Big Kickers Bring The Community Together At Keystone
Words: Alex Ryden
Photos: Jeff Brockmeyer
Check out all the competitors at twsnow.com/communitycup.
"I'm terrible at methods," said one of the female competitors just before dropping in to her first Best Methods run at the Community Cup contest in Keystone. She hops forward, checks her speed, straight airs the first kicker and absolutely rifles herself off the second, tweaking a method high above the heads of the judges that would have brought Craig Kelly to his feet. The girls weren't going big-they were going huge. And this was long after the contest champion had officially been crowned.
Modesty, good vibes and raw talent floated under sunny skies at Keystone on Saturday afternoon, with the contest moved up to avoid a pressing storm slated for later in the day. But for the girls still bearing black and white singlets over their spring snow suits, the real storm had already passed. Kiwi phenom Christy Prior had come out on top of the main slopestyle event amidst fierce competition the day before. Today she cruised the mountain with her usual flawless style, smiling brightly from ear to ear. She was psyched. Her winning slopestyle run: cab 5, front rodeo 7, back 5, switch boardsilde to fakie on the pole jam, front lip on the rainbow, front blunt 270 out onto the down bar.
"Honestly, yesterday was kind of winging it," she admitted about her winning run. "None of us girls really got any practice in. We just all showed up, hit the jumps and just felt it out. But the contest," Prior continues, "was a fun, supportive, and a relaxed atmosphere. I lost count of how many times we follow-chained through the course just for the fun of it."
And that feeling was a good one. This wasn't the X Games or Dew Tour or Winter Olympics. This was the only snowboard contest with soul, where the riders chose the features, qualifier rounds counted towards overall score and unbridled innovation was unquestionably king. "With riders like Silje Norendal, Sarka Pancochova, and Cheryl Mass," says Prior, "the level is always high! Jamie Anderson also showed up and put down some textbook front 7s right off the bat."
"This contest was awesome. The setup is perfect for an all girls event," said third place winner Silje Norendal. "Keystone really worked with the girls to make the features great. It's all step-over jumps, so if you knuckle you're not going to die. And what's really special about this event is that you can bring your best score from qualifiers into finals. That happened to be my best run."
Each and every athlete was invited to Keystone's perfectly manicured hills this past week for one reason. They laughed and joked and cheered for each other on and off the podium for one reason. They watched with excitement from the top of the starting line for one reason. The soared through the park, atop handrails, over oil drums and off icy lips for one reason-they were all the future of the sport.
"The Community Cup is about the community of female snowboarding," said Norendal. "Sure we always support each other during the season. But the vibe here is really good, because there just isn't that huge pressure to outperform."
"Such a great event to finish the contest season off on!" says Prior.
1st Christy Prior (NZ) 93.75
2nd Šárka Pančochová (CZE) 92.25
3rd Silje Norendal (NOR) 90.25
BIG AIR PODIUM
1st- Kjersti Buaas (NOR) 94.66 (F/S 7 Stalefish)
2nd Cheryl Mass (NED) 93.66 (B/S 9 Melon)
3rd Kristiina Nisula (FIN) 89.33 (F/S Rodeo 7 Nosegrab)
ROCKN' RAIL JAM PRESENTED BY KICKER AUDIO PODIUM
1st-Christy Prior (NZ) F/S Boardside 270 Out
2nd Courtney Cox (USA) 50-50 F/S 360 Out
3rd-Cheryl Mass (NED) Cab 270- 270out
Best Method Presented by GoPro
Christy Prior (NZ)