Halfway through The Show
The Show: A Snowboarding Event is halfway wrapped in Whistler, BC, so we checked in with The Show's Dano Pendygrasse to see what's been going on.
The Show grew out of the Grenade Games' recent Whistler iteration and is the heart of the snowboard portion of the World Ski & Snowboard Festival, a spring blowout that takes over Whistler for two weeks.
The party schedule is almost as deep as the riding one, which includes the Grand Opening Slopestyle, the Mogul Mash, Dustin Craven's FUN Pipe Jam and a Boarderstyle/Stylecross, which is a totally new timed and judge event where four riders go head-to-head through boardercross berms before launching a giant freestyle booter.
The slopestyle contest was held Saturday night right at the base of the mountain on an imaginative course built with crowd sight-lines in mind. Craig Beaulieu took the win for the second year. Dave Fortin was gobbling Tylenol 3s all through practice in an attempt to tamp down a rib injury and everyone was looking to him to hit the hip end-to-end but the pain won out. The freezing conditions that came with nightfall were making big landings tough so many of the riders chose to express themselves on the Oakley O close to the crowd.
"People still threw down on [the hip]," said Pendygrasse. "The hardening conditions made it hard to land that big bastard ... Craig Beaulieu [is] the guy who is really consistent and tries lots of hard stuff. He definitely manages to put more tricky tricks down than all the other guys who are playing it a little safe. He doesn't play it safe."
Next up was the Mogul Mash, an event that sounds like a joke but is anything but. Moguls are probably responsible for more people quitting snowboarding than getting into it and yet the seasoned riders always throw down when given the venue to show off their spread-daffy-spreads. Travis Williams took the win this year, after coming in second place in the event last year.
"The thing I like about the mogul story is that despite three vastly different snow conditions over the last three years, there are guys who are becoming ... the champions and consistently placing really high in a crazy, stupid dual slalom mogul thing," said Pendygrasse.
Both Williams and second place's Myrosha Daley are snowboard industry team managers, so it's no surprise a little friendly competition turned into the battle of the TMs.
The Show of course has as much to do with partying as snowboarding, so the nightly festivities have included at least one unnamed competitor trying his bleary-eyed best to take on a cadre of BC bouncers and the usual debauchery that WSSF is revered for.
We asked Pendygrasse how much The Show is really a contest vs. an anti-contest. "The basic motivation of this thing is always going to be -- as far as I'm concerned -- a way to blow off steam at the end of a hard season," he said. "And if it ever gets to the point where people are staying home the night before to train, then we've done something wrong. It's definitely supposed to be a celebration of the culture of our world in no uncertain terms. I don't want it to be about the joys of, uh, training. It's always going to be a tip of the hat to the experiences we had growing up [in Whistler]...that experience of the WSSF where you meet all the other bros and pros and hang out and make lifelong friends. And that, to me, is more important than a 6-Star TTR from our perspective."
Dustin Craven's FUN Pipe Jam goes down tomorrow. And, yeah, we'll get you photos from that, too.