Masters Of The Universe
2002 World Snowboarding Championship
By Chris Coyle

On the twenty-first through the twenty-fifth day of February in the Year 2002, a contest was held. This was no normal competition-for this was the World Championship. That’s right, a championship for the entire world! So shreds from Zimbabwe could enter this here realm of shreddom and maybe walk away best in the whole cradle of humanity. In their infinite wisdom, the powers that be decided the best place on this planet to have a contest of such extraordinary magnitude would be Vail, Colorado.

A group of folks who call themselves “The Familie” put this event on. I felt pretty scared when I first heard this. “Are they going to break my legs if I don’t write a good story?” I asked at the check-in. The nice ladies reassured me that they’re not that type of family at all. As it turns out, they are the people responsible for bringing you such treats as Todd Richards action figures and Barrett Christy cereal boxes. Thank god, ’cause it’s hard to snowboard with concrete shoes on.

The first event on the agenda was Thursday night-the DC Jib contest. They lit up an area where a mound of snow led into a kicker with a ten-foot gap-to-rail slider. At first it looked like the riders weren’t going to have enough speed, but they figured it out-and before you knew it there were more rails getting nose-pressed than at Pablo Escobar’s bachelor party. Standouts included local shred Stephen Laterra, who threw down some mean 270 on 270 off type stuff. Marc Frank Montoya made nosepress backside lips look so easy that for a second I thought, “I could do that!” Then I remembered I couldn’t on account of I had this Little League injury. And Travis Parker had an all-white suit. I don’t really remember what tricks he did-just thinking, “Man, that’s a lot of white.”

The contest would come to an end when the second-place “finnisher” Iikka Backstrom (get it, Finnisher-he’s from Finland, man, I’m good) knocked himself out cold. It’s too bad, ’cause he had some real nice frontiside 270 on 270 offs going. Chris Engelsman had a barrage of tricks all night-mostly switch in true E-tree fashion. Cab 270s and switch backside lips were not uncommon. E-tree is a bad man-he would end up leaving with the cash and a new home stereo at the end of the night.

The pipe wing-ding went down on following morning. They used jam format for this contest-I love jam format. It means riders get a certain amount of time (45 minutes for the girls, 60 minutes for the boys) to get as many runs as they can. Loosely translated, people got to throw themselves. No same contest run they’ve used for the past five years, no backside air, frontside air, spin-just straight-up huge twirly flips.

Speaking of twirly flips, Keir Dillon went nuts doing gigantic McTwists and runs with so many spins, I started getting motion sickness. One of my favorite parts of the day was watching Twos, yeah J2 Rasmus, doing ten-foot-high switch frontside cork sevens. Originally, I thought he’d just gotten lost on the way to the bar when I saw him-but after seeing his pipe skills, I realized he was definitely in the right place.

When it came down to it, even David Carrier-Porcheron’s backside nines couldn’t stop the top three men: Andy Finch pulled third place with runs chock-full of cripplers, McTwists, and lofty straight airs. Second place belonged to fifteen-year-old Shaun White. Frontside nines, McTwists, alley-oop rodeos-he’s got ‘em. And the 20,000 dollars in cash ended up crossing our northern border in the suitcase of Mike Michalchuk. Michalchuk’s been hurt for a while, but that didn’t stop him from doing frontside airs so big that people got sunburned tonsils looking at them.

As far as the women go, I have to say they impressed me. Gone was the standard four-straight-airs-and-a-frontside-five run. Enter girls doing solid head-high airs and tech spins. Fifteen-year-old rah Bright (the female version of Shaun White) pushed up eight-foot airs the whole way down the pipe. And making sure that no one forgot why she has one of longest, most deserved careers in women’s snowboarding, Michele Taggart put down consistent backside fives and frontside sevens. Barrett Christy had some smooth backside three to switch backside three combos that put her in third. Gretchen Bleiler dropped into backside fives and that dropped her into second place. But Nicola Thost would be the one converting 15,000 dollars to euros on the way home. With back-to-back sevens and huge air to fakies, Nicola was pretty hard to beat.

After the contest ended, everyone found their way to the sundeck, where many libations were enjoyed-some more than others. Janna, for instance, was seen running down the street with a life-size cardboard cut-out of the lead singer of Oasis after the festivities. Liam was stolen for a good cause, though-she gave the cut-out to Tara Dakides as a “get well soon” card after Dakides hurt her leg in practice. Later that night, there was a party in town where The Line and Greyboy played. Many ‘sups were said and shakas thrown.

On to the slopestyle. Katrina Voutilainen hurt her knee in the qualifiers, but that didn’t stop her from kicking down a frontside five that landed her in third place. Janna dried out from the night before and put some frontside boardslides and a fronstside three to half Cab combo to win ten Gs and second place. “I’m gonna be pissed if I don’t spend at least a grand in the bar,” she claimed on the way off the podium. Bringing home her first check of the day would be Hana Beaman. A solid run and a cleanly stomped backside five made her winner, 20,000 dollars richer, and the Slopestyle Queen of the entire planet.

Shaun White, Jussi Oksanen, and Joni Malmi took the lead after the men’s first finals run, with Travis Rice and E-Tree in hot pursuit. Engelsman dropped in riding backward and continued to do most of the jumps and rails with the wrong foot facing forward. Rice got his backside rodeo nosegrab on, and Andreas Wiig had a pretty sweet-ass Cab seven to Haaken flip combo.

All that still couldn’t touch the top three, though. Malmi’s switch backside sevens kept him in third, while Oksanen unleashed the switch backside nine to put him in second. White came in almost a full five points in front of everyone else-McTwisting, backside sevening, frontside sevening, and Cab nining his way into another briefcase full of cash. If I were fifteen and had just done that well in the World Championship, I would start screaming, “I’m the king of the world, who wants a piece of me?” Not White, he just smiled and said, “Thank you.” I guess that’s cool, too.

As the sun went down that night, the crowd gathered for the Big Air and a free concert starring Ludacris. The crowd watched Marni Yamada and Bright backside three their way into second and third place, respectively. Annie Boulanger would’ve walked home with first if she’d stuck the backside seven she’d been trying, but nope. So Beaman left with more cash and her backside five. When it rains, it pours.

About half the invitees attended the jib jam the following morning. It seems the party the night before (the one that Marc Frank Montoya deejayed) had taken some casualties. Scotty Arnold and E-tree didn’t mind, ’cause it helped them win first and second. Both did just about every 270 in and out combo you could think of. E-tree had a sick backside 180 switch 50-50 the hard way, and remained one of the few people to bang the whole S rail. Let’s see life on other terrestrial spheres do that. Hey, here’s an idea-maybe they can turn the contest into the championship of the solar system and hold it on Uranus.

Barrett Chrispees
By Chris Coyle

I’m not sure if you noticed, but snowboarding is cool right now. Take a look around-it’s everywhere: TV commercials, billboards, feature-length movies. You can’t even go to the grocery store nowadays without seeing some random guy poking a tindy at you. The way the Olympics went, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see Danny Kass signature stomach pumps inside a year. Part of the reason for this is companies like The Familie-a “talent agency” that represents such folks as Todd Richards, Kevin Jones, and Andrew Crawford. They’re the ones to thank for Richard’s part in Out Cold. More recently, they brought you the Barrett Christy Apple Jacks and Pop Tarts boxes. I ran into Christy at the Worlds and grilled her a bit about the phenomenon.
I want to talk to you about your Apple Jacks b-
I had nothing to do with it (laughter). I didn’t know what was going on. I knew they were putting my picture on the Pop Tarts boxes, but I didn’t know about the Apple Jacks until I saw it in the store.
I noticed on one box you’re regular and the other box you’re goofy.
Oh, did you notice that?
Yeah, so did you do one switch?
Oh yeah! And I put on that Olympic bib for the picture, too … I actually think they had some fun with the Photoshop. I was stoked to see myself going switch, though.
When are you going to get a PowerAde bottle so we can have a complete Barrett Christy meal?
(Laughter) I don’t know.

World Snowboarding Championship:
Results

DC Jib Contest
1. Chris Engelsman
2. Iikka Backstrom

Men’s Pipe
1. Mike Michalchuk
2. Shaun White
3. Andy Finch
4. Abe Teter
5. Keir Dillon

Women’s Pipe
1. Nicola Thost
2. Gretchen Bleiler
3. Barrett Christy
4. Michele Taggart
5. Kim Stacey

Men’s Slopestyle
1. Shaun White
2. Jussi Oksanen
3. Joni Malmi
4. Travis Rice
5. Chris Engelsman

Women’s Slopestyle
1. Hana Beaman
2. Janna Meyen
3. Annie Boulanger
4. Megan Pischke
5. Katrina Voutilainen

Men’s Big Air
1. Josh Feliciano
2. Jussi Oksanen
3. Rahm Klampert
4. Travis Parker
5. Andreas Wiig

Women’s Big Air
1. Hana Beaman
2. Torah Bright
3. Marni Yamada
4. Dresden Howell

Jib Jam
1. Scotty Arnold
2. Chris Engelsman
the kids call “the bomb.”

About half the invitees attended the jib jam the following morning. It seems the party the night before (the one that Marc Frank Montoya deejayed) had taken some casualties. Scotty Arnold and E-tree didn’t mind, ’cause it helped them win first and second. Both did just about every 270 in and out combo you could think of. E-tree had a sick backside 180 switch 50-50 the hard way, and remained one of the few people to bang the whole S rail. Let’s see life on other terrestrial spheres do that. Hey, here’s an idea-maybe they can turn the contest into the championship of the solar system and hold it on Uranus.

Barrett Chrispees
By Chris Coyle

I’m not sure if you noticed, but snowboarding is cool right now. Take a look around-it’s everywhere: TV commercials, billboards, feature-length movies. You can’t even go to the grocery store nowadays without seeing some random guy poking a tindy at you. The way the Olympics went, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see Danny Kass signature stomach pumps inside a year. Part of the reason for this is companies like The Familie-a “talent agency” that represents such folks as Todd Richards, Kevin Jones, and Andrew Crawford. They’re the ones to thank for Richard’s part in Out Cold. More recently, they brought you the Barrett Christy Apple Jacks and Pop Tarts boxes. I ran into Christy at the Worlds and grilled her a bit about the phenomenon.
I want to talk to you about your Apple Jacks b-
I had nothing to do with it (laughter). I didn’t know what was going on. I knew they were putting my picture on the Pop Tarts boxes, but I didn’t know about the Apple Jacks until I saw it in the store.
I noticed on one box you’re regular and the other box you’re goofy.
Oh, did you notice that?
Yeah, so did you do one switch?
Oh yeah! And I put on that Olympic bib for the picture, too … I actually think they had some fun with the Photoshop. I was stoked to see myself going switch, though.
When are you going to get a PowerAde bottle so we can have a complete Barrett Christy meal?
(Laughter) I don’t know.

World Snowboarding Championship:
Results

DC Jib Contest
1. Chris Engelsman
2. Iikka Backstrom

Men’s Pipe
1. Mike Michalchuk
2. Shaun White
3. Andy Finch
4. Abe Teter
5. Keir Dillon

Women’s Pipe
1. Nicola Thost
2. Gretchen Bleiler
3. Barrett Christy
4. Michele Taggart
5. Kim Stacey

Men’s Slopestyle
1. Shaun White
2. Jussi Oksanen
3. Joni Malmi
4. Travis Rice
5. Chris Engelsman

Women’s Slopestyle
1. Hana Beaman
2. Janna Meyen
3. Annie Boulanger
4. Megan Pischke
5. Katrina Voutilainen

Men’s Big Air
1. Josh Feliciano
2. Jussi Oksanen
3. Rahm Klampert
4. Travis Parker
5. Andreas Wiig

Women’s Big Air
1. Hana Beaman
2. Torah Bright
3. Marni Yamada
4. Dresden Howell

Jib Jam
1. Scotty Arnold
2. Chris Engelsman