Sunday, February 3, 2008

Union Square Street Sessions Qualifier at Mountain Creek, NJ December 14, 2007

Tom Weiss Qualifies Again to Ride at Union Square Street Session

(Tom Weiss appears ever so stylish in his yellow tee and necktie (center) at the Central Park Rail Jam, 2.2006

Forty up-and-coming regional snowboarders competed under the lights at Mountain Creek’s new South terrain park on SaturdayDecember 14 for the privilege of representing at the bigtime Union Square Street Session rail jam that will go down Feb. 7 in the NYC. Mountain Creek homeboy Tom Weiss of Hampton, NJ took home the honors again this year. NBC’s cameras caught all the action and will incorporate it into their upcoming specials on the Union Square Street Sessions, where Mountain Creek will again bring the mountain to Manhattan creating custom features and trucking 18 tons of snow into the city.

The course consisted of a 35' single-barrel Down Flat Down, next to a 15' Down Handrail with a tail. Next up was a 40' Flat Down Bar and a 40' Single Barrel Down. Finishing off the course was a mini wall ride and the new skate spine. Weiss, who is 19 and rides for Burton and Oakley was also invited to compete in last year’s inaugural Street Sessions, alongside another resort familiar, Jared Baker as well as top pros including Danny Kass and Louie Vito.

left and right Photo Credit Mountain Creek/C.Vanderyajt

Main Event Series Stop #2, Ski Sundown, New Hartford, CT

by Wendy Zimbone with Lauren Traub Teton

The second stop of the Main Event Series, was held at Ski Sundown in New Hartford, CT, Saturday, January 19th. A 65 foot booter, inspired the field of riders onto local greatness. Josh Lempert from Snow Grind worked long and hard with the Ski Sundown’s staff to sculpt a perfect jump after. Once practice started, everyone was impressed with the level of riding that was going down. With some familiar faces, and a few fresh riders straight from the local super market, things quickly became interesting. The heavyweight riders continued to set the bar higher, hoping to win a chance to compete for the Burton US Open invite spot at the Main Event finals. The lightweight AM’s mixed it up. AM girls gave it their best shot, stomping landings left and right, trying to reach to knuckle every time.

Ideal weather and happy riders brought out the biggest spectator crowd we have ever seen for a Main Event. People gathered to watch, and cheered on from the chair lift as
Burton’s Brandon Halberstadt amped up the crowd with his sick skills on the microphone. Finals were intense, with Connecticut’s own, Teddy Lavoie (Riding for K2, Volcom, Oakley, Dekal, and Eastern Boarder) won with a back lip and backside 720. Justin Morgan continued to blow the judges away, winning the Sartorius Sports Best Trick (for the second time), with his ultra corked out, smooth as butter, cab 720 truck driver. Tess Herman, local skater from Avon and Winsted rode bravely in this, her first snowboard competition and took the win against a total field of 2 females. C’mon Connecticut girls, where r u?

After the event was over, the fun continued when all the staff stuck around. With a few
Burton versus Forum wrestling matches on the deck of the jump, everyone went riding to see all of what Ski Sundown had to offer. The night riding was off the hook. With one minor ski pole attack, an incidental visit to a Hells Angels bar and a slight run in with the police while checking out of the hotel, the trip will be remembered for sure.

If anyone reading this has never been to Ski Sundown, the time is now.
Connecticut is now our destination vacation spot for snowboard escapades. A big thank you to Jarrod Moss and all of the Ski Sundown staff, as well as the title sponsors Burton Snowboards, Flow Snowboards, Sobe Energy, Fuel TV and direct TV. Other sponsors include, Sartorius Sports, Snow Grind, Anon Optics, R.E.D., Rye Airfield, Oakley, N'East Magazine and Future Snowboarding Magazine.

Main Event
Ski Sundown Event:
Men's Pro
1st Place, Ted Lavoie, Southbury, CT
2nd Place, Brandon Honeycott, Avon, MA
3rd Place, Steven Levandowski, Burlington, CT

Men's AM
1st Place, Tyler Martel, NH
2nd Place, Sean Burns, CT
3rd Place, Kevin Court, Westford, MA

Women's AM
1st Place, Tess Herman, Winstead CT
2nd Place, Maggie Leon, West Simsbury, CT

Sartorius Sports Best Trick: With a cab 720 truck driver (again)
Justin Morgan, Antrim, NH

Main Event and Video Park at Crotched Mountain

The Main Event and Video Park WENT DOWN at Crotched Mountain, New Hampshire, January 4 and 6th, 2008

Crotched Mountain in southwestern New Hampshire is a little off the
beaten path, but on the weekend of January 4-6, 2008 it was the center of the universe for East Coast competitive snowboarders with its roster of supercool events.

Friday night, January 4. saw the second annual snowboard "Video Park” produced by Kevin Corcoran of Egan Entertainment and hard-working friends, and Sunday was the first stop of the Main Event 4 contest circuit, which is the premiere competition series for snowboarders on the East Coast.

Video Park 2008

The idea behind Video Park is this; put together a ripping pro level terrain park with outstanding creative features, and then get NewEngland's snowboard and ski freestyle film crews and the riders they shoot, together in one place and watch what happens. Oh, and did I mention that as part of Crotched's "Midnight Madness" the whole mountain was open to the public until the unheard of hour of 3 a.m. the night of Video Park? Midnight Madness goes on all winter at Crotched. (see Video Park 2007)

Kevin Corcoran, impresario of Video Park, and producer of Egan Entertainment’s Terrain Park Report on “Wild World of Winter,” and world class skier/producer Dan Egan interviewed riders on camera for their show while their filmer Sky shot action footage along with dozens of East Coast film crews. The roaring bonfire at the base thawed fingers and noses on the 21 degree Fahrenheit night, and the action continued until after 1 a.m. Crotched Mountain was hosting a "lock –in" sleepover for a kids group that night and a stream of kids in pajamas holding sleeping bags could be seen in the lodge. Midnight Madness happens on Friday and Saturday nights and a lift ticket from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. is just $29.

Crotched Mountain is a Peak Resort

How does Crotched Mountain have these events that would cause other mountain management teams to shudder and seize? Crotched is part of the Peak Resorts family of snow resorts out of Missouri. Peak is obviously run by a cool group of people. The management team at Crotched is young and super hip. General Manager Chris Bradford who was promoted up from Communications Manager this year is just 31 years old. Terrain Park Manager Aaron Hier and Marketing Manager Craig Messa are all young too.

Peak Resorts run nine snow resorts now and are are proud new owners of Mount Snow in Vermont and Attitash in New Hampshire. In fact Mount Snow is considered the "jewel in the crown" of the growing chain and has been on their wishlist to own for years. Money has been lavished on Crotched Mountain in the last few years in the new fan guns for blowing snow, the lodge, the staff. This little mountain has got it going on. On top of all that it has the kind of natural energy vortex where you will find the people you need at the right time. In fact there must be an energy line running through this area, because we felt the same great energy at Mount Sunapee 35 miles away too.

If you want to hit 2 New Hampshire mountains in one weekend easily and stay in a cozy country inn in the middle like I did, consider the Candlelite Inn in Bradford. Just 9 miles from Mount Sunapee for snowboarding and skiing, and 25 miles from Crotched, you can relax at this gracious home base and gaze out into the snow covered yard and pond while enjoying a 3-course home baked breakfast from the Sun room. More on the pleasures of Mount Sunapee in another blog entry here.

The Main Event at Crotched Mountain

Sunday, January 6 saw Crotched again hosting a snowboard happening as the Main Event launched its first event of four, for this season. The Main Event is
a mini-slopestyle event with a jump and rail set-up. One male and one female winner of the series get a Wild Card entry into the US Open Slopestyle Event.
(See what events are happening at

The jumps were whipped into super shape by no less than Josh Lempert
Himself, of Snow Grind and Zaugg with help from Aaron Hier, Crotched Park Manager, and Brandon Halberstadt, Main Event co-coordinator. The boys were pushing snow around ‘til all hours of the night to get the course ready for Sunday. By the way we hear that Zaugg has a super-duper new snow grooming machine making its way over from Japan to be introduced this season.

Riders had their choice of a large or larger jump, an oil tank with a box on top or a rail. Last but not part of the scoring was a dragon rail with an upward flip. 84 riders in the 4 categories of "Heavy Weight" male and female, and "Light Weight" males and females competed with 2 runs each in the qualifiers. Thankfully only a few minor injuries were reported by
competitors after the event.

Brandon Halberstadt, one of the two event coordinators (and Burton rep) was absolutely resplendent in his new Burton yellow and black plaid jacket as he announced the event. We like his enthusiasm on the mike and the fact that he clearly called out the riders names and tricks, which makes watching a comp at least 100% more enjoyable. Wendy Zimbone, the
other event coordinator kept everything running smoothly and seriously, there was a lot to handle!

photo at right - Micah Murray, last year's Main Event Organizer, with Brandon Halberstadt. These 2 "brothers from another mother" are so good looking that it's like small planets colliding when they stand next to each other.

Andrew Mutty, the man, the legend, the Main Event Creator and
Ringleader himself was hands-on-site here doing everything at the same time, spray painting the knuckle, scattering evergreen boughs on the downside of the jump, photographing young proteges bonking a boulder, and coaching his future members of the international and prize winning Flow International Team that he manages. Andrew Mutty, (a homey from Massachusetts) has a "cool" factor in snowboarding to rival that of Miles Davis' in jazz. He says he started this series because we didn't have anything like it here on the East Coast and he wanted to give the kids a way to get into the US Open and generally progress.

(Snowboard events listings at - details on this and all other events in the Northeast.)

From the minute things started, kids threw down impressive tricks. With riders attending from Waterville Valley Academy, Stratton Mountain school, and Okemo Mountain School, the bar was set pretty high. There was a clear progression of riding from last season mixed in with a lot of style. Justin Morgan blew everyone away when he did a corked out cab 720 truck driver, winning him the Snowboard Jones best trick award.

Winners of the Crotched Mountain Main Event 2008 here.

Other dates and places of the series are:

Ski Sundown, New Hartford, CT, January 19
Mount Snow, Southern VT, February 3,
Waterville Valley, NH, February 10, FINALS

Saturday, February 2, 2008

This Season in Snowboarding - Fashion, Tricks and Who's Hot

Did you catch the X Games snowboard comps on ESPN last week? Some pretty fantastic riding.
Top 3 in Men's Halfpipe were: 1.Shaun White, 2. Ryo Aono, a 17-year old amateur from Japan, and 3. Kevin Pearce, of Vermont who rides for Burton.

And we're still drooling over and dreaming of owning that Kevin Pearce NoPattern X Burton jacket with the psychedelic colors that was surely the fashion winner of the X Games. Or is this called the Burton Launch jacket? Everyone's asking about it on the 'net.

Speaking of fashion, we're also drooling over the Andy Warhol women's jacket by Burton with the different color faces and the "15 minutes of fame" motif. Also the red and black giant checked jacket seen on Kevin Pearce tonight in the Honda preliminaries and yellow and black version of same seen on handsome Burton Rep Brandon Halberstadt, one of the event coordinators of the Main Event Series in New England. Shaun White is bringing out a ladies line of snowboard fashions that should be fun and smart.

Fashion-wise, we have enjoyed wearing our most colorful Grenade Fiend Jacket with the Misfits pattern, Puffy Howitzer version for almost 2 seasons now, and we're thinking that the ideal solution to keep it fresh will be to find someone my size wearing an equally awesome jacket, who wants to switch for a season or 2. Is that person you? Size men's small will do it. Here's Danny Kass rockin' that pattern in its debut at the 2006 Grand Prix at Mountain Creek, NJ. But back to the competitions -

Men's X Game Slopestyle Top 3 were
1. Andreas Wiig
2. Kevin Pearce and 3.Shaun White, so 2 out of the top 3 winners in the 2 big men's contests overlapped. How's that for versatility of riding?

Women's Superpipe was taken by Gretchen Bleiler, who went HUGE and was jubilant to win in front of her hometown crowd. She gave a nice shout out to the rest of the girl pros on camera. Bleiler, currently appears on the cover of ESPN The Magazine and is the first female action sports athlete to do so. The remaining finishers in Women's Superpipe were: 2. Torah Bright, 3. Kelly Clark , 4. Hannah Teeter 5. Soko Yamaoka 6. Lizzy Beerman

The pro competition season is in full swing now. Next weekend are the Honda Sessions from Vail, and tonight I caught a preliminary round of it on Rush HD tv that I get throught my Optimim Online cable. That channel is devoted to 24 hour coverage of the kind of adrenaline sports that I would rather watch than do.

Chas Guldemond of Laconia, NH and Andreas Wiig of Oslo, Norway were battling it out at the top in the slopestyle. I've seen 1260s spun in both the X Games and Honda Sessions in the last week, so since it first broke out last season in comp, it looks like the 1260 is the new 1080. But frankly that last half turn has been done awfully close to the ground on a few that I saw. Hey it's gravity.

The slopestyle course I saw tonight for the Honda Sessions ends in a sick curved box/ rail that can be ridden on top or as a wall ride. The bottom of the course can be ridden 3 times !!! - down, up, down, on one run if the rider has enough speed; down to the curve, ricocheting back up to the wallride, and back down again. We're in for some good viewing next weekend fer shure!

Shout Out and Much Luck to these competitors in the Honda Sessions who have been featured in Tim Humphreys (see this blog 11.25.07), Yale Cousino, Charles Reid, Brandon Reis, Lucas Magoon, Chad Otterstrom, Keegan Valaika, Louie Vito, Mason Aguirre, and Scotty Lago (rhymes with Eggo.) Dustin Craven's on the list too. He was the winner of the Shakedown at Mount Saint Saveur in 2007. We are going to try to make it up to Montreal for the Shakedown this April 4 and 5. We hear it's a crazy mad time!

Women riders we know and have covered are: Jamie Anderson (she's been on fire for the last year competition wise.) Kimmy Fasani, Molly Aguirre, and Marie-France Roy, the only female member of the Rome Snowboard Team, who killed it in their flick "By Any Means." She's 23, from Whistler.

Check out the very nice neat profiles of the riders that Honda has posted. Women's profiles. Men's profiles. Lucas Magoon looks adorable in his snapshot.

Below are the results of the Burton European Open that ended in Laax, Switzerland on Jan. 18, 2008 so you can see who to watch for in the Honda Sessions next week.


1 / Mattila, Risto / Billabong, Flow, Giro, Kostum / FIN / (870.95)
2 / Finch, Andy / Palmer, Ripcurl / USA / (801.61)
3 / Pearce, Kevin / Burton Adio, Oakley, Volcom / USA / (800.98)
4 / Guldemond, Chas / DC Electric / USA / (743.60)
5 / Horgmo, Torstein / DC Oakley / NOR / (743.04)
6 / Aguirre, Mason / Burton Globe, Nixon, Smith / USA / (670.31)
7 / Podladtchikov, Iouri / Red Bull, Santa Cruz, Spy, Volcom / SUI / (667.10)
8 / Bang, Mikkel / Burton Analog, DVS, Red / NOR / (606.10)
9 / Humphreys, Tim / Flow Bolle, Sessions / USA / (602.87)
10 / Piiroinen, Peetu / Burton Anon, Battery / FIN (580.80)

1 / Anderson, Jamie / Billabong, Electric, Salomon / USA (769.08)
2 / Clark, Kelly / Burton Giro, Rvca / USA / (669.66)
3 / Bright, Torah / Roxy Boost Mobile, Milo / AUS (668.00)
4 / Jones, Jenny / Billabong Nixon, Oakley, Salomon / GBR / (644.33)
5 / Beerman, Elizabeth / DC Gnu / USA / (610.22)
6 / Candrian, Sina / Burton Anon, Red / SUI / (608.72)
7 / Haller, Ursina / Eleven, K2, Smith, Vans / SUI / (498.74)
8 / Fliri, Claudia / Billabong Voelkl Deeluxe, Pow / AUT / (490.88)
9 / Maas, Cheryl / Celtek, Electric, Nitro, Nixon, Volcom / NED / (433.11)
10 / Oestgaard Buaas, Kjersti / DC Roxy Oakley, Rossignol / NOR / (389.96)

Here's the official word from Vail about the Honda Sessions:


VAIL, Colorado—Three of the top snowboarders in the world will set their sights 100 miles to the east of last week's X Games as Andreas Wiig, Torstein Horgmo and Jamie Anderson prepare to drop in for the 2008, Honda Session, presented by GameStop, February 8-9 at Vail’s Golden Peak.

The Norwegian pair will come packing gold as Wiig, the defending Bud Light Slopestyle champ, claimed top honors in the X-Games Slopestyle event, while Horgmo out dueled American Kevin Pearce for the Big Air crown.

In addition to Wiig and Horgmo, the 2008 Honda Session, presented by GameStop field will also include Mason Aguirre, who just missed the SuperPipe medals with a fourth place finish, as well as top Slopestyle finishers Heikki Sorsa and Chas Guldemond.

Lake Tahoe’s Anderson, runner-up in Steel & Sky Rails last winter, will also have a golden glow when she returns to Vail, having captured top honors in Slopestyle. Other top female finishers from Winter X on hand will include Jenny Jones, Marie-France Roy and Lizzy Beerman, along with perennial favorite Molly Aguirre.

“When we made the decision to change the dates of the Honda Session to February it was to capitalize on the fact that more top U.S. and international riders were going to already be in Colorado,” explained Greg Johnson, director of competition. “With that extra month of hitting big jumps, these guys are going to be stoked to come to Vail and ride the best slopestyle course in the world.”

The 2008 Honda Session will kick off Friday evening, February 8, with Men’s and Ladies’ Steel & Sky Rails. Scheduled for a 6 p.m. start for ladies and a 7:15 p.m. men’s start, the Steel & Sky Rails course, created by Planet Snow Design, will once again provide the riders with a “skateboard park on snow”, allowing them to showcase their talents on a variety of rails and features.

Last year’s rails king Lucas Magoon will return to defend his title, while Anderson will be looking to ascend to the top step of the ladies podium. With prize money payouts every 15 minutes, the action is bound to be fast and furious in both one-hour sessions.

The big air artists will take flight on Saturday evening, February 9, beginning at 6:15 p.m. as a stellar field attempts to wrestle the Bud Light Slopestyle title away from Wiig. Characterized by four of the largest jumps in the sport, the Bud Light Slopestyle course will also incorporate the Steel & Sky rails venue, combining for a jaw-dropping evening of incredible tricks and huge air.

A year ago, both Guldemond and David Benedek landed 1260’s (three and a half rotations in the air) en route to silver and bronze medals respectively. The tricks marked the first time that a 1260 had been successfully performed in a North American slopestyle contest.

The action will come full circle on Sunday, February 10, as amateur riders get their chance to ride the Steel & Sky Rails at the Sunday Session public competition. Slated to get underway at 11 a.m., the Sunday Session competition is for advanced riders and requires a $20 entry fee, with all proceeds benefiting the Snowsports Outreach Society. Prizes include two Vail Resorts 2008-09 season passes and Salomon snowboards.

Beginner and intermediate riders can also take advantage of free clinics from Vail snowboard instructors, with a smaller rails setup in order for participants to get the feel for sliding.

As always, the Honda Base Camp will serve as the nerve center for all Honda Session pre and post competition activities, complete with a GameStop lounge, featuring a variety of gaming consoles, along with live music, a satellite television lounge, board waxing and food and beverages. The Honda Base Camp will open at noon on both Friday and Saturday, with a 10 a.m. opening set for Sunday.

The 2008 Honda Session, presented by GameStop is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For further information on the Honda Session, visit For additional information on the Vail Valley Foundation, visit