Anyway, this was the first year in Aspen for the Team Challenge, where the beer really did “flow like champagne,” because Budweiser donated what might be considered by some as “too many” kegs for the big event (HUGE thanks to them for the party awesomeness). Against all odds, we also got three days in a row of perfect Colorado sunshine, as well as a pretty serious terrain park courtesy of the Aspen/Snowmass park staff (specifically, head park-dude Greg Boyd). This included a giganticly giant Superpipe with channels sliced out of either wall, a kicker to the tune of 60-plus feet (also with a channel), and various other jumps and jibs.
Now, add a bunch of snowboarding’s top pros dressed up in self-made team uniforms to that equation, and you can bet some stuff went down. Scotty Lago doing 900s off the big kicker and over the channel gap in the pipe. Mike Cassinova front-boarding the up-flat-down box for the Academy win in PIG. The Salomon team shredding around in full Superman outfits (including tights). Bryan Fox and Shaun McKay flying giant off the hip. Little Kazuhiro Kokubo McTwisting some fifteen out of the pipe over the heads of his Burton teammates. The Academy dudes dressed up as the Three Amigos, complete with a mandolin player and bottles of Sauza tequila. Absolute insanity, really.
As with any event, though, we did have a few people taken out over the course of this year’s Team Challenge, and it just wouldn’t be right not to mention these folks. The big kicker took down Andrae Cameron, as well as Grant Glenn-who came out with a broken hip and torn MCL. The pipe channel took out our own Jardine Hammond, who cased the pipe channel wicked bad, dislocating her shoulder, exploding the ligaments on her ankle, and dinging up her grill a little bit, too. Martin Sandberg broke his wing on the hip, and Shaun McKay also got roughed up in the same incident. Last but not least, yours truly was taken down by food poisoning, which had me doing the “big spit” for three days straight. I spent a night curled up on the cool tile floor of the hotel bathroom-nice and close to the toilet. I puked on the jump deck during the game of PIG. I learned about bile, a foul-tasting fluid that comes out when there’s just nothing left in your guts. And at the end of it all, I had a whole new appreciation for being able to choke down a nice cup of frozen yogurt without feeling it immediately coming right back out.
Best Rail Rider: Mike Cassinova
Best Hip Jumper: Shaun McKay
Moonraker (Best Pipe Rider): Chad Otterstrom
Shaken, Not Stirred (Best Wreck): Grant Glen
Game of PIG: 1. Academy 2. Burton 3. Elan
Dressed To Kill (Best Team Uniform): Academy
Liscence To Kill (Best Team): Academy
Goldfinger (Best Rider): Chad Otterstrom
Stay tuned for the extensive mag coverage coming up soon, and oh yeah, huge thanks to Aspen/Snowmass, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, Red Bull, and Budweiser.