Colorado is fortunate enough to host an abundance of mainstream snowboarding contests--Dew Tour, X Games, Burton U.S. Open, etc.--all of which paint a portrait in the minds of snowboarders as to what Colorado means to the snowboard world. As valuable and impressive as those contests are, that is only one side of snowboarding, and not all Coloradoans subscribe to the energy drink sponsors and scorecards. For the past seven years, when spring rolls around, there is a day dedicated to competition where contest bibs are antiquated, style reigns supreme, and each bail, make, or slam of a session is the result of hand-built do-it-yourself features that commemorate a time when snowboarding consisted of nothing more than shovels, manpower and hiking for every hit.
This Love Games, and in a true ’90s-style display of no-rules snowboarding, Satellite Boardshop pays tribute to this pedigree of snowboarding with an annual gathering of Colorado's finest on Loveland Pass to compete against one another and embrace the temporary absence of perfectly manicured park setups and the current 200-dollar-a-day lift ticket. Loveland Pass was an iconic spot during this era--when snowboarders weren't allowed to ride resorts, so they gathered on no-man's-land to build jumps and huck their meat.
On Saturday, March 31, a crew of dedicated locals made their way to the pass with shovels, rakes, salt and spray paint to start crafting features to be ridden the next day, April 1. Drawing inspiration from some of Colorado's emblematic spots of the past, Love Games consisted of three zones this year. The first zone was a quarterpipe with a particularly steep and bumpy run-in and a blinding transition into the wall. The second was the notorious ironing board, known for its flat landing, that was said to have "a quick transition that launches you into corks without effort," by one of Love Games' competitors. The third and final area was arguably the most inviting, featuring a log pole jam and two medium-sized BMX-style jumps, but the unstable wood of the pole jam and the rutted jumps required more skill than initially interpreted.
The last zone was strategically placed slightly above the parking area, where Love Games-goers were greeted at the end of the day with beers from Oskar Blues and all the Justin's nut butters a long day of sunshine and sidecountry shredding could make you want. Those who came out on Saturday to build received a one-of-a-kind Satellite x Nightmare t-shirt, and original artwork was awarded to the prolific few who were throwing down at every feature with proper execution and style.
The setup separated the boys from the men and the girls from the women; its choppy, generally flat landing areas and uneven lips a true testament to what actualizes a good snowboarder. Nevertheless, people showed up to send it in an organized chaos that was simultaneously competitive and dynamic. Another outstanding Love Games for the books.
1st Hunter Frutch
2nd Jade Phelan
3rd Chad Otterstrom