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02.13.14 Presidents' Day Sale
Swing by this weekend for our annual Presidents’ Day Sale. Great savings on everything from snowboard gear to streetwear. What’s that? No loved one to spend money on for Valentine’s Day? EVEN BETTER! The snow should be hitting big this week, so it’s time to treat yourself right. These discounts are available at our Seattle store, Bellevue store, and online at snowboardconnection.com.
Need more info? Check out the sale page here.
01.22.14 Smash Life Banked Slalom
Words and video by Steven Goodell
The best night of riding pow I ever had was chasing Aaron Robinson down Alpental’s Armstrong Express. He pointed it everywhere and launched himself from pillow to pillow without ever pausing. The tracked out landings only made him gain speed and by the end of the night he was sending triple sets of moguls and just as stoked. Even before he disappeared into his snowboard gear like Obi-Wan Kenobi in a snowboard accident three years ago, he inspired me to trust myself. To point it toe-side and ollie hard and know that a tranny would be there if only I believed. I saw people last weekend trusting themselves like that at the Alpental stop of the Smash Life Banked Slalom, riding berms high and wholly committing to being fast or last.
The race set up in his memory to benefit the A-Rob Plant a Seed Project had the same infectious vibe. No one complained that coverage was so low, sticks were a factor. The fence netting was like a blue web of friendship binding us together and keeping us from plummeting over the eight foot switchback cliffs. Kyle Miller of Bozeman, MT even rode the fence netting above the icefall berm to a first place series finish.
I’m not proud that Summit Park Manager Joe Pope made the women and children’s divisions ride the rock solid course first, but I was impressed by their positive attitudes and communal spirit. After Guinea pigging for the boys,one female competitor posted up on turn three and flashed anyone who got claimed by the second bank — which inevitably led to more crashing, but bigger smiles.
Really, though. Huge thanks to Joe and the rotating team of twelve diggers that toiled for three days to make it happen. Seriously, guys, nice work. Non-sketchy courses are for skiers.
Todd Kirby won the day at Alpental with a time of 51.13, followed by Andy Bergin-Sperry and Kyle Miller. Mallory Sullivan and Robyn Borneman took home 2nd and 3rd after Sarris McComb clocked two blazing hot sub-minute runs to win it for the women. Snowboarding’s favorite realtor Marcel Dolak staked a claim on 1st for Grumpy Old Men. This was the second event in the Smash Life race series that started at Big Sky, MT the week before. Kyle Miller and Sarris McComb posted the best combined time for both events and won spots in the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom in February. In brotherly form, Kyle gave his spot to Todd because he’d already found a way into LBS. He must have won a Facebook poll.
After getting netted on my first run, I managed to finish middle of the pack on my second. I wasn’t fast and I wasn’t last, but I was surrounded by my friends. And being surrounded by your friends is the real point behind Smash Life.
12.18.13 Dirksen Derby Raises Money and Raises Stoke
The Dirksen Derby in Mt. Bachelor, Oregon is known for keeping it loose. For seven years it’s offered same day sign-ups and welcomed the hundreds of inebriate hecklers that line its banks. Pros ride alongside amateurs and anyone willing to brave the ultra tight berms has place in the line-up. But its accessibility doesn’t just extend to those better at partying than planning. Like snowboarding is your reason for existing, accessibility is Dirksen Derby’s reason for existing.
With all the talk of building participation rates in the industry, this is an event that takes it to heart, because the event is a sit ski race first and a snowboard rally second. Tyler Eklund, a Bend local who suffered a devastating spinal injury in 2006, is the event’s inspiration, co-organizer, and main beneficiary of the $20,000 raised this year. The non-profit he now works with, Oregon Adaptive Sports, provides resources to get disabled riders back sliding on snow again. Although the category was only 4 deep, the Sit Ski division owned the spotlight on a course that it was my goal not to fall on.
The hand-dug hell track is 40 seconds of berms, doubles, and 180+ degree snake coils spread over two parallel courses. Riders race both and compete based on their combined time. A separate 8 foot bomb-drop had the Derby Elites pro-division riders relying on brutal arm strength to make the gap to tranny. I know because I poached one for Snocon during the practice session.
The experience had me thinking about my life after paralysis and it’s a relief knowing our community will be there to catch my fall.
Jake Blauvelt clears another hurdle in his adidas.
That’s the thing about snowboard neck injuries, your face sticks like that. Tyler Eklund smiling huge while shredding the green course.
Josh Dirksen asked me to tell you that registration will be online only next year.
Future world champion sit-skier Shawn Palmer.
All credit for this article goes to Steven Goodell one of our latest Snocon team riders!