words: Mary Walsh
photos: Ryan “Huggy” Hughes and Mike Yoshida
The second day of Ms Superpark 2013 presented by Gatorade was welcomed with sunny, bluebird skies at Keystone Resort. The jumps and rails were groomed, the coolers were filled with Gatorade, and the riders were stoked as they boarded the gondola to head up to the park for another day on the jumps and jibs.
Part of what makes Ms Superpark such a unique event, is that because riders are given free reign to hit whatever they would like, for as long as they would like, tons of progression goes down within the sessions on different features. As a spectator, it’s exciting to watch the women push and support each other as they hit features together. Not only is Ms Superpark an opportunity to showcase some of the best women’s snowboarding in the world, it’s an opportunity to progress it. All of the ladies on hill today were feeding off one other as they added to their litanies of tricks. There are few places that this environment exists.
As such, the entire park went off on Day 2. Kumara Kelley, Alice Gong, Stefi Luxton, and Silje Norendal were part of a pack of the riders lapping the jump. Kumara boosted a sick front three of the left side of the channel jump. Christy Prior put down the landing gear on a frontside rodeo off her toes on the second jump.
An afternoon session on the hitching post had Bryn Valaika, Stephanie Sue Feld, and more, stomping tricks they were comfortable with and then moving on to try, and subsequently stomp, new ones. Nirvana Ortanez locked in a blunt on top of the post and Christy Prior was going for handplants. Madison Blackley was all around killing it on the quarterpipe and hitching post.
In the bottom section of the park, ladies were continuing to find new options on the close-out island. Erin Comstock laid out her legendary style on the flat rail to redirect wall. Breckenridge local, Heather Baroody, was one of the few riders to hit the jump over the closeout gap and came close to stomping a back three over it.
As the afternoon wore on, and the park began to empty, riders heading down to the base after riding and hiking and riding and hiking, two women remained: Jenny Jones and Kjersti Buaas, veritable bosses on snowboards. The women were looking to take down the gap jump, and boy, did they succeed. Jenny and Kjersti are both veteran slopestyle riders, and this comfort on transition is apparent when you’re treated to a session from these women. As the sun began to creep below the mountain, the two riders threw spins and tweaked grabs over the massive gap. Kjersti stomped a textbook backside one and Jenny landed a stylish 720, only ceasing their session when the shadows overtook the tranny.
“The gap jump is definitely my favorite,” said Jenny. “I came up a bit later today so I could session it, when the sun was going down, and it was definitely worth it. I had such a good time with Kjersti Buaas, so it was fun.” A few factors have to come together to have a successful session, in addition to thanking the photo and video staff, Jenny was fast to highlight the importance of “making sure there’s at least one other rider that’ll do it with you, because however much you’re into it, if there’s not a buddy, it’s not half as fun.”
And this is spot on for the vibe on hill today at Ms Superpark. Riding down from A51 at the end of the day, I passed Kjersti and Jenny, who had huge, stoked smiles on their faces as they humbly celebrated a session well-done.