By Adam Kisiel
Bear Mountain, California is a guaranteed good time. It gives you the same feeling as dropping M80s into a toilet bowl, shooting your friends with a BB gun, or hanging out a car window with a baseball bat to knock down every mailbox within a five-block radius. Who are the kids that are encouraging you to have this good of a time and even showing you how to get crazy? Clayton Shoemaker and the Big Bear SnowPark Technologies Park Crew are the people your mother warned you about. They are one of the hardest working park crews out there and they put the exclamation point to the final stop of the Transworld Snowboarding TransAm.
The Big Bear SPT Crew set up the mini park of mini parks. Much like the rest of the mountain you could easily get overwhelmed with all the fun features set out in front of you. Their focus was to make a park where it pushed riders to get creative and set up so many different features you couldn’t help but to have fun. Riders could be seen making nice with the Dakine Twins and throwing bangers on the down flat down. Rider Forest Bailey even gapped the down to 50-50 through the kink to 360 out. Bailey was just serving up part of the sampler platter of riding shenanigans that the spectators at Bear were eating up. Other riders got involved in a session on the High Cascade S-Rail that had many on their feet clapping. Tricks like 50-50 frontside 360 off and boardslide to 270 off had riders upping the ante through the S. In the top section of the mini park, the three-foot phenom, Toby Miller could be seen going so huge on the Ride Snowboards Hip, that his legs could barely handle the compression of dropping from such great heights back into the transition. Riders Stian Aaro and Silje Johnsen wasted no time getting inverted with front flips and gigantic back flips on the hip.
In the far left corner of the park was the bank to rail feature where riders were seen hitting the bank up to the rail and 270 back off down the bank. Other riders were seen cashing-in on the bank to tank feature just below the hip. Mouths were watering over the options of hitting a bank to propane tank feature from any direction possible. In fact, that was the theme of this mini park, any line was possible riders just needed to find them. All the features could be hit from any direction, and with the space and perfect shaping of the course, anything was possible. The far right corner was even nicknamed the “corner of craziness”, it was shaped into a perfect bowl starting on the far end with the Oakley quarter pipe to two log jams. Riders could roll into the corner to the JP Walker wallride with the possibility to gapping to the Zumiez wallride on the other side of the bowl. Winner, Ryan Tarbell, did just that when he gapped from one wallride to the other and in one of his runs threw a huge handplant on top of the massive JP Walker wallride.
Womeen’s winner Becky Brice also used the whole course to her advantage landing everything with style and grace. Over one hundred riders dropped in for the hour and a half Traffic Jam. The judges including Johnny Miller, Danny Scanzoni, and June Bhongjan, narrowed the field down to the top forty for the Ultimate Jam. Either way you look at it everyone that rode in the contest came out a winner because of the ill park that the Big Bear SPT crew put together that included some features not even seen at Bear this season. Top winners took home the coveted High Cascade Trophy Baby, custom TransAm backpacks from Dakine filled with awesomeness from Transworld Snowboarding, Zumiez, and Oakley. First place for both guys and gals took home Ride Snowboards and board bags from Dakine. There really isn’t a better place to finish the TransAm tour and if you’re not from the SoCal area save your pennies and take a trip to the Disney World of Parks. It’s worth every cent!
1st Ryan Tarbell
2nd Stian Aaro
3rd Zak Hale
1st Becky Brice
2nd Nirvana Ortanez
3rd Melissa “Meese” Johnson