Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ms. Superpark 2011 @ Keystone

Ms. Superpark happens once a year when the top 50 female riders from around the world are invited to a private photoshoot hosted by Snowboarder Magazine, Gatorade, and Keystone resort, so when I received an invite for the first time this year, I was ecstatic. I traveled to Breckenridge to meet up with the founder of Akinz, Suzanne, and stay at our friend Avrans house. The drive took about 7 hours, with minimal bad road conditions, I arrived with daylight left still. I was so excited to see what the next day had in store, I could hardly sleep.
When I woke the next morning early, the sun was out, the air was crisp, and it was time to shred. We drove the short 20 minutes over to Keystone Resort to meet Pat Bridges to check in and get credentials. After checking in we went right over to the course, and it was the most insane thing I have ever seen. With huge features with big consequences everywhere I was slightly nervous. But determined to not let my nerves get the best of me, I stepped right up to the triple jump line. My first run through I just barely cased on the knuckle of the second jump and tweaked my knee. Frustrated, I shook it off and started sizing up the channel gaps. The course was too crazy to put into words, and pictures can barely do it justice.

I rode hard from 9 to 4pm, and was tired and ready to go home and put some ice on my knee. The next two days were supposed to be bad weather, and when we woke the next morning, we were aware the forecasters were right. As I stood up to get ready my knee gave out and then stiffened up. Slightly alarmed I decided to take the day off and go get it checked out at the doctors. Three and a half hours later, I left knowing I had severely strained my LCL, and I shouldn't snowboard on it anymore according to the doctor, but that wasn't going to happen.

I went back to Avrans house and religiously iced my knee for the remainder of the evening. The next morning it had snowed quite a bit more, and we took our time getting up to Keystone. When I got the the Superpark scene it was impossible to hit any of the jump features so most of the girls were hitting the hip, or hitting rails. I cruised around and did a little bit of both, I had a ton of fun goofing around and watching everyone play in the snow.

The following morning the sun was out and inviting everyone to come play in its' rays. We were on the mountain by 9am and I had already hit everything and was warmed up by 10am. I introduced myself to a couple of the photographers and asked them to take pictures including; Laura Austin and Chris Garrison, without their help I would not have gotten any shots at all! Thank you two! I ended up with about 5 really good shots and I was pleased. I rode hard all day again and didn't leave till around 4:30pm. The very last session of Ms. Superpark was incredibly fun, and it was so amazing to see so many talented female riders who were all there supporting one another. I also had the pleasure of meeting and riding with riders who I personally look up to.
The day after the Ms. Superpark ended my friend Kumara invited me to come up to Keystone with her and a couple of other girls including; Izzy, Michelle, Channelle, and Kjersti to have a private shoot in the park while the course was still up.  Between the talent, the attitudes, the weather, and the crew of girls, I had the best time snowboarding and even stomped some Cab 720s finally!
The experience of Ms. Superpark is one of the most out of this world things I have ever done. I can't wait to see where women's snowboarding goes, and I hope to be part of that progression. Thanks to SNOWBOARDER MAG, KEYSTONE, AND GATORADE for hosting a great event.
A special thanks to Pat Bridges for inviting me to participate, I look forward to next year!

Neff Beach Bash at Brighton 2011

Saturday April 23rd marked the second annual Neff Beach Bash at Brighton, I attended the event last year and had a ton of fun, so I decided this year should be no different!
I picked up my friend Nick around 8:30 am to head up to Brighton, we arrived there ready to go after some coffee. After registering we looked at the course for a bit, and waited for practice to start. The setup was just as fun as last years and consisted of; a big single barrel rail to a wall ride on the right, a launch box in the middle, and a reverse tear drop rail on the left side. The box itself was my favorite feature because you had to gap about 10ft. off the end of it to make it to the landing. With half an hour to practice, I had enough time to hit each feature once, and not wear myself out.
They put the open ladies division in with the grom boys. There were about 8-10 girls total there, which was a great turnout I thought! With tons of people hyping up the energy in the crowd, the intensity of riding was pretty high. I pushed myself to get at least one solid trick on every feature, and was most proud of my 180 onto the rail to hard way 180 off onto the wall ride. The girls were riding very well including one of my friends and fellow competitors who is only 14! She landed a couple very solid backside 360s over the gap which was awesome to see!
Forty five minutes flies by when your having fun, and before I knew it, my heat was over. I was joined by my big brother and his girlfriend who came up to watch, and support. THANKS DANE AND LAUREN. We talked and laughed and people watched while the rest of the competitors went, it was quite a scene as it was the last Saturday before closing the next day.
Around 1 o'clock the contest was over, and we were anxiously waiting the results. My friend Nick ended up in 4th, and I tied for 1st with my fourteen year old friend! It was all in all a very fun day of riding and another great event put on by Brighton Resort, and Neff Headwear. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Billabong Flaunt-It Finals at Sierra

Once again Billabong has outdone themselves. I have been greatly anticipating this contest all season, and I'm glad I made the trip out to tahoe once again. After convincing my friend Vic to come with me the morning we left, we took off around 12:30. Eight and a half hours later we arrived at my friend and fellow Akinz and Shred Betties team rider Claire Demeyer. Claire was gracious enough to host us for our entire stay, and even made us dinner upon arrival! With full bellies, and a comfortable couch, it wasn't long until we were all asleep.
Registration took place at the same time and place as last year, and we were greeted with friendly staff, and an awesome backpack from Dakine. I got right out to the hill to start practicing since we only had about an hour to do so. Everyone got right after it, including myself, there was a slight nip in the air, so I was ready to get the blood flowing. Not feeling quite ready to do the spins I wanted, I took it easy until the slopestyle jam started. With two hours to get some runs under our feet, I just wasn't feeling on top of my game, and didn't put down a clean run until my very last run, and I finally got a cab 540 to backside 360 on the double jump line. After landing that, I felt a little bit better, but I was slightly disappointed about my performance. However, I did the best I could, and had a ton of fun riding and watching the other girls.
Not only does Billabong give out great goodies, and put on great events, they feed us lunch too! The setup of this contest is unlike any other, and it was one of the best events year after year. After we ate some delicious burrito's, it was time for the rail jam to start. I was feeling a little hesitant about doing the rail jam, because there were a TON of really good girls there. But I just did my best and had fun, and it worked out pretty well. I cleaned the down-flat-down rail a couple different times, and got frontside 180 on, hard way 180 out of the long down rail. I think the judges were looking more for consistency, and that is why I did better than some girls who were doing more technical tricks. Regardless, it was awesome to watch all of these girls push themselves to the limit, and overcome some pretty intense features.
All in all it was another extremely successful event hosted by Billabong and Sierra at Tahoe. I ended up taking 4th place in the rail jam which is awesome considering the talent that was there. The top 5 in slopestyle and the rail jam were awarded with some cash, a jacket, and a Billabong backpack stuffed full of all sorts of things. Huge thanks to Sierra at Tahoe, and Billabong for putting on such a spectacular event, see you next year!

Monday, April 11, 2011

One hit wonder series @ Sierra-at-Tahoe

Tahoe is one of my all time favorite places. Between the snowboarding, the scenery, and the vibe, I always have a good time when I go there. So I imagined this recent trip would be no different, unfortunately things don't always work out as planned.
Dreading the long 9 hour drive to South Lake Tahoe, I hit the road a little later than I had intended, and ended up leaving around 11am. When I finally got on the road, I was relieved to finally get a little time alone and to think. The day actually flew by, and before I knew it I was meeting up with my cousin at the base of Heavenly gondola. My cousin Jenn lives in San Francisco, so she makes it up quite often. After all she is the one who taught me how to snowboard so it's nice to come back to where it all started. After a quick bite to eat at a local brewery, we were all passed out soon after arriving home.
Rising early the next morning around 8am, I stopped off for some coffee before heading up to Sierra. Upon arriving, I ran in, registered, found a parking spot, then met my cousin and her friend Christina at the base of Grandview lift. Sierra always builds amazing features, and the last contest I did there was one of the most fun contests I have ever done, so I had high expectations for the setup of the course.
My expectations were far exceeded. The course was amazing and Sierra put in a lot of hard work to make this course for us. We had about an hour and half to practice, which was plenty, considering it was a jam format.
When the event started I was ready to begin. With only two of us girls in the contest, we were both having fun pushing each other. There were so many different features to hit, I almost wished we had more time to jam, but was relieved when they told us "last lap!" I had a ton of fun riding the course, and felt good about my performance, so I was anxious to get the awards going.
After they had announced all of the men's division, and didn't even mention anything about women being there, a dark cloud overtook my good mood. I finally realized that they weren't going to say anything, so I went up and asked them what the deal was since I drove all the way from Utah to do that contest. I was informed that due to the insignificance of the ladies performance the last few years, they were not going to honor a women's division. That was not what I was expecting to hear, and I was slightly offended. But before I could get any more heated I left, and decided to go visit my grandmother outside of Sacramento.
Happy with my decision to leave, as soon as the dark clouds came they were pushed right out by my "grammy's" smiling face when I showed up at her door. The trip ended on a high note, and we spent most of the night catching up. It was a very nice visit. I woke early the next morning and took I-80 for nine hours to get back to Park City. Man that drive is painful. But nonetheless I still had a great time and Sierra and Snowboarder Mag put together an amazing course.

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Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows

Pow Day at Mt. Hood Meadows