Spencer Clark making his presence known while the competition looks on. Photo: Jeff Potto
Words by Adam Kisiel
Some might confuse Colorado with huge mountains, sweet vacation destinations, thin clean air, perfectly sculpted parks, cold fluffy snow, and so many mountains connected that buying a pass gets you into more than just one of them. Little is said about what lies behind all that awesomeness, it is the friendships that hold Colorado up. Stay a short time in the Rockies and I guarantee that you won't be able to go shredding without running into someone you know or just met. Sooner or later you find yourself yelling from the lifts, throwing high fives, and sharing several laughs with friends while ripping around the mountain.
Jason and the Keystone Park Crew set the stage for friendships to be fused for a lifetime and so many memorable moments to be had at the TransWorld SNOWboarding TransAm. The event had more kids with perma grin than a Phish concert. The difference was that they weren't stoked on what they just got handed by some longhaired hippie named Sunshine, but were pumped on what was laid out in front of them. The creative Keystone mini park started off with the Oakley Shark Pit that had rippers gapping the bloodthirsty sharks propelling themselves into the air thanks to the diving board rail over the tank. After Bouncing over the shark infested waters, riders set up for the log jib out over the High Cascade Snowboard Camp Marshmallow. The Marshmallow was hugged, jibbed, bonked, rodeo'd, and spun enough to make spectators puke with joy while craving more from the white gooey little guy. Those two features alone were enough to make all the kids smile and get excited, paired with a sunny warm bluebird day, it was a recipe for instant friends. Just add the super fun, hour long, Traffic Jam format that gave riders tons of time to have fun not just a lame two runs, and you will get the best of everyone involved. Two of the best, Emily Blewitt and Eli Weiner, were both walking on Colorado Sunshine. Emily was bonking over the Zumiez couch and rail combo to endless options into the Keystone mini jib mountain of an up box, drainage pipes, and transition on each side. Eli was setting the Dakine Paper Shreds on Fire with the 270's he was throwing down the Dakine down rail stair set. Of the 130 riders in the Traffic Jam, Courtney Cox, Jessie Sutton, Spencer Clark, and Erik Ludwig were focusing on top honors. They were not only slaying the pole jam to Ride Snowboards Slime Wall, but also holding their own on the Keystone stop sign. Forty riders were picked by the esteemed Colorado judging panel to be in the Ultimate Final. Ten minute jam in each line of the park had new friends and old friends talking trick combinations and sharing stories of the crazy Traffic Jam on their way to the Final.
Those that didn't make it to the final stayed to cheer on their besties and watch as the final forty gave their all. Was it Jake Larue that never seemed to stay upright, winning himself Best Trick/Most Inverted or Julie Stromwall, who took a banger of a crash for Best Fall and still came back to ride the park again that day? It was the day from start to finish that made so many kids happy friends so far up in the sky. Every ingredient of the day, topped off with a pizza party and huge giveaway at the end made the TransAm an everlasting memory.
Winners got awesome Dakine TransAm custom backpacks stuffed with prizes from High Cascade, Oakley, TransWorld SNOWboarding, Ride Snowboards, and Zumiez. The 1st place winners received TransAm Trophies, Ride snowboards, Dakine board bags, and Custom Dakine backpacks, along with Nerf guns and My Little Ponies from High Cascade Snowboard Camp.
Sure you can go to Summit County and talk about getting vibed and how everyone thinks they are better than everyone else or you can go to the Rockies and make friends and get better yourself. The TransWorld SNOWboarding TransAm is all about bringing the fun and friendship back into snowboarding. With a park like Keystone's and over three hundred days of sunshine, making friends just seems easier.
***Check out the Photo Gallery below***
1st Emily Blewitt
2nd Courtney Cox
3rd Jessie Sutton
1st Eli Weiner
2nd Spencer Clark
3rd Erik Ludwig
Best Trick/Most Inverted
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