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  • GROMS INVADE! Snowboarder Mag's The Launch 09

    Tyler Flanagan
    Groms Invade Keystone for Snowboarder Magazine's The Launch presented by Nike 6.0

    Last year Snowboarder Magazine established The Launch as a literal launching pad for snowboarding's next super stars at Northstar-at-Tahoe with the support of Nike 6.0. This year's event is hosted by Keystone Resort in Colorado with the continued support of Nike 6.0. However, the out-of-the-box nature of the first Launch caught the attention of Red Bull, who has come on board as a co-sponsor this year. The event kicks off today and will run through Sun., April 12.

    The Launch has its roots in the tradition of Snowboarder's Superpark, but instead of featuring the traditional who's-who of professional snowboarding; The Launch invitees represent 50 of the world's best 13-17 year olds. "With the launch, Snowboarder is providing the next generation of standout riders with next level terrain," says Snowboarder Editor, Pat Bridges. "Just because they aren't old enough to have a driver's license, doesn't mean they don't know how to put it into high gear and drive the sport in new directions."

    Snowboarder has earned itself a reputation for recognizing emerging talent and The Launch is the venue they offer to give promising groms the boost they need to progress their riding, get to know some of their fellow athletes in a non-competitive environment and ultimately launch a professional career all while having a little fun. Bridges emphasizes that, "beyond the riding, the launch also strives to help these up and comers connect with their peers and get to know them as more than just a bib number."

    Onsite and ready to capture the action of riders like Trevor Jacob, Tyler Flanagan, Greg Bretz, Scotty James and Matt Ladley are renowned photographers Espen Lystad and Aaron Dodds. Standard Films will also be on-site taking footage for upcoming films and television shows. Providing these kids with editorial exposure is another unique aspect to The Launch, however, "it is not only about the best emerging young talent, but also about creativity in snowboarding," says Snowboarder Publisher, Chris Engelsman. "Jason George and the rest of the Keystone Park Staff have gone above and beyond creating a truly unique park. I can't wait to see what the kids do!"
    The results of this editorial park shoot will be featured in the September issue of the magazine, however daily recaps, images and more will be available at: www.snowboardermag.com/superpark.

    "The Launch isn't a contest," Bridges points out, "if these riders leave keystone as better snowboarders and better friends, then everyone is a winner."
    Channels: Snow

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