TransWorld SNOWboarding TransAm stop 3

February 8, 2003, Breckenridge, Colorado

“Can I go now, can I go now, cannnnnneeeeeeyyyegoooooo???” whined one very small Trans-Am participant. “Let ‘er rip!” announcer Jeff Meyer told him. And it was on.

Saturday, February 8, the Breckenridge, Colorado skies were clear and the temperature rose from a bazillion degrees below to maybe just the high side of zero for the first time all week. The gods were kind, probably so everyone who participated in the SOS series, USASA halfpipe and third TransWorld SNOWboarding TransAm could pull out all they got.

This time the set-up was based around a possible first-ever, official, on snow, highest-ollie contest, inspired by Breckenridge local, Chad Otterstrom. The other obstacles included a few picnic tables and the unbelievable, newly “remodeled” 22-foot long by nine-foot high rail adorned Smith Limo. Along with the five-foot gap from lip to rail, the limo wasn’t for the faint hearted. Basically we thought it would be there mostly for looks-and watching it rally up the hill to the Trans-Am location was something to see in itself. But as the Trans-Am progressed (and a few of the moms and coaches pointed out), we were proven very wrong. As pro rider and amazed TransAm judge Matt Peterson put it the day of the event: “Kids are throwing it down!”

The winner on the Smith Limo obstacle, Vance Billings, handed out tricks like the switch boardslide to 270 off, which helped him take home the prize. There were also some crazy combinations being put together by a few extremely talented local riders. And, whoa, look out for eleven-year old Matt Ladley. The Steamboat Springs mini ripper was boardsliding the 4×4 automobile rail, and considering he’s around four-feet tall, that makes it, um … a lot bigger and scarier for him.

The highest-ollie contest gained momentum with Meyer hyping up the crowd, offering technique, and egging on contestants. Participants jumped over the specially built break-a-way ollie bar until they touched or knocked it down and were eliminated. After each round, the bar was raised. At the end of eliminations there emerged a first, second, and third place winner.

We saw anything contestants could think of on the picnic tables – a front flip, one-footers, butters, and switch everythings. But it was number 37, Brad Saunders, who sealed the deal with the most creative and technical tricks of the day.

Judges throughout the event included Tony Mellick from Brothers Boards in Boulder, TWS and Smith representatives, and pro riders Chad Otterstrom, Matt Peterson, and Robin Wish.

Later that night the awards were held, thanks to Jimmy King and Chad Otterstrom, at their restaurant and bar, Maoris, where they treated all USASA and Trans-Am participants to their Pacific Islander inspired cuisine and a sleek atmosphere. Winners of the highest-ollie and best overall on each of the obstacles received some or all of the following: handmade Trans-Am trophies, a Ride Snowboard, Smith goggles, backpacks from DaKine, and product from Quiksilver and TransWorld SNOWboarding. Later in the evening, tons more sponsor product was raffled off and almost everyone in attendance walked away with something in their hands.The food was great and the riding was amazing, but the best thing about the day? “It’s seeing smiles on all the kid’s faces,” summed up participant Jesse Csincsak. “This is all for such a good cause and we’re having a blast.” A great reminder of what snowboarding’s all about.

Highest Ollie
1. Parker Bremner, Highland Ranch, CO
2. Jesse Csincsak, Breckenridge, CO
3. Jason Rutherford, Vail, CO
Brad Saunders, Steamboat Springs, CO
Honorable Mention: Jack Balerud, Westminster, CO

Smith Limo
Vance Billings, Vail, CO
Honorable Mention: Matt Ladley, Steamboat Springs, CO

Compete in the final Trans-Am at Nationals in Sunday River, ME, March 27, 2003

This event couldn’t have been such a success without the help of our sponsors: Smith Optics, DaKine, Ride Snowboards, and Quiksilver. Also thank you, thank you, thank you, to Mike at SOS, our judges, announcer Jeff Meyer, Brodie Craig, limo driver extraordinaire Zach Horowitz, Jimmy and the staff at Maoris, and Breckenridge.