Akinz team rider Kim Kirch and friend Monica Thatcher getting after some wakesurfing while waiting for the snow to start falling again.
Team rider, Erika’s last comp of the season (or so she thought!) and it was a great one for her! She swept the first place title in the womens’ division at the Neff Beach Bash in Brighton and apparently had a badass time doing it!. This is what she had to say about the day…
Saturday the 17th of April marked the very first Beach Bash competition hosted by NEFF and Brighton. Garrett and I picked up Cory from Arkade Magazine in the morning and headed up to the hill. We met Cory at last years Campus Rail Jam Tour’s Finals in Portland. Cory asked me last year if I would like to do an interview with the magazine, but unfortunately we couldn’t get together until the last weekend of the season this year. So we planned to get some pictures for the magazine, and the boys watched me compete.
We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. After registering, I was pleased to see lots of other girls around ready to compete! However, since this was a “Beach Bash” most of the girls were there to hang out in their bikini’s and not to try hard and throw down on the course.
Practice lasted long enough for me to get one run in on each of the features which included; a flat rail all the way to the right, a fun box in the middle with a 5 foot gap off the end, and a wall ride, all over a pit of beach balls! I was very eager to get going, and after watching the 14 and under boys destroy this course, I was inspired to do so as well.
I like dropping in first and setting the standard for everyone else in the competition. To make sure I had enough speed to make it to the landing of the fun box, I charged in fast, and popped hard. No problems there. I decided to next hit the flat bar rail. After competing in multiple rail jams this year, I felt comfortable enough to just go right for a front-board to switch out. After doing that I moved to the wall ride- which was actually not as scary as it looked. I think the look of it got the best of most of the girls, because it was only myself and one other girl who even hit that feature.
Before I even knew it our heat was over, and I was covered in sweat. I ended up competing in a tank-top and my straw hat- to get into the spirit a little bit. I loved the layout of the competition. The heats were a perfect amount of time, and they presented us with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd right after our heat was over.
I was delivered my first place goodies from none other than Shaun Neff himself. It was a great honor to meet the guy behind the “Neff” name, and he had nothing but encouraging and gracious things to say to me. It was nice to meet a guy who was actually impressed with my snowboarding, and didn’t seem to care about looks. This event was so much fun, and for their first year doing it, it went flawlessly.
After I was done competing we all took a couple of laps around Millicent, and enjoyed the rest of the party.
I was sad to realize this was my last competition for this season, but thrilled I ended on a high note. The Neff Beach Bash at Brighton was definitely one of my favorite competitions I participated in this year. Great people, good music, good weather, and a fun atmosphere.