San Francisco played host to the 4th annual Icer Air event this past weekend. This event has gone from the streets, to the confines of the San Francisco Giant’s baseball stadium, and now back to the streets. Well, not quite the streets, but the parking lot of said stadium. The event promoters not only changed up the venue, but this year all of the action went down on a hip style jump. To get speed for the jump a catapult type system was brought in, which essentially had the riders holding onto a rope that accelerated to 60MPH in a matter of seconds. This system had been previously been used in a similar contest in Finland, but was the first time it saw any action in the US. I definitely wasn’t the only one who was skeptical of the setup at first, but the it seemed to work surprisingly well. I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of this thing in the future, especially in a city-type contest.
There definitely seemed to be an over abundance of snow in the landing, and 80 degree temperatures weren’t making it easy to produce more. That, combined with the uncertainty with how the catapult would work out encouraged the riders to vote in favor of a jam-style session, with a prize only going out the best trick of the day. Chris Sörman of Sweden laid claim to that, and everyone else who participated walked away with a cut of the rest of the prize money.
While the event definitely felt like a very scaled back version of the efforts of years past in Giants stadium, it still accomplished it goal of bringing snowboarding to some city folk. It also got a few fired up for the season that is a few short weeks away.
photos & words by Andy Wright