It’s the Euros versus the North American snowboarders in a game of soccer, and the Euros are dominating. Things might be different on the snowboard slopes, but for the time being, Lukas Huffman, Shin Campos, Mark Reilly, Seth Neary, Tim Weisser, and myself are no match. Hey, it’s Germany and we’re in their house. As Dani Costandanche passes the ball around me to Thomas “Beckna” Eberharter who scores another goal, I think, “Let’s try a game of baseball and see how they do?”
The crew of Nitro team riders and employees were gathered in Garmisch, Germany to take part in the company’s Summer Camp. Day two consisted of total camp action up on the slopes of Zugspitze. The camp itself was run by a company called Gap 1328, who set up and maintained the two pipes, a bunch of kickers, and some pretty cool rails. The pipes were in the middle of the glacier’s snowfield, with some big tents, plenty of beach chairs, a barbecue, Nitro demo center, and a thumping stereo system at the bottom. A mix of AC/DC and Euro rock kept the riders pumped during the day. The whole field was accessed by a mellow T-bar that went up along the side.
Getting up to the snow was the exciting part. You have to take one big, long tram up to the top of Germany’s highest peak, topping out just under 3,000 meters. Then you take another short gondola ride into the glacier field, is in a sort of bowl sloping to the east. The whole backdrop is surrounded by the steep, rugged, snow- and rock-covered peaks of the Alps.
The riders were losing no time warming up. The pipe was a little crunchy, so most worked the kickers and rails. Photographers such as Pascal Scalp Gombert, Vianney Tisseau, and Richard Felderer quickly took to the kickers to document the action. Seth Neary was riding behind the riders for follow-cam video shots as well.
At one point, Nitro owners Tommy Delago and Sepp Ardelt stood on a kicker and watched as the riders hucked and spun off of it again and again. On the gondola ride down, Tommy said, “You know, we’ve got a young team. Watching today, we have a lot of great guys and I’m really excited about it.”
But not all the action went down on the slopes. In typical camp style, there were other activities to do in the summer weather down in the town of Garmisch, where everyone was staying. Soccer was on, while hitting the pool was another. Some just napped after riding and others were interviewed by the Japanese and Korean journalists who also came along.
After dinner, there were rumors of a party just a short way up the road, so a group of us wandered up a dark lane in search of the event. It turned out to be a nice little bar in the middle of the woods, with huge mugs of beer and a good, outdoor deck for everyone to hang on. Neary and Nici Pederzolli traded stories about team adventures in Japan a few years ago, while Lukas Huffman sat down and talked with any girl in the place.
There were quite a few people there with snowboarders like Airwalk’s Roman De Marci also in attendance for the summer riding. He claimed his girlfriend was trying to get him drunk, then said to me, “I like the color of Embry Rucker’s hair,” which seemed to be some inside joke about the U.S. photographer. He told me to included it in the story, so I have.
We’ll bring you more updates tomorrow.