Monday, December 20, 2010

Two Quick Short Stories for the Holiday Break

Fastest Kids in SoVT. Only ones faster is full growed.

Saturday Dec.18th the USASA Southern Vermont Series kicked off the 2010-11 season with a double GS event at Bromley Mtn. Five SMS Snowboarders competed and all five stood on the podium in The Sun Mtn Base lodge. Liz Hernandez won two golds in the girls breaker div. Karen Kobayashi, two silver medals for wmns. youth div. Xander Raith took a gold and a silver in the breaker boys group. Mason Geils took two silvers in mens youth and Josh Cohen took two Golds in the mens youth and one silver, one bronze out of the daily overall category. Very strong representation by our kids and I was proud to be there with them. Thanks for a great day.

Next is a short story about JP McArdle. There are few riders of any age as single mindedly absorbed in the riding arts as JP. He is like a page out of the past. Every kid at SMS has changed their lives to come to SMS. Snowboarding is hip and famous, glamorously fashionable and respected in the world of athletics. You may laugh- Go ahead. These are good reasons and on top of that it's great fun. The truth is though that there was a time not very long ago when the only people snowboarding were regarded as anti-everything and completely off the map of reality.
JP I believe is not riding as a means to something else. He is not distracted by contests or a future. I think JP would have put it all aside at any risk and come to the Mtns like we all had to twenty some years ago. His only thing at this time of his life is to be riding. It can be his skateboard or his snowboard... Which is why I was surprised to notice his rail skills at Mt Snow in the preseason. I have ridden plenty of pipe and slope with JP at Camp and last year but given his skateboarding skills I assumed his rail bag was deeper. I thought he had more tricks.
Just as I noticed this JP said to me,"I can hardly do any rail tricks..." I was ashamed to be so easily read, could he have guessed what I was thinking? I'd never tell this story if I still thought so...JP's world is just so uncontrived as to unfold to himself and others all at once. I dont think he read my mind, I think we saw the same things...Over the next 21 days JP may have added a trick a day but the truth is never so linear in riding. Add a trick or two and the next two days do it on tougher features...try one trick and find you are getting another on the way or instead...
I'm not saying that JP is achieving his goals. I'm not saying that what he does is better than what I do or you do on a snowboard. I don't know what he's going to win. I'm not even saying its smart. He is not "anti-" anything and he does not read maps.
I am saying it's beautiful... Sorry to be talking about you JP. Don't get cocky son (Its a long Life). Had to share what a cool first few weeks its been with you and your pals on the Dev Team. Happy Holidays, looking forward to the year on snow.

May your new year bring you...Hot Garbage.(the Method of the rails?)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quick Rev Update


Sorry for the lapse folks! Rev Tour has been two 10hr days and I moved to Breck during that time. Here some quick posts.

Spencer Shaw not only got 10th in the GP, but he went on to win the Rev Tour in a heavy field (with Japanese Olympic Team riders), won $250 best trick with the 12 in his winning run, and qualied for the Dew Tour Prelims today. What a start for this kid....

Mak Tierney and Serena Shaw just missed finals in Rev. Mak ended up top 10 in Rev Slope today and Serena just missed the tough Dew HP cut.

Kyle Dorfman and Hunter Wood both landed great runs in today's snowed-out event.

Chris Tierney, Hunter Wood and James Haffner joined Spencer Shaw in the Rev HP finals. Mike Perle just missed finals with fearless amplitude (see photo).

I witnessed Ezra Racine and Dan Landy land some tech combos on the jump line. This was the first year we were not able to get riders in off the Rev wait list and these were two of the casualties.

Its still dumping snow and we are going to watch Eric Beachemin compete in Dew Slope qualifers tomorrow. Off to sleep.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spencer Shaw takes 10th at season's first Grand Prix

Amidst classic Colorado winter weather, Spencer Shaw rode like a Pro and earned 10th place in today's Grand Prix Finals. Im sorry to not have photos to share, but we have it on film and will be posting it soon.
The light snow and wind slowed some riders, but Spencer pleased all watching with impressive amplitude.
He wanted to have a frontside 1260 in his run but had not tried one since August. He attempted and landed 4 today, the third being his first in a competition run. Since Spencer dropped first in the Finals, this first-hit 1260 was the opening trick of the day's competition. The announcers were floored and championed the Certified Mack throughout the event.
A loss of amplitude at the end of the first run resulted in a slightly disappointing score for such a technical show. Good thing Spencer is working with Ross Powers, who tweaked his run a bit to maintain amplitude for all 5 hits.
Spencer's 10th place run started off with a massive frontside 1080 reminiscent of Danny Davis in 05. This was followed by a Cab 720, an overhead frontside air, and a backside 900 leading into the frontside 12 right in the judge's faces.
I believe Spencer took 5 runs in the pipe today and landed them all. Darn good runs too. Congrats for his highest placing in a Grand Prix, to date....

Stock Photo of C Mack and his bros in NZ. (plus his certified-Massive Lien air from saturday's final.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Congrats To all Our Grand Prix Riders Yesterday

Spencer and Serena Shaw, Makayla and Chris Tierney, Mike Perle, Quincy Corte-King, Hunter Wood and Tanner Barret all competed in yesterdays qualifier round of the US Snowboard Grand Prix at Copper Mtn Co. against recent Olympians and National Team riders from around the world. Spencer Shaw qualified for tomorrows finals with an XL- Front ten to cab 7, front nine, back nine, and finishing of with a styley frontside air. Quite a few folks say Chris Tierney put down his best pipe run ever going air, nine,  nine, seven, seven Makayla and Tanner were competing with Junior spots and looked right at home in terms of amplitude and technical difficulty despite not being able to hang on in the 22 foot masterpiece. Tanner took one of the worst crashes of the day bouncing a five foot Mctwist off the coping (top edge) to land facedown in the flat bottom first thing in the morning. I was impressed he was able to rise up and take his second run. I think everybody had some of their best runs of the week and thats a great positive to be able compete at your best level.
Christo. Front nine

Hunty back nine.
Congrats and good luck with the next weeks of training and competition. We are proud and impressed with your riding. Im on a schedule so you only get couple photos for now but perhaps someone can add some more during the trip.
SMS alumns Louie Vito qualified second, and Ellery Hollingsworth third. Very strong.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Edit Teaser #2/ KDorfman

When I finally got to ride a bit with Kyle Dorfman this summer in NZ I was refreshed to see his hungry motivation and killer style. Sadly his days were numbered then. Fast forward to fall camp and here is that hungry young man again, blasting through, over or down whatever is in his way. While he would love to be in the park or pipe all day, he knows how to turn to the mountain when the park or pipe is closed. In a crew of 10 it is impossible to film all that Kyle does on a daily basis, but here is a brief tease.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Newsflash: Ski Resort Posts Conservative Estimate of New Snow Depths

So I was misinformed. I checked the mountain report and it read "nine inches of new snow in the last 24 hrs...". There were nine in the thin spots and a foot average. No wind. No lift lines, and contrary to popular opinion; There is after all such a thing as a friend on a pow day. The gang regrouped again and again whenever and however any splits occurred. I had help from some cool new Dev Parents out there. Geoff Geils, Greg Raith and Larry Griffin can really keep it rolling on snow and its great to see these fathers out there loving the snow as much as their kids. Scotty and Ross also helped keep my speedy riders together when our caboose was getting stretched. Ultimately though it is another new crew of young SMS riders that looked out for each other and charged as hard as any lonesome pow hound out there. All week these guys have been keeping their heads in the game for training, study hall and dryland. We rode inbounds, out the gates and as high as the copper lifts would take us. We were joined by old hands like Josh Cohen and Pete Cerulo as well as Junior elite rider Mike Perle. Mike had time in the a.m. while G.P. skiers (trained) packed the powder down in the pipe before our elite kids competing in this Weeks US Snowboard Grand Prix had to be in there for event Practice.
I rode a lift with Spencer Shaw during the afternoon GP, SB training session and he reported getting very close to his cab-Tens which meant that the practice was much better than the morning sesh. Coach Kirk reported that Hunter, Makayla, Chris, Mike, Serena and Quincy all made some good progress. Young gun Grand Prix competitor Tanner Barret told me himself when he joined us in the afternoon for some of our final laps. Sorry if I forgot any Elite riders who trained today but Good Luck to all the in the first Heavy pipe Contest of the year.
Back to my first hand experience from today: the Dev. Team...
Four Riders tipped over some of their first floaty flips ever this afternoon and here are some cool shots to back it up. No captions. Everybody ripped it. Too snowy to get more shots but these tell the tale. Thanks again.

9 Inches Of New Snow Over Night!

...and still falling. Development crew was going to Breck for some Park Riding but we are staying right here for some big Mtn. Pow and mini park inverts!
Happy Birthday Patti! JC, FS Slob Air and a Beaut!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dec 5th Copper Halfpipe Session.

Makayla Tierney with a tail grab.
Chris Tierney with a backside air.

Spencer Shaw with a big frontside spin.

Quincy Korte-King 1st frontside hit.

Peter Cerulo poking out a melon.

Maverick charging with a frontside air.

Tanner Barrett with a backside air.

Michael Perle with a alley opp tail grab.

Hunter Wood with a backside air

Meghan Tierney with a frontside air.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pipe,Park, SBX and Pow

Fall Camp has been off to an amazing start. Copper's halfpipe is the best I've ever seen this time of year and our team has been taking advantage of it. We've also been mixing it up with all kinds of riding and training.
We have found some powder to slash and jump into as the photo's show. Myself and some of the AM team trained with Ross Hindman's SBX crew. We trained some gate drops and raced over the first wu-tang jump. It was good for our riders to train with riders they will be competing with at events like the Rev Tours.
Yesterday the AM team met up with the Elite team at Keystone. Their park had tons of rails, boxes and some nice jumps. Ezra, Jamie and Tanner were charging and landing some sweet 720's.
The training at Woodward has been great and our athletes are working hard on their air awareness. Many athletes have been doing double flips and corks into the foam from the ramp and tramps. Mikey Perle stepped it up to a triple cork last night which was very cool to see.
Today the Am and Elite teams took a day off as everyone was tired after all the training. We went to the movies and did some shopping. Tomorrow everyone plans to head back to Copper's halfpipe to ride. The Grandprix is coming up so many top pro's are training as well which is good for our riders to see and learn from.
Biba Turnbull with a backside grab.
Marian Lobell drops down a bank.

Josh Cohen with a sweet pow slash.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sponsor Me Vid Teaser/PNovello

The Elite Team has a homework assignment (apart from all the academic ones). They each have to create a Colorado riding edit. Part of each evening study hall has been dedicated to downloading the day's footage and creating a video. Phoebe has been working hard and, while nowhere near done with hers, is off to such a great start that I had to share it on the blog. This is three days of footage, and she has two weeks left. The final product should be great. Some of the slams in this edit are wince-inducing, which is why we have been grateful for the Dave Redden preparatory regime we enjoyed this fall.
The entire crew have gotten multiple tricks on film. More teasers on the way soon.

Day Three: Bluebird Skies and Perfect Snow Pack

Kids had another fun day of training yesterday. We started our day with our quick joint mobility warm-up at the top of the American Eagle lift and some body position practice at low speeds. We start every morning that way and add a skill to practice each day. Then it was off to all day park and pipe laps with a couple thousand feet of freeriding in between.
Ross has been getting a few kids into the Boardercross wu-tang practice ( a single technical feature.) The Elite Team went to Keystone and I heard the park is beautiful. Expect some killer shots of those guys any time here. Scotty J and the non Bx'-ing Am Teamers have been on a pretty similar program as dev's with a rich mix of freeride, park and pipe.
 My plan was to head over to breckenridge today and sunday but got a helpful Reminder from G Raith that we will be running short on pipe time next week when it closes for GP practice and competition. Despite the fact that its so early in the season and the heavy pro session is on in there we have to claim our runs or maybe not see another Pipe until January. So the dev crew will be riding Halfpipe boards and keeping off the boxes and rails for the first half of each day over the next four days.
I shot a good deal more video than pictures but here are a few for some visual stimulation. Glad to hear the east coast weather has turned around and thanks for you all back come. I miss my family and hate to hear it raining on them. Thanks for checking in here.
Lizzie Hernandez Checking out the jumps.
Jack Griffin stylishly gets ready to unwind that Downbox.

Louie Vito. Proper Method.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day one was Good, Today Was Better

(Last night My access timed out just as the blog was finished, but before photos loaded...)

It started snowing around six am today and snowed lightly for most of the day. The snow was soft and quiet and after a warm up and some neutral upper body position practice we got all over, slashing carving, switch and regular and standing sideways. We rode a poma to the top of the accessible open terrain and dropped through the enchanted forest. We covered every section and pushed back lunch. Late in the day the snow stopped and I was able to get a few shots. We took our Woodward momentum from yesterday and returned again today. Everybody from SMS was there this evening and the kids are using every training option available in that super fun facility.
JP oozing the steeze

Andrew "Chewy" Tousignant Finishing the Front Board
Xander Raith-no comment ness.
High points of my day were the thin pow, JP's three-three line in the upper garden (which I saw while my 5 year old called and told me of losing her first tooth!?), getting the crew up that Poma, Mike Perles alley oop, Jack Griffin grabbing stale, Josh Cohen, Scott Sweitzer, Zander Raith getting backside rodeos in the pit, Spencer and Hunter doing flat land gainers and Masons Pow run...
Jack-I-got-four-killer-shots-today-Griffin. Front Board.

Mike Perle Taking Full advantage of that poor defenseless widdle halfpipe. Happy 30th Birthday Jeanne

Mason Geils letting-it-all-hang-out-style Backflip

Scottie Jr. Backside Rodeo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

SMS Snowboarding: This Show is On The Road Again

Every year is different in it's own way. Some years are more different than others. This year we left campus at 3:30 am. Earlier than any previous departure. We also made that departure with 6 winter term athletes (another record, and one that bodes well for the future.). Most importantly for me among differences, this year Copper Mtn. is off to it's best winter start in ten or twenty years depending on who you ask. It's the best snow we have hit for a fall camp.
That's six "full" seats!
So we had a tired flight that brought us west quickly and early in the day. 21 riders traveled from Albany and met up with four more at the airport. 7 more were already here. 32 is the biggest fall camp athlete total I've seen. Good snow and big numbers in tough times and we have to be feeling pretty good about being back at the first Halfpipe to open in the united states once again this season. Today I saw recent alumns Joe Mensch and Alex Bayer, as well Global snowboarding stars Ellery Hollingsworth, Lizzy Beerman and Louie Vito. Louie wants an SMS NXTZ if anybody can make that happen...The right place at the right time. I said it last year and that's the last hackneyed expression of tonight's blog.("shred" and related forms are not included, i.e. "shredtastic").
Rolling up from the airport in three trucks and a fifteen passenger van from Denver to Summit County we narrowly avoided heavy snow at Loveland pass while Ian Kirk and the senior's plus Phoebe established themselves in Frisco at the Shaw Family House. Everybody else is checked in at the Telemark Lodge at the Copper Mtn. Resort Lodging. Our digs are perfectly located within walking distance of the main base and we checked in without a hitch. Actually Ross and Scotty checked us in. I was late leaving the airport as Jaime Charron's bag was stolen at the frontier baggage claim area. His first board from a sponsor and some dirtbag made off with it. I hope the karma train is rolling straight downhill before it hits.  After our arrival and unload, we walked over and picked up our seasons passes,  grouped up for our annual Fall Camp Arrival Team Meeting.
The Boss Welcomes Everybody to Copper

This morning's weather report was calling for negative ten in Frisco so I met as many kids as possible at the lobby door this morning and lobbied for more clothes. At the top of the first chair my wax thermometer read 1.1 degrees f. so we got off pretty easy. I was perfectly toasty in my DC puffy jacket and pants, and of course my SMS NXTZ kept my sensitive skin protected. The SWIX was keeping my incredible new LIB TECH Travis Rice sliding fast on the dry cold snow and man am I grateful for all the help we get from ours sponsors...The dev crew suffered only one lost pass and tested the edges of the resort's open terrain for the a.m. runs. The snow is great and we are getting used to the best pace for the team to function. Tanner Pentony and Owen Barth are getting their first big taste of keeping up with a competitive group while new winter term students Jack Griffin, Andy Tousignant, Zander Raith and our only girl Liz Hernandez are bringing their experience and surprising skills to join Mason Geils and the SMS development vets JP McArdle and Scott Swietzer. Yes Liz is the third of the famous Hernandez Family and fully capable of carrying the torch for the female gender in this gang. We had a great first day. We saw the Elite Team and Am team kids everywhere and mixed with them throughout the day. I know the crew was pumped and honored to have Chris Tierney and Mike Perle join us for for our last two or three laps. Pete Cerulo and Dan Landy also shared their stoke with the young bloods after lunch.
The snow is better than last year mid winter here and better than most februarys in most places. Stiff corduroy, dusty edges and a worldclass halfpipe.

 I'm seriously impressed with the new crew and looking forward to telling everybody about each of them but for now, we rode until 2, went food shopping and straight into Woodward at Copper for Tramps and Foam pits. The training is perfect and as promised earlier that is no cliche.
We left Woodward at 6:10 and the kids had time for a wax job and dinner before 8:00 pm study hall. Bed check is 9:30. That's what everyday is going to look like but dryland will get a few days off and/or be light to be sure that proper rest and digestion occur. Stay posted, email and call but the photos and details will get deeper every day here. Thanks again for making this a reality. It is Shredtastic once again. ouch.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Journey's End

Great day on the glacier, the best in the two trips here. James put down an impressive run that should end up top 20. Hunter struggled to land his run, but rode quite well for 4 days into the season. Its a busy day with the comp and preparing to depart, so I just have time to post a few shots from the last few days. See you all back in VT on tuesday!