I began my morning stranded in South Lake Tahoe without any sleep, and my eyes burned as I emerged from the casino still clutching my complimentary beverage glass. This “comp” drink had cost me about forty dollars on the tables-maybe it was a bit more than that, but my mom reads this crap and I don’t want to let her in to my recent enrollment into Gamblers Anonymous. Nevertheless, I had a place to be: 52 miles from where I stood, Northstar-At-Tahoe was holding the Nikita Chickita Snowdown. This slopestyle and rail jam event provided the lovely ladies of our sport with a unique opportunity to prove their skills in an all-female competition format. That’s right, no men would be turning tricks-it was a “girls night out,” but instead of nighttime, it was a perfect, bluebird day, with a 10,000-dollar cash purse and four trips to the Icelandic Park Project to be given away.
After countless vain attempts, my companion and I were finally picked up and whisked off to Northstar. Before I forget to mention, said companion was Chris Johnstone, the Snowdown’s slated announcer. It was 10:00 a.m. when we arrived, and the event was about to get underway. The both of us are professionals, so, thanks to the lifties at Northstar, we made it on hill despite not having any snow gear or boards between the two of us.
As Johnstone and I descended upon the course, I caught a glimpse of the slopestyle course features. Three nice sized jumps funneled into a tree ride, a mellow box, and an up-down rail. Following this was another small jump, a pretty long hip, and a quarterpipe with a box placed smack dab on to of it. Unfortunately, the top three jumps were hard to get speed for on account of it being a very warm day-any mistake would scrape off enough speed to render the next hit impossible. The ladies were therefore putting a larger emphasis on the jibs. However, this didn’t stop them from chucking their meat. The crowd standing at the barbeque pit saw many 540s and 720 attempts off the jumps. In the end, the winner would be Rome snowboards’ own Marie-France Roy for the pros and Iris Lazzareschi for the ams. Marie took home 2,500 dollars and a trip to Iceland for her smooth frontside spins, while Iris held solid on the jibs to win her a trip to Iceland. Some other standouts in the pro field would have to be Hana Beaman for her smooth backside spins-man she has a nice backside, and Alexis Waite was also putting a good line together with a combination of 360s and such.
Next up was the rail jam-the pros were forced to step things up, because it was shaping up to be amateur night. Iris was again leading the charge with an array of tricks on the three obstacles: a down bar, a flat-down, and flat-down-flat rail. My favorite trick was definitely her frontside slide, hop to boardslide, hop to fifty-fifty into 180 out. One word: ridiculous. Another standout on the am side was Lairie Currier-with her noseslides on the flat-down-flat, she was pressing this thing better than a lot of guys could. Big ups, girl. Erin Comstock took it for the pros with her frontside slide on the flat-down-flat. Leanne Pelosi was going gap to frontside 270 on the flat down, while Beaman was going switch fifty to switch frontside on the same rail. In the final moments, Alexis Waite was going for a back Smith on the flat-down-flat, but unfortunately, time ran out before she could make it.
With the riding over and the prizes to be handed out everyone made like babies and headed out to the Blue Coyote for awards. This was also where Tony Trujillo’s band USSR was slated to play. With the free booze flowing, the crowd was ripping into frenzy. I was beginning to feel like myself again, and I’m sure that the girls who participated in the fun-filled event were, as they say in the counter-culture slang of today, “Stoked.” The only thing we needed then was some good metal to take us over the edge-USSR took the stage … see ya later.
1. Marie France Roy: $2500 & Trip to Iceland!
2. Natasza Zurek: $1500
3. (tie) Chanelle Sladics: $650 & Leanne Pelosi: $650
5. (tie) Erin Comstock: $150 & Alexis Waite: $150
7. Marybeth Swetkoff: $100
8. Laura Hadar: $100
9. Laura Berry: $50
10. Magalie Dubois: $50
1. Iris Lazzareschi: Trip to Iceland!
2. CC Marie Curry
3. Abby Lockhart
4. Robyn Borneman
5. Dana Starr
6. (tie) Destinee Perata & Laurie Currier
Pro Rail Jam
1. Erin Comstock: $1500 & Trip to Iceland!
2. Leanne Pelosi: $750
3. Marie-France Roy: $500
4. Alexis Waite: $250
5. Chanelle Sladics: $150
Am Rail Jam
1. Iris Lazzareschi: Trip to Iceland!
2: Abby Lockhart
3: Erin Podue
4: Lairie Currier
5: Dana Starr
6: Kirstin Seitz
Trick: CC Marie Curry: $500
Style: Iris Lazzareschi: $100
Tree Jib: Iris Lazzareschi: $100
Vintage Trick: Colleen Quigley: $100
Trick On Hip: Natasza Zurek: $100