words: Tanner McCarty and Mary Walsh
captions: T. Bird
The fifth and final day of Superpark 17 presented by Gatorade has come to a close and let me tell you, she went out with a bang. Weather conditions followed a similar pattern to the rest of the week, with a sweetass start to the day and on-coming lightning chasing everyone out around five pm. Since this was predicted, daylight was not wasted. A sunrise shoot started at 5:30 in the morning, featuring Shane Fortier, Seth Hill, Niko Cioffi, Charles Reid, Hans and Nils Mindnich, and a few other riders who braved the darkness and fatigue from the night before to ride up to the Woodward jump zone in cats. Shane, who claims he has never woken up that early before, sent it over the tree gap, while a handful of guys timed a few doubles routines on the quarterpipe gap jump.
After the rest of the world woke up, a session started on the Woodward step-up jump that was full of hucking and chucking. Scott Vine was the man of the hour as he attempted a one-footed double backflip. After a few tries he landed perfectly, kicking his hoof out to the sky. Other standouts included Elias Elhardt with a doublecork ten, Nick Poohachoff, Sawyer Deen, and Austen Sweetin, who put down the most tricks.
During the step-up session, a group of rail dudes were hustling on the Woodward rail plaza to get their tricks in on the last day. Jesse Paul was dropping hammers, jamming a backside 270 off the bank to the down rail, and a boardslide backflip boardslide on the up-flat-down rail. Frank April holler atcha boi. Other assassins included Mike Rav, Dylan Ojo, Todd Kirby, and Johnny O'Connor who landed a 50-50 gap back 180 switch 50-50 transferring opposite rails on the up-flat-down.
At the end of the day, it was only right to send Superpark 17 off with one last hip session. Brothers Garrett and Josh Warnick, Red Gerard, Brock Crouch and Hans Mindnich sent it deep while holding smoke bombs and blasting off a few roman candles while hitting the hip.
This year, the introduction of a new Superpark award was added to the event's cache. Chelone Miller, a friend and Superpark staple who possessed a legendary ability to send it off anything, often kickstarting sessions on the biggest Superpark features, was honored with the creation of the Chelone Miller Charger Award. Sam Taxwood received this prestigious distinction, due to his impressive showing on the Seven Springs transfer hip, the Loon 70-footer, and his keen ability to point it toward anything in front him, going bigger and badder than most. As T. Bird handed Staxwood the trophy, handmade of wood and New Hampshire granite by Dawn Strout, the Lick the Cat crew went nuts, chanting some sort of gibberish, dumping beer all over their friend, and pulling off his shirt (which seems to be a theme with this crew). And, their excitement was only about to get more exuberant as T. Bird announced the winner of the Gatorade Driven From Within Superpark Standout.
During Superpark 17, there were many jaw-dropping tricks that went down, one rider stood out as he lapped the features built by Woodward, Loon Mountain, Seven Springs, and Mt. Bachelor. From the first day to the last, he was a presence on hill, annihilating any transition the loomed in front of him. Not only was he a part of all three of the webcasts, but he dominated during the sessions, broadcasting the depth of his bag of tricks, be it on jumps or rails, and exhibiting a bevy of grabs and sense of style that most riders wish to acquire. Hans Mindnich, a rider who, though lacking in sponsors, is rife with talent. We have been saying for a while now to watch out for this guy, and this year, at Superpark 17, we made it official. Hans Mindnich has a bright future in snowboarding, and we're stoked the world is starting to pay attention.
We can't thank everyone enough who was involved in making Superpark 17 a success, and because T. Bird wasn't allowed to purchase cosmos at the afterparty, we have yet to thank them properly. Thank you to all of Mt. Bachelor's staff, you guys rule. Thank you to the riders for working hard and making this event what it is. And finally, thanks to all of the builders from Mt. Bachelor, Woodward Tahoe, Woodward at Copper, Loon Mountain, and Seven Springs, who worked tirelessly to make this event happen. See you next year.