Saturday the 20th of March marked another beautiful spring day up here in UT. We have had a lot of those lately, and I’m very happy about it. With the sun shining, and the sky blue I knew it was going to be a good day.
After registering with the friendly staff of the Canyons, I took the gondola up the the Upper Respect Terrain Park. This park is so much fun, and has been all year. The Canyons park crew really do a wonderful job with what they have to work with, and I know a lot of people including myself will be buying passes there next year instead of Park City.
I ran into a few people I knew there, including Kiri Bennersly. She is a rad ripper from New Zealand, we were stoked to see each other and tear up the park all day. Kiri is a local canyons girl, and she showed me the ropes a little bit. I love The Canyons, it has such a great vibe, and it is very spread out.
After a couple laps through the park it was time to start the competition. This competition had an unusual format. There were 3 zones to choose from. The first was an option between a down-flat-down rail, and a down-flat-down skinny box. The second was the first two jumps in Upper Respect. The third was a log jib, or a big stall/bonk option. You had the choice of competing in all three to win the overall, or just do certain divisions. This park is too much fun so I had to do all three right??
We started with a 30 minute rail jam on the two down-flat-down features. People were throwing down, and they were playing really good music, so I decided to get a little technical with my tricks. I got a couple of solid Cab 270’s on and off the down-flat-down skinny box, and a 50-50 to switch 50-50 on the down-flat-down rail. Feeling pretty confident we moved to the jump section which is my favorite.
We were judged on the first two jumps, as I normally have to practice with three jumps in other competitions, I was slightly thrown off by just two, but I adjusted accordingly, and it was just plain fun. I landed a couple of Cab 540’s and some backside 360’s and ended with a huge method grab! Luckily we were able to ride the lift during this portion, hit the bigger part of the park, and rest a bit.
Up next came the final Jam session on the log jib, and the Skullcandy Stall. I had never hit either of these features before in the park, so I was a little hesitant at first. But after watching where a couple of the guys dropped in from, I went for it. Happily all went well, I did a couple of mellow tricks, and walked away with an overall win! Mission accomplished! Thanks for putting on another great event CANYONS!!!
Saturday the 20th of March marked another beautiful spring day up here in UT. We have had a lot of those lately, and I’m very happy about it. With the sun shining, and the sky blue I knew it was going to be a good day.
Erika sent us an email letting us know what she’s been up to and it’s been a lot! 3 rail jams in 3 days landed her 1st, 1st, and 2nd place! Erika is killing it! Watch out for her today at the Brighton comp and at the next Campus Rail Jam stop in Cali.
With the sun poking in and out of the dark ominous sky, we were due for a crazy weather day. Thursday, February 25th, The Campus Rail Jam Tour made its annual stop through the University of Utah. I got over there around 11 to register, and was happy to see some familiar faces around, everyone was stoked, and I was pumped up too.
Our heat started at 12:40 in the afternoon. I climbed up to the top drop-in, for the gap to down box. Figuring, I have hit this setup multiple times already this year, I dropped first. Landed a nice little front board, and rode away in the slush. And we were off! The snow started falling and the sky clouded over, the hail was smacking us in the face, fortunately it didn’t effect the speed too much for the take off. After 40 minutes of jamming they announced the finalists. I’m happy to say I was one of them, along with Midori, Lynn, Marley, and Kass. When finals came along, we were all in the same heat with the skiers, and the boys. This is where my competitive spirit kicks in. In the end I think the judges were looking for overall consistency, and landing tricks, which was hard to do in the slush. I walked away with 1st, Marley with 2nd, and Lynn with 3rd. Congrats Ladies! We all walked away with some awesome prizes too, after all of it, I did an interview with Fuel Tv which hopefully turned out pretty well! Thanks CRJT for the great event!
The next day I rested, and prepared for the King of the Wasatch Rail Jam at Park City Resort. Thanks to Lynn, I was able to get up there! We arrived right at 5pm for registration. After registering, we took a look at the set up. There were three options at the top; a down-flat-down rail, a down rail, and a down box, ending with a wall ride, and a log stall/jib. To say the least, we were excited, and couldn’t wait to hit the features.
After practicing once on everything, I decided to conserve my energy until the jam started. At 6pm, the event started. We had about a 45 minute jam session with everyone, before they narrowed it down to some finalists. They took the top three girls, which included, myself, Marley, and Kirby. A short intermission, and some course maintenance, gave us a chance to catch our breath and get re-vamped for finals.
We were all together again, with the boys and skiers. It was a tough finals. By the end of the night, the landings were just a little icy, which made it hard to land some things, I must have tried front blunt 270s off that down rail 10 times and landed it maybe once. I did do a 180 on hard way 180 off the down box which I was excited about, cause I have never tried that before!
At the end of the night, I walked away with 1st, Marley with 2nd, and Kirby with 3rd. We all walked away with some great prizes and a little cash! Thank you PCSB and King of the Wasatch! They did a great job hosting their very first rail jam in addition to the slopestyle, and halfpipe disciplines offered in previous years. I hope they continue to do so! Tired after another long night, I didn’t end up getting home until pretty late, and unfortunately we had to get up very early the next morning, because garrett had to be at work.
The alarm went off at 5am and it was hard to get up. We piled our stuff into the car and left the house at 6am. After dropping Garrett off at work at 6:35, I drove over to the canyons, grabbed some coffee, and hung out in the Grand Summit Hotel in one of their big comfy chairs, in front of the fireplace. When it was time to get ready my boots were nice and warm, and I was ready for another day! I walked over to Smokies Bar and Grill for registration. Dave March greeted me at registration, and I was stoked to see my friend Wiki was there too! I waited for Wiki to register, then we took off up the gondola. She is so much fun to ride with, she shreds hard with a huge smile on her face, just my style:)
We had lots of fun playing around in the park, waiting for the competition to start. We had an hour long jam session, throughout which, the girls winner would be decided, which meant, NO finals! YAY! All the girls were doing really well and pushing themselves in the upper respect terrain park. Wiki and I took a couple of laps on the lift during the competition, to conserve energy, and it definitely paid off! I’m happy to say that Wiki walked away with 1st, I walked away with 2nd, and Kiri walked away with 3rd. Congrats WIKI you rock!! It was a very fun event, the Canyons always does a great job!
It was a very drizzly Saturday morning in Salt Lake City on February the 13th. I woke up to lots of rainfall outside my house, hoping it was snowing at Brighton, Garrett and I jumped in the car and made our way to Big Cottonwood Canyon. When we got to the bottom of the canyon, it was raining harder, and to go up the canyon you had to have 4 wheel drive, or chains. Luckily we have 4 wheel drive in Garrett’s car, so we were waved on by the police man at the bottom of the canyon. It took us about half an hour to get up there, but about halfway up the canyon the rain turned to snow.
By the time we arrived there it was puking snow! We pulled up to Millicent chair and parked. When we walked into the lodge for registration, we were some of the first people to arrive. After claiming a perfect spectating table in the corner, I walked over to registration. Timmy Grins was running the registration, and helped put on the event. The 3rd Rail Jam crew was very friendly, lively, and put on a great event.
We had a while to practice, about two hours. I took a couple runs, to try out my new O-Matic Benetar(which killed it on the rails), and look at the setup. I was trying to reserve some energy for the event, and i’m glad I did.The event started around one, and for once the girls got to go first!! With the snow piling up around us, myself and a few other girls had half an hour to throw down.
I started off easy, with a couple of boardslides, and frontboards to switch out on the down rail, and down-flat rail. I ventured over to the down-flat-down rail, and got a couple of 50’s and some 180’s off. With 5 minutes left I looked over to see my main competition, and best lady shredder I know from Japan, throwing down on the down-flat rail. She almost had a front 3 off, but just barely missed it. Great Job Midori!! After watching that I decided to step it up and do a back tail 270 off the down rail. I love that trick:) And that sealed the deal for me…
Between heats, Garrett and I hung out with Midori and guzzled down some hot coffee. The snow was still coming down, but there was a MC battle going on at the Under Armour tent. Our friend Mark was in the battle, so we had to go down there and watch. It was a great show, with some pretty good rappers actually! After they announced the winner of the battle that would be opening for Slick Rick later that night at the after party, they announced the winner of the lady’s division.
I’m so stoked to have won, it was a really fun event. It was well organized, and the 3rd Rail Jam crew did an awesome job in their first year with this tour. The prizes were unbelievable too! I won more stuff than I know what to do with including; a board, bindings, goggles, gloves, backpack, jacket, and some cash! THANK YOU!!
We watched most of the men’s division, before we decided to get down the canyon before all of the traffic in the snowstorm. The 3rd crew was nice enough to give me my stuff before the comp ended, along with some VIP passes for the Slick Rick concert, with armfuls of stuff and a huge grin, we headed back to the car.
The drive down the canyon was very peaceful, the snow was falling very gently, with bursts of sunlight shining through sporadically. It was beautiful. I am very lucky, and I had a great day.
After finishing some last minute preparations we set out on Tuesday around 2 for Denver. We decided to take Highway 40 the whole way, it seemed fine for the first few hours, but then we hit some weather. Right after Steamboat Springs it started snowing really hard. The road was pretty scary by now, it was night, the road was ice underneath, with a couple inches of snow on top. We had to take it really slowly in order to maintain control. Luckily we got behind a snow plow going up Berthoud Pass which takes you all the way up to 11,500 feet, where it is impossible to see. We made it down safely after about 2 hours, and we were happy to finally arrive at our final destination at Garretts’ cousins’ house in Arvada, CO. The next day we explored Arvada and the surrounding area with our great host Janna (Garretts cousins girlfriend) who also cooked us a hearty meal and with full bellies we slept soundly eagerly awaiting our next day at SIA.
We got up around 8:00 in order to be at our first interview with Shred Betties and Spy by 9:00am. After some coffee with made our way into downtown Denver. Parking was a nightmare, but fortunately we found an underground that was only $14 for the day. When we walked inside the Colorado Convention Center I was amazed to see what a HUGE building it was- but with huge buildings comes lots of people. Kelly from Shred Betties eventually found us and gave us our credentials to get in. And the madness began…
Our first appointment was with Spy. Valerie helped show us their 2010-11 women’s line, and was gracious enough to give us some sweet sunglasses at the end of our appointment. Next we hit up Nikita, and I got to try on some of their fun oufits, and check out their new board that they collaborated with K2 for.
We also stopped by the O-Matic booth and talked with Tanya. She was so fun to interview, a very positive person. She did a great job telling us about Todd Richards’ graphics and what a goof-ball he seems to be. Tanya had lots of good things to say about O-Matic and even offered me a board that is on its way right now! THANK YOU TANYA CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT!
Our day flew by, we had tons of interviews. When I finally got a little time to stray off from doing interviews Garrett and I made our way over to the Spacecraft booth to go meet my team manager Ryan. It was the first time we had met each other so I was slightly nervous! But, Ryan is not one to make people feel uncomfortable, after our first words I knew he was chill, and i’m glad to be a part of Spacecraft.
We returned to the house after our busy day, and crashed out. Anxious to get my box of goodies Ryan promised me when I saw him I couldn’t wait to get back there in the morning. I closed my eyes, and the next thing I knew we were up and out the door again. After a day of wandering through the thousands of booths at SIA we thought we knew how to get back to Spacecraft. Half an hour later we found it! YES! Ryan had lots of goodies to give me and I am so stoked on everything he hooked me up with! THANK YOU! We chatted for a little bit, Garret and I posed for a photo, then we were off to meet Kelly at the Drop booth. I was stoked to see my team manager Suzanne from Akinz was there also, and we ran up to each other like little girls and hugged for a sentimental moment ha ha. The rest of the day was really fun as Suzanne and I are pretty goofy together. Garrett went and met up with his cousin Jason and they went their separate direction, while Suzanne and I stuck with the Shred Betties crew.
Over at the Northwave booth we met up with another one of the team riders for Shred Betties, Clair Hewitt Demeyer. She was taking over my interviewing job, because we had to get on the road as soon as possible, Garrett had to work at 6:45 in the morning and I had a competition at Brighton the next day. Desiree from Northwave let me interview her, and ask some questions about their new product, so Clair could see how it was done. Von Zipper was next on the list, and I think this was the most fun interview we did the whole time. GT from VZ helped show us the new product line, and let me tell you, he was a riot. We all had a blast over there taking pictures, cracking jokes, and giving each GT a hard time, but he was a good sport about it. The new Von Zipper sunglasses, and goggles are sick by the way. We got some cool pictures goofing around at the booth. Thanks GT!
Unfortunately Garret and I didn’t end up leaving Denver area until about 4:30, so again, we were driving all night. We opted to take I-70 to the 191 to I-15 this time. The drive was mellow, it was a full moon, clear skies, with white snowdrifts all around us. It was beautiful, very peaceful. We ended up getting home around about 12:30pm and we both passed out hard.
I woke up to an alarm again at 7:00, realized I didn’t even have a ride to Brighton to compete, and panicked slightly. Luckily my brothers girlfriend Jess was nice enough to come grab me and take me up there. She even showed up with a yogurt, and we stopped and got some coffee. I was feeling very slow, from lack of sleep, and lack of snowboarding for about a week and a half. I showed up right at 9:00 for registration, and ended up waiting in lines till 10:00 to finally get my paper work in.
So by the time I got out on the course I got 3 practice runs. I was confused to see how many wall rides they decided to put in the course, I mean i’m all for wall rides, but not 5 in one run. The jumps were a little strange too, small jumps with super poppy take-offs that make it hard to clear. All in all I was a little disappointed, but I was just stoked to be snowboarding again:) My first run I got a little over confident on a front 3 and over rotated to a perfect front 450. Sweet. So I had to skip the next jump because I lost all my speed. The next run I decided to play it safe with a frontside 180 to cab 5. I butt checked a little on the cab 5, but I guess it didn’t matter too much because I still ended up in 3rd! It was a very fun competition, lots of nice people there, and tons of smiles:)
Been having a blast riding Kings Crown at Park City the past few days. Training in session. Heading to Vermont on Friday. Stay Tuned!
Damon Butler, a snowboard slopestyle competitor out of Steamboat Springs, CO, has joined the Akinz team. Damon made the switch from competing in halfpipe to slopestyle this season and apparently it was a good decision, as he recently claimed first at the USASA Rocky Mountain series in slopestyle that was held in Copper on January 9th, 2010. We expect more medals to be thrown his way soon.
Damonâ€™s one of those riders that is super focused, super committed, but always has time to stop and help somebody out with whatever theyâ€™re working on.
Heâ€™s super fun to ride with as youâ€™ll just be chilling along a run when all of a sudden he spins a backflip off a bump you barely saw. He can throw backside double corks off kickers and doesnâ€™t even break a sweat.
Weâ€™re super excited to add him to our team and can promise youâ€™ll be seeing his name around quite a bit.
This year’s Canyons New Years Eve rail jam found our Akinz team rider, Erika Vikander, in first place. Hear about the event straight from her mouth:
The Canyons hosted their 3rd annual New Years Eve rail jam on Thursday, December 31. They went all out this year. The setup was awesome! You had an option of two zones. Zone 1 started you off with a nice single barrel down rail, to a double barrel down-flat-down, to a fence. Zone 2 contained a fun box with a nice little drop off the end, to a giant corrugated tube, that you could either jib, or hit like a jump, ending with a VW Rabbit Jib.
All of the riders were pumped and the session commenced. We had about an hour long jam session, throughout which judges were tapping riders and letting them know whether or not they made finals. All of the finalists were given glow sticks! After receiving one I decided to take it easy until finals started.
After a short intermission to fix the course finals started. By that time the snow had slowed down a little bit, and everyone was tired. There were a couple of bad falls due to fatigue. In the end I came out on top with $100 and Alice Gong took second.
I hope The Canyons continues to put on events like this. It was so nice to go to an event that was well maintained and FUN! The crowd was pumped, live music, fireworks, what more could you ask for?
A post from Erika Vikander on December 20th about the opening of Park City.
Park City has finally opened, with 3 parks up and running. The first few days of shredding we all got to enjoy a very nice little 3 jump line right on homerun. The jumps are so fun! The new park director of PC is doing a great job, and I am excited to see what he has in store for the rest of the season, and the bigger parks.
They also opened up pik-n-shovel. The setup in there is so fun. Starting off with two picnic tables together to make a long one, down rail, wall ride, another down rail, and into the jumpline. With 5 perfectly built jumps to session, people are throwing down, and it’s easy to learn new tricks, because they are not your typical lippy park city jumps. The pipe is open too- and its HUGE! I haven’t had the opportunity to ride it yet, but I will definitely make my way over there tomorrow!
That’s it thats all folks! Go ride PC!
We went down and supported Erika at Backyard Bang and had a lot of fun.Â Lots of good riders.Â Lots of fun tricks.Â The setup seemed a little cramped, but I guess that’s what happens when you have a rail jam in the middle of downtown on a 2-lane street. :)Â Ran into our friend Chris Rogers from Sbgmag.com who took this killer photo of Erika showing off her skills.Â This is what Erika had to say about the competition:
The backyard bang hit Denver’s Art Institute of Colorado on Saturday. They closed off Lincoln street and put a three feature setup in the middle of the street! It was a beautiful day, about 55 degrees, sunny, and blue skies. Lots of spectators flocked to the street to watch everyone throw down. I think registration was one of the most packed full little tents I have ever been in. So many guys trying to register day of for 45 spots. Luckily, every girl gets to compete, because there are so few of us. Turns out there were more than they expected, so they split us up into groups of about 4 and threw us into the guys heats.The drop in was to say the least, fast. Before you even had time to think about what you were doing you were already at the rail! Unfortunately the landing was flat too, so some people hit pretty hard without any transition for it.Next year I hope they build some sort of landing, and it would be nice if they had put all the girls in the same heat. A lot of the girls seem to get overlooked when they are in a heat with 4 of them and 15 guys. I’m not exactly sure what they were thinking only taking the top 3 girls to finals, with 5 girls at least more have a chance, and there is a mystery as to who will get top 3!Shred Betties girls were all killing it. I think we each were in a different heat and everyone was definitely shining. Everyone had a good time and was smiling and thats what counts!
Erika Vikander, our solo female team rider will be competing in this weekend’s Backyard Bang in Denver. The Backyard Bang is a celebration of Art, Music, Food, and of course snowboarding, put on by Salomon Snowboards and the Art Institute of Colorado. For more information or to register, click here. Otherwise, just come out and support Erika and Akinz from 11-5 at 1200 Lincoln St in Denver, CO
So, we’re halfway through our little road trip, but our next stop is only 5 hours away today. We’re leaving Chicago and headed to the Hawkeye State of Iowa for the capitol town of Des Moines.
We decided we would race you. Armed only with our GPS, Thelma “Danger” Maxwell, Twizzlers, and a camera…. you’ve got a pretty good chance to beat us, cause we are distracted easily. All you have to do is go to the website and use the discount code HAWKEYE to get 60% off your entire order. That’s right, even the new stuff. But, as soon as we check in to Des Moines, it’s no more discount, so get it while it’s good!
I’ll keep you updated along the way for your deadline… see you on the road!