The first day was Africa hot. There were zebras chillin’ by the handrails and shit. No joke. Anyway, seeing as it was so damn hot, the triple jump contest that was suppose to go down didn’t because the snow was so sticky it was like driving with the parking brake on. That didn’t stop everyone from going after the 5 foot tall American flag rail. I’ll be honest when I say that I don’t remember that much crazy stuff going down except for Zach Leach’s frontside and backside smith grind type things. Scotty Arnold was doing pretty sick frontside nose slides. A kid by the name of Ryan Lougee said screw it and just frontside 360ed over the rail to flat. It pretty much hurt my knees just looking at it.
Focus soon shifted to the two big hip jumps at the top of the course. It started off innocent enough with some big straight airs, then some alley oops, and next thing you know there was kids like Brett Butcher and Eero Ettella doing Backside rodeos and crazy barrel roll things. As far as amplitude went, I would say that Capita team manager Blue Montgomery was definitely going huge. As the sun started to drop the snow got faster, giving everyone enough speed to turn the hip into a straight jump. Standouts were Seth Huot’s backside sevens and Matt Hammer’s cab 900s. The only problem was that as the sun got lower, the snow got faster and people started to land 20 feet passed were they were suppose to. A couple of times I saw other people’s lives flash before my eyes. And I didn’t even know them.
After eating and catching a few z’s everybody came back for the night rail session. Gunny and the rest of the Snow Summit park crew re-groomed the park and lit it up just for us. There was even a fella by the name of D.J. Episode spinning the cuts. I thought the evening was going to be a replay of the morning, but boy was I wrong. This time around the jibbing would get a little hectic. Zach Leach was doing frontside 180 to backwards nose press type deals, and other people started to get their 270 to board slide on. Just to let everyone know he wasn’t f’n around, Scotty Arnold threw down the cab 270 to frontside nose slide. But I’ll tell you what, when it came down making everyone go ape shit it, was TJ Schneider and his switch backside 540 to 50-50 to frontside 360 off. Did you get all that? O.K. one more time; switch backside 540 to 50-50 to frontside 360 off. What the fuck, huh?
After the on hill shenanigans everyone went down the hill to Murray’s were more shenanigans ensued. To make a long story short after being kicked out of the bar, a small mob went back to the hotel leaving a wake of destruction in their path. Needless to say, the TransWorld Team Challenge is not allowed back at the Northwoods Hotel any more. Live and learn.
The following morning we would wake up to gray skies–not that big of a deal because it was about 50 degrees out. I guess someone forgot to tell whoever’s in charge of the weather in Southern California that it’s suppose to be 32 to snow. Snow or not, there was a fresh cut pipe just waiting for the shredding. Seeing that a good chunk of the talent had the bar induced flu things kicked off a little later than the original 10 a.m. start time. But once everyone showed up there wasn’t a face without a smile on it. The pipe was perfect and the snow was making it soft enough to try tricks.
“I’m going to leave as soon as I see a nine,” Andy Forgash told me at the top of the pipe. About 20 seconds later Charlie Morace did a 12-foot high air to fakie into a cab 9 and Andy was on the way to the car. The fact that TJ Schneider was wearing a girl’s jacket didn’t stop him from doing gigantic alleyoop 5s. T.J.’s Boss / Teammate Jason Brown, always on his own pagee, did a huge frontside air to?. 25 foot long frontside 5-0 grind? The trick got Joel Muzzey so excited he gave him his own personal award, a mini keg of beer. Everyone watched the weather roll in from the lodge as they announced the awards. Even though the Capita team would end up with most of the awards, it was the Option team who would walk away with the overall title. Now I know that I’m going to get a lot of hate mail for not talking about the Option team in my story but it was hard for me to say any one thing they did except that they killed it. Every time you turned around you saw one of their red hockey jersies flying through the air or jibbin’ a rail. It was obvious they came to win. They went home with a custom Byrne surfboards for the whole team. Maybe one day the weather will be nice enough in Canada for them to use them without dry suits.
Team Challenge Results
Best Team Uniform: Capita
Triple Jump Off: Vic Lowrance, RomeNight Rail: TJ Schneider, Capita (switch b/s 540 to 50/50 to 360)
Next Level Shit: TJ Schneider, Capita
Hangover: Cory Ahtoong
Superpipe: Charlie Morace, Santa Cruz
Hip Attack: Blue Montogomery, Team manager Capita
Catch Wreck: Matt Schrier, Mervin (Shin slide on rail)
Best Sunburn: Pat O’Toole, Capita
Overall Rider: TJ Schneider, Capita (wins custom board from Byrne and flask)
Overall Team: Option (win custom boards from Byrne, trophy, flasks)