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.
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.
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.
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.
High Ollie Results:
1. Keegan Valaika: 4'0"
2. Chris Bradshaw: 3'10"
3. Joe Sexton, Lane Knaack, Heikki Sorsa (tie): 3'8"