A stacked field of Utah’s heaviest jibbers, along with several jib-imports from around the country, used their ingenuity and creativity to decode what Park City’s Jim Mangan built up for the Grand Prix Exhibition on Saturday, December 20. The likes of Utah-men JP Walker, Jeremy Jones, Mitch Nelson, and Chris Engelsman, as well as out-of-towners like Travis Rice, Shaun White, and Colin Langlois rose to the challenge and went to work, hitting the plastic and metal beast from all angles in an effort to, um, figure it out. At the end of the day, it was George Oakley who unlocked the thing with a sick sick stunt–270 to boardslide, 180 to frontside board on the down rail.
Now, for your information, the obstacle included a wallride-sque bank with metal coping, and a steep, twenty-or-so foot box with metal coping leading down from the rider’s left of the bank. A jump had been built on rider’s right, allowing shreds to slide the box formed at the top of the bank, then gap to the down rail if they felt like it. There was also the option of hitting the bank straight on like a wallride, but it was barely steep enough to reenter. After tons of accidental body slides, impromptu ejections over the top of the bank, and other forms of failure, it became quite obvious that the way to hit this thing was from the side, getting towed in by a snowmobile for speed. And that’s exactly how the top five gentlemen tore this thing apart.
In fifth place, Colin “the panther” Langlois hopped into a nasty lipslide that continued on the down rail. He was also 450ing onto the plastic and turned in a smooth noseslide, gap to tailslide. In front of him was another Burton rookie, Wyatt Caldwell, who did something like a switch nosepress and also 270d onto the bank/box. Luke Mitrani, who’d taken Danny Kass’s spot in the exhibiton (Kass was “confused” about start times or somethin’ and didn’t show up in time to compete), contorted his under five-foot body into lipslide, gap to frontside board. In second place, one Mr. Travis Rice annihilated the obstacle with Cab 450s to bank and other tricky boadslide-twirl maneuvers. And the winner? Well, you already know what he did. Like I said before, it was sick.
Unfortunately, a rookie competitor named Ryan Dopple over-rotated trying to backflip the bank and landed on his head and back, incurring a pretty severe concussion as well as popping his hip out of socket. We all hope he’s okay. Speaking of which, all competitors in the Park City Grand Prix were required to wear helmets to be in concordance with FIS regulations, and that meant even in the jib exhibition. It was kinda weird to see guys like Jeremy Jones and JP Walker rocking helmets, but hey, it might be a good think if people are gettin’ knocked out, eh?
1. George Oakley
2. Travis Rice
3. Luke Mitrani
4. Wyatt Caldwell
5. Colin Langlois