Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Phoebe Novello, Eric Beauchemin and Spencer Shaw Podium at Copper Rev


Stratton Mt School athletes enjoyed some podium time at the Copper Rev Tour. On Monday Spencer Shaw won Mens Halfpipe. Spencer is just getting back to it after a summer of rehab, so this was an important win for him.
Today's slope event saw blue skies but an icy, poppy course. It was a battle to make it top to bottom, advancement aside. Clean runs were landed by Phoebe, Biba, Marian, Quincy, Eric and Dan Landy. Biba spun front and back 360s, a great breakthrough. Quincy had a run that could have qualified, but a missed grab kept her points down. Ezra almost landed a qualifying run, but fell at the end. Ezra has made most of the qualifying rounds in the past year and this was a tough break for this ripper.
Phoebe blazed through the course, sending jumps and rails deep. Her nerve earned her a spot in the finals, where she stepped up her run and earned a 3rd place podium spot. Eric Beauchemin commanded the event from start to finish, but a fluke slip out in finals run 1 forced him to hold back a bit in his second run. Even so he ended up second. Our second trip of the year has come to a successful finish and all are ready to head home for the holidays.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Frontside Airs

Phoebe and Quincy tried to blog last night but ran into technical difficulties. Stay tuned for that one, as it covers a remarkable day at Keystone.
Today we returned to Copper which now has a 3 jump line leading down to the halfpipe. Productive would best describe the day. Chip Linton spun three directions off the line, starting with a very smooth backside 540. Dan Landy decided to develop his cab spins in Austria and now starts his jump line with a cab 540 (one month later). Peter Cerulo chooses switch backside for his 540 on jump one, and it is as smooth as Chip's. Ezra inverts his 540, and can put various runs down with ease on this line. Biba's Austria goal was backside 360s and darned if she didn't land one on jump one today, which she can follow up with a combo of 180s. Quincy runs a floater switch backside 180 into an equally floated frontside 360 (solid grabs here). That leaves Ms Novello who is quite proud of her line, switch back 360, cab 540 backside 360......
Halfpipe went well also, with riders landing 5s, 7s (Maverick Shaw stood out here), and even getting upside down (Quincy of course). Josh Cohen was blasting some nice frontside airs, so I ran down to shoot one. We had a few more show-offs after Josh as you can see in the photos below. Josh wanted to go bigger so I shot him twice.





Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Invite to Paradise

What a treat our crew received today! Pete Cerulo and I were at Woodward last night where we met up with Rick Shimpeno (who has some amazing news for close friends). Being the cool dude that he is, he invited a few of my riders to a private session on the Grand Prix rail garden (where grad Eric B just placed 2nd). Ezra, Dan, Peter and Chip took Rick up on this offer and rode the set-up from 10am-2pm. Needless to say, tricks were landed and footage/photos were amassed. Dan Landy busted his ass to land trick of the trip, and did so (although Ezra had a few comparable bangers). Aside from straight hammers, many smooth tricks were landed and all aspects of the set-up were shredded. Oh, forgot to mention that Mike Perle came by to shred also. The kid was on his pipe/bx board which was not ideal for the rails, yet he landed the best wall ride of the day and got busy on the rails also. Mike was also blasting some of the biggest airs in the pipe today and some front 1080s. He is one of the strongest riders I have seen. An afternoon workout and protein-rich sushi diner with Mike revealed part of his secret.





The halfpipe took a bit of a backseat to the rail garden (this was our only day to ride the rails), but much work was done in the pipe regardless. Phoebe landed most of the tricks she knows in her first day in HP in months. Pete Cerulo showed his style and Quincy has a arsenal of new straight air grabs, including a "man method".



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Great to be Back Home

I was shocked amazed and inspired by the enthusiasm of our crew to be back East. With one day to gather our wits and energy for riding we went to pick up our passes this morning at Mt Snow. Since it was sunny and twenty five, and we picked up every pass for the team without a hic-cup we figured we may as well shred. The kids rode the New Six Pack Bubble chair to the top and down across Long John to Carinthia. They said the chair was ill but the park was sicker. I gotta try that chair soon.
I read a caption about how"you" just don't see any good methods any more. "Peek a Boo!" Rakai Tait.

bs 1 on. f.t. Jack

2 on 2 off. Busy Peter.

Celebrity Shred Day at Breck

After shredding in Austria then being weather-delayed in VT, my Elite Crew took to the Breck line today with frothing jaws. With the Dew Tour and Kevin Pearce's return to snow both at Breck this afternoon, the place was packed with pros, industry leaders and plenty of SMS graduates. The funny thing about this scenario is that my crew could sorta have cared less about the hubbub. Sure we were overjoyed to see Hunter, Kev Mattice, Eric B and Randall, and it was funny to see The Tomato, but aside from Peter Cerulo asking Torstien to play of game of In Your Face, it was all about getting tricks. And tricks we got!
First of all, PETER CERULO sure made up for lost time. This young ripper missed out on Austria and wallowed with us through two weeks of rainy VT training. To say he was itching to hit real features is a massive understatement. Peter regained his style quickly and then moved on to developing some new tricks. Switch back 540 was his goal, and in an hour he rode out of a switch back 720. I was floored. Peter was the only one with energy to hit Woodward after the day's riding and we had the park to ourselves. Respect to Peter for working hard all day and killing it with style!
Please don't take that to mean Peter was the only one working hard, the Elite Team is stacked with workhorses. Phoebe landed one of her best Cab 540s, Dan Landy continues to pursue new tricks and is on the doorstep of a corked backside 720. Biba is grabbing her frontside 360s, which is a great breakthrough for her. She will be stomping them in no time. Quincy is thriving like weeds in the sun and was a bit disappointed in me when I held her back from getting upside down.
We also enjoyed some runs with Chip Linton and Mike Perle, who is one of the strongest riders I know. Check the style on his backside 180s. It ain't easy to show style without a grab, but it can be done, as Mike shows here.




Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sweet Lou! Again!

Nice of L.V. to take the time to block the sun from my camera
Check the LV graphic on his boards.

After qualifying in the number one spot two days ago Louie Vito put on a great show in today's finals of the US Snowboard Grand Prix at Copper Mtn. Colorado. Louie put on a hard charge in his final run with three variations of the double cork 1080, one "conventional" ten and a stylish method but landed his final trick smacking his edge into the wall so settled on his first run score to take second place. Luke Mitrani of Mammoth Lakes and formerly Bondville won the event with his own bag of doubles and incredible on the edge style. Greg Bretz was third in the event to round out the all american podium. It was a great event and the riding of the entire final field was indicative of a mind boggling progression in store for the winter.
In the woman's field the riding is getting progressively more tech but my friend Kelly Clark is not giving up win streak. Kelly has not failed to reach the top of the podium since sometime before the 2010 US Open. She was followed by Madeline Schaffrick of colorado and Carolle Castellet of Spain.
SMS and US Snowboarding rider Serena Shaw was 26th with three 540's and a seven- kinda tight scoring. Ellery Hollingsworth was 29th due to crashes but El was going for it dropping into a back rodeo first hit and crashing on a very nice looking crip-7. Serena's older sister Brooke was 30th and Jenn Cohen was 32nd out of the field of 46 pro riders from around the globe. Congrats on a great effort and a beautiful show from all the riders.
Luke about ten feet over head. front 9.sick.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nice Job Louie Vito.

SMS Alumnus Louie Vito won today's semi finals at the Copper Mtn US Snowboarding Grand Prix Halfpipe. It was the first day of competition for the first Professional Halfpipe event of the year in North America. Louie led the international field into Saturday's Final. Out of 85 Starts today Jack Mitrani was 21st, Danny Davis 27th- (in his first contest since breaking his back two years ago!), current PG Spencer Shaw was 42nd and Joseph Mensch was 72nd. After Nearly two weeks of nothing but flurries the snow and wind were hitting pretty hard all morning slowing conditions for the riders and pushing the women's qualifying heats to tomorrow. Good luck to Serena Shaw and all the women riding.

Devo team is holding it down

The development team has been working hard and holding it down here in Colorado. A great highlight of the camp was the WOODWARD @ COPPER bowl jam. Rakai Tait entered the contest with a hurt shoulder due to a back side 540 fall during snowboarding training that day. He was hesitant on entering the contest,due to the fact that he was one of the youngest competitors in the contest. After a few practice runs under his belt,he was ready to skate and destroy ! With the development team shouting and yelling and stoking him out his amplitude built. Rakai had front side airs and backside airs to the liking of some of my favorite old school skaters. This kid is something else to watch skate as well as snowboard. His determination to stomp tricks is inspiring to me and others on the team. When it was all said and done Rakai placed 3rd in the bowl jam. I want to thank WOODWARD @ COPPER for putting on such a fun contest that makes the sports we do even more fun !

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SMS-Amplosion @Area 51

Keystone's Area 51 has been holding down the early seasonslopestyle training ground title for years. One of the World's most diversely featured parks since it's inception it takes a day to just to begin to get used to. There are so many options it has been called neurotic and the perfect answer for attention deficit disorder. We had a great day. Highlights include Peter's return from an ankle sprain to near full recovery. Xander Nailed two laps of cab five, back three, front seven in the tight and lifty triple line. Jack has learned half cab "on", on numerous new jibs. Jp can front board just about anything and is compiling a hefty roll of "footie" for his supporters. Mason board slid the entire double down barrel where Seb Touts is filming all day and along with me enjoyed the morning ride to the park more than any trail we have ridden out here yet. Also always important to me at fall camp is running into the alumni crew. Connor Hudson and Randall Stacey rolled right up on me in front of the hectic bomb jib intersection, Chris Tierney lapped the morning with us and Eric-Beachfaced-Destroyer-Beauchemin was ripping solo all day. Jacki Z was out riding fast too. What next? The "slide show" through the lens of my trusty casio...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SMS Riders: A Band on the Run


Peter D
I'm sitting in Woodward. I've been watching Xander and JP try to kill each other with a game of Jib on the tramp boards then over to the bowl where Rakai Tait is repping VT Skates and SMS in the bowl Jam with 5 foot airs. Rick Shimpeno is howling into the mic about how tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak and I just giggle myself off the couch watching our elite crew transformed into elven Rocky Balboa's back east on the stratton rail garden. Just trying to catch everyone up here from Woodward. I have been missing a few days and have limited eye candy for you because my memory cards are constantly in the hands of the riders to download.
Jack G.

We took saturday off and then rode pipe at copper sunday. Great pipe and I can't believe how quickly these guys adapted to the full 22 foot size of that beast. Many pipes claim "super". Few are every inch of it like copper's... I started my day with a hug from Jaqueline Hernandez and one from Joe Mensch at breakfast. A hug and a High five from Jenn Cohen up at the pipe and two warm hugs from Louie Vito. Danny Davis showed after lunch and rounded out the SMS alumni blast of the day. Spencer and Serena Shaw were training with US Snowboarding for the impending Grand Prix as well. Finally Dave Edry did a back-pack run, with Carson at the end of the day. Of course the best part of the day were the blasted airs from Josh, Peter D, Jp McA, Xander and Jack and Mason- O.B., Chewey, Rakai, Julia Marino, Kiersten Edwards, Mike Boylan and Benjo.
JP slob...
...to nose poke

The next two days were cold in the low single digits. Hard snow and stinging faces kept the crowds thin and our east coast riding bunch took to it appropriately. It felt like February and they rode like it. I'm impressed with the way these guys have tuned into the park lines and steadily moved through the spins. As many cab and switch back 5's as front and back. These after poked and shifty threes and the daily jump line trains that make any fan of the classic method proud. After one flat back seven that left him in the back seat JP decided to cork it and landed the next three. They look good out here. Despite hard thin snow here and no snow at home we are super grateful for the training we are getting. One other rider not afraid of the cold weather each day is India Stephenson. She is sending front one mute, back three (indie) to front three all day. She is riding great and of course showing the current kids yet another strong rider to follow.
This morning  Scott and the dev crew will ride Copper again. there are two small parks, more freeriding opp's and some nasty Grand Prix pipe training to watch. The Am's and I are checking out Keystone. Josh and Jay are also riding here at copper, getting ready for Josh's two days of racing in Steamboat Springs. Good luck, have fun and train hard.

Beasts in the East

I was fortunate enough to be a young man when Rocky 4 came out. I enjoyed it in the theater and, like many who have seen this film, came away impressed by Rocky's training regime. While his Russian competition prepares in his state-of-the-art facility, overseen by scientists, Rocky gets creative in a snowbound barn. Pull-ups on the loft, tossing bails of hay and running in knee deep snow all contribute to Rocky's eventual victory.
Now, I have to admit that SMS is quite state-of-the-art itself. That being said, the Austria crew returned to find the mountians closed and temps high. After the European experience, a week of dryland training was tolerated. We were fortunate enough to have Okemo and Stratton open for our second week back, and the riders went to work like Rocky in the barn. Narrow trails have been blazed and shaky rails have been humbled. Suddenly the warm temps are OK, corn snow is shredded in hoodies.
In four rounds of Okemo Mt Top Boardercross (one run switch), NOELLE EDWARDS took 3 (and was playfully held back in the final run by Dan Landy). A trip to the Stratton Rail Garden turned into a true Rocky 4 moment. The progression session was highlighted by Ezra's regular and switch back lipslides, Noelle Edward's 50-50 back 180 out, Connor Callen approaching back-lip pretzels, and Peter Cerulo's list of bangers.
With rain forecasted for tomorrow, our meager training grounds might actually get worse. Whatever comes, I will be on the trail with the baddest group of riders on the hill, training Rocky style.