The Holy Bowly has an infectious kind of stoke. It's a can't-stop-riding kind of stoke. A slap-high-fives-until-your-hand-is-raw kind of stoke. A get-shirtless-and-shred kind of stoke. That's been the vibe since the course opened on April 15. On Saturday, April 19 the gathering got a fresh shot of energy when 50 members of the public joined the pros (10 people got a spot through an Instagram contest while the other 40 secured a place through registration).
With a solid collection of mostly Salt Lake City and Park City locals in the mix the frothing hoard was released to train, slash, carve, and air the course. What followed was a show of riding every bit as good as we've seen all week and possibly more entertaining thanks to the antics of riders like Nick “Pops” Poplawski.
When the lifts finally came to a stop Saturday afternoon so did the official event. So after five epic days of low-impact boarding here are five reasons why it feels like the Holy Bowly is good for snowboarding.
1) The setup is ridiculously fun to ride, and not in the way that you say hitting an 80-foot park jump is "fun" when you really mean gripping.
2) Anyone can ride it and find a line that works for them, from average riders to pros.
3) There are no winners or losers as it isn’t a contest, just a gathering of people sharing in the stoke that comes from ripping with friends and exploring new terrain.
4) In an age of media and marketing dominated by massive airs, many flips, and technical rail tricks it's an alternative approach to freestyle snowboarding. While it’s important for riders to still push the limits of what’s possible on a snowboard, progression doesn’t have to be measured solely by adding another flip or spin, and the Holy Bowly provides a platform for that.
5) It shows that there are other options for park setups beyond tabletops, hips, and rails. More resorts could have a permanent setup like the Holy Bowly. If not a course centered around a bowl, then at least some of the elements, like the snake run, that encourages creativity through carving, slashing, and a taking a line that isn't straight down the mountain.
May the spirit of the Holy Bowly spread. Stay tuned for the full recap edit dropping soon.