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  • Gallery: Biggest moments from day one at X Games Aspen

    Day one of ESPN's Extreme Games kicked off in Aspen, Colorado, on Thursday with men's ski superpipe elimination, men's snowboard slopestyle elimination, and men's snowboard superpipe eliminations.

    Anything is possible at X, and often the best moments don't make it on TV. Here's a look at what you may have missed:
    Men's ski superpipe eliminations kicked off early Thursday morning with David Wise qualifying first with his smooth, slick style and ultra-technical tricks. Wise will face the top seven men on Friday during pipe finals, where he is expected to throw four doubles. This photo of Wise is from professional freeskier Jen Hudak, and it shows she's not only a star skier, but also a highly skilled Instagrammer,

    Photo: @jenhudak Great day for the @usfreeskiing team @xgames #ski #superpipe qualifiers today! 5 men to tomorrow night's finals! This is @mrdavidwise boosting an alley-oop flat 5 tail.

    Tom Wallisch throws up a peace sign and snaps a "selfie" as he sails through the air on the X Games slopestyle course. Wallisch is known for his lofty airs, and progressive spins, which make him a favorite for gold in ski slopestyle finals taking place on Sunday.
    Photo: @gopro Photo of the Day! Tom Wallisch throws up the deuces mid air for the start of #XGames! #GoProX @Twallisch
    For more X Games ski coverage, head to Newschoolers to check out their video from Day 1

    Sebastien Toutant won his first X Games gold in 2011 at the ripe age of 19. He hoped to repeat that performance this year, but was unable to land a clean run in Thursday's eliminations. Seb Toots, as he's known, isn't getting down on himself and shifted his attention to taking gold in Big Air on Friday night. This picture is of Seb just before he dropped in for a practice lap on the massive big air jump. The French Canadian rider earned bronze in the event last year and has a triple cork in his bag of tricks, which could be the deciding factor.

    Photo @sebtoots Slopestyle didn't go how i want it.. Now i'm focus on the Big Air tomorrow night! #letsdothis #XGames #timetogoham

    Snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg failed to make the cut for slopestyle finals, but he's still getting extreme all weekend by rocking purple hair. After earning second place in the Big Air event at last month's Dew Tour, Kotsenburg hoped to earn gold in the same event at the X Games but was denied an invite. Rumor has it the purple hair is Sage's way of jeering at X Games officials for not giving him the green light to compete. It's a bummer for Sage and all the viewers that he's not competing, as his charisma coupled with his insane snowboard skills could have produced a more thrilling event.
    Photo: @shay_will Larry Malibu (@sagekotsenburg) peepin' and creepin' at ski pipe prelims.
    Eight of the world's best urban snowboarders submitted 60-second video parts for their shot at X Games gold in the Real Street video contest. Each video featured rowdy rail segments, but only the top three earned medals. This picture shows Louis Paradis, Dan Brisse, and Bode Merrill earning podium honors.

    Photo: @dyesnow Congrats to @danbrisse and his #realsnow crew earning their third #Xgames medal.

    The Snowmobile Freestyle Finals went down on the first day of the X Games with high intensity aerobatic antics from the world's best sledheads. Levi LaVallee earned gold in the evening event, with Joe Parsons and Justin Hoyer taking second and third.

    Photo: @AspenSnowmass Snowmobiles, flying fun.

    Mr. Shaun White, a most talked about athlete in the X Games, competed in Slopestyle Eliminations for the first time since 2009 on day one of X. He placed seventh, which was good enough for him to move into Saturday's finals, but his performance showed his skills aren't quite up to par with the rest of young field. Later that night, White qualified second to Louri Podladtchikov in superpipe eliminations, which was very uncharacteristic of White, who's won the past five X Games superpipe events. The pressure is definitely on the White Wonder, but if we had a million dollars, we'd still bet it all on White to take gold in Sunday's finals.

    Photo: @bobridges All cameras pointed on this guy. #ShaunWhite #xgames #pipe

    Stay tuned for more behind the scenes action at the X Games in Aspen, and follow @GrindTVSnow on both Twitter and Instagram for breaking updates all weekend.
    Channels: Snow
  • Gallery: Stars enjoy the Burton Experience at Sundance Film Festival

    The Burton Experience at Sundance Film Festival
    Picture this: Top members of Burton Snowboards' professional team, a showroom of the season's best snowboard gear, and a mix of celebrities all hanging together at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. Envision bright blue skies, warm temperatures, an open bar, tasty hors d'oeuvres, crackling fire pits, and DJ Spider spinning eclectic beats, and you've got a glimpse into the exclusive Burton Experience at Sundance.
    Model Alessandra Ambrosio and Snowboard Danny Kass hang out.
    Model Alessandra Ambrosio and pro rider Danny Kass take a moment off the slopes to smile in the picture above. Photo courtesy of Chris Polk/Getty Images

    The Burton Experience consisted of the brand taking over the Pig Pen Saloon at the base of Park City Mountain Resort during the opening weekend of Sundance Film Festival and providing celebrities with gear and snowboarding lessons.

    Click here to view the full Burton Experience at Sundance photo gallery.
    Burton Pro Danny Davis
    Burton pro rider Danny Davis smiles at the camera during the Sundance event. Photo courtesy Chris Polk/Getty Images
    "It's awesome because we come out here to Utah and show the celebs Burton's new gear, take them for a run or two, and just hang out and have a great time," Burton pro rider Danny Davis said about the event.
    Actor Tony Danza and Burton Pro's Zak Hale and Gabi Viteri
    Burton riders Gabi Viteri and Zak Hale alongside actor Tony Danza. Photo courtesy Chris Polk/Getty Images
    This year attendees included model Alessandra Ambrosio, actors Ashley Hinshaw, Joey Lauren Adams, Tony Danza (pictured above), Liam James, Callan McAuliffe, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, musician James Valentine of Maroon 5, and Burton pro riders Danny Davis, Jack Mitrani, Jeremy Jones, Gabi Viteri, and Zak Hale.

    Actor Callan McAulliffe and Burton Pro's Zak Hale and Jeremy Jones
    Actor Callan McAuliffe pictured in the middle of Burton riders Zak Hale and Jeremy Jones. Photo courtesy Chris Polk/Getty Images
    McAuliffe, who stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the upcoming film "The Great Gatsby," tweeted "Turns out I like the snow." This claim proved true, as he spent the day lapping Park City's trails with Burton pro riders Zak Hale and Jeremy Jones.

    Actress Ashley Hinshaw learns to ride at Burton's Sundance event in Park City
    Actress Ashley Hinshaw gets a helping hand from a Burton Snowboards instructor. Photo courtesy Chris Polk/Getty Images
    Other famous attendees were less advanced than McAuliffe and spent their time getting the feel for snowboarding on the bunny slopes. Ashley Hinshaw of the television show "Gossip Girl" was spotted falling to her knees several times during her private lesson. Nonetheless, the 24-year-old star was all smiles, and commented at the afternoon happy hour that she loved the lesson.

    Actors Martin Starr and Alex Schaffer with Burton's Makenzie Hallen
    Martin Starr and Alex Shaffer cozy up to Burton's Makenzie Halen after a great day on the slopes. Photo courtesy of Chris Polk/Getty Images
    Click any of the photos above to see all the action from third-annual Burton Experience at Sundance, and head here to see the best Instagrams attendees posted during the event.

    All photos courtesy Chris Polk/Getty Images
    Channels: Snow
  • Top moments from the 13th annual Powder Awards in Park City

    Powder Awards Winner Gallery 2013
    Now that the dust has settled, and the celebratory hangovers from skiing's biggest award show have somewhat subsided, it's time to rehash the most memorable moments from the 13th annual Powder Awards held in Park City, Utah.

    We caught up with winners, Candide Thovex and Level 1 Productions' Josh Berman, Powder magazine editors, and several primped and primed partygoers for their insight into what made the show special.

    The biggest surprise was how many good people from Park City and Salt Lake came out to the show. We were sold out and the house was packed! I am happy for Josh Berman and Level 1 for winning their first movie of the year. Those guys care about good filmmaking and skiing, and it was nice to see the Powder Awards Panel give them the top honor. -- Mike Rogge, Powder magazine associate editor

    Aside from all the production errors, uh, the biggest surprise for me was Sandy Boville winning breakthrough performer. He was shocked, and we learned he is not yet filming this year nor has sponsors. A true breakthrough. -- John Stifter, Powder magazine editor

    To win the best documentary was very impressive, and to win the best skier award was very surprising. I didn't expect this--I am happy. But I don't remember the biggest moments from the event, because I didn't really follow the awards. I was having beers and talking with people and then they called me up and then again, and again.

    Just the fact that they called me up four times to come and get awards was very surprising. I was so very impressed to get that many awards and it's definitely a good feeling. I was in France two days ago, so I kind of had a feeling that I might receive one award, because Quiksilver really wanted to send me. I was like, "OK, they must know that something is going on." But I really I had no idea it would be this many. This is really nice.
    -- Candide Thovex, winner of four Powder Awards

    The best moment for me at the Powder Award's was, hands down, Hoji's acceptance speech. It was a POV edit of him shredding pow and "accepting his award." He said, "Sorry I can't be there" type of thing, because "I'm shredding powder in BC!" It was hilarious! -- Rachael Burks, professional skier

    My standout feature from the 2013 PVA's was Level 1 taking home movie of the year. I remember buying their first movie on VHS from Berman out the back of his car in Vermont. It's crazy to think that 13 years later Level 1 would be on the forefront of ski cinematography and storytelling. So stoked for their whole crew: Kyle, Schui, Freedle. Also, I think it's awesome that Stept Productions is getting the recognition they deserve. Those guys pour their hearts out into their movie every year and it just keeps getting better. Big things are in their future. And when The Meatheads won for best powder I was screaming at my TV. As someone born and raised on East Coast ice it's so good to see a banger pow edit come out of a place like Jay Peak that can not only stand up to the likes of out west, but beat them. -- Dave Amirault, Aspen/Snowmass international marketing manager, ski industry icon

    Standout moment of the night, aside from of course taking home Level 1's two awards, was watching Candide Thovex clean up and take home four very well deserved pieces of hardware. I've known him for 15 years and have seen him do it all--he's one of the most inspiring skiers in the game with a storied career in every way but with the most humble attitude and approach. He's someone you want to root for and to see him continue to crush it and to get the respect he deserves, well, makes you feel good to see that the industry still has his back and recognizes what he continues to accomplish. -- Josh Berman, Level 1 Productions, Best Film and Best Editing

    The biggest surprise of the night for me was actually how small everyone was. I was like, "I am so much bigger than almost all the freeskiers!" They are a tiny group of people, like really little people. I'm 5'10'' and a former ski racer, but now I'm in the big-mountain scene, so I'm not huge, but I felt like a giant last night. I saw Sean Pettit on stage and I am a huge fan of his--I think what he does is rad, but he was so much smaller than me. I was wearing heels, so it made me like six feet tall, so I felt huge in comparison to all the winners. I guess when people ski so hard, you just think of them as big in your head, so it was really big surprise for me to see how small everyone was! -- Kaylin Richardson, professional skier

    The biggest standout moment from the Powder Awards was to have Candide Thovex actually in town for the event. He is such a legend and an icon of the sport, so it was amazing to see him win four well-deserved awards for his part in "A Few Words." It was a memorable night. -- Julian Carr, professional skier

    The biggest moments at the award show were how genuinely stoked the winners were, especially the Meatheads and Josh Berman--it's really cool to see good people who are passionate about what they do get rewarded for their work. Also, Sandy Boville winning Breakthrough Performer. I'm excited to see what he does next. -- Heather Hansman, Powder magazine online editor

    Click the photo above to view the full gallery from the Powder Awards, and head to PowderMag.com for more from the show.

    Photos courtesy Powder magazine
    Channels: Snow
  • Gallery: 13th annual Powder Awards take over Park City

    Powder Awards Winner Gallery 2013
    Park City, Utah, was the place to be Thursday evening, as it was home to the 13th annual Powder Awards presented by Icelandic Glacial--the most prestigious ski awards show of the year.

    For more on the Powder Awards, click here.

    The biggest surprise of the night came when Level 1 Productions' "Sunny" was named Best Film of the Year, marking Level 1's first major win at the Powder Awards. Josh Berman, Level 1's founder and chief cinematographer, was visibly overcome with emotion upon accepting the award.

    "I'm kind of at a loss for words," Berman told the rowdy crowd of ski enthusiasts, as he clutched the Best Film Award.

    Level 1 was up against bigger film companies such as Teton Gravity Research and Process Films, who are known for their big budgets, big employee counts, and big-mountain skiing. Level 1 has been nominated half a dozen times or so before, according to Berman, which made the win that much more surprising.

    "The biggest surprise was certainly winning Movie of the Year," Berman said. "I think we've received a half dozen or so nominations for this one in the past, so at this point I try not to get too excited or have any expectations, especially this year with so many great films in the running."

    Another notable award was Best Female Performance, which Michelle Parker earned for her segment in Matchstick Productions' "Superheroes of Stoke," which features the 26-year-old skier effortlessly crushing chest-deep powder.

    Candide Thovex was the most decorated skier of the evening and accepted four awards for his work on Process Films' "A Few Words." These included Best Male Performance, the Icelandic Glacial Full Throttle Award, Best Documentary, and Best Cinematography. Each time the French skier strode to the podium for his acceptance speech, a roar of applause erupted from the audience.

    "Once more, thank you," said Thovex upon accepting the Best Male Performance award. "That's a big one, right there. I think a lot of people actually deserve this one. Thanks for choosing me."

    Click the photo above to see the complete winners' gallery from the 13th annual Powder Awards, and head to PowderMag.com for a full recap from the legendary event here.

    Photo: Michelle Parker, Best Female Performance, courtesy of Powder magazine
    Channels: Snow
  • Snowboarder Steve Lauder talks Buck 90 Productions

    What does it take to become a pro snowboarder and affluent snow filmmaker?

    It takes hard work and dedication--two disciplines that are sometimes at odds with a sport that is based on having fun.

    Steve Lauder is a snowboarder that is well on his way to making it, as he has been climbing the rungs of the pro snowboard ladder for the past few seasons, including by launching his popular film company, Buck 90 Productions.

    This native east coaster grew up riding hard-packed, icy conditions on the slopes of Mount Southington in Connecticut, but he knew if he were going to fulfill his snowboarding dreams, the first step would be moving west, where the slopes are bigger and the industry is based. Today, the 24-year-old resides in the mountain town of Frisco, in Summit County, Colorado, where he is working to amp up his game by riding more than ever this season.

    We caught up with Lauder in between shoots with Buck 90 Productions at Keystone Resort to get the rundown on what he's been up to.

    What's on the agenda for this season?
    This season I'm focusing on filming in the street as much as I can while staying healthy after coming off my ACL surgery this past spring.

    How'd you score your first sponsor and who was it?
    My first official sponsor was Crispy Whips Snowboards and it all kind of happened out of nowhere. Crispy Whip's owner, Jim Marino, asked me and other Buck 90 homies from Mt. Snow to ride for his new company and it was all history from there.

    What is one of your 'go-to' tricks or a favorite trick to land?
    I'd say my go-to is backside 180 50/50s, but any jump trick always feel rewarding.

    Do you prefer bluebirds days, lapping the park, or grey bird days, hiking in the backcountry?
    I definitely love lapping the park on blue bird days, but I always love a good powder day.

    How do you feel about the contest scene and how often do you compete?
    It is definitely insane and I respect that level of riding, but I don't compete too often--just a rail jam here and there.

    What's your all-time favorite part of snowboarding?
    Just having a good day riding with your crew whatever and wherever it may be.

    How did you get started with Buck 90 Productions?
    Buck 90 was created by me and my good buddy Jon O' Doherty back in high school when we decided to get a camera and start filming ourselves at Mount Southington in Connecticut. I ride and edit the footage, but all of us riders trade off filming. Unfortunately we don't have a specific filmer right now, but we will.

    What is your favorite shot in the Buck 90 Productions Keystone resort edit?
    It's hard to pick one, but probably Ryan McCoy's frontflip handplant off the knuckle or Stefan Kuhsel "after banging" his hat off.

    What was the hardest shot to capture in that edit?
    Most of the shots only took a few tries to get. Everyone has been killin' it but we usually only try and film laps when we are feeling it.

    Who are your sponsors?
    Burton, Ashbury Eyewear, Candy Grind gloves, Satellite Board Shop, Frends & Mizu.

    Check out Steve in action in this new Buck 90 Productions edit filmed at Keystone resort in Colorado.

    Photo Credits: Jimmy Ahern (photo 1) Nathan MInatta (photo 2)
    Channels: Snow
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