Surrounding fog-and the fact that I woke up very far from my own hotel-ensured that all I did was join my friends the French “Psykopits” (psychopaths) to check out the water park instead of doing the obvious (and what we were supposed to do)-snowboard. The aqua park was proper-mostly screaming kids, but balanced out by one sexy heavy-metal mom with cute stretch marks. They had great water slides-one even had an incredible freefall for almost a second. Good clean fun. We stayed for five hours, and I’m proud to admit that I held my stomach in the whole time and didn’t even get too much shit about all the weight I’ve gained since acquiring a girlfriend.

Wednesday
I couldn’t poop for two days-and believe me, my boys knew something was rotting inside Knopp. It was the chicken mozzarella panini followed by pizza and then cheese and bread for breakfast. You see, there’s no cheap and easy meals in Switzerland. If you’re an average, semi-ghetto bummer like me, you’ll have trouble finding the fun in eating a twelve-dollar pizza-the cheapest thing on the menu.

Thursday
The comp was on-good. Nice watching, not photographing-but there’s always someone in your way. Since I’m not much better than the next man, I happily retired my aching bones to the confines of the cafeteria to catch the latest industry hype and other conversational B.S. the top dogs were spitting out.
Friday
This was the last competition day, so everyone had their eyes set on the party that night. Actually, some were still partying. Tapio Kuusakoski, a robust Finn who was terrorizing the big jump, later confessed that he was still a bit loopy when doing is Cab 900s. No wonder, the amount of sleep Tapio had gotten the night before could be best described as a nap.
My trip was good every day, but the last night’s party climaxed and through the roof we went! My time in Switzerland showed that mixing snowboarding and DJs represents a whole new world of excitement for seasoned old farts like me who’ve outgrown the gravels of the moshpit, but are still too alive to throw in the towel and sit home watching the Olympics or any other stagnated contests the world is full of.

Results
Men’s
1. Martin Cernik
2. Jonas Wilhelmson
3. Henri Sankala

Women’s
1. Jenny Jones
2. Anne Fleur Eiff
3. Anne Flore Marker

Multiplayer Team Event
1. Tapio Kuusakoski, Eero Niemel , Marrku Koski
2. Timo Aho, Aleksi Vanninen, Henri Sankala
3. Jakob Wilhelmson, Jonas Wilhelmson, Martin Cernik

Best Trick
Tapio Kuusakoski-Cab 900 on the big kicker.

Besst Jib
Men’s
Anton Holland-270 to frontside boardslide, 270 off.

Women’s
Jenny Jones-50-50 to frontside boardslide to fakie off.