The drop in above the High Ollie height markers and pole. Rider: Keegan Valaika, Aaron Biittner Photo: Laura Austin
Any dude in his right mind would be lying if they told you that they wouldn't want to ride a model, and any snowboarder in his or her right mind would also be lying to you if they told you that they wouldn't want to ride their very own pro model. Today at High Cascade Snowboard Camp, over a dozen of the world's best professional snowboarders gathered for America's Next Top Pro Model to put their insignias where their topsheet is and put their sticks to the test to find out who has the world's best pro model.
2010 ANTPM overall champion Lauri Heiskari, clearing the high ollie at 3' 6". Lauri finished in the middle of the pack in the 2011 High Ollie event after winning this round in 2010. Probably had to do with all of the extra weight gained with the added ink needed to screen DCSHOECOUSA. Rider: Lauri Heiskari Photo: Aaron Dodds
Joe Sexton, Kyle Clancy, Chris Bradshaw, MFM, Chris Grenier, Keegan Valaika, Derek Dennison, Bryan Fox, Austin Smith, Lane Knaack, Aaron Biittner, Heikki Sorsa, Iikka Backstrom, last year's champion Lauri Heiskari and others kicked off the second annual America's Next Top Pro Model at high noon as the bar was quite literally raised in the high ollie contest. Early exits from Iikka, MFM, Dennison and others opened the door for others to step it up. Lane, Keegan and Bradshaw battled it out toward the end of the event and when the dust settled, Keegan had the event's first category under his belt, Bradshaw took second, and a three-way tie between Sexton, Lane, and Heikki finished off the podium. It's official: Keegan Valaika can ollie higher than anyone in the field.
To avoid any confusion, the 2011 ANTPM event was hosted and sponsored by HCSC which stands for High Cascade Snowboard Camp. This isn't to be confused with the Health Care Services Corporation which is a mutual legal reserve company. The difference is easy to tell. One testifies (in front of Congress) trying to put an end to childhood obesity while the other tries to teach kids how to get phat air. The latter spokesman is a marshmallow. Rider: Lauri Heiskari Photo: Huggy
After the High Ollie contest, the contestants headed over to HCSC's famed 30-foot down bar for a rider-judged rail jam. Said rail is more than likely the focal point of most of High Cascade's session edits that go viral bi-weekly, and has seen some pretty heavy shit go down in the past few years. Well, today was no different. Grendys brought his A-game with switch backside 180's onto the square bar while Clancy flexed his mental unstability while strapped in with sideslip-to-boardslide combos onto the bar, one of which ended up with Kyle taking the blue bar to his back. He was okay, and he told the onlookers, "You figure that'll happen once every time you go snowboarding." Clancy is a crowd pleaser in all facets.
Lane Knaack has a tattoo on his stomach that says "93/94" which is a lasting tribute to what many believe was the best year ever in the history of snowboarding. Noah Salasnek had the highest selling pro model in 93/94 and it featured a skateboard's trucks as a base graphic. Man that board was sick but sooooo heavy. The nub version was a little lighter. Rider: Lane Knaack Photo: Aaron Dodds
Austin Smith came out of nowhere to take what may possible be the unofficial "Best Trick" prize with a massive front three to 50-50 on the rail, while buddy Bryan Fox unleashed a frontside 270 reminiscent of his Neoproto days when he rode rails a tad more, and rode them damn well. Lane stuck to a more-simple trick repertoire, but I could watch Lane snowboard on anything, all day long. He killed it. MFM showed up late and threw out some samplings for the crowd, Dennison was one of the most technical and consistent of the day, Keegan destroyed shit, etc, etc. These dudes all murdered it, but it was Joe Sexton who was far and away the winner with machine-like precision and unwavering accuracy. You'll have to wait for the recap video to see the rest. It was no joke. See the full results below and keep checking back to snowboardermag.com for daily updates from America's Next Top Pro Model, at High Cascade Snowboard Camp.
Chris Grenier not only shares a pro model snowboard on Salomon with Jed Anderson called the Salomander but he also is the focus of this month's Snowboarder Magazine Fresh & Tracked column where he talks about dating Lindsey Lohan, being personally invited by Shaun White to train with him at a secret halfpipe in Colorado and pink cars. Rider: Chris Grenier Photo: Huggy
Chris Bradshaw's Technine pro model is 149.25 cm long. This 116.8 cm ollie earned him 2nd place in the 2011 ANTPM High Ollie event. Rider: Chris Bradshaw Photo: E-Stone
After besting Bradshaw at the 4 foot mark, the bar was raised to 4' 2". This photo is from that attempt which wasn't a make. Rider: Keegan Valaika Photo: Aaron Dodds
Allen Gelfand was born in New York in 1963 but it wasn't until 1977 that he would himself give birth to the no-handed skateboard aerial, which is commonly known today as the "ollie." On July 18th, 2010 Keegan Valaika of Laguna Beach, CA wrote his name in the annals of ollie history by winning the 2011 ANTPM High Ollie title. Rider: Keegan Valaika Photo: E-Stone
This is the last living photo of Kyle Clancy. Kyle's final moments with MFM. Photo: Laura Austin
"Bridges hates on anything that isn't action." –Laura Austin This shot of Chris Grenier is most definitely an action shot. Bridges approved. Rider: Chris Grenier Photo: Huggy
Derek Dennison is perhaps the most well-groomed and best-smelling of the ANTPM field. Clearly, he maintains his rail tricks as much as he does his body hair. Rider: Derek Dennison Photo: Aaron Dodds
Sweet Joe Sexton (aka Frog Body) well on his way to an ANTPM rail jam win. Rider: Joe Sexton Photo: Huggy
"Bridges hates anything that isn't action." –Laura Austin Nice job, Huggy. You're fired. Rider: Joe Sexton Photo: Huggy
The last time that much nose was in the air, we were at a Beverly Hills wine mixer. Rider: Joe Sexton Photo: Aaron Dodds
"It's good. Who is that?" –Heikki Sorsa Photo: Laura Austin
High Ollie Results:
- 1. Keegan Valaika: 4'0"
- 2. Chris Bradshaw: 3'10"
- 3. Joe Sexton, Lane Knaack, Heikki Sorsa (tie): 3'8"
Rail Jam Results:
- 1. Joe Sexton
- 2. Austin Smith
- 3. Derek Dennison