TransAm Buck Hill Minnesota

TransAm Buck Hill

If you look close you can see the stoke on his face. Only the TransAm can bring this much joy....Photo: Russell Kaczmar

Words by Adam Kisiel

What is it about Minnesota that makes kids so hungry for snowboarding? Has the fun of going to the Mall of America worn off? Is it the threat of an impending heart attack from too much White Castle that gets them moving? Is it to stay warm in a climate that threatens to freeze you solid at any moment? I am guessing it is the rope tow fed parks at every little hill around the area and the eagerness of kids to get as many rail and jump laps as possible, even if it means riding two at a time off a feature. Jason Schulberg and his park crew set up the TransAm Park to be just that, a stage for destruction as one hundred twenty riders tore every part of Buckhill Minnesota apart for the Transworld Snowboarding TransAm.

The Dakine feature was the first to be bled for the reckoning. It was a battleship box and barrel bonk set up that had riders either setting up to ride the whole box or hitting it from the side-to-gap to the flat or down. Most chose to air out over half of the box and tear apart the downside. The next feature to be caught in this path carnage was the Giro log hitching post. The log was set up sideways, but could be hit long ways as well, an option that not many riders took advantage of. It could have been the fact that this small mountain overlooks a busy highway or the many car dealerships on the way to the mountain and either way this log no longer was tying down horses. It could not even hold down the mayhem of spins, handplants, and fully pressed nose stalls that were being thrown. The Oakley feature was a single barrel down rail and a kinked down box that showcased some insane trick combinations and showed that Minnesota is the place to be to get good at rails. The butchery continued over the High Cascade Snowboard Camp volcano that was smoking and stewing over the rodeos, backflips, and corked spins seen over the crater. Zumiez brought out the Minnesota living room set up with their orange couch as a main rideable piece as well as a barrel end table and electric line spool as the coffee table. Coffee was not being served in this living room today as riders, sometimes two or three at a time, rode through this living room like horsemen on a path of annihilation. At this stop many proved again that it is very difficult to boardslide a couch. The Ride Snowboards wedgies to lowrise box set up featured many different options for decimation with several wedgies and a flat down rail out of the lowrise box and into a wedgie at the end of the feature. Many rippers carried their speed through the box and gapped to frontside down the rail. Whether it was all one hundred twenty riders in the Traffic Jam or the final forty riders in The Ultimate Final, the slaying was relentless and at a pace that was the norm for these riders everyday at each other's necks on the rope tow. In the end it was Easton Gilman and Emily Blewitt that walked away with the blood of victory on their hands and the taste of a championship birth into the finals at Big Bear in March.

Winners received Ride Snowboards, Dakine backpacks and board bags, Oakley custom TransAm goggles and outerwear, High Cascade Snowboard Camp hats, backpacks, belts, hoodies, t-shirts, Giro custom TransAm helmets, Zumiez gift cards and flight vouchers to Bear, and Sponsor Me prize packs. The pizza party and giveaway was packed in the lodge and no one walked away with an empty stomach or empty-handed. Smores were also cooked up out in front of the lodge on the High Cascade Snowboard Camp Marshmallow roaster. It is no wonder after this stop of the Transworld Snowboarding TransAm Tour why Minnesota is always in the middle of the maelstrom of snowboarding.

TransAm Winners:

1st Easton Gilman
2nd Mitch Kirby
3rd Justin Fronius

1st Emily Blewitt
2nd Brianna Zilles
3rd Allison Goebel