V16N07 – Features: ThirtyTwo tears it up down under

Story by Chris Owen

Aussies are down for a good time-the locals just about throw a party for everything. If a couple people decide to do some rails in town, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of late-night spectators freezing their asses off to cheer ’em on. One guy actually came out with us for a jump. He didn’t care so much about hitting it-he was just into building good kickers. Let me tell ya, the scene down there guarantees fun.

What the hell were we going to snowboard on in the land down under? Well, the answer is obviously snow. But I had a hard time trying to convince myself that the conditions would actually be good. For some reason I was picturing a little resort with a tiny snowboard park surrounded by grass and rocks-the occasional hay bale thrown in to protect people from careening off into the gravel. We got lucky, however, and arrived after one of the heaviest snow seasons in years.

The wicked crew that ThirtyTwo assembled included Tyler Lepore, Matt Hammer, Dionne Delesalle, Janna Meyen, Roberta Rodger, Jon Jackson, Joni Makinen, and Chad Otterstrom. Oh yeah, and Kevin Sansalone-almost forgot about him. Now, this was not your typical trip to Austrialia. We bypassed the usual twenty-hour flight by using new NASA technology-a transporter much like the one in Star Trek-because ThirtyTwo has limitless funds at its disposal. Actually, the truth is, Australia is all the way on the other side of the world, and to get there from the U.S. requires a transoceanic flight of twenty or so hours-followed up by an eight-hour bus ride.

The town of Jindabyne, home base for the two-week duration of the trip, is located in the snowy region of the continent. The resorts there have nice, intermediate-style runs with quality features and amazing backdrops. Since snowmobiles aren’t allowed in the backcountry, it remains almost untouched because you have to hike and camp to access most of it-which is the whole reason we were here in the first place. Now, the area should have been named the “rainy, can’t see very far because of the fog” region during the first few days of our visit. But once the sky cleared … well, check out the photos.