We left Northern San Diego County (where pro snowboarders go to retire) at 4 pm on a Friday and drove 550 miles to Tahoe. After fighting through LA Friday night traffic and running into pro skater Jamie Thomas and the whole Zero team in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley, we finally arrived in the wee hours of the morning.
Why the journey? To see the best ams in the world compete at Sierra at Tahoe. You see, Forum threw contests throughout the 04-05 season at various locations all over the United States and Canada. The men’s and women’s winners of each of the events were each given a free trip to compete in the finals. Pretty sweet deal for an am! There were about 30 events throughout the season so Forum threw down some cash to get all the guys and gals out to the Tahoe region and put them up. Nice work supporting snowboarders on the come up! Since this was an am contest there was no money on the line, however a $500 travel voucher, iPod and complete Forum setups were given to the winners. Not to mention they get a little love on transworldsnowboarding.com. Some of these kids were shredding at a pro level so be on lookey loo for some of these rats in the future.
The course was pretty smooth. The riders launched right into a forty foot gap followed immediately by a fifty footer. A little rail section came next with a flat-down and a flat bar after that. The last obstacle was a wall ride, which proved to be difficult for many of the riders. Quincy Gavin from Vernon British Columbia said of the course “The trannies were good but the rails were a bit small. It was a fun set up though In the morning the course was fast and hard, as the day progressed it turned slow and soft. The riders seemed to be able to adjust to the variable conditions quite nicely.
Some celebrity riders came out to judge, announce, support and ride with the kids. Peter Line and Pat Moore helped to judge. Travis Kennedy was in the house acting as mc. Jed Anderson and Louie Vito seemed to be always poaching the course with big ol’ grins. I asked Pat Moore who he thought should win the men’s division and what earned him that honor “Nick Suavo had the best run. He had the best score on my sheet. He had good tricks and good style throughout the whole course although (laughing) I can’t remember what he did I could not see the whole course and the jam format meant the announcer did not call out every trick but I can say that these guys and gals were shredding. Several of them could pull their weight in any pro contests. Sandy Wright threw down a mean Cab 7 and some dope looking Method airs to back lip on the flat-down. Nick Sauvo did a 900 and a 270 to front board in one run. Scott Stevens did a sick 180 to 5-0 on the flat down and a 900. Spencer O’Brien stomped a 270 to front board on the flat down. So overall, 900’s fancy rail work and some combo’s (540 to 540 off the jumps and so on) were being thrown down left and right.
Was it worth the journey? Hells yea, these kids where riding hot! By the way, no one at the contest gave me any names. I had to look over Peter Lines shoulder so if any names are spelled out wrong, sorry.
1. Nick Sauvo
2. Greg Bokencamp
3. Craig Beaulieu
Best Trick: Greg Beaulieu -- switch backside 9
1. Spencer O’Brien
2. Mellisa Evans
3. Alice Gong
Best Trick: Spencer O’Brien -- Backside 180 (with style!) over 50 footer