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,...
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!