Last weekend marked the long awaited reopening of South West Michigan’s favorite shred spot, Cannonsburg Ski Resort. This also coincided with Rome Rep / hand model Rich Whinnie’s “ Parknado” snowboard only rail event. This article will mainly focus on the Parknado event, but we also saw this as a good opportunity to discuss Cannonsburg’s general opening day briefly and touch on the enormous momentum that has brought this once near forgotten resort to its current highly revered status.
Cannonsburg has the all the ingredients for success. One of the real main issues with other resorts in the area is that they are managed and overseen by people who don’t participate personally in snow sports. Often times the management is some far off dude who is completely unaware of the scene or the needs of its current or future client base. It can be an even sadder instance when they don’t even care about certain aspects of their hill i.e the terrain park. The terrain park at some resorts is often seen as a burden and the resorts feel their customers should be grateful they even get the amount of effort they currently put forth. Cannonsburg is a prime example of what can be accomplished when you gather a group of forward thinkers and experienced young talent together who share a common goal. Cannonsburg is changing the area’s standards as to what can actually be considered a killer terrain park. No one comes close till you start heading a few hours north. There are a few key players in the whole Cburg movement, but once again in good form when talking to these shot callers they accredit the collective efforts of the entire staff.
photos by Jon Mollema
Cburg’s opening was much like everyone else’s opening day minus the fact they were having what I would consider a tremendously awesome event (their second of the season). They had a full, nicely done park open in addition to the event area’s monster setup. The snow being made was pretty damn nice as well. My only complaint was the mass chaos at the lift line. It was clear that it was some of these kids first day back and they were hungry. The line was void of any order and at times was bordering on riot. Who gives a shit though? Riot or not it was because everyone’s stoke level was through the roof.
The event….. I mean I can’t say enough good stuff so I am just gonna rapid fire you the action. The setup… perfect. The talent… ridiculous. The fun level… retarded and it ran near flawlessly. It was such a good vibe. I initially was going to cover this event as a competitor, but was asked to co-judge the event the day before. Taking a chair with the likes of Rich Whinnie, Tommy Young and Scotty Sparks; I couldn’t refuse. I was honored. I still had a chance to hit a few of the features. I was perfectly content.
photos by Alycia Choroszucha
Aside from a few of the Mitten’s heaviest hitters missing the collection of riders was absurd. The event was divided into three sections of features. The top was comprised of a 25ft down bar and a down box. In the second set of features, riders had a choice of hitting a large in diameter round bar that led to a butterbox, the magnificent looking Neff hotdog feature, or making a hard right and hitting a small jump over a 5ft plus high corrugated tube jib; basically designed for stalls and miller flips. Most people just ollied over it or tapped it. Then at the bottom riders could choose to hit the 3 level waterfall rail or another round rail set on an up angle into to a wall redirect. All of it built the way it should be. All of it fun as shit!
Al Pal of the Michigan based brand “Murder Mitten” was my favorite rider of the day. Dude had banger after banger. He wasn’t officially in the comp because you know…. He doesn’t do that or whatever, but none the less he was laying to waste every feature. He even managed to bust his nose early on in the event. He walked around aimlessly for a minute until Jack Harris, another one of the comps rider standout, managed to help him collect his wits and yes, continue on. Andrew Carroll put on a good show for everyone getting the big gap to lipslide shot that has been used for most of the press for this event. Kyle Kearns was the undisputed champion of the waterfall. I mean he did the most tricks the most times. There were a few big tricks done on the rail but he got through it consistently. Matt Miller, another one of my personal favs, was destroying shit left and right. MichiganBoarder favorite, Noah Talentino, was making everyone nervous as he attempted a gap to backside 270 to the last portion of waterfall several times. He has no personal interest in his bodily health. Everyone was killing it though. Jacob Visser, Brad Kearns, Harrison Mcgilhargy, Nathan Kudla, Mac Eckstrand, and Nate Anderson all stood out to me, but in the end, it was Sam Schowalter who took home the new Rome deck. Jamie Charron and Kristen Theos took the runner’s up prize packs.
All in all it was a fantastic event, visually and functionally. Cannonsburg’s staff works their asses off and it shows. Rich Whinnie was a huge part of this and also deserves a big shout out. We said before in our interview with him that you will see Rich more than any other rep in Michigan. He showed up with prizes for everyone, big prizes for the winners, and helped put together an event that was casual and fun. It was competitive, but only by rider choice and only in a fun way. I was extremely happy to be a small part of this event and can’t wait for Cburg and Rich to do this again.