Early April, Bear Mountain was still in the full throes of season and as a few hundred of the best snowboarders under the age of twenty-one touched down in the San Bernadinos, late season storms loomed in the forecast, overthrowing Bear Mountain’s typical bright, sunny skies with a heavy dose of it’s-still-winter weather. While pockets of sun drifted in and out, interspersed with snow flurries, the assembled legion of riders at The Launch presented by Volcom strapped in undaunted. As up and comers peppered the set up erected by the Bear park crew, a group of shirt-and-tie clad boarders lapped furiously. If there is a gang who is undeterred by meteorological conditions and who possess no qualms for sending regardless of presence of precipitation, it’s the Stone Army.
Volcom’s crew always rolls deep to The Launch and at this edition of the annual event, Markus Kleveland, Reid Smith, Richie Conklin, Jadyn Chomlack, Brock Crouch, Benny Milam, Zach Normandin, Gabe Ferguson, Christian Connors, Parker Szumowski, Valentino Guseli, Cody Warble, Benny Milam, and Mike Ravelson brought the heat to Bear in a swam of zig zagging sidecut. Collectively, these gentlemen offers up a heavy dose of talent dispersed via a wide variety of style and together the ams picked apart each and every element of The Launch, floating doubles on the step-over, greasing the 100-footer, shutting down the wedding cake with a massive gap-to-rail and putting down effortless handplants, trannyfinders, and redirects wherever cat-cut snow allowed. They hotlapped Chair 9, a tidal wave of turning gaining steam with every hit. Volcom’s Seth Huot and Pat Barazza followed with cameras and the resulting video of the Stone Army’s dynamic presence at The Launch is a yet another example of the deluge of snowboarding, loaded with casual style that is apparent every time the Stone Army assembles.