Held every spring at Whistler/Blackcomb, the Westbeach Classic is the biggest snowboarding contest in North America. Big claim, so0by me. But as sure as I am writing this, it is the biggest party. All that partying might help explain why we had to rely on what I had already written for our Internet site (twsnow.com) as my coverage for our new contest column-instead of having my burned-out brain cells try to recall it again.

-Dave “It Won’t Happen Again” Sypniewski

We missed the halfpipe qualifier Friday morning, but did make it in time for the big-air practice. It was a good-sized jump, and all the competitors seemed agreeable with it. The contest bibs were actually jerseys, making it hard to tell who was who. I did, however, catch Kevin Sansalone’s frontside scorpion after landing his second jump. Jason Brown was in an orange one-piece and was riding good, like he always does in practice. Risto Scott, Andrew Crawford, and some other jerseys were in the mist of a backside rodeo craze. Kim Bohnsack was the only girl who stood out, nailing a bitchen backside 180. The practice didn’t last long, because the oganizers were trying to save the jump for the actual contest.

Friday night was mayhem. After drinking my dinner with Chris Owen (Westbeach team manager) and some of his team riders, we went to the Westbeach/Alphanumeric party at Maxi Fish. It was packed, so we had a few at the bar above the Maxi Fish and went to check out Smith’s party at Tommy Mars. Guess what? It was packed, too. So back to Maxi Fish we went, where I faded to black. It was too bad Owen couldn’t get in to the Westbeach party; I guess he just doesn’t know the right people.

Saturday morning we suited up and headed to the halfpipe. It was such a beautiful day, we hardly minded the super-long liftlines.

You had to ride through a massive snowboard park with about 2,000 people zig-zagging through it. The park was so fun, we could only watch a few people’s contest runs before going back through it again. Even though my stops at the contest were brief, I could tell that the energy was high. Everyone was ripping, twelve-foot airs were commonplace. The standouts in my mind-Natasha Zurek killing it, as was Dorianne Vidal and Tricia Byrnes. Even though we’ve all seen them before Trevor Andrew’s monstrous McTwists, Abe Teeter’s stalefishes were tough, and Rob Kingwill did the Sato/Cripplers really well. The star of the day was Michalchuck-when he dropped in, the whole mountain pretty much stopped to watch. He couldn’t really put a solid run together, but boy were the segments insane. The double backflip 180 he did after falling his last run was amazing, I’m claiming he was at least twelve feet out, and he pretty much stuck it. That guy is unreal.

The big air started at dusk, complete with live music and go-go dancers. That’s right, go-go dancers, so if you’re still complaining about my vague coverage, now blame the dancers. Like I said, the contest is more like a party, there had to have been 10,000 people there, drinking and cheering. I was kinda tipsy during the qualifier, but I did notice that the switch 540 and the switch rodeo were popular with most of the competitors. The jiggy pelvic thrust and butt wiggle was the common move of the dancers. I was totally wasted by the final, but I think my favorite tricks were Josh Dirksen’s smooth-as-butter switch 720, Kevin Sansalone’s switch rodeo 720s and Jason Brown’s monstrous flip thing, which was I was super stoked on because I saw two of them at the same time.

I would love to wrap this up with some more tales of the partying that went down long in to the night, but like the Internet site, my mom sometimes looks at this magazine, too.

I was told there was the Pontiac Amateurs Slopestyle on Sunday, but I missed it because of all that damn partying.


Men’s Halfpipe Final Results

1. Abram Teeter USA

2. Fabian Rohrer SUI

3. Xavier Hoffman GER

4. Therry Brunner SUI

>5. Dani Costandache SUI

6. Iker Fernandez ESP

7. Jess Fox CAN

8. Rob Kingwill USA

9. David Percheron-Carrier CAN

10. Justin Lamoureux CAN

Women’s Halfpipe Final Results

1. Tricia Byrnes USA

2. Natasha Zurek CAN

3. Minna Hesso FIN

4. Dorianne Vidal FRA

5. Martina Tscharner SUI

Final Results for Big Air Invitational-Men

1. Jason Brown USA

2. Andrew Hardingham CAN

3. Kevin Sansalone CAN

4. Alex Auchu CAN

5. Neil Goss USA

Final Results for Big Air Invitational-Women

1. Kim Bohnsack USA

2. Star of Peace Quinn CAN

3. Annie Boulanger CAN

4. Jacqueline Berg USA

5. Leah Wagner USA