The 2010/2011North American competition season is now officially underway. With the conclusion of today's Grand Prix Halfpipe Finals at Copper Mtn. Co it appears as though the vertical scene hasn't gotten the memo that this is going to be an off year for the points chasers.
According to the Copper Facebook page 9" of fresh had graced the resort overnight. Well 9" was an understatement as thigh deep drifts enveloped much of the mountain. The all-time conditions appeased the pow hungry shreds looking to get some before the event but organizers were left with a panic to clear the decks and trannies of Coppers famed 22' U-Tube before the 11:30 start.
With the trannies swept the riders were left with a pipe that had firm walls and a packed powder flat bottom, which despite the best efforts of the Copper park and pipe crew is less than ideal. Nonetheless the international field persevered and put on a solid show.
For the ladies a first class international field found their way into the finals with all but two of the competitors veterans of the Vancouver Olympics. Riding well but encountering some untimely falls was Japan's Soko Yamaoka. Canada's Sarah Conrad, Spain's Queralt Castellet, America's Ellery Holligsworth and Australia's Holly Crawford.
Head on over to SnowboarderMag.com for all the details, results and photos with hilarious captions.
GrindTV Newswire, Via US Snowboarding: COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO (Nov. 30) - On the eve of the season opening Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix, U.S. Snowboarding's 2011 halfpipe teams were announced Tuesday alongside the cavernous 22-foot halfpipe at Copper Mountain. Highlighting the 17 riders named to the Pro and Rookie Team rosters are five Olympians including two-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark (Mount Snow, VT) Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler (Aspen, CO) and two-time Grand Prix champion Louie Vito (Sandy, UT).
The team was in Copper tuning up for the Saturday, Dec. 10 Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix, the opening event of the three-stop tour.
"With five Olympians returning to the Pro Team and the amazing talent on the Rookie Team, the 2011 U.S. Snowboarding Halfpipe program is better than ever." said U.S. Snowboarding Director Jeremy Forster. "We're looking forward to carrying the momentum from the 2010 Olympics into this season."
Returning to the eight rider Pro Team are two Olympic medalists, Clark and Bleiler, plus three fellow Olympians. Among those riders are Vito, World Cup winner Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA), 2010 Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix runner-up Elena Hight (South Lake Tahoe, CA) and Kaitlyn Farrington (Sun Valley, ID), who came on strong at the end of the 2010 season earning Pro Team status.
"I'm really stoked to be on the Team," said Vito. "We have a good squad of people on the Team and it's not just about the Olympic year, it's every year."
Vito should know. The Ohio native already owns a pair of season-long Grand Prix crowns and helped lead the charge among riders pioneering the double corks during the Olympic season. Vito's charismatic personality pervades the sport and was showcased a year ago when he was a standout on ABC's Dancing with the Stars dancing with Chelsea Hightower.
While Clark and Bleiler were in the spotlight once again last year, the rookie Farrington was making her own waves with a post-Olympic gold in the Euro-X Games, the Dew Tour title and second in the U.S. Open.
Hoping to join former Rookie Team riders, Vito and Farrington, on the Pro Team in the near future are nine riders from the ages 16-20. Like the Pro Team, the Rookie crew consists of many returning riders including Matt Ladley (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Zack Black (Breckenridge, CO) and newcomer Paul Brichta (Burnsville, MN).
The Rookie Team, first deployed for the 2008 season has been an amazing proving ground for young talent.
Although 2011 isn't an Olympic year, the stakes are still high for these riders as they begin to progress the next wave of tricks that will be launched in 2014 in Sochi. The 2010 season was all about the double cork, make sure to stay tuned to see what will be the tricks of 2011.
The teams will ride a diverse slate of events, foremost among them the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix with halfpipe stops in Copper Mountain and Mammoth Mountain. Other majors on tap include the Dew Tour, X Games and U.S. Open. The Rookie Team will also mix in some World Cups and Revolution Tour stops.
2011 U.S. Snowboard Halfpipe Roster
(Name, Hometown, Date of Birth)
* Denotes Olympian
Clair Bidez, Minturn, CO, 8/7/1987
Gretchen Bleiler, Aspen, CO, 4/10/1981*
Greg Bretz, Mammoth Lakes, CA, 12/19/1990*
Kelly Clark, Mount Snow, VT, 7/26/1983*
Kaitlyn Farrington, Sun Valley, ID, 12/18/1989
Elena Hight, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 8/17/1989*
Ellery Hollingsworth, Stratton, VT, 9/2/1991
Louie Vito, Sandy, UT, 3/20/1988*
Lizzy Beerman, Weston, VT, 7/18/1991 **
Dylan Bidez, Minturn, CO, 9/11/1990
Zack Black, Breckenridge, CO, 8/1/1990
Paul Brichta, Burnsville, MN, 8/24/1991 **
Matt Ladley, Steamboat Springs, CO, 5/17/1991
Kelly Marren, Hillsborough, CA, 8/22/1991
Madeline Schaffrick, Steamboat Springs, CO, 4/24/1994
Broc Waring, Edwards, CO, 6/3/1992
Ben Watts, Bend, OR, 9/6/1993
** Attending Westminster College in Salt Lake City as a part of U.S. Snowboarding's partnership program.
The X Games wouldn't be the contest we all know and love without the party factor. Simple as it, people in action sports world like to party. What better place to do it than with all of your friends at the extreme games?
This year the parties went off and now that the dust has settled and our hangovers cured, it's time for a recap. On Friday night, everyone was geared up and raring to go. The place to be was the Monster Energy and DC party at Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory.
Robbie D at this Fanstasy Factory. Photo: Tawnya Schultz- Snowboard-mag.com
The place was packed and everyone was going off thanks to the free drinks from Monster Energyand free food from Wahoo's Fish Tacos.
Once the social lubricant of booze and Monster Energy drinks kicked in, the party got started. Rob Dyrdek took to the stage and formally introduced the members of the 10/11 Street League Crew. One by one, pro skaters were giving their goods and official handshake declaring their membership within the league.
Official Members of the Street League. Photo: Monster/Dc
Once the awards were given, rappers Bun B and Paul Wall took to the stage and blew everyones minds. The hard hitting beats had everyone dancing and the crowd was going off.
"It's Paul Wall Baby" Photo: Monster/DC
The crowd was filled with everyone from pro skaters, moto x dudes and even a couple tiny dancers.
Louie Vito and Tawnya Schultz repping the Snowboard World. Photo: Snowboard-mag.com
The party was pure bananas- everything one would expect from the first night of X.
The following night, after attending the Games, (which are a party in themselves) it was time to gear up for the next night of mayhem. ESPN took the reins as party planners and held a rager-rama at the Congo Room near LA Live. Camp Freddy was set to appear and the crowd was electric with anticipation for the rockstars to appear on the stage.
Shortly after the tic of 11, rock legends took to the stage for a mind-blowing rockshow that had everyone rallying. The likes of Dave Navarro and Billy Corgan ripped rifts on their guitars and belted out classics that had everyone creaming for more.
Dave Navarro is as hot as you think. Photo: Tawnya Schultz
Once the concert ended and everyone retrieved the bits of their mind that were blown, some made the trek to Hollywood for a little late night party with the Target crew. The specifics from this portion of the night are a bit hazy, but lets just say it was epic.
The next day with pounding heads and vague memories from the nights before, we soldiered on to the last day of X. To cap off an incredible weekend, we hung out in a suite to watch Moto Speed and Style. It was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.
Thank you Monster, DC, Oakley, and ESPN for making this weekend such a radical rager. We look forward to the next round of X Games. Thankfully they aren't until January.
The Grenade Crew recently took a trip to Europe and had themselves quite the adventure. They rallied all over Italy and Austria and luckily for us, Danny Kass opens up about when went down. Read what Capitan Dan-O has to say about their vacation and peep more pics here.
Words: General Danny Kass / Photos Courtesy of J Moustache and RIP ZINGER
Our journey took the Squad out of Berlin headed south into Austria. The Dachstein Glacier! We rolled the ECU into town at 5AM, jumped on a trampoline, harassed some farm animals and crashed out for a few hours before heading to the hill. Eero Niemela, The Dingo, Dustin Craven, Tom Ryen, Louie Vito, Rip Zinger and crew boarded the crazy Tram that went straight vertical. So many Poma lifts. Tired arms but some serious stuff went down. Dingo threw a 7, Tom Tom almost killed rip on the knuckle, then the rain set in. People were partying their Austrian faces off at the base of the Mtn. Feeling right at home amidst the Lederhosen and Biers. After being pushed from the Austrian Alps due to lightning and heavy assualts from the Traditionals in Lederhosen we we off to battle our next glacier in the Northern Region of Italy. A small town with a big Mtn. known at Val Senales. When we arrived we were so tired and beat down that "The Shining" style resort full of awesome amenities and delicious rations was the perfect change of pace from the blown out OCMT (Overloaded Camper Mover Transport, also known as the ECU, European Command Unit). Tom Tom went straight to work at the skatepark in town while myself, Eric Messier, Eero, and Jordan did an autograph signing for some locals (Cows). We got threatened by the Cows handler with a giant walking stick and someone got shoved. He was lucky this European Vacation was meant as a peace mission. The Bonersquad hit up a BBQ held in our honor by the local talent. DJ Messy Dick also known as Eric Messier blew those Euro minds apart with mixes until a raging lightning storm forced us inside. The next morning we were up early and ready to take on the 20 meter jump (100+ footer). We went up the glacier with a team of elite Italian soldiers and Sargent Eero was not afraid to lead the Squadron into shred park battle!!!! Private Craven, Vito and Ryen, and Myself were right behind to shut down the gentlemens camp. After destroying a quaint Italian Village and it's looming Mtn. we were on the road again and off to our final front. Switzerland.
Signed, Sealed, and Sent!
Tom Tom knows how to get some!
Eero is a style machine.
Vito and a ton of gear
Shaun White's post-Olympic request finally came true. The two-time Olympic gold medalist got his wish to meet the Big O. He already graced the stage of one 'Big O' earlier this year in Chicago, but this time Mr. White and the rest of the Olympic Snowboard team got their chance meet our nation's main man, the notorious 'Big O,' President Barack Obama.
Over 200 Olympic athletes were greeted by the President and First Lady at a white house reception on Wednesday, April 21.
US Olympic Snowboarders at the White House: Greg Bretz, Louie Vito, Gretchen Beiler, Kelly Clark, Elena Hight. Photo: @louieVito
The day was spent touring 1600 Pennsylvania Lane, while waiting for the President to greet each athlete individually. According to Louie Vito, upon meeting our President, Mr. Obama remarked "Now that's what I expected a snowboarder to look like."
The comment came regarding Vito's attire which consisted of a signature "LV" silver and diamond necklace, a black beanie, kakis pants and a white tee. We wonder what Vito thought about Prez's attire...
Vito looking fly at the White House. photo: @louievito
It was Greg Bretz's first time touring the White House, and he seemed to really embrace occasion and posted this picture Abe Lincoln and himself on his Twitter account, claiming "Abe Lincoln is really tall!"
Greg Bretz and our 16th President.
Bronze medalist Scotty Lago was a little more camera shy during the tour, and posted a picture of himself hiding behind curtains in the White house. Perhaps he's training to be in the Secret Service??
Shaun White also enjoyed himself and was snapped eating a Presidential Club Sandwich in the White House.
Mr. White looks like he really enjoyed that sandwich. photo: @coachjanks
Following the quick meet and greet with the President, many of the athletes headed over to the Pentagon for a tour of our Nation's Department of Defense.
With the contest season coming to close, this was a great way for all the Olympic Athletes to get together and celebrate their great accomplishments at the 2010 Winter Games.