TransAm Best Park Winner: Northstar-at-Tahoe

TransAm Northstar

TranAm finalist sends it at Northstar. Photo: Russell Kaczmar

Words by Adam Kisiel

Another Transworld TransAm Tour in the books and we couldn't help, but gather around and revisit the past Bill and Ted style to remember exactly what happened. Although we didn't have a final project or anything to finish like those guys, we did have a common goal: Be excellent to each other.

Luke Mathison, one of the most righteous dudes on the East Coast, is always the first to get the TransAm park layout and turn a bunch of stick figures and poorly drawn, sometimes perverted replications of a mini park, into real people as well as an awesome mini park. Mathison and The Waterville Valley Park Crew outdid themselves again incorporating the already existing Oakley Hubba and building the first High Cascade Snowboard Camp snow volcano that would only grow throughout the tour.

Alright, hurry back to the booth and dial up PA a couple weeks later before those New Hampshire buzzards carry us off. We found ourselves shocked and curious in Big Boulder, Pennsylvania as to what was going to arise out of a huge pile of snow at the base of the hill. After all, we were knee deep in karaoke, energy drinks with bulls on the side of the can, Twinkies, and our over indulgence of cheese steaks. Our hosts were Ian Oliver and Johnny Lightning, who were hungry to show up the past stop with their own version of the park. They brought out the living room set up for the Zumiez feature, a television set, coffee table and the big orange couch–all rideable.

Again seeking refuge in the booth before we got choked out by Joey Vento for not ordering our cheese steak ‘wit whiz’, whatever that means, it was to the land of sub-zero temperatures, rope tows, and hills put in the oddest of places. Buckhill, Minnesota was really close to a major highway and served as the mid point of the tour, a stop with a heavy helping of character. Giro brought out the hitching post and made sure it was ready for the shoot-from-the-hip action that would go down over their feature in the wild midwest. Rail skills, as always, are how these kids set themselves apart from the rest.

We jumped into the booth to save ourselves from being flash frozen and dialed up the Rocky Mountain State of Colorado. We ended up next to the tracks in the Rail Yard of Winter Park. There were no shortage of down rails and DaKine set one up for the locomotion to get looney at this stop. The huge drainage pipe was also another awesome feature because it could be hit from every angle or you could just send it through the middle of the tube. It wasn't a heinous set up at all, but we were running out of time and winter season. It was back to the traveling and we set course to California.

Big Bear, last year's TransAm Premier Park Champs, put on a spectacle that would make even Missy, I mean Bill's stepmom, want a piece of the action.

The Bear Park Crew amassed the biggest volcano set up to date. It had almost every feature coming off the sides and the crater in the middle was a skate bowl set up out of snow. The Ride Snowboards Wedgie feature saw the most highflying action and the scariest toe catch all tour. One young lady shot over the feature fully extended headfirst as if propelled from the mouth of a cannon. She ended intact in the end, but the scare was enough for us to check the replay on the live webcast of the event. We crowned the event winners as well as the tour champs at the finals at Bear. That was it, our most triumphant end to an awesome tour. But, wait we forgot one stop!

Northstar-at-Tahoe happened before the finals and was the epitome of what the Transworld TransAm Tour is all about. The resort staff there is second to none–from the lift attendants, to the marketing staff, to the park staff. The Park was pristine and smoothed out by Chris Castaneda and his awesome crew of park masters. It had all the elements of each feature with a personal, creative twist from Northstar. The end party was in a huge conference room and the spread was a buffet of pasta salad, sandwich fixings, lemonade, and cookies. The whole experience was like a dream come true; everything was just ready to happen at any second. We got there, looked around, high fived, and yelled "party on dudes" at the top of our lungs. That is the reason this year's winner of the Best TransAm Resort Award goes to Northstar at Tahoe. They deserve it and much more for setting the standard of excellence on the tour from top to bottom. You can check out all the action from pictures, videos, and words at See you next year for what looks to be our greatest season of fun yet!