Nestled in the Australian Alps of Victoria, Australia, Falls Creek was established 70 years ago. Over the decades since, the resort has grown into a European-style ski village where no cars are allowed during the winter months, and the only transportation is via snowcat and snowmobile. Our cat dropped us off at a place called The Attunga, and after a 20-something hour flight and a seven-hour drive, it was time to crash.
The next day, Sophie, who heads up marketing at Falls Creek, hooked us up with Marcel, the park manager, and Bailey, the park builder. They toured us all over the large resort. On the last run, we dropped into a bowl, and the feature we had come to shred revealed itself. It looked amazing. Bailey had taken the notes from Chris and Gunny and created a shredable Volcom Stone. Marcel explained to us that the dimensions of jump were exact to the logo. The math was perfect, and the results were remarkable. I could see a huge wave of relief wash over Seth and Jeff’s faces as they saw the final product; their vision that started as a simple sketch had come to life. From this point, it was up to the riders.
For the next week, while we waited for the right weather, we settled in and got to know the town—bubble gum trees, wild parrots, wombats, and all. The locals took well to us, and after a few days, we were taken to a speakeasy that served drinks until dawn. The closest police were miles away, giving the town a sort of lawless feel. We were settling in and started to get invited to local hangouts like karaoke at the Trap House, where we had a song battle with the Rusty Toothbrush crew. Each night we stayed out a little later, really blending in, then it happened. The perfect weather report.We had finally drank it blue, and it was time to do what we came here for.
The plan was for a sunrise mission. We would be hitting the Stone as light crested the mountains. With little time to warm up, the sun began to pop, and we got to work. Seeing this variety of snowboarders, from all parts of our culture, come together to session the feature was something special. The idea worked perfectly. You could literally hit it from all angles, allowing the riders to really get creative. Someone like Marcus or Torgier could blast it like a tabletop, while a rider like Rav or Blum could come at it with an entirely different take. Three generations of riders sessioned the feature, all bringing their own flavor.
As I sat at lunch drinking my first Gary—see page 106—I couldn’t help but notice the smiles. This is what snowboarding is about. Just doing what you feel. Everyone had forgotten we’d woke at 3:30 am. We were already anticipating the afternoon session. The photos and clips we came for were in the bag, so anything that happened in the next couple days was just a bonus.
My mind snaps back to present. Feet from Rav, I’m following him off the lip of the Stone. I put down a 180—a small one, but enough to garner a fist bump from one of the lifties. He tells me he likes the open jacket, MFM style. I hit the jump in the smallest way possible, and it was awesome. That’s the best part about the Stone. It’s one feature that can be enjoyed by me and Marcus Kleveland alike, while someone like Rav or Blum can shred it witha special level of no-rules creativity. The Stone brought this crew together, and it’s the reason I was able lay carves and catch air on yet another continent on my list.