The High Cascade Snowboard Camp lane saw the last three on-hill events of America’s Next Top Pro Model. The morning started off with Spin to Win. A 30-foot HCSC popper lay before the field of competitors and they took to it at around eleven in the morning to the pleasure of campers, industry heads and filmers alike. With three frontside or Cab attempts and three backside or switch backside tries, the riders were given six go’s at landing their most rotated maneuver. Kyle Clancy, Keegan Valaika, Bryan Fox, Derek Dennison, Chris Grenier, MFM, Lauri Heiskari, Iikka Backstrom, Lane Knaack, Aaron Biittner, Austin Smith, Joe Sexton, Heikki Sorsa and the rest of the field spent the morning spinning but in the end, it was Clancy who took the win with two nines, a grand total of 1,800 degrees of victory.
Following the Spin to Win, the Top Pro Modelers headed over to the Superpipe and tried their hand at boosting the largest pipe air of the day. Lane came on strong, launching overhead airs in the 22-foot pipe but three other riders would out-amp Knaack. Kyle Clancy, Bryan Fox, and Austin Smith took part in a three-way battle of airtime, sending it higher and higher with every drop. In the end, Clancy took his second win of the day with an overhead-and-a-half air that got the crowd on their feet, with Austin snagging second and Fox taking third. In an event with no “pipe kids,” it was more than impressive to see these dudes getting after it on transition.
And now, on to the grand finale, and possibly, the one event of ANTPM that can truly boast ballsy bragging rights: The Chinese Downhill. Fifteen riders stood atop the HCSC lane, ready to point it to the finish. From the mini pipe straight-line, the riders then banked a hard left turn at terminal velocity and cut hard into the Superpipe to the coveted yellow tape. As Bridges lobbed a snowball and it touched the ground, all bets were off. Spraying, pushing, jacket pulling and other dirty tactics were more than encouraged. I personally witnessed Aaron Biittner holding MFM by the jacket at one point. Possibly the ballsiest move of the entire day. A mess of pro snowboarders came careening down the hill, around the corner, and crossed the finish in a tangled mess of Gore-Tex® and p-tex. Wanna know who won? It was the man in black himself, Bryan Fox. Following Fox was his ol’ pal Austin Smith, and Iikka Backstrom in third, who was complaining about cheating. We quickly informed Iikka that this isn’t Finland. He was in America, and cheating is a way of life on the road to victory in this great nation.
America’s Next Top Pro Model is not done yet. Tomorrow night is the Charity Auction, in which every pro snowboarder puts their board up for sale to the campers and all proceeds go to the overall winner’s charity of choice. Stay tuned to snowboardermag.com for the final tally.