So last weekend The Edge Boardshop of Kalamazoo put on a rails only event at Bittersweet Ski Resort. We’re just going to skip flowery intro and get right to the meat and potatoes of this feature so you can watch the edit.
The event was a rail jam and had four divisions… Grom, Intermediate, Advanced, and Womens. Skiers were also included in their respective divisions. Large prizes were awarded to 1st -3rd place in each division with some bonus prizes to be earned on certain features. The total competitor count was 57 with the majority of riders being snowboarders.
The event feature was a roughly 50ft wide platform that featured four rails all set on a down angle. There was a flat down flat rail, a box, a shotgun rail, and a down flat down. I actually designed the setup and instead of going for anything real elaborate I thought I would make something that was going to be basic, fun, and allow everyone riding a chance to put down the best of their tricks without having to take forever to get acclimated to the setup. I feel like in regard it was a success. Head groomer Troy O Bryant; park kids Johnny Johnson, Josh Howard, and Jordan Lentz and myself stayed until 4:30am the morning of seeing that it was a good build. Troy was especially particular that night and all things considered (iffy snow conditions) the feature turned out damn good because of his eye for detail.
Despite the night’s prior hardships the event went pretty damn well. Every kid in every division skier or snowboarder was putting it down and most importantly having a good time. I could go on and on about every division, but my main focus of the article will obviously lean toward the advance snowboarding division, but before I get into that I do have to make note of how baller the Grom snowboard kids were. We were all super impressed with the talent of those little dudes.
Advanced featured more than just Bittersweet locals. Shreds from Cannonsburg and Pando showed up to represent in the event. Mullet Chicken Crew was heavily represented, Evan Erickson, Jeremy Vandyke and Andy Smith all made the drive as did Mark Reinhardt. Aside from out of town shreds Alycia Choroszucha and Cameron Raterink of the Cannonsburg fame came as well. Alycia has supplied the glorious images you see through out this write up and MB’s own Jon Mollema supplying the video of course.
The advanced portion of the event was every bit of the bloodbath I had hoped for. So many hammers, so many smiles. Like I had mentioned aside from the traditional 1st-3rd standings we had a bonus prize structure set up. Best trick of the event won an Echelon “Kill Box” snowboard provided by us (Michiganboarder.com) and best trick on the flat, down, flat rail won a pair of super rare Union Super Pro bindings. So much good trickery took place it made for a difficult time judging. I would have to say the burliest trick of the day came from Garrett Harris. He was leaving the kicker of an entirely different feature and transferring to the down of the kink. It’s hard to tell from the video, but it wasn’t easy and he managed to get it after a few tries sticking a front board. Kyle Kearns was in short, ridiculous. He did so many baller tricks. Including a super smooth, backside 180 gap to the down on the kink. We gave him best trick for it and he left with a new board. Kyle was also in contention for best trick on the flat down flat with a 50/50 to 540 out but was snuffed by Andy “Rollin Dice” Smith and his beautiful, picture perfect, front blunt through the flat down flat. Andy won the bindings. Andy was sticking killer tricks with banger style on every feature, all day. Brandon Canney who showed up and hadn’t snowboarded in three weeks was all like “I’m rusty”, but was murdering the metal in brutal fashion like he had been shredding erry day. I could go on and on. Evan Erickson rode like a bous, but then again so did his crew buddy Jeremy Vandyke. Oh and dude… Cody James, Cody James is damn good! Everyone that was in advanced rode top shelf that day, Derrick Julian, Scotty Saegar, Johnny Johnson, Jason Woodworth, Kyle Moldenhauer…I mean everyone.
In the end only a few captured the top spots and snagged the big prizes. I’d like to think that since we had the world’s longest product toss everyone got to leave with something. Andy Smith took 1st place and won the Thirtytwo x Crab Grab snowboard that was so kindly supplied to us by Thirtytwo rep Brad Steuer.
We want to make sure all the riders know what a great time we had and want to say a big ‘ol thank you for thrown down so hard! So many people had a hand in making this event what it was….
|Skier prizes||Bittersweet Ski Shop|
|Rail Jam Hosts||Bittersweet & Bittersweet Ski School|
|Sponsors||ROME Rich Whinne
Union/Capita/Electric/Volcom Emmet Klocker
Thirtytwo Brad Steuer
Bern Jake Jaques
Never Summer Tony
Airblaster/Spacecraft Cody Prudoehl
1st Andy Smith
2nd Kyle Kearns
3rd Brandon Canney
1st Evan Findling
2nd Charlie Vandemark
3rd Joe Timner
1st Logan Cialdella
2nd Noah Genzink
3rd Nathan Lawrence
1st Merri Wetterholt
2nd Nicole Wilson