words and captions: Pat Bridges
photos: Mike Yoshida and Peter Morning
Mammoth Mountain’s West Coast Invitational has traditionally marked the midpoint of the spring snowboarding calendar for riders still schralping the Sierras. This year, Mammoth decided to push this esteemed competition back to Memorial Day weekend to create an ender-bender blowout celebration to cap off another great season on the slopes.
While the newly created Game Of S.N.O.W. World Championships held on Saturday, May 25th may have monopolized much of the spotlight by bringing the sixteen best jibbers on Earth to battle in head to head elimination in front of the Mammoth Main Lodge, the Eddie Wall Ride Invitational returned on Sunday to keep the action on tap all weekend long.
The 2013 Eddie Wall Ride Invitational setup was deceptively simple, allowing the riders to focus on tricks and style, as opposed to becoming familiar with overly complicated and quirky obstacles. Mammoth’s longstanding eight-foot high a-frame wall was setup down the fall line as a feeder into the highly consequential two-story Outride by Mophie wall, which was placed across the slope as an air, stall, and re-entry feature.
The 2013 Eddie Wallride field consisted of the best of Mammoth’s local talents as well as those Game Of S.N.O.W. contenders not too hungover to mettle with some metal. Jaeger Bailey chucked a few flips, got familiar with the coping on a handful of proper plants and sent several corkscrews and Mctwists. Tom Pelly brought his invert antics up to Mammoth from Australia, Dylan Thompson spun buttery spins and stalled effortlessly on the narrow perch atop the wall despite there being a twelve foot high drop to flat beyond the lip, Harrison “Slash” Gordon showed his smooth style as he gingerly made his way from wall to wall, and half-pint powerhouse Brock Crouch played David to the Outride by Mophie Goliath by charging the quad-overhead wall fearlessly. Newly christened 2013 Game Of S.N.O.W. World Champion, Johnny Lazzereschi shocked everyone in attendance by not only lapping after the previous night’s libations, but by slaying the setup with alley-oop lein grab laybacks.
Active, Sabre, Beats By Dre, Vestal, and Mammoth provided plenty of cash and prizes for the top performers of the day. Winning best trick was none other than Jonah Owen. The Oregon native committed to over a dozen eggflip 450 out stale grab transfers from the top right corner off the side of the main wall, finally setting it down flawlessly with only minutes to go in the event. This stomp earned Owen Best Trick honors. Scott Blum pulled off two inverts that have never been done, let alone attempted on wallrides before. The first was the fakie eggplant nosegrab to regular, aka the Gary Coleman, and the second was the highly technical switch eggplant. Both plants are gnarly and either one was more than deserving of the Best Handplant honors he received. Third place for the day went to Cody Boan, who appeared to have more to prove than the rest of the field, as witnessed by his steady parade of spins, plants, stalls, and flips. Tim Humphreys has been one of the most consistent competitors to ever grace the Eddie Wall Ride roster. Tim, once again put on a show in 2013, as he found the coping on various 50-50 to fakie slides, lipslides, and revert moves, in addition to several frontside, backside, and switch handplants. For this, he earned second. Of course, every contest needs a champion and this day belonged to Mitch Richmond. While others may have had bigger bags of tricks, Mitch simply had the biggest bag. Hardbody stalled a frontside invert on the coping for two seconds before falling eight feet back into the wall and stomping through the impact. To counter this style move, Mitch went even more agro on his cripplers and heave ho’s, which he peaked out several feet above the coping and at least a foot above everyone else’s attempts.
With the 2013 Eddie Wall Ride Invitational in the books, another season in the Sierras has concluded and who could argue that there could be a better ender than a weekend of fun in the sun while sending it with friends. SNOWBOARDER wishes to thank Eddie Wall, Mammoth, Vestal, Active, Sabre and Beats By Dre for providing this opportunity. Too bad we have to wait a year to do it again.