To be totally honest I’m not a big fan of contests, or competition in general. It doesn’t really matter why; it just is what it is. And though it is officially a three-star TTR event, Stylewars is about as far as you’re going to get from a traditional contest as you can get, and at the same time as close to Superpark as it can get while still maintaining itself as a sanctioned, judged event—it’s as good as it gets. Stylewars is geared towards the progression of snowboarding as a sport. It is a sport too, as many times as I’ve spouted that it isn’t, it is, by definition at least, but it’s still more of a “sport than a sport.

That first paragraph may or may not have made any sense, but it doesn’t really matter does it? What does matter is that today at Falls Creek for day two of Stylewars, the big jump lovingly dubbed Big Bertha was sessioned. As we were told, the jump stands just over 120-feet in length. Finch had his time on the beast two days ago, guinea pigging it and escaping certain death with a scorpion to flat and then proceeded to backside 180 the thing about halfway down the tranny. Yesterday Quentin Robbins shot a massive back three over the death gap, then went for a five and exploded on the knuckle blind taking him out.

Today rounding the top of the course the first thing I saw, I sh-t you not, was my boy Torstein Horgmo sending an immaculate frontside seven mute over Bertha, stomping bolts and riding away clean as f—k. That was Tor’s first go on the jump since we’ve been here, no straight airs at all. Torstein then went on to go back seven melon, front ten indy, back five stale, and switch frontside nine mute the thing. I can say for sure that was the heaviest, most amazing riding I’ve ever seen by anyone.

At the same time there were amazing riders sessioning the triple line that lie adjacent to the big jump and that was when I realized that there were two completely different levels of riding going on here. Dustin Craven went front seven over Bertha after a close call bounce on the downturn of the knuckle. Jacob Koia sent a few massive backside fives, and then went for a double wildcat and lost it midway slamming and tearing his bicep a bit, but he’s all good. Will Jackaways had a sick back nine, and I’msorry if I forgot anyone elses moves because beyond a straight air they were all the craziest things I’ve ever seen.

After that healthy go, which could be inarguably the biggest big jump session ever, there was a break for lunch and the in run was salted and groomed. Amidst a sea of hamburgers and sausages, we saw a rogue skier straight air the thing to about flat, it was the loudest fall I have ever heard, I’m not sure how the guy maintained conciousness, but he did, and he got up and rode down. I also heard he was stretchered out shortly there after.

Another hip session was about to get underway, but at the same time a helicopter was thrown in the mix to shoot another session on Big Bertha—the ante is automatically upped when the heli is out, and after a brief chat Torstein was ready to get after it. He made it up the lift, dropped fast and first to test out the in-run. He speed checked ’cause we’d seen that skier practically go to flat, and sent a straight air.

Once he left the lip he knew he wasn’t going to make it. He landed about as close as you could land to the knuckle without actually hitting it, meaning he landed completely flat. It was like watching a car wreck. His body crumbled as hard as it could without snapping in half on impact and then he bounced, flipping at least five feet into the air—mind you people are not bouncy. I sprinted up to the landing as fast as I could, and I could not believe that the dude was not completely broken, he was shaky and in total shock but he was standing. As far as snowboarding is concerned I have seen the heaviest slams of my life in the past two days, and that was the worst one. Torstein even later commented that it was the worst fall he’s taken, and comming from a kid that broke his back six months ago at the European Open that’s pretty heavy. His board remained intact since he’d landed flat but both baseplates were broken. Tor went on to win best trick at the rail jam tonight, Will Jackaways won. Heavy day to say the least and luckily everyone is good, so we’re stoked. Party on!